Re: HTML 3.2 PR

James Aylett (
Sun, 17 Nov 1996 17:45:01 +0000 (GMT)

Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 17:45:01 +0000 (GMT)
From: James Aylett <>
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <>

> >     <p> <!- not a comment, just regular old data characters ->
> While we're here, what does this example mean? Are the
> 'not a comment' characters supposed to be ignored?
> Displayed as text on the user's screen? How about the
> '<!-' characters? If '<!-' is displayable text, how
> about '<*'? '<title*'? The above example opens
> a whole can of worms which the text then simply fails
> to discuss. I've never seen a web browser which will
> display the above example as text.

(The following is a little simplified, but gets the point across - I

The opening '<' starts a tag/entity/whatever. If the browser doesn't
recognise it, it shouldn't do anything with it - just find the end of the
tag '>', and skip everything in between. Something starting <! is slightly
different - SGML defines a number of these to mean particular things,
most of which aren't (currently) relevant to HTML.

Therefore the text '<title*' on its own is meaningless; it opens a tag,
but doesn't close it. I imagine most browsers will then skip everything up
to the next '>', assuming that title* is some tag it doesn't understand.

The reason the 'text' (by which I assume you mean the RFC for 2.0, or
perhaps the 3.2 docs, or whatever) doesn't define what to do with
<FLIBBLE> or whatever is that it's already covered by the fact that HTML
is an SGML application. (Technically, of course, putting <FLIBBLE> in
stops it from being HTML, but in terms of a web browser unknown tags
should simply be skipped, to stop newer tags from breaking older

Hope this helps,

  James Aylett - Crystal Services ( BBS, Ftp and Web
     Clare College, Cambridge, CB2 1TL -- -- (0976) 212023