Meta Refresh syntax

E. Stephen Mack (
Tue, 15 Jul 1997 01:57:03 -0700

Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 1997 01:57:03 -0700
From: "E. Stephen Mack" <>
Subject: Meta Refresh syntax

I was surprised to note (in 4.0's global.html
specification) that the syntax for meta refresh has

<META name="refresh" content="3,">

This syntax is not understood by IE (I tested with Win95 3.02 and
4.0 pp1) nor Navigator (Win95 3.01 and 4.01).

The understood form by these browsers is:

<META http-equiv="refresh"
      content="3; URL=">

Although RFC 2068 doesn't allow "refresh" as a valid
HTTP header, many existing pages and browsers use the
latter syntax and not the former.  Is it HTML 4.0's
intention to force a change in the way refresh is
specified?  If so, perhaps a note regarding the
deprecated/obsoleted syntax for refresh would be useful.
E. Stephen Mack <>