W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > December 2008

Re: Void elements in HTML (Was: ZIP-based packages and URI references into them ODF proposal)

From: Philip Taylor <pjt47@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2008 20:22:39 +0000
Message-ID: <495BD48F.9020406@cam.ac.uk>
To: Adam Barth <w3c@adambarth.com>
CC: Jonas Sicking <jonas@sicking.cc>, public-html@w3.org, Julian Reschke <julian.reschke@gmx.de>

Adam Barth wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 30, 2008 at 4:57 PM, Philip Taylor <pjt47@cam.ac.uk> wrote:
>> http://www.haliburtonrealestate.on.ca/ -- <li><a href="http://www.mls.ca"
>> target="_blank" title="Multiple Listing Service" />MLS</a>
>> http://www.ccitula.ru/ -- <a href="pages/virtv.htm"/> <img
>> src=http://www.ruschamber.net/banner/VEru158x50.jpg border=0></a>
>> http://takasago.shop-pro.jp/ -- <a href="?pid=1912944" /><img
>> src="http://img05.shop-pro.jp/PA01015/854/product/1912944_th.jpg"
>> class="border" /></a>
>> http://www.alternativegreetingcards.com/ -- <a href="products.asp?id=57"
>> class="submenu" />Wizard of Oz</a>
> I'm not an HTML parsing expert, but these examples seem as easy to fix
> up as other parsing oddities like mis-nested tags (e.g.,
> <b>foo<i>bar</b>baz</i>).  Why can't the parser assume that <foo /> is
> a void element until it finds a </foo> that would otherwise close the
> tag?  This would permit forward and backward compatible parsing and
> ease of authoring.

If that rule was introduced, it should apply to all (non-void) elements, 
otherwise it would be introducing more self-inconsistencies in the 
language. But then it would cause problems and/or confusion in cases like:

   <div class="a"><div class="b" />Is this text in the b div?</div>

   <script src="..." /><script>alert('Does this get executed?')</script>

   <textarea /><script>alert('Does this get executed?')</script></textarea>

Also it would have to interact with other aspects of error handling, like:

   <table><tr><td />Does this text get foster-parented, and then somehow 
get yanked back into the table after reaching the end tag?</td>

   <a href="..." />Does the first a element get closed by an implicit 
end tag before the second a element?<a href="...">or is this nested 
inside the first a element?</a></a>

Philip Taylor
Received on Wednesday, 31 December 2008 20:23:41 UTC

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