W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > March 1999

Re: You say there's no solution for & in URLs, but & seems to work [re-send]

From: Gerald Oskoboiny <gerald@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 1999 23:02:32 -0500
To: Dan Harkless <dan@wave.eng.uci.edu>
Cc: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <19990301230232.I7667@w3.org>
On Fri, Feb 26, 1999 at 05:56:28PM -0500, Dan Harkless wrote:
> Howdy.  First off, thanks for the wonderful validator.w3.org service. 
> It found several minor errors in my pages that Bobby, a similar web-bot
> (http://www.cast.org/bobby/) failed to find.
> One question, though.  On one of my pages I had a bunch of URLs
> containing '&'s.  validator complained, and when I clicked on the more
> info link, your documentation said that there's no solution for this
> problem other than complaining to the owners of the CGI programs that
> they shouldn't use '&' as a separator character. 
> However, I knew that the solution for this problem outside of URL
> specifications was to transform the '&' to an '&amp;', and sure enough,
> this worked for these hyperlinks as well.  I tested them with Navigator
> 3 on Mac OS, Navigator 3 and IE 4 on NT, and Navigator 3 and lynx on
> HP-UX.  Is this just a feature that happens to work in a lot of
> browsers, or is it in line with the HTML 3.2 spec?

As far as I know this is very widely supported, and is indeed the
best way to get around the invalid use of & in hrefs.

> If the latter, perhaps you could update that more info page.

Certainly, I have been meaning to do this for a while. I'll do so
sometime this week.

> One other minor quibble is that I dislike the HTML 3.2 / 4.0 "validated"
> icons.  I started putting the graphic on the bottom of all my validated
> pages, but the graphic just struck me as too large and flashy.  Against
> gray backgrounds, especially, the white and yellow in the icon really
> draw the eye away from the real content on the page.  I know you have
> more important things to do than make new graphics, but I just wanted to
> let you know that I would have been advertising your service on more
> than just my bookmarks page if not for the distraction issue.

You can always use a plain text link, a la

    <a href="http://validator.w3.org/check/referer">Valid HTML 4.0!</a>

Gerald Oskoboiny       <gerald@w3.org>  +1 617 253 2920
System Administrator   http://www.w3.org/People/Gerald/
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)      http://www.w3.org/
Received on Monday, 1 March 1999 23:02:37 UTC

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