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Idea: Abbreviated HTML

I am surprised that no one has yet developed an HTML variant which
uses abbreviated tagging. Maybe they have, I dunno.

HTML is very verbose - this was important to its adoption, as reading
source from existing pages is one of the fastest ways to learn it -
and descriptive clear tagging is key to that.

However, there is an argument for a more concise tagging system as
well, one which can be very easily converted to and from regular html
easily.

The advantages are twofold: less typing and less bandwidth.

Yahoo!, for example, scrutinizes every byte used in their high-traffic
homepage, and bends rules and abbreviates URLs so that the page is
still parseable in every browser but very, very low bandwidth.

Recently they made some substantial changes in their new homepage
which reduced bandwidth even further.

Approaching this agressively, rarely used symbols could replace the
most common tags, and those symbols would be replaced with encoding.
Also, default expansion could be used.

As an example, $yahoo$ could be used in place of a full anchor tag to
a www.*.com site, and closed with a single $. Real dollar signs, which
dont appear on most web pages, could be replaced with encoding.

Another approach would allow constants to be set on an HTML page:

SET $l="<A HREF="http://www.yahoo.com">
SET $f="<FONT FACE="Arial, Helvetica, Sans-Serif" SIZE="-2">

I guess style sheets and Javascript address some of this, but neither
is as efficient as having it built in.

Another idea would be to make whitespace significant, including
newlines.

Finally, the author would not necessarily need to author in AHTML, but
could instead simply configure the web server to convert it on the way
out, similar to mod_gzip (which I use and think is great!).

Anyways, just an idea...
Jul 23 '05 #1
40 2639
br**********@ho tmail.com (Seth Brundle) wrote:
Yahoo!, for example, scrutinizes every byte used in their high-traffic
homepage, and bends rules and abbreviates URLs so that the page is
still parseable in every browser but very, very low bandwidth.


Are you taking the piss or something?

Yahoo's index page can probably be slashed down to 1/4 of it's current
size by replacing the 1996 presentational html with a css based layout.

--
Spartanicus
Jul 23 '05 #2
On 7 Oct 2004 15:05:03 -0700, Seth Brundle <br**********@h otmail.com>
wrote:
I am surprised that no one has yet developed an HTML variant which
uses abbreviated tagging. Maybe they have, I dunno.

HTML is very verbose - this was important to its adoption, as reading
source from existing pages is one of the fastest ways to learn it -
and descriptive clear tagging is key to that.

However, there is an argument for a more concise tagging system as
well, one which can be very easily converted to and from regular html
easily.

The advantages are twofold: less typing and less bandwidth.
Fot the less typing problem, consider SSI or PHP includes. This will still
send the full HTML to the UA, however.
Yahoo!, for example, scrutinizes every byte used in their high-traffic
homepage, and bends rules and abbreviates URLs so that the page is
still parseable in every browser but very, very low bandwidth.
They also create these pages with software, so no human has to read it.
Most of us do not do it that way.
Approaching this agressively, rarely used symbols could replace the
most common tags, and those symbols would be replaced with encoding.
Also, default expansion could be used.
This would require a totally new formulation. Interesting, but I doubt the
savings would be enough to get it to catch on...
As an example, $yahoo$ could be used in place of a full anchor tag to
a www.*.com site, and closed with a single $. Real dollar signs, which
dont appear on most web pages, could be replaced with encoding.
How will the browser be informed? I think you address this below
Another approach would allow constants to be set on an HTML page:

SET $l="<A HREF="http://www.yahoo.com">
SET $f="<FONT FACE="Arial, Helvetica, Sans-Serif" SIZE="-2">
But all this must be sent to the UA. It requires more bytes to do this
than to simply include the link, unless you're repeating the link all over
the place, and why do that?

CSS already handles the repetitive style rules quite adequately, so your
second example isn't needed.
I guess style sheets and Javascript address some of this, but neither
is as efficient as having it built in.
Disagree. The best part of style and script is that they are optional. A
properly designed page functions even if the UA interprets the HTML file
alone, with no images, stylesheets, scripts, or anything else.
Another idea would be to make whitespace significant, including
newlines.
How will this reduce bandwidth and human readability?
Finally, the author would not necessarily need to author in AHTML,
.... negating the less typing benefit...
but
could instead simply configure the web server to convert it on the way
out, similar to mod_gzip (which I use and think is great!).


Well, I suppose there are possibilities here, but all told, the savings of
bandwidth and typing won't be sufficient to sell this idea in most
applications of HTML, IMO.
Jul 23 '05 #3
Seth Brundle wrote:
I am surprised that no one has yet developed an HTML variant which
uses abbreviated tagging. Maybe they have, I dunno.


HTML (not XHTML) allows certain SGML features for less verbosity; for
instance, <p/foo/ is equivalent to <p>foo</p>. In practice, however,
browser support is virtually non-existant.

With XHTML, you could define a custom DTD that had shorter element and
attribute names (<bq> might be used instead of <blockquote>, for
example) and use client-side XSLT to transform it back to standard
XHTML. But again, browser support is poor; also, the processing speed
would probably outweigh any speed gained from bandwidth savings.

If you're only interested in less typing and don't care about the
possible bandwidth savings, you could write an Apache module to
translate your abbreviated HTML into standard HTML before sending it to
the client.
Jul 23 '05 #4
Leif K-Brooks <eu*****@ecritt ers.biz> wrote:
With XHTML, you could define a custom DTD that had shorter element and
attribute names


For some values of "XHTML", yes. But a document that conforms to
XHTML 1.0 or XHTML 1.1 (the currently defined versions of XHTML) must, by
definition, have a DOCTYPE declaration that refers to one of given three
DTDs (for XHTML 1.0) or a given DTD (for XHTML 1.1).

