Re: Extraneous Characters in Netscape Display

lee@sq.com
Thu, 25 May 1995 13:51:27 -0400


Date: Thu, 25 May 1995 13:51:27 -0400
From: lee@sq.com
Message-Id: <9505251751.AA28134@sqrex.sq.com>
To: www-html@www10.w3.org, lalexander@acad.com
Subject: Re: Extraneous Characters in Netscape Display

> >> I have been creating Web pages using the Netscape rules file in HoTMetaL 
> >> Pro. Problems appear when I have pages with special entities. Each file 
> >> begins with:
> >>
> >> <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//Netscape Corp.//DTD HTML plus Tables//EN" >> 
> "html-net.dtd"
> >> [
> >> <!ENTITY pound CDATA "">
> >> ]>
> >>

This happens when you import an SGML/HTML file into HoTMetaL and the file
contains an entity not in the DTD (rules file) being used.  As others have
already pointed out, it's legal SGML; I think it's probably technically legal
HTML too, but that doesn't mean it works in HTML browsers.

If you use &#37; instead, you won't get this problem.  This is a work-round,
not a fix, of course... the next release will have changed behaviour with
respect to character references and entities, and we'll add more of the
entities.

Paul Grosso's note that
>> the Public Identifier you show is not one 
>> of the valid choices given in the HTML 2.0 spec.

is because the spec changed after we released the product....
We should be back in step with the latest free version, and the next
PRO version should also fix this.

> And then Walter wrote:
> 
> >I think what HoTMetaL Pro *should* do is place the extra stuff in a 
> >comment, and leave the doctype as standard HTML. SoftQuad, can you hear 
> >me? :)

yes.... I replied by mail, but since it's floating round on the list...
No, I don't think the use of significant comments is a good idea, and in
any case most HTML browsers seem to get comments wrong at the moment (be
quiet, Bill! I know yours is OK :-)) because they think that the first >
ends a comment (for example).

> I could probably create my pages with 
> the Netscape doctype so HoTMetaL uses the correct rules file, and then 
> manually change the doctype to the standard default.

True.  We are indeed thinking about these issues, but it's too early for
me to say what we'll do, and in any case this isn't an appropriate forum,
I think, for discussing commercial software.  You're welcome to mail me,
although I'll probably get swamped aftr saying this...

I *will* say that whatever we do, we are *not* interested in encouraging
*any* movement away from SGML conformance.  We are not likely to start
using an alternate Entity declaration syntax simply to avoid a netscpape
bug, although we might stop allowing per-document entities (for example).

Lee

-- 
Liam Quin, SoftQuad Inc +1 416 239 4801 lee@sq.com   <URL:http://www.sq.com/>