content-based definition of block element?

Charles Peyton Taylor (
Fri, 19 Apr 1996 09:37:04 -0800

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 1996 09:37:04 -0800
From: Charles Peyton Taylor <>
Subject:  content-based definition of block element?

I'm trying to write a good definition of a block-
level element for a glossary of web terms.  I think 
I know what it is: it's a "big" container of html 
that can contain small containers, or other big 
containers.  But when I say that out loud, it doesn't 
sound right.

The cascading style sheet draft at:
defines a block-level element as "an element which 
has a line break before and after (e.g. 'H1' in HTML)" 
which makes sense in that context because style sheets 
are all about presentation. Other definitions also
concern what is allowed inside then, or what they 
are allowed inside.  Should I use that definition,
or is there any consensus as to what a block-level 
element *is* as opposed to what it does (or does it

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