Message-Id: <9605150251.AA07794@trystero.art.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: DIV/CLASS In-Reply-To: <199605142334.QAA00467@web1.calweb.com> Date: Tue, 14 May 1996 19:51:07 PDT From: Joe English <email@example.com> Lee Daniel Crocker <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: [... many things with which I agree _wholeheartedly_, and: ] > If 3.2 were really just an encoding of current practice, > then the DTD would have disallowed SHORTTAG. Allowing it > when nobody supports it makes validation meaningless, [...] Actually, SHORTTAG is determined by the SGML declaration, not the DTD. Since the Wilbur specification neglects to include an SGML declaration, it's difficult to determine whether HTML 3.2 allows the SHORTTAG feature or not. However, since 'SHORTTAG YES' was specified in RFC 1866 only in order to support omitted attribute name minimization, which in turn was only necessary for backwards compatibility with HTML 1 (specifically, the use of <DL COMPACT> instead of <DL COMPACT="COMPACT">, et cetera), and since all other forms of SHORTTAG minimization were explicitly discouraged by application convention, it should be safe to specify: SHORTTAG NO in whatever SGML declaration you end up using for your HTML 3.2 documents. To be on the safe side, you should first check and make sure that the current versions of Netscape and MSIE do in fact recognize the _un_minimized syntax for the following cases: <DL COMPACT="COMPACT"> -- ditto for OL, UL, DIR, and MENU -- <IMG ISMAP="ISMAP"> <HR NOSHADE="NOSHADE"> <INPUT CHECKED="CHECKED"> <SELECT MULTIPLE="MULTIPLE"> <OPTION SELECTED="SELECTED"> <TH NOWRAP="NOWRAP"> and any others that I've missed. Alternately, you could use the RFC1866 SGML declaration and validate with SP, using: nsgmls -wmin-tag html.decl yourfile.html This will warn about unclosed, empty, and NET-enabling/null tags (i.e., all of the undesired SHORTTAG features) while allowing attribute name minimization (the only reason SHORTTAG YES was needed to begin with). If you do this you'll probably still need weblint, since most browsers still don't get attribute name minimization right for things like <P CENTER> as shorthand for <P ALIGN="CENTER">, and SP won't catch those. (To be *really* pedantic, if you use the IETF SGML declaration then strictly speaking you should also change the last line: APPINFO "SDA" to APPINFO NONE since HTML 3.2 is not SDA-enabled.) --Joe English email@example.com > With all of the noise and religious bickering here lately, > I'm generally grateful that the W3 bigwigs have stayed above > the fray for the most part, but the statement above honestly > frightens me. I'm not such a pedant that I care about <font> > or <center>; let the folks use it, so long as I can write > what I need to. But the statement above from someone as high > up in the scheme of things as Raggett makes me question if > W3 truly understands the needs of HTML users outside of > browsers or even the Web--or whether they care. > > "The state of HTML" is not just "what browsers use". Search > engines and conversion tools and internal documentation all > need the simple, basic, compatible, frozen, everybody-agrees > feature of <DIV CLASS="">. I have heard not one single > objection to it. Everybody knows what it does, it won't > conflict with anything in the works, and I need it today. > So what if the big two don't happen to use it? Just do it. > Hell, even the big two plan to support it. So what possible > reason is there for excluding it? None. Just do it!