Re: HTML 3.2 PR

James Aylett (sja20@hermes.cam.ac.uk)
Sun, 17 Nov 1996 17:45:01 +0000 (GMT)


Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 17:45:01 +0000 (GMT)
From: James Aylett <sja20@hermes.cam.ac.uk>
To: jon@oaktree.co.uk
cc: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: HTML 3.2 PR
In-Reply-To: <199611171724.RAA09190@white.oaktree.co.uk>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.3.93.961117173741.3390C-100000@crystal.clare.cam.ac.uk>

> >     <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
hope!)

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
browsers.)

Hope this helps,
James

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