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XHTML 1.0 2nd ed. Sect. 4.3 and non-declared-EMPTY empty elements (Was: Is XHTML 1.0 2nd ed. Section 4.3 really informative?)

From: ITO Tsuyoshi <tsuyoshi@is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp>
Date: Tue, 06 Aug 2002 16:59:29 +0900 (JST)
Message-Id: <20020806.165929.50050614.tsuyoshi@is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp>
To: www-html-editor@w3.org
Cc: steven.pemberton@cwi.nl

Dear W3C HTML Working Group,

The problem with Section 4.3 of XHTML 1.0 Specification I reported is
not corrected in Second Edition which has been recently published.
You once agreed that the wording in Section 4.3 is confusing.  If it
is left unchanged on purpose, please tell me the reason for it.

Section 4.3 still says:
> All elements other than those declared in the DTD as EMPTY must have
> an end tag.

According to this statement, a valid XHTML document fragment ``<span
/>'' would not be allowed, because ``span'' is an element other than
those declared in the DTD as EMPTY, and it does not have an end tag in
the example.

Of course ``<span />'' is a bad practice, but you said it is at least
allowed in Conforming XHTML Documents.

I suggest the sentence quoted above should be changed to something
  All non-empty elements must have an end tag.

Note that the distinction between the elements declared in the DTD as
EMPTY and the other elements is not impotant here.  Rather, the
distinction of the empty elements and the non-empty elements is

Best regards,
---   ITO Tsuyoshi  <tsuyoshi@is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp>   ---
--- Dept. of Computer Science, University of Tokyo. ---

From: "Steven Pemberton" <steven.pemberton@cwi.nl>
Subject: Re: Is XHTML 1.0 2nd ed. Section 4.3 really informative?
Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 16:49:38 +0100
Message-Id: <00a401c19925$40483c00$7ef5a8c0@steven>

> > Is XHTML 1.0 2nd ed. Section 4.3 really informative?
> Yes it is. Section 4 describes the consequences of XHTML being an
> application of XML, rather than SGML. The normative part is a consequence of
> it being XML, and therefore does not to be restated.
> > > As I have already posted, current Working Draft (as of October 4,
> > > 2001) looks problematic to me in that it is unclear whether the
> > > representations like ``<span />'' are permitted in Strictly Conforming
> > > XHTML Documents or not.  Section 4.3 (informative) states that the
> > > span-like elements ``must'' have end tags.  But I cannot find this
> > > restriction in normative part.  If it is not a mandatory requirement
> > > on Strictly Conforming XHTML Documents, the word ``must'' in Section
> > > 4.3 looks confusing.
> We agree that the wording in 4.3 is confusing and will change it.
> <span /> is allowed, since XML allows it.
> Thank you for the comment.
> Steven Pemberton
> Chair, W3C HTML Working Group
Received on Tuesday, 6 August 2002 03:59:37 UTC

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