No generalized empty element in HTML

Lars Eighner (
Thu, 31 Jul 1997 21:52:45 -0500

From: (Lars Eighner)
Subject: No generalized empty element in HTML
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 21:52:45 -0500
Message-Id: <>

HTML 4 contains a generalized block element (<DIV>)
and a generalised inline element (<SPAN>) but seems
to lack a generalized empty element.

This seems to me a serious deficiency which can only lead
to more inline elements containing &nbsp;  There are
a number of inline elements that might better be empty.
For example the name anchor is often kludged with &nbsp;
as is done many, many times in the HTML draft itself.
This should suggest that some elements ought to be
empty (perhaps even the name anchor itself), but in any
event that a generalized empty element could be a useful thing.

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