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Re: Nesting <HTML>...</HTML> tag pairs

From: David Dorward <david@dorward.me.uk>
Date: Mon, 21 Feb 2005 19:02:59 +0000
To: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20050221190259.GA29347@us-lot.org>

On Sun, Feb 20, 2005 at 03:35:51AM +0000, Neal Murphy wrote:
> As near as I can determine, the HTML spec allows for only one pair of 
> <HTML>...</HTML> tags to be present in a document.

Correct, they mark the begining and end of the document.

> However, there are at least a few browsers that happily nest these
> tags and seem to display the information in the nested document as
> its author intended.

Browsers go to great lengths to cope with bad markup. Browser X can
correct for foo. Browser Y cannot. Author A doesn't validate and only
tests for X. This is good for the marketshare of X. This is not good
for Y, so Y has to struggle to catch up. At any given point the
ability of different browsers to compensate for author idiocies will
vary. Depending on this ability is unwise.

> "Why would you want to do that?" you ask. Suppose I have a website
> built using tables to define the various 'areas' of the page

     "Tables should not be used purely as a means to layout document
     content"

     "authors should use style sheets to control layout rather than
     tables"

     - http://w3.org/TR/html4/struct/tables.html

> , and that one of the website's pages displays the minutes from a
> meeting. I don't have the time to take their Word docs containing
> the minutes, reformat them to fit the website, create the HTML and
> install the document on the website.

Then use software which can extract the content from the document and
generate sane markup for it.

> I would like to allow authorized folks to prepare content for one of
> these page 'areas' and upload the complete HTML doc that they've
> prepared without having to rewrite the document to fit the website.

Have them upload the Word document and feed it to the aforementioned
script.

> I've found that at least several browsers are quite happy to
> correctly display the contents of a nested HTML doc within a table
> cell.

Whatever display you get, it is not "correct". The behavior is
undefined.

-- 
David Dorward                                      http://dorward.me.uk
Received on Monday, 21 February 2005 19:08:01 GMT

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