W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > November 1999

Re: HTML comments in <title> elements - valid or not?

From: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 22:56:51 -0500 (EST)
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9911082235080.32742-100000@mail.q2.net>


On Mon, 8 Nov 1999, Dan Connolly wrote:
> Arjun Ray wrote:
 
> > Yet another place where the 4.0 spec's "friendly prose" fails to state
> > the exact requirements.
> 
> What's not exact about it? Comments are markup[1]. 

Yes, and the content model of TITLE is (#PCDATA).  Clause 4 "Definitions"
of ISO 8879 (see p.277 in the Handbook):

: 4.228 parsed character data: Zero or more characters that occur in a
: context in which text is parsed and markup is recognized.  They are
: classified as data characters because they were not recognized as 
: markup during parsing.
:
: 4.229 PCDATA: Parsed character data.

The issue is "a context in which text is parsed and markup is recognized".
The operative concept here is *recognition* of markup.  Simply because
something looks like markup doesn't make it so.  In some ways, this is a
problem with SGML itself, but either the spec's normative reference to ISO
8879 counts for something, or it doesn't.

> Perhaps we should have added a NOTE about why this restriction is there:
> it's there because older HTML implementations treated <!--...---> as
> character data, and I think some versions of the HTML spec declared
> the TITLE element as CDATA. 

It might have been better to specify RCDATA declared content.
 
> Let's see if I can find the original IETF html-wg discussion of CDATA
> vs. PCDATA for TITLE... nope; but 

> [...] reviewing the changes to of html.dtd[2], I see that TITLE was
> RCDATA for a while, 

AFAIK, the original spec had (#PCDATA).

  <URL:http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-talk/1992JulAug/0020.html>

So when did it change?

> then changed to %title-content which could be either CDATA or PCDATA
> in v1.8, date: 1994/04/09 01:02:10.
>
> [2] http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/html-spec/html.dtd
> (hm... the ,v file isn't available via HTTP. bummer. see:
> http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/html-spec/ChangeLog )

The Changelog goes back to only v.1.7.2.1, dated 1994/04/01.  The v1.8
entry just says:

| * Revamped HTML, HEAD, elements in light of feature test entities

> So if you can find html-wg archives from around there (we have them
> somewhere at W3C, I think) you'll probably find it discussed.

I have my own copy of the html-wg list.  I suppose I'll have to slog
through megabytes of it...

But 1994/04/01 is too early for the html-wg anyway.  The welcoming letter
(from Stu Weibel) is dated 1994/07/29:

 Date: Fri, 29 Jul 94 13:09:30 EDT
 Message-Id: <9407291705.AA04850@ws02-00>
 Reply-To: html-wg@oclc.org
 Originator: html-wg@oclc.org
 Sender: html-wg@oclc.org
 Precedence: bulk
 From: weibel@oclc.org (Stu Weibel)
 To: Multiple recipients of list <html-wg@oclc.org>
 Subject: IETF HTML WOrking Group List
 X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
 X-Comment: HTML Working Group (Private)
 
 
Arjun
Received on Monday, 8 November 1999 22:52:12 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 27 March 2012 18:15:40 GMT