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HTML4.01 errata - 7.5.2

From: Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 22:42:04 -0800
To: <www-html-editor@w3.org>, <voyager-issues@hades.mn.aptest.com>
Message-ID: <BA7320FA.210CA%tantek@cs.stanford.edu>

Background:

The document "Hypertext Links in HTML" [1] was one of the drafts that was
developed for[2] "HTML4"[3].


Summary:

It appears that a minor detail was lost in the process of incorporating
"Hypertext Links in HTML" into "HTML4", specifically, that meta data
profiles can be used to define class names.


Problem Details:

WD-htmllink-970328 says:

"The PROFILE attribute is used with the HEAD element to provide a URL that
acts as a globally unique name for a profile (basically a dictionary) of
names for link relationships (LINK & A), property names (META) and classes
(the CLASS attribute)"

Thus WD-htmllink specified that the PROFILE attribute may be used to point
to a profile which defines (1) REL/REV link relationships, (2) META property
names, and (3) CLASS names.

WD-html40-970917[4] says[5]:

"
The profile attribute of the HEAD specifies the location of a meta data
profile. The value of the profile attribute is a URL. User agents may use
this URL in two ways:

*    As a globally unique name. User agents may be able to recognize the
name (without actually retrieving the profile) and perform some activity
based on known conventions for that profile. For instance, search engines
could provide an interface for searching through catalogs of HTML documents,
where these documents all use the same profile for representing catalog
entries. 
*    As a link. User agents may dereference the URL and, perform some
activity based on the actual definitions within the profile (e.g., validate
the usage of the profile within the current HTML document). This
specification does not define formats for profiles.

This example refers to a hypothetical profile that defines useful properties
for document indexing. The properties defined by this profile --- including
"author", "copyright", "keywords", and "date" --- have their values set by
subsequent META declarations.
"

Thus WD-html40 specified that the PROFILE attribute may be used to define
(2) META property names.

it also says[6]

"Authors may wish to define additional link types not described in this
specification. If they do so, they should use a profile to cite the
conventions used to define the link types. Please see the profile attribute
of the HEAD element for more details."

Thus WD-html40 also specified that the PROFILE attribute may be used to
define (1) REL/REV link relationships.

Unfortunately, while this capability of using the PROFILE attribute for
defining additional link types was moved to the section on link types, the
same was not done in the section on class names[7], and thus the ability to
define (3) CLASS names was omitted from HTML4.


Errata:

I believe this was an unintended omission, and thus should be errata'd in
the latest version of "HTML4" - HTML4.01[8].

Here is the one necessary change.  In section 7.5.2[9], just before the
paragraph starting with "In the following example,", add the following
markup (paraphrased from the section on link types):

<p>Authors may wish to define <span class="index-inst" title="class
attribute::profiles for"><a name="idx-class_attribute">class
names</a></span>. If they do so, they
should use a <a href="./struct/global.html#profiles">profile</a>
to cite the conventions used to define their class names.
Please see the 
<a href="struct/global.html#adef-profile" class="noxref"><samp
class="ainst">profile</samp></a> attribute of the
<a href="struct/global.html#edef-HEAD" class="noxref"><samp
class="einst">HEAD</samp></a>
element for more details.</p>


Effect on user agent conformance:

The necessary changes do not alter user agent conformance requirements for
HTML4, and thus do not affect the conformance (or lack thereof) of any
current or past user agents.


Regards,

Tantek Çelik



[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-htmllink-970328.html

[2] http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/Cougar/

[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40/

[4] http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40-970917/

[5] http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40-970917/struct/global.html#profiles

[6] http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40-970917/struct/links.html#linktype

[7] http://www.w3.org/TR/WD-html40-970917/struct/global.html#adef-class

[8] http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/

[9] http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/global.html#h-7.5.2
Received on Saturday, 15 February 2003 01:29:19 GMT

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