Re: why TITLE, not TITLE?

S.N.Brodie@ecs.soton.ac.uk
Fri, 9 May 1997 15:44:58 +0100 (BST)


From: S.N.Brodie@ecs.soton.ac.uk
Message-Id: <26110.9705091444@strachey.ecs.soton.ac.uk>
Subject: Re: why TITLE, not TITLE?
To: www-html@w3.org
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 15:44:58 +0100 (BST)
In-Reply-To: <Pine.LNX.3.95.970509170439.198A-100000@fenchurch.hol.gr> from "Stephanos Piperoglou" at May 9, 97 05:09:39 pm

Stephanos Piperoglou wrote:
> 
> This is where your problem is, Chad: user agents should be very lenient in
> what they accept. The DTD has nothing to do with what a browser would
> recognise. A good HTML viewer should be EXTREMELY fault tolerant. The whole
> philosophy is being strict with what you serve and lenient with what you
> accept. It is the author's responsibility to follow the rules when writing a
> document.

As a browser author myself, I would echo this sentiment entirely.  I
refer to the DTDs purely for guidance on what attributes need to be
recognised and what tags need to be handled.  Sadly, often this is
insufficient and I have to fiddle around with Netscape and Internet
Explorer - both to find out how they have chosen to represent
particular constructs (to stop my users saying "It doesn't come out
properly but it does in Netscape/IE") and more importantly to discover
how they handle erroneous HTML.  Most of the time, I don't mind the
former - usually the choice of representation is fairly obvious anyway
and it doesn't matter if I deviate from it.  The latter is harder (eg.
how do you handle pages containing illegal comments).  Here, I adopted 
the strategy apparently followed by NS 2 - which again seemed a sensible
enough strategy when I had discovered what it was.

Error recovery is by far the hardest part of parsing HTML-like
documents, IMHO.  I'm certain that my parser would be a third of the
size if it could be guaranteed to be given error free HTML to parse.

-- 
Stewart Brodie, Electronics & Computer Science, Southampton University.
http://www.ecs.soton.ac.uk/~snb94r/      http://delenn.ecs.soton.ac.uk/