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From: David Abrahams (abrahams_at_[hidden])
Date: 2000-10-11 10:22:53

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ed Brey" <brey_at_[hidden]>
> You might try browsing each version of the page with lynx. For each
> version, use the print command ("p") and choose to print to a file. The
> print command saves a formatted plain-text version of the file. This
> for versions of the files that are both readable and diff-friendly. I
> it and it worked pretty well. Almost all the lines highlighted by the
> tool were due to substantive improvements in the new version. There are
> quite a few small changes, but a lot of small improvements can be just as
> valuable as a few big changes.

I was about to download lynx, but couldn't figure out what anyone would want
it for (other than this particular job). Can you motivate this tool for me?

Also, I realized that emacs' ediff decided not to auto-refine a large region
of diffs for speed reasons, but that I could use the '*' key to get much
clearer results [did I mention I love ediff?] So I think I'll be able to do
the review with the tools I have.

> Here's my two cents about the HTML changes (there's always a cost for
> advice, right? :-). Based on my intermediate-level HTML knowledge,
> changes look like a move in the right direction, from a technical point of
> view. HTML authors have gotten away with trouble for a while due to the
> prevalence of a small number of very popular browsers.

What kind of trouble? I am not being resistant here, I just hardly know
_anything_ about HTML at a deep level.

> However, this does
> eventually break down. Just a quick example: lynx rendered the section
> headings centered and in all caps in the original, because the section
> headings were tagged with <H1>. Such a strong heading was probably not
> intent, but was never caught since on GUI browsers, the difference between
> H1 and H2 is more subtle.

Ah. Maybe that's a reason to get lynx.

> To me it seems only fitting that a group committed to writing
> standard-conforming C++ would produce standard-conforming HTML.

I totally agree with the intention. But it certainly seems like it could be
a serious additional barrier to entry at boost, an idea which I don't like
at all. I hear that most of the automated tools generate garbage, by an
HTML-expert's standards, but I'm not sure I do any better by hand. I sure
wish someone else would weigh in on this; I don't know enough to speak with

> While HTML
> is not the focus, and so a much lower priority, I welcome the work of an
> experienced HTML-writer to enhance over what Microsoft's tools may
> As for maintenance, I believe that even maintainers unfamiliar with
> of HTML will find that reading valid HTML submissions can be done with
> pythonesque ease

Well, I don't think that reading std::pair&lt;vector&lt;int&gt;::iterator,
bool&gt; is ever going to be pythonesquically easy, but I take your point.
Daryle's HTML source is certainly easier to understand than the previous
version, provided you know the meaning of these fancy HTML4 tags... which I
(still) don't.

> (as long as there's a way to easily see version
> differences),

That's the crux of my concern, in case it wasn't obvious.

> since the language is pretty simple. Reading the raw HTML
> could be made even more painless if we could introduce CSS, but given that
> Microsoft's standard CSS conformance is poor and Netscape's is abysmal,
> timing just isn't right (but think of the fun we could have with
> flames and laments :-). (Of course, I've also found a non-conformance
> problem in the CSS validator promoted by the W3C that I can't seem to get
> the maintainer to fix. :-( )

You're talking over my head again.

what-the-heck-is-css-ly y'rs,

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