Multiple THEADs in Body?

E. Stephen Mack (
Sun, 13 Jul 1997 22:34:04 -0700

Message-Id: <>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 22:34:04 -0700
From: "E. Stephen Mack" <>
Subject: Multiple THEADs in Body?

Earlier I asked about the THEAD, TFOOT and TBODY sections of
tables.  I notice that the DTD specifies that only one THEAD
and TFOOT may occur in a table:


I verified this with the KGV, which flagged a second THEAD in a table
as an error.

However, the text of the tables.html document implies that more than one
THEAD and TBODY can occur in a document:

>A table must contain at least one row group. Each row group is
>divided into three sections: head, body, and foot. The head and
>foot sections are optional. The THEAD element defines the head,
>the TFOOT element defines the foot, and the TBODY element
>defines the body.

>When present, each THEAD, TFOOT, and TBODY instance must contain
>one or more rows (see TR).

To me, the first pargraph says that I can have, say, two row groups,
and that each row group can have a THEAD and TFOOT of its own along
with its TBODY.  The second paragraph supports this interpretation.

If the DTD is reflective of the intention that there should
only be one THEAD and one TFOOT along with any number of TBODY
sections within a table, than these two paragraphs should be
reworded to reflect that intention (to me, the current explanation
is ambiguous).

Alternately, the DTD should say something like:


Was this the intention?

IE 4.0 platform-preview-1 certainly gets confused by multiple
THEADs and TFOOTs, placing the second THEAD *before* the first
TFOOT, followed by the second TBODY and ending with the
second TFOOT.

E. Stephen Mack <>