Re: Really Quick Guide to Good HTML

lilley (
Wed, 21 Feb 1996 00:25:16 +0000 (GMT)

From: lilley <>
Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: Really Quick Guide to Good HTML
To: (Charles Peyton Taylor)
Date: Wed, 21 Feb 1996 00:25:16 +0000 (GMT)
In-Reply-To: <> from "Charles Peyton Taylor" at Feb 20, 96 03:42:24 pm

Charles Peyton Taylor wrote:

> A question, though:  I used to think that the <html></html>
> tags were there to let the browser software know that 
> the document was in HTML format.  But if that's so, then 
> why is it defined as a MIME type on the server?

The html start and end tags are used to bracket the document instance. SGML
assumes a hierarchical model, and the html element (consisting of 
<html>stuff</html>) is at the top of the tree.

Not all DTDS have a single "top" element. Also, full-blown SGML can have 
additional declarations - entities, for example - before the "top" element.
The HTML 2.0 standard forbids these additional declarations, so there can 
not be anything between the doctype declaration and the <html> tag. 

Thus, the <html> tag need not be actually written (because it can always 
be inferred, like the closing ,/p> can alays be inferred) but by the same 
token, it is not incorrect to write the <html> and </html> tags.

Does that answer your question?

Chris Lilley, Technical Author and JISC representative to W3C 
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