[LMB] SGML vs. HTML, Tim Berners-Lee, way OT:

Mark Allums mallums at tyler.net
Tue Apr 25 13:18:37 BST 2006


Owing to a huge mistake on my part, I can't quote the original message, 
and owing to my terrible memory, I can't remember it very well, either, 
but I believe it was Alfred Kelgarries who objected to my post that Web 
inventor Tim Berners-Lee called the presentation language HTML a subset 
of document language SGML only to woo a certain camp of computer geeks.

The short anwser is:  I don't know.  I was relating the (possibly 
apocryphal) anecdote, not quoting canon.  However, the story seems at 
least plausible, in spite of Alfred's objection.  In my opinion, HTML 
was *inspired* by SGML, not so much derived from it.  I once had a book 
on SGML, and I tried following the format through to HTML, and couldn't 
make head nor tail of it.  However, that is just a failing of mine, and 
not proof.  Certainly it is possible to create a whatsit [1] for HTML 
from SGML, which has, as Alfred points out, has been done.

I concede that this issue is not very pertinent to LMB, so I'm going 
drop it hereafter.

--Mark Allums

[1] My memory fails me for the correct terminolgy.  I was never an 
expert on SGML.


More information about the Lois-Bujold mailing list