How do you determine success?

Ann Navarro ann at
Sun Aug 29 22:09:48 BST 1999

At 03:55 PM 8/29/99 -0400, David Megginson wrote:
>Ann Navarro writes:
>  > Did HTML 4.0 -- with it's three versions, fail from overcomplexity?
>Sorry to be harsh, but I almost never see the required HTML 4.0
>DOCTYPE declaration at the top of Web pages and I know of no
>widely-deployed HTML user agent that actually tries to distinguish
>HTML 4.0 from HTML 3.* and do something useful based on that
>distinction (much less one that distinguishes the transitional and
>strict flavours).

Is that not, then, a failure of the user agent and not the spec?

If a user agent ignores something *required* - we can't save them from 

Indeed, because of this failure in user agents, combined with other 
tendencies of sub-par support for specs,  the HTML-using world is becoming 
more aware of the need for DTDs and validation. Valid HTML documents have a 
better chance of displaying cross-browser and cross-platform as the author 
intended. Invalid ones are a crap-shoot.

But none of this is an indication that we need to take HTML 4.0 out back 
and shoot it.

Ann Navarro
Author: Effective Web Design: Master the Essentials
Buy it Online!
Owner, WebGeek Communications
Vice President, HTML Writers Guild

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