HTML 4.0/SGML, (#PCDATA)* problem in TEXTAREA

Neil St.Laurent (
Tue, 29 Jul 1997 08:36:25 -0600

Message-Id: <>
From: "Neil St.Laurent" <>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 08:36:25 -0600
Subject: HTML 4.0/SGML, (#PCDATA)* problem in TEXTAREA

Firstly here is my HTML snippet:

<TEXTAREA><HELLO> <P>&amp; out there in <TEXTAREA> land</TEXTAREA>

According to HTML 4.0 TEXTAREA has a content of #PCDATA, yet both IE 
and Netscape put the <HELLO><P> and <TEXTAREA> in the TEXTAREA field 
on the page, yet these are markup...

It seems <TEXTAREA>'s content is being treated as #RCDATA rather than 

Additionally, the (#PCDATA)* in the DTD seems incorrect:

SGML (ISO 8879)
rep   Optional and repeatable (0 or more times)
... The "#PCDATA" content toekn is regarded as having an occurance 
indicator of rep.

Putting the additional * on seems to break the content model because 
now technically we're allowed zero or more and an already possibly 
empty PCDATA.

Are we just confused about the standard or is there a genuine problem 
| Mortar: Advanced Web Development <>
| Neil St.Laurent
| Big Picture Multimedia