W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > August 2001

Re: Neither!

From: Matthew Wickline <wickline_m@pcfnotes1.wustl.edu>
Date: Fri, 17 Aug 2001 07:40:15 -0500
Message-ID: <3B7D10B0.FC2DC9D6@kids.wustl.edu>
To: www-validator@w3.org
CC: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>, Seething13@webtv.net

seething13 wrote:
> Good luck trying to do whatever it is you are trying to do

Kynn Bartlett wrote:
> can't have something validate as both

My initial missunderstanding was that I could start moving a site over
to XHTML "a bit at a time" by scripting some tag replacements in the
HTML 4.01 site prior to the major changes to get it over to XHTML. I
thought I could use the trailing slash in empty containers in HTML.

I did this with BR tags, and didn't get any errors from the validator.
If I had gotten an error from the validator, I would not have had any
question at all. (Or if I had used htmlhelp's validator which provided a
warning that lead to the explanation of what was going on)

Since I got no error, I did this will all empty containers. Then I
started getting errors. This had me curious. Why is it an error to do
this to META, BASE and LINK but not to HR, BR, IMG, INPUT, BUTTON, etc?
I found nothing in the DTD that said that these empty containers should
be handled differently, so why did using the slash in one group of empty
containers give a validation error, but the other didn't? Either they
should allow the slash, or not, and as I read the DTD, they should be
handled identically.

Why were they being treated differently?

Hence, my question to the list:

Tim Bagot answered my question:

and at that point, it seemed to me that *neither* of my examples should
validate, and yet one of them did. I was still a bit confused. At this
point, I understood that I was trying to do something inccorect, but
being a curious cuss, I couldn't let it go until I understood exactly
why one example validated but the other did not, when both used trailing slashes.

At this point, I thought that the validating example should be getting
an error for unescaped > characters, and I still wondered why they
didn't both fail to validate.

Bjoern Hoehrmann provided the clues that completed my understanding:

Once I read his mesg, I was able to search for net-enabled start tag
info on the web, and better-understand what how those slashes worked.
Initially, I was still a bit muddled, but by the end of typing my reply,
I finally understood exactly what was going on, and why one example
validated and the other did not.

I posted my "thinking aloud" message and thanks

So, at that point, I understood what was going on, which was my goal. 

Before that point, I already figured that both of my example documents
were incorrect, but I wanted to understand exactly *why* they were
incorrect. Call it an excess of curiosity if you will :)

So again, thanks to everyone for helping me grasp what was going on with
those slashes. My curiosity has been fully sated since yesterday morning.


Received on Friday, 17 August 2001 08:40:34 UTC

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