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Re: HTML 4 Test Suite

From: Ian Hickson <py8ieh@bath.ac.uk>
Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 10:40:51 +0100 (BST)
To: Alex Schroeder <asc@bsiag.com>
cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.04.9905271025400.19954-100000@midge.bath.ac.uk>
On 27 May 1999, Alex Schroeder wrote:

> Is there a HTML 4 Test Suite? 

Not a complete one, AFAIK.

The Mozilla team have probably got a test suite for all the HTML4
_elements_. This, however, is not technically speaking a test suite.

A little explanation is probably in order.

The HTML4 specification sets out three levels of compliance: MUST,
SHOULD and MAY. A browser can implement only the MUST requirements and
be a completely spec-compliant product.

Unfortunately, the HTML4 spec authors were rather wary of saying
"MUST" about anything, and the net result is that you can be compliant
even if you only support 10% of the elements. 

In fact, the only mandatory elements that _must_ be supported (and in
some cases required support is extremely minimal) are: STYLE, SCRIPT,
TITLE, Q (must render with quotes), TD, BASE, IMG, OBJECT, and LINK (wrt

The other testable MUST statements in the specification refer to the
BIDI algorithm, SGML requirements, and so on.

I started to write such a comprehensive test suite myself, but never
got very far. You can see the efforts so far here:


I will, eventually, do some more work on this. Honest.

Ian Hickson 
U+2642 U+2651
U+262E U+2603 U+263A
Received on Thursday, 27 May 1999 05:40:57 UTC

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