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Re: Suggestion for Change in HTML Validatior

From: Jukka Korpela <Jukka.Korpela@hut.fi>
Date: Mon, 8 Jan 2001 11:12:26 +0200 (EET)
To: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.OSF.4.10.10101081056160.18453-100000@gamma.hut.fi>
On Mon, 8 Jan 2001, David M Abrahamson wrote:

> I have recently come across a commercial web site that uses HREFs of the
> form <A HREF="url:http://www.xyz.com">.

That's very strange usage, but it's not a validation issue.

> Since the URI bracketing in an HREF attribute value is done using "..." or
> '...', not "URL:..." or 'url:...', I cannot see any requirement on an HTML
> browser to find and strip out the "url:".

You are quite correct. The use of url: there must be based on some
odd misunderstanding. But...
 
> Perhaps you might like to modify the validator to spot this form of error?

It is none of a validator's business to check what's inside an HREF
attribute, since such an attribute is declared as being CDATA, which
means roughly speaking "anything goes". So
HREF="foo:bar:zap hello world"
must pass validation, though it of course does not comply with the
specification. The HTML 4.01 specification tries to explain the meaning of
CDATA at http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/types.html#h-6.2 and although it is
neither very illustrative nor very exact in its content, it nevertheless
gives the message that in the formal syntax (which is all that a validator
deals with) a CDATA value is just a string of characters.

Well, literally it's

href        %URI;          #IMPLIED  -- URI for linked resource --

but %URI; is just a synonym for CDATA:

<!ENTITY % URI "CDATA"
    -- a Uniform Resource Identifier,
       see [URI]
    -->

(note that the text between --'s is a comment only and has no
significance in validation).

-- 
Yucca, http://www.hut.fi/u/jkorpela/
Received on Monday, 8 January 2001 04:12:34 GMT

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