W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > July 1999

RE: IDs *not* in selectors

From: Chris Wilson <cwilso@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 1999 08:47:21 -0700
Message-ID: <C35556591D34D111BB5600805F1961B90C3117D8@RED-MSG-47>
To: "'sue@css.nu'" <sue@css.nu>, www-style@w3.org
sue@css.nu [mailto:sue@css.nu] wrote:
>Perhaps someone could explain what I am missing in trying to reconcile
>this statement from Bert Bos, earlier in this thread:
>>Since CSS1 allowed digits, I think we should change the text in 4.1.3
>>to match the grammar (i.e., digits are allowed), rather than
>with this comment from the CSS1 grammar (1):
>/* There is a constraint on the id and solitary_id that the
>   ** part after the "#" must be a valid HTML ID value;
>   ** e.g., "#x77" is OK, but "#77" is not.  */

CSS1 states, in the comment you quote and in prose, that IDs and classes
should not begin with a digit; however, the actual grammar allows IDs to
begin with a digit.
>Just as I think I almost get close to sort of understanding that,
>initially at least, the intent of CSS1 was _not_ to allow initial
>digits, an apparently conflicting assertion is made by the author of the

Indeed, that is the case; however, as Bert and Peter point out, that's not
what the grammar actually says, and it is impossible to "correct the
grammar" without creating an ambiguity between RGB hex values and IDs.

>In short: I cannot find the specific part of the CSS1 recommendation
>which allows digits as the initial character in class names/IDs . Please
>give the reference for the statement, preferably with a direct quote
>from the text of the CSS1 recommednation rather than a reference to the
>CSS1 grammar.

That is not possible.  The legality of leading digits in IDs is established
by the grammar, not the text, and the two are in fact in conflict.

>"Amusingly enough, that would break parsing of colors, eg:
>{ color: #123456; }"
>It seems to me that this comment, from the CSS2 grammar (3):
>       * There is a constraint on the color that it must
>       * have either 3 or 6 hex-digits (i.e., [0-9a-fA-F])
>       * after the "#"; e.g., "#000" is OK, but "#abcd" is not.
>       */"
>is intended to address that concern, analogously to the way the first
>comment I quoted from CSS1 is meant to address this 'digit as initial
>character' concern.

I don't quite understand that.  What does the number of digits have to do
with this issue?

-Chris Wilson
Received on Monday, 12 July 1999 11:50:53 UTC

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