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Re: lynx-dev dev.22 lynx_dev.html

From: Philip Webb
Subject: Re: lynx-dev dev.22 lynx_dev.html
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 07:05:25 -0400 (EDT)

990414 David Woolley wrote: 
> I don't consider the <br> issue pedantic.

i would say it depends on the context:
if it's a discussion of Internet trends & policies, no;
if it's a small attempt to improve Lynx's porous & dilapidated docs, yes.

> I consider it the thin end of the wedge towards Lynx HTML becoming
> page-description HTML just like most of the GUI HTML,
> rather than media-independent language for describing
> the deep structure of the document
> so that user and user agent can may intelligent choices how to render it.

then you must object to the presence of <br> in HTML at all:
currently, it's a perfectly valid tag for all to use as they see fit.
to that extent perhaps, HTML is not a deep-structure-only language.
> I've done several makeovers of GUI web pages in the past
> to try and get rid of things like a contents list
> done as indents with &nbsp; and <br> at the end of each item,
> rather than with <ul><li> (with IE4, you can even suppress the bullets),
> and sub-headings done as body text with font and bold wrappers.

this is a case where there is a proper HTML alternative
& use of <br> is unnecessary & untidy; the rendered effect is the same.
the problem people were having with my use of <br> was
that they were reading the patch instead of the rendered help-file.
the latter should be neat & easy to read: i agree it's probably better
to put long stretches of the help documentation in <pre>...</pre>.

> even if I achieve essentially the same layout with clean HTML,
> people just stick with what they believe "works".

yes, there's a vast crowd out there who have no idea what HTML rules are
& even less interest, as it is no part of their job description.
> I accept that a lot of work goes into documentation and coding
> and that I don't have the time or the commitment to Lynx to do it,

no problem: i have a bit of time to spare to try to improve things.

> Lynx HTML documentation is in the special position
> that it has a duty to be an example of best practice,
> in the true spirit of HTML,
> as well as being easy to read, correct, complete, etc.
no, i don't accept that that is part of the Lynx project any more:
we should try to use HTML & Internet terminology accurately
-- KW's lengthy lectures on URLs & angels have their place -- ,
but i don't visit the club to fight idealistic battles
& my impression is that most lynx-devers in practice don't either.

we've been fighting for 16 years for a new trolley bus system
& it took 24 years before trams were finally restored to Spadina Av:
lynx-dev is just light relaxation ...

SUPPORT     ___________//___,  Philip Webb : address@hidden
ELECTRIC   /] [] [] [] [] []|  Centre for Urban & Community Studies
TRANSIT    `-O----------O---'  University of Toronto

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