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[whatwg] HTML as a text format: Should <title> be optional?

From: Řistein E. Andersen <liszt@coq.no>
Date: Fri, 17 Apr 2009 20:49:38 +0100
Message-ID: <7DF67005-68F4-4DEF-9EB9-36017ABD4F28@coq.no>
HTML can be used as an advanced text format, and people may want to  
convert existing plain text to HTML.  For example's sake, consider the  
following:

> A Short Document
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> This is a short plain-text document which someone
> might want to convert into HTML.
>
> As faithful readers of this list will recall,
> /R?gles typographiques/ requires note names to be
> typeset in italics (/ut/, /r?/, /mi/, etc.),
> which is not possible in plain text.

This corresponