W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > September 2003

Re: SGML and HTML

From: <olafBuddenhagen@web.de>
Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 14:36:19 +0200
To: www-validator@w3.org
Cc: antrik@gmx.net
Message-ID: <20030929123619.GL641@sky.local>

Hi,

On Mon, Sep 08, 2003 at 03:48:14AM +0200, Bjoern Hoehrmann wrote:
> >What I really meant to ask: Can a HTML document be called "correct"
> >(without assigning any specific technical meaning to that term), if
> >it's formally valid, but doesn't follow the recommendations about
> >SGML usage mentioned in the standard?...
> 
> Depends on the definition of "correct" here...

I'll say as much as: "Correct" by common sense...

> >Or on a more practical view: Should a browser, in this situation we
> >are in, try to implement as much of SGML as possible, even if nobody
> >can use it anyways?
> 
> If as much as possible means to ensure that web sites which "work" in
> competitor's browsers do not break in your browsers: maybe.

I was thinking of: As much as possible without having to bloat the
browser considerably. Net mode is OK, empty tags are acceptable. Missing
start tags are bad, but probably can be worked around without really
implementing them. (Which every browser does more or less anyways...)
Other SGML features would be too complicated.

> However, I don't think there is much that can be implemented without
> breaking anything and after all, you cannot devolp a conforming HTML
> 4.01 user agent and still support XHTML 1.0, so W3C probably does not
> want to see conforming HTML 4.01 user agents in the wild.

Why not, am I missing something?...

> >And is it OK to report constructs that are handled incorrectly by
> >most browsers as "errors"?
> 
> It is not ok to report something as an error that is no error. Call it
> a warning.

Actually, as I have stated already, we can be pretty sure in most
situations it *is* an error on the author's side. (Either by incident or
not knowing that other browsers only handle it some way because they do
not follow the standard.)

They aren't standard violations however, if ignoring recommendations is
not considered a violation.

The question really is only whether it would be too confusing to call it
an "HTML error" or something the like...

> >Well, I'm aware this list is not really the right place to ask such
> >questions... I just can't think of any forum where I could get an
> >answer that is authoritative in any sense :-(
> 
> www-html, www-html-editor.

Or maybe QA, or even evangelism?... I really do not know.

> >But I've still no idea why an SGML parser will accept <hr/> for
> >example -- according to the BNF productions (the only part of the
> >standard I could find on the web), a net-enabling start tag is never
> >explicitely closed, so should not the > be treated as content?...
> 
> Yes. That's what the Validator does.

In this case, how can the claim be upheld that XML is a compatible
subset of SGML, and can be parsed by any SGML processor?...

> >The only question here is whether it wasn't better if browsers aware
> >of XHTML ignored the MIME type in such a situation? But only the
> >major vendors are really in a position to decide on this -- as long
> >as the popular browsers accecpt broken (so called) XHTML, every
> >browser not doing so will close itself out completely :-(
> 
> See <http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-html/2000Sep/0024.html>.

I knew this decision already, only I didn't understand it... Only now I
realized that as long a the dominating browser doesn't support XHTML,
there is really no other choice :-(

-Olaf-

-- 
Don't buy away your freedom -- GNU/Linux
Received on Monday, 29 September 2003 10:13:20 GMT

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