Re: assorted HTML and SGML questions

lilley (
Mon, 20 Nov 1995 13:00:10 +0000 (GMT)

From: lilley <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: assorted HTML and SGML questions
To: (Joe Wells)
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 1995 13:00:10 +0000 (GMT)
In-Reply-To: <> from "Joe Wells" at Nov 19, 95 01:23:22 am

Joe Wells said:

> This is what I mean, except that it more commonly takes one of these
> forms:
>   <p><p><p><p>
>   <p><hr>
>   <p><ul><li>text text<p><li>more text</ul>

Well firstly, the original (CERN, TimBL) description of <P> referred to 
it as a paragraph separator, and a lot of net.mythos has grown up in 
the interim that promulgates this view.

Also, browsers don't complain much about extra <p> elements, so beginners put 
them in "for luck" in all sorts of places:

  text text text
On being asked why they put in the <p>, they will typically say "because 
I had finished the paragraph" or "to make the subheading start on a new 
line" (or, more commonly "dunno").On being asked to remove it, for example
bon being told the <h2> will do that anyway,  they will typically say 
"why? it doesn't seem to hurt?"

The other reason you will see spurious <p> is pages which use Netscape 
extensions, in particular left or right aligned images. Throwing in a 
couple of <p>s adds enough vertical space (in their browser with their 
fonts and window size) to make the next bit of text start under the 
image instead of alongside it ;-(

A third reason is that some browsers - Netscape 1.1N for X being one 
example that springs to mind - give different presentation depending 
on the presence or absence of omissible tags. For example;

  <p>stuff <hr>
  <p>stuff </p><hr>

The second example is more widely spaced, although both give the same 
parse tree.

Chris Lilley, Technical Author and JISC representative to W3C 
|       Manchester and North HPC Training & Education Centre        |
| Computer Graphics Unit,             Email: |
| Manchester Computing Centre,        Voice: +44 161 275 6045       |
| Oxford Road, Manchester, UK.          Fax: +44 161 275 6040       |
| M13 9PL                            BioMOO: ChrisL                 |
| Timezone: UTC        URI: |