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self-closing syntax error message

From: William F Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>
Date: Tue, 14 Sep 2010 00:09:37 -0400
To: www-validator@w3.org
Message-ID: <i7sk1dge4e.fsf@hilbert.math.albany.edu>

The following message arose when I was testing
the validator with a small html5 document:

--------
   Error  Line 8, Column 4: Self-closing syntax (/>) used on a
                  non-void HTML element. Ignoring the slash and
                  treating as a start tag.

                  <p/>
--------

The message would be clearer if instead of "a non-void HTML element"
it said  "an HTML element that is not defined-empty" or
possibly "an HTML element that is allowed to have content".

Of course, this is correct for the present draft of html5 where
"/>" is only allowed for elements that are defined-empty in the
vocabulary of the html namespace.

However, even though html5 is independent of sgml, I make this point
because sgml rules (with www mods) about NETENABL in relation to
"empty" elements address the syntactic issue -- whether the element
has de facto content -- rather than the vocabulary issue of whether
the element is defined-empty.

                                    -- Bill
Received on Tuesday, 14 September 2010 04:10:05 GMT

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