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"William F. Hammond" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 6 Nov 1998 08:51:57 -0500
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Sebastian Rahtz <[log in to unmask]> writes:

: William F. Hammond writes:
:  > to understand that HTML is just NOT a good authoring language and was
:  > never intended to be an authoring language.  It is browser fodder
:  > designed for easy and efficient browser handling.  XML, eXtensible
: oh come. of course it was intended as an authoring language! it is NOT
: good for efficient browser writing!!
:  > Markup Language, is an extension of HTML to allow anybody to create
:  > a tag set.  But XML is also NOT an authoring language.
: XML is _not_ an extension of HTML!!! grr.

Well, that depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is.  ;-)

Of course, it also depends on the meaning of "extension".  I perceive
the name "eXtensible Markup Language" as an essentially political
device designed to slip SGML past those with "SGML anxiety".
Yes, HTML is not an XML.  Moreover, the tag set of an XML need not
intersect, much less contain, the HTML tags.

:                                              and its a good authoring

A good XML could be a good authoring language if one doesn't mind
being required always to use every element tag.  For example, in
X-HTML one would need to be meticulous about always closing every
paragraph with "</p>" and always having the HTML preamble opened with
"<head>" and closed with "</head>", not to mention wrapping the whole
document in "<html>" and "</html>", all of which are optional in HTML
as we know it.

Now HTML is not a bad *web page authoring language* if one cares only
about visible web pages.  (I've never engaged in "browser writing".)
But if one begins to care about web page appearance on paper and smart
robots looking for information, editing HTML by hand becomes tedious.
I know.  I've been doing it since early 1994, and I've become very
tired of the verbosity, much less the task of double authoring both
HTML and LaTeX so that I can get printed versions that suit me.

HTML is not a good single source authoring language for multiple

:  > It is more or less correct to view every XML language as also an
:  > SGML language.  Therefore, many SGML languages are also not good
:  > for authors.  However, some are not too bad.
: "more or less"? XML is a _strict_ subset of SGML!

For one thing a document type definition is optional with XML but
required with SGML (although it is not required to be a separate file
-- the whole thing can be merged).  The idea is (did they revise it?)
that one can make up a tag set, write a style sheet for that tag set
and ship it to the web.  (Of course, if you don't have a hidden DTD,
you may get into trouble.)

Hmmm...  Isn't "<br/>" formally incorrect syntax under SGML?  (My 1996
"nsgmls" won't accept it.)  With SHORTTAG enabled "<br/" is
accepted.  But then the string "<p>Hello everyone./" is a complete
paragraph since the '/' closes the innermost open element, so '/'
must be treated, for safety, as special although not every instance
is markup.

Alas, we digress.  Sorry to be so compulsive.

                                   -- Bill