Re: HTML 3.2 PR

Jonathan Rosenne (
Sat, 16 Nov 1996 23:25:25 +0200

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 16 Nov 1996 23:25:25 +0200
From: Jonathan Rosenne <>
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR

On Sat, 16 Nov 1996, Jim Wise wrote:
>> No, an SGML parser is an SGML parser, an HTML parser is one like I am
>> writing, it can't process SGML.  HTML is an application of SGML,
>If what you are writing does not understand SGML syntax, it is _not_ an
>HTML parser.  HTML is the markup language defined in th HTML standard
>(RFC 1866 for HTML 2.0, the current W3C draft for HTML 3.2).  If this is
>not what you are implementing, you are not implementing HTML.  If, to cite
>the examples you have given, your system treats <! foo> as valid comment,
>or accepts documents without a <!DOCTYPE> tag, or without a <TITLE>
>element, it is not HTML.  By definition.

Let's not get carried away. The RFC says the following:

   1.2.3. User Agents

   An HTML user agent conforms to this specification if:

        * It parses the characters of an HTML document into data
        characters and markup according to [SGML]. 

It does not specify what the UA must do in cases of invalid input. Within
certain limits, the UA can do anything its author wants to do.

I suggest that a conformance clause is missing from the W3C draft, and that
it should be at least as strong as the RFC.


Jonathan Rosenne
JR Consulting
P O Box 33641, Tel Aviv, Israel
Phone: +972 50 246 522 Fax: +972 9 956 7353