Re: HTML 3.2 PR: Please add CLASS attribute!

Ben Fuller (
Fri, 22 Nov 1996 17:45:09 -0800

Message-ID: <>
From: Ben Fuller <>
To: WWW HTML List <>, "'Carl Morris'" <>
Subject: RE: HTML 3.2 PR: Please add CLASS attribute!
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 1996 17:45:09 -0800

>In this case it is, the DTD describes TITLE... its illegal, even in
>FOO, its the idea that I even used FOO I don't want to be "errored" at
>...  Warned maybe, but every validation service I have used desires to
>call them "ERROR!"

Most validation services are designed to determine that a given document =
conforms to
a given document type definition -- if an element that is not defined by =
the DTD is used
in the document being validated, the document contains an error (it does =
not conform).

If you are designing something that parses HTML you should realize that =
there are a few
levels to Doing It Right.

First level is being able to correctly parse the markup in the document =
(regardless of the
elements being used).    This means being able to identify markup and =
entity delimiters
properly (this can be quite a bit of work, but worth the effort if it is =
done well).

Second level is knowing about the elements used in HTML and how they =
relate to each
other.  This means being able to handle SGML constructs like ommissable =
elements --
ie. knowing that <P> is not allowed inside <P> allows you to determine =
the end of the
aragraph without specifying </P>.

Third level is knowing which attributes are associated with what =
elements.  This means
being able to supply default values for attributes and knowing which =
attributes to allow
and which to ignore.

For something like a browser, which should be permissive in what it =
accepts, the parser should definitely be able to process the document at =
the first level, and will probably need some of the
second.  For an authoring tool, which should create valid documents, =
first, second, and some
of third is probably appropriate.  For something like a validator, which =
determines if a document
is correct, all levels are needed.

The document type definition contains all the information needed about =
elements and their
attributes.  It is up to you to determine how much of that information =
you will use when parsing
a document.

Ben Fuller

Macromedia Backstage
Designer Engineering Team
(resident parsing dude)