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From r..@ai.mit.edu (Robert S. Thau)
Subject Re: mod_include.c and conditional html
Date Fri, 06 Oct 1995 19:36:26 GMT
  - it is less likely to conflict with future client-supported tags

...and, at least as importantly, it calls out a server-implemented tag
*as such*, and distinguishes them from the HTML tags at a basic
lexical level.  This becomes important if we allow drop-in code to add
new inline commands (a feature which I strongly feel any includes
retread ought to support) for a few reasons:

1) It keeps us, and anybody else writing such extensions, from
   conflict with not only the current HTML tag set, but any future
   "browser-of-the-month" innovations (<marquee>, etc.), a matter over
   which we otherwise have no control.  (The current directives
   *can't* have such conflicts, since they are now and forever
   comments as far as the browsers themselves are concerned).

2) It allows us to note and diagnose the case where someone has tried
   to use an include directive which is supported by a server
   extension which isn't compiled in --- otherwise, a new random tag
   might be intended to trigger new behavior in some random browser,
   and we just don't know.

3) It saves us from having to check every single tag to see if
   some module supports it as an SSI directive.

(Note that, IMHO, #3 is the least important of these by far, but it
does have a little weight).

One final comment --- <!--#if--> <!--#else--> <!--#endif--> is at
least as SGML-ish as <if> </if> <else> </else> --- more so, IMHO.
It's perfectly fine in SGML to have a tag which is only allowed within
the regions delimited by certain container tags.  The form of the end
tag here (<!--#endif-->) is a little peculiar, but the form of all
these things is a little peculiar anyway.  The Spinner alternative has
a single region defined by two abutting containers, which is not only
textually but semantically awkward.

rst

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