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Re: Using XPointer with HTML

From: Steven Pemberton <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2002 13:13:37 +0200
Message-ID: <019f01c1e080$c46566a0$8df5a8c0@cwi.nl>
To: "Nick Kew" <nick@webthing.com>
Cc: <www-annotation@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org>, "HTML WG" <w3c-html-wg@w3.org>
From: "Nick Kew" <nick@webthing.com>
> > Therefore the answer to the question "what should an XPointer into HTML
> > like?" is a very loud "it depends".
> Indeed.  It depends on defining a canonical normalisation of HTML.
> If we can do that, we're fine.

And what I said is: that is a minefield onto which we [the HTML working
group] do not want to step.

Real-world HTML documents are jokingly called "tag soup" for a reason. You
take a goodly collection of HTML tags, stir them up, put them into a file,
and publish it on the web. <style> elements before the <html> tag; <titles>
outside the <head>; misspelled closing tags, misspelled opening tags, <ul>s
with no enclosed <li>s; <li>s outside <ul>s. Imagine a combination of tags,
you will find a document that contains that combination. Even Tidy throws up
its hands sometimes, and instructs you to go back and change the source

Finding a canonical normalisation of real-world HTML documents is not
something the HTML WG feels inclined to spend its scarce time on.

Best wishes,

Steven Pemberton
Received on Wednesday, 10 April 2002 07:14:56 UTC

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