[whatwg] +/- in SGML DOCTYPE (was: Re: The truth about Nokias claims)

Geoffrey Sneddon foolistbar at googlemail.com
Sat Dec 15 05:34:57 PST 2007

On 15 Dec 2007, at 12:52, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis wrote:

> Krzysztof Żelechowski wrote:
>> Dnia 14-12-2007, Pt o godzinie 19:47 +0100, Maik Merten pisze:
>>> Krzysztof Żelechowski schrieb:
>>>> Remember the "-" in DOCTYPE HTML?
>>> Feel free to be more specific.
>> That prefix means that HTML DOCTYPE is not issued by an officially
>> recognised standards body.  If W3C were such an organisation, we  
>> would
>> have a "+" there instead.
> I haven't bought the SGML specification to double-check, so feel  
> free to quote from it if it says otherwise.
> But from everything else I've read it simply means W3C has not  
> registered a Public Text Owner Identifier with ISO. See also:
> http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms535242.aspx
> http://www.is-thought.co.uk/book/sgml-6.htm#FPI
> http://www.freebsd.org/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/books/fdp-primer/sgml-primer-doctype-declaration.html
> http://xml.coverpages.org/gca-pubidrls.html
> http://xml.coverpages.org/fpiResolverFlynn.html
> Any old organization can register as Public Text Owners, not just  
> officially recognized standards body.
> The - has nothing to do to do with W3C being (or not being)  
> recognized as a standards body.

ISO 8879:1989 states that SGML public text owner identifier  
registration (i.e., those that start with a + instead of the  
unregistered -) is defined in ISO 9070, which I don't have a copy of.  
I can, however, quote the summary from ISO 8879:1989: "These  
[registered owner identifiers] include standards body identifiers for  
national or industry standards organisations (similar to the ISO owner  
identifier), and unique codes that may have been assigned to  
organisations by other standards".

Geoffrey Sneddon

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