Re: HTML 3.2 PR (fwd)

Jim Taylor (
Fri, 15 Nov 1996 19:53:24 -0800

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 15 Nov 1996 19:53:24 -0800
From: Jim Taylor <>
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR (fwd)

>>> "Carl Morris" <> 11/15/96 06:57pm >>>

>  <! is a comment in HTML >

>To an HTML parser there is no need for SGML processing, everything in
>the SGML declaration is a comment to an HTML parser...  I said HTML
>PARSER!!!!!!!  To you SGML freaks that means "Something that knows
>almost nothing, if not nothing about SGML!"...  

Give up, Carl. Everybody but you has admitted you're wrong.  ;-)

<!...> is NOT a comment in HTML. HTML is defined by SGML, which says
that only <!--...--> is a comment. Now, if you want to write an "HTML
parser" that ignores everything between <! and > then that will probably
work. But that does not magically make <!...> an HTML comment. 

I could write a very simple "HTML parser" that ignored everything
between angle brackets. I would get quite legible text out of it. It would
be a perfectly legal HTML parser. But by your logic I could then say that
<...> is an HTML comment! I doubt even you would agree with that.

Likewise, if you wrote an "HTML writer" based on the evil notion that
<!...> is an HTML comment, any "comments" it wrote could cause an
SGML parser (which by definition is an HTML parser) to choke.

Again, an "HTML parser" is certainly free to ignore <!...>, but that's only
because it "knows" enough SGML to expect that there's nothing in there
it needs to care about.

Jim "The Frog" Taylor, Director of Information Technology
Videodiscovery, Inc. - Multimedia Education for Science and Math
Seattle, WA, 206-285-5400 <>