W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > March 2008

Re: [VE][108] wrap="physical"

From: Jukka K. Korpela <jkorpela@cs.tut.fi>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2008 09:06:12 +0200
Message-ID: <003e01c8827d$3a869300$0400000a@DOCENDO>
To: "Kristine Cummins" <design@kristinecummins.com>, <www-validator@w3.org>

Kristine Cummins wrote:

> The Validator is having issues with wrap="physical" [...]
> What other options are there that would pass the
> validation test?

The validator has no "issues" with the attribute. When the document type 
definition (DTD) used does not allow such an attribute, the validator 
reports it as an error. This is part of the very job of the validator.

Frank Ellerman wrote in his reply (which I cannot reply to, since for 
some odd reason, my OE treats it as if it were a nrwsgroup posting!) as 

"If you know precisely why you want wrap="physical",
 and what it does on legacy browsers, just ignore the
 error message."

Nobody really _knows_ how the different wrap attribute values work on 
different browsers, old and new.

But if an author decides to use the wrap attribute, he should decide 
which values he uses for them (there have been mutually incompatible 
systems in different browsers) and use them consistently. A validator 
can help here but then you need a DTD that contains the attribute, such 
as my "tagsoup DTD", see
(There I declare the allowed values as "off", "soft", "hard". This was 
the set that was most widely supported by browsers when I last checked 
the situation, which was years ago.)

Frank also wrote:

"If there is a CSS trick for the same
 or a similar purpose working on modern browsers add
 it, and remove the wrap-workaround in some years ;-)"

This feature does not belong to the realm of CSS to the extent that it 
deals with the form data sent, i.e., whether a browser automatically 
generates line breaks and inserts them into the user input that will be 
sent to a server. And wrap="physical" (the old Netscape invention, later 
often replaced by wrap="hard") is exactly about this. If you really 
wanted to have such behavior _and_ you wanted to use HTML syntax that 
complies with some W3C-approved doctype, then you would have to resort 
to writing a piece of JavaScript that imitates the desired 

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
Received on Monday, 10 March 2008 07:06:08 UTC

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