Re: 3.2 tables and the width attribute

Joe English (
Fri, 10 May 1996 11:03:36 PDT

Message-Id: <>
Subject: Re: 3.2 tables and the width attribute 
In-Reply-To: <> 
Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 11:03:36 PDT
From: Joe English <>

Charles Peyton Taylor <> wrote:

> I remember some discussion about the percent symbol
> screwing things up in SMGL, but I notice that in 
> the HTML 3.2 overview Width="80%" is used.  It makes
> sense that the percent symbol is okay within 
> quotation marks, but other values for attributes 
> can often drop the quotation marks.

Paraphrasing ISO 8879, (which is a little unclear on this issue, 
to say the least), the rules are that LIT or LITA delimiters 
(" or ' quotes) around attribute values:

    * _may be omitted_ if the attribute value contains
      nothing but name characters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9, periods,
      and hyphens),

    * _must be omitted_ if attribute name minimization is used 
      (e.g., <DL COMPACT> as shorthand for <DL COMPACT="COMPACT">)

    * _must be present_ otherwise.

Note that RFC1866 section 3.2.4 "Attributes" is not quite right;
it has several incorrect and/or misleading statements. 

Note also that the underscore "_" is _not_ a legal name character,
so the Netscape-Framesism  <A TARGET=_top ...> is illegal
and should be written <A TARGET="_top" ...> instead.

--Joe English