an unfilled need

Arjun Ray aray at
Tue Sep 7 08:43:32 BST 1999

On Mon, 6 Sep 1999, Ann Navarro wrote:

> In today's Web browser, there is built-in "knowledge" of what HTML
> elements are supposed to be and do. They have been programmed to
> recognize a <P> element as a new structural block, presented with a
> leading line space, text flush left, unless otherwise indicated in a
> style sheet or align attribute.

Well, this isn't really true.  The popular browsers are inheritors of the
Mosaic paradigm, which starts with an inherently different view of tags to
begin with - as isolated (or "streamed") embedded commands; the concept of
"element" doesn't pertain at all.  Consider, for instance, this elaborate
non-explanation of why </P> should make a difference:


(This is also why, IMHO, stylesheets never had a chance with these

> Simple, primarily presentation information, but it's preprogrammed in 
> how to deal with such elements.  [...] Allowing for discovery, based
> on a schema, DTD, or whatever other defining mechanism is provided,
> lets tomorrow's Web browser have that same "knowledge" of a <foo>
> element, 

How?  Either tomorrow's browser has the preprogramming, or it doesn't.


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