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Re: lynx-dev lynx wish: format tables using tab separation

From: David Woolley
Subject: Re: lynx-dev lynx wish: format tables using tab separation
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 08:33:53 +0100 (BST)

> One scenario where this option would come in handy is as follows: A
> company has some tabular data, in some database or exc*l or whatever.
> They publish it on the web by converting it to html. The proposed
> option should make it easier for scripts to download and process such

But SGML was designed exactly for transmitting such structured data, and
HTML is just an instance of SGML, albeit not particularly optimised for
EDI (electronic data interchange) use.  I think you should be parsing
the SGML stream directly.  Judging by some of the HTML processing tools
around, this is quite easy for HTML, but you could also use a general
SGML parser, like nsgmls (follow the links from

It would probably be a good idea to run the page past
as nsgmls' syntax error recovery is not as forgiving as the average
web browser.

(In the unlikely event that the page was intended for machine processing,
rather than as a vehicle for banner adverts, the publisher ought to be
thinking of moving to XML and, in the short term, using class attributes,
to provide the application level structuring information.)

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