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[VE][338] New Error Message Suggestion

From: John Haggerty <slm@slimeland.com>
Date: Fri, 5 Sep 2003 19:30:50 -0400
Message-ID: <000301c37405$be2a7d60$f6927180@slime>
To: <www-validator@w3.org>

I see this error message ("cannot generate system identifier for general
entity '...'") most often when people write URLs with ampersands in them,
and the ampersands are not escaped. While I'm not exactly sure what
'generating system idenfitiers' means, this may be a good explanation for
the error:

Ampersands are the 'escape' character in HTML and XHTML. This means that any
time an ampersand appears in your document, it must be the beginning of a
character entity. For example, the entity "&lt;" stands for the less-than
sign (<). The most common cause for this message is that you have a lonely
ampersand which is not the beginning of a character entity, such as in a URL
("<a href='script.cgi?val1&val2>"). If you only want an ampersand, use the
entity '&amp;' ("<a href='script.cgi?val1&amp;val2'>").

Hope that helps!

(By the way: error number 64 ("document type does not allow element '...'
here") contains the text "This could mean that you have incorrectly nested
tags -- such as a 'style' element in the 'head' section instead of inside
'body'." Shouldn't the words "head" and "body" be reversed?)

 - John Haggerty
 [ http://www.slimeland.com/ ]
Received on Friday, 5 September 2003 19:35:13 UTC

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