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comments on "&section=2" being flagged as an error

From: Grant, John A <jagrant@x1.nrcan.gc.ca>
Date: Fri, 19 Mar 2004 19:49:46 -0500
Message-ID: <3E3C279AF3F9D411BAA00002A529150E070FEE51@s0-ott-x10.nrcan.gc.ca>
To: www-validator@w3.org
re: http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/problems.html#amp
<http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/problems.html#amp> 
    http://validator.w3.org/docs/errors.html#bad-entity
<http://validator.w3.org/docs/errors.html#bad-entity> 
    http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/reasons.html
<http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/reasons.html> 
 
With all due respect to the collective wisdom of w3c, I would like to offer
the following comments:
 
1. virtually everyone in the universe codes pages with
foo.cgi?chapter=1&section=2
 
Has anyone used a crawler to look at the instances of "&amp;" and "&" used
in query links? I would like to see some statistics on the two cases. I'm
guessing that billons of pages use "&" and almost none use "&amp;", but the
Internet keeps chugging along. Somebody must be doing something right.
 
2. any browser that interprets &section as &sect;ion is broken because the
rules clearly state the ";" terminator is required for these entities
 
I fail to see why billions of query links must be coded with "&amp;" instead
of "&" because a few remaining copies of a broken, obsolete 7 year old
browser might encounter problems in a few specific cases where &xxxxxxx
might happen to look like a character entity.   It's 2004, not 1997. I'll
take reality over theory any day.
 
I wouldn't dream of arguing with any of you on any of this, since I couldn't
possibly hope to win against theorists who do this for a living, but at the
same time, I thought you might like to hear an opinion from the other side
of the textbook.
 
John A. Grant
Radiation Geophysics Section ( http://gamma.nrcan.gc.ca/
<http://gamma.nrcan.gc.ca/> )
Geological Survey of Canada ( http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/gsc/
<http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/gsc/> )
(613) 992-1082
 
 
Received on Saturday, 20 March 2004 12:22:17 GMT

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