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Re: [cowan@mercury.ccil.org: Questions about HTML void elements]

From: Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net>
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 08:54:25 -0500
Message-ID: <4D399011.1000601@intertwingly.net>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
CC: public-html-xml@w3.org
On 01/21/2011 08:04 AM, Henri Sivonen wrote:
>> I note that your email above says that the void elements must not
>> generate an end-tag, but in fact end-tags should be safe for all
>> of them except br, even though empty-tags or SGMLish start-tags are
>> the only valid alternatives.
>> Right?
> Safe in the sense they don't change the results of the parse. Not
> safe in the sense of doing damage to the mental model Web authors
> have about how stuff works.

I will note that in my web pages, I emit separate open and close tags 
for a number of empty svg elements, like <path></path>.  I don't do so 
because it is required for XML validity, XHTML5 conformance, or even 
HTML5 conformance.  I do so because there are legacy user agents out 
there that don't know the full set of elements which are to be 
implicitly closed and would have a tendency to build an incorrect DOM if 
I didn't do this.

It is a trade-off.  Idealogical purity vs interoperability.  I tend to 
favor the latter.  So while I agree with Henri that one SHOULD avoid 
end-tags for well-established void HTML elements, I personally differ 
with his recommendation on some of the newer and more obscure elements.

- Sam Ruby
Received on Friday, 21 January 2011 13:54:59 UTC

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