Re: Definition lists

Dave Raggett (
Mon, 28 Jul 1997 08:35:47 -0400 ()

Date: Mon, 28 Jul 1997 08:35:47 -0400 ()
From: Dave Raggett <>
To: Holger Wahlen <wahlen@ph-cip.Uni-Koeln.DE>
Subject: Re: Definition lists
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.3.95.970728083315.-148885D-100000@holly>

On Sat, 26 Jul 1997, Holger Wahlen wrote:

> 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)?

There is no intention on the part of the editors to change
the meaning/practise from that defined by HTML 2.0 and 3.2.

I am sympathetic to the stricter model (DT+, DD)+ and would
like to hear arguments as to why this would be a bad idea.


-- Dave Raggett <>
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