Re: HTLM 3.0 <A> definition

Wolfgang Rieger (
Fri, 16 Dec 1994 09:42:25 +0100

Date: Fri, 16 Dec 1994 09:42:25 +0100
From: (Wolfgang Rieger)
Subject: Re: HTLM 3.0 <A> definition
Message-Id: <> wrote:

>I've seen instances in HTML documents generated by WebMaker that contain
>anchors with no end tag, as if the anchor DTD were:
>  <!ELEMENT A   - O %A.content -(A)>
>rather than
>  <!ELEMENT A   - - %A.content -(A)>
>It seems like there is no technical reason why this could not be made the
>actual DTD for the anchor element. It's even useful, when the anchor does not
>contain an HREF, only a NAME or ID. Might encourage sloppy coding, though.
>What do others think about this?

It is common usage, that for elements which appear in inclusion exception 
lists end tag omission is not allowed. Otherwise the place where an end tag 
would be implied by a SGML parser would depend very much on the version of 
the HTML DTD used, since it would be the first start tag not allowed in the 
content of A preceding an end tag of an element enclosing the anchor tag.

That was: regarding _SGML parsers_. A WWW client would either use a simpler 
method (deviating from them SGML standard), or clients would have to be 
SGML-aware. Both are undesirable consequences.

Finally, not only WWW clients would have to figure out where the A element 
ends, but authors of HTML documents would have to do that, too.
Wolfgang Rieger
c/o Buero fuer Software-Entwicklung
Frankfurter Ring 193a
80807 Munich

Tel. : +89 323 19 93	Fax: +89 323 19 93