Contrary to popular belief, XHTML is (at least currently) by definition
not extensible in any meaningful sense. New specifications can be written
of course, just as old HTML was "extended" by new specifications. And you
can write an XML document that contains some tags that you would like to
have interpreted as in HTML, just as you could write an SGML document
with a mixture of tags, some from HTML.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html

Jul 23 '05 #5
Leif K-Brooks eu*****@ecritte rs.biz wrote:
Seth Brundle wrote:
I am surprised that no one has yet developed an HTML variant which
uses abbreviated tagging. Maybe they have, I dunno.


HTML (not XHTML) allows certain SGML features for less verbosity; for
instance, <p/foo/ is equivalent to <p>foo</p>. In practice, however,
browser support is virtually non-existant.

With XHTML, you could define a custom DTD that had shorter element and
attribute names (<bq> might be used instead of <blockquote>, for
example) and use client-side XSLT to transform it back to standard
XHTML. But again, browser support is poor; also, the processing speed
would probably outweigh any speed gained from bandwidth savings.

If you're only interested in less typing and don't care about the
possible bandwidth savings, you could write an Apache module to
translate your abbreviated HTML into standard HTML before sending it to
the client.


Who actually types any? Surely mostly one just cuts and pastes from
existing html. Pretty much all I ever actually type are specifications for
size or colour, and I'd still have to do that.

--
eric
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"
Jul 23 '05 #6
In comp.infosystem s.www.authoring.html Eric Jarvis said:
Who actually types any? Surely mostly one just cuts and pastes from
existing html.


how primitive. i just think about it really hard whilst looking at the
monitor. i use a similar technology for my newsreader.

--
i t ' s t h e l i t t l e v o i c e s
Jul 23 '05 #7
In article <53************ **************@ posting.google. com>,
br**********@ho tmail.com says...
I am surprised that no one has yet developed an HTML variant which
uses abbreviated tagging. Maybe they have, I dunno.
Well, it is already in spec...

Some valid HTML:

<h1/heading/<p>Content<tabl e border left><tr><th nowrap>1<th>2<t r><td
right>2<td>3</table><a href="a"/a/<ul/<li>foo/

Very nice to read, isn't it.
HTML is very verbose - this was important to its adoption, as reading
source from existing pages is one of the fastest ways to learn it -
and descriptive clear tagging is key to that.
In fact, HTML is far from verbose. XHTML is somewhat. But compare HTML to
anything but plain text, and you see...
However, there is an argument for a more concise tagging system as
well, one which can be very easily converted to and from regular html
easily.
Already exists.
The advantages are twofold: less typing and less bandwidth.
Bandwich is much easier to safe using other means. And bandwith of HTML
is most cases neglible compared to images and other fancy stuff.

Typing takes more time when you need to think more. If you are typing
using one finger, learn to use some more.
Yahoo!, for example, scrutinizes every byte used in their high-traffic
homepage, and bends rules and abbreviates URLs so that the page is
still parseable in every browser but very, very low bandwidth.
It would be easy to get rid of 90% of bandwidth yahoo uses already, and
also make the site work better on same time...

If bandwith would really cost lots of money, why all the graphics?
Approaching this agressively, rarely used symbols could replace the
most common tags, and those symbols would be replaced with encoding.
Also, default expansion could be used.
How about gzipping everything? All browsers support it already, and
nobody would need to invent anything?
As an example, $yahoo$ could be used in place of a full anchor tag to
a www.*.com site, and closed with a single $. Real dollar signs, which
dont appear on most web pages, could be replaced with encoding.
And what is often used code and what not?
Another approach would allow constants to be set on an HTML page:

SET $l="<A HREF="http://www.yahoo.com">
SET $f="<FONT FACE="Arial, Helvetica, Sans-Serif" SIZE="-2">
Well, first is useless as there is no need for many links to same place
on one webpage, and second should be handled using CSS. (or better,
leaved out)
Finally, the author would not necessarily need to author in AHTML, but
could instead simply configure the web server to convert it on the way
out, similar to mod_gzip (which I use and think is great!).


Why do you think your idea would produce less bits to send than using
mod_gzip? After all, it compresses the *content* too. And I bet it will
be much less efficient when there is your shortstuff included with their
fancy special chars...

I think you should try learn some basics of technics, before making
yourself more dumm on public forum...

--
Lauri Raittila <http://www.iki.fi/lr> <http://www.iki.fi/zwak/fonts>
Jul 23 '05 #8
On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 08:54:54 +1000, brucie <sh**@usenetshi t.info> wrote:
In comp.infosystem s.www.authoring.html Eric Jarvis said:
Who actually types any? Surely mostly one just cuts and pastes from
existing html.


how primitive. i just think about it really hard whilst looking at the
monitor. i use a similar technology for my newsreader.


Have you abandoned the stick and dirt method?
Jul 23 '05 #9
On Fri, 8 Oct 2004 08:54:54 +1000, brucie <sh**@usenetshi t.info>
declared in comp.infosystem s.www.authoring.html:
how primitive. i just think about it really hard whilst looking at the
monitor. i use a similar technology for my newsreader.


I notice you haven't got uppercase letters working yet. How's that
coming along?

--
Mark Parnell
http://www.clarkecomputers.com.au
Jul 23 '05 #10

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