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RE: good old HTML

From: Dave J Woolley <david.woolley@bts.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 19:11:48 +0100
Message-ID: <81E4A2BC03CED111845100104B62AFB5824B42@stagecoach.bts.co.uk>
To: w3-html <www-html@w3.org>
> From:	Marcelo Perrone [SMTP:mclist@terra.com.br]
> 
> 	could you guys help me out pointing reasons why an HTML must be done
> correctly even if when its not, the browsers display it correctly.
> 
[DJW:]  The most basic reason is that user agent error
recovery behaviour is not specified, and is generally
not documented.  There is commercial pressure to behave
consistently on broken input with the market leaders, but
developers of smaller tools (like html2ps) cannot afford
the time to do this.

Future developments may make even the market leaders less
tolerant.  E.g. it is difficult to create a sensible 
document object model when elements overlap.

The most frequently encountered case of error recovery 
differences is the way that Netscape 4 requires tables
to be explicitly closed before they will display at all,
but IE infers the closing tag.

There is a prinicipal fairly deep in the origins of the
internet that one should be correct in what one produces
but tolerant in what one accepts.  (XML doesn't really
hold to this, though.)

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>  
Received on Thursday, 26 October 2000 14:11:48 GMT

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