Definition lists

Holger Wahlen (wahlen@ph-cip.Uni-Koeln.DE)
Sat, 26 Jul 1997 01:07:50 +0200

Date: Sat, 26 Jul 1997 01:07:50 +0200
Message-Id: <>
From: wahlen@ph-cip.Uni-Koeln.DE (Holger Wahlen)
Subject: Definition lists

The HTML 2.0 specification contained the following in the
description of DL:

| The content of a <DL> element is a sequence of <DT> elements 
| and/or <DD> elements, usually in pairs. Multiple <DT> may be 
| paired with a single <DD> element. Documents should not 
| contain multiple consecutive <DD> elements.

Nevertheless, the declaration in the DTD was
	<!ELEMENT DL  - -  (DT | DD)+>,
allowing an arbitrary sequence. This declaration has remained
unchanged in 3.2 and also in the 4.0 draft, whereas the
respective texts don't contain the precise remarks about
element repetitions any more: The 3.2 spec just gives an
example for such a list, nothing more, the draft says that
"list items consist of two parts: an initial label and a
description", but still fails to explain precisely which
sequence is recommended, allowed or required.

Does that mean that any order is now considered `proper', or
has that part just been overlooked when the specs were
written? If the latter, why isn't the "should not" from the
quote above made a "must not" by choosing (DT+, DD)+ as the
content (which would, in addition, eliminate the possibility
of a DD as the first element in such a list)?

____  |__|   / Holger   //  ____
      |  |/|/  Wahlen  //