Re: To <P> or not to <P>

Brent Eades (
Fri, 16 Aug 1996 16:15:41 +0000

Message-Id: <>
From: "Brent Eades" <>
Date: Fri, 16 Aug 1996 16:15:41 +0000
Subject: Re: To <P> or not to <P>

This is my first post to the list, though I have been following it 
for several months now.

As a comparative novice to the more advanced levels of discourse
found here as compared with other HTML lists, I was nonetheless
struck by the debate these past couple of days over the <p> tag.

It surprises me somewhat that at the same time professionals in the
HTML field are debating relatively arcane matters such as DTDs vs
GIs, SGML, CLASS, etc etc, a question about so seemingly simple a
matter as the correct use of <p> can still spark a rather spirited
round of debate and disagreements amongst these same experts.

Why is it, do you think, that HTML is -- from my vantage at least --
so perenially susceptible to this sort of subjective interpretation,
even amongst those most expert in its history and application?

Is it because of HTML's often rather non-prescriptive nature? 
Because of the confusingly different manners in which various
browsers choose to render it?  Simply an endemic aspect of any
language as open and collaborative as HTML?  I am sincerely curious
on these points, and certainly not trying to be argumentative.

Any thoughts on the matter would be much appreciated.  Anything to 
help me get a better grip on this slippery beast called HTML :)

Brent Eades, Box 1759, Almonte, Ontario |
Member: Web Consultants Association | Contributor: CGI-L FAQ