Re: Some complaints about HTML 4.0

E. Stephen Mack (
Sat, 12 Jul 1997 22:57:33 -0700

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 1997 22:57:33 -0700
To: "David Perrell" <>, <>,
From: "E. Stephen Mack" <>
Subject: Re: Some complaints about HTML 4.0
In-Reply-To: <>

Liam Quinn wrote:
>> Empty P elements are similar to multiple BR elements in a lot of
>> ways...

David Perrell wrote:
> Define lot. In a typical rendering, BR forces a line space, P has
> vertical margins. [...many other differences deleted...]

Liam wasn't arguing that P's were like BR's -- he argued that
*empty* P elements are similar to *multiple* BR elements.  I
was going to disagree with him at first, but now I think he's
sort of right--on a structural level, the semantic content of an
empty P is equivalent to the semantic content of two or more BRs.

<P></P> says "There is a paragraph here that contains nothing."
<BR><BR> says "There are multiple line breaks here."

The content of the P element is the same as what lies
in between the two <BR> tags: Nothing.  The second BR is not
structurally ending anything except an empty line.

Granted, there are many differences between the P element and
the BR element.  But while we're on the issue of collapsed
spaces and empty paragraphs (a hot topic, apparently), multiple
BRs deserve consideration as well--whether they end up endorsed
or not.
E. Stephen Mack <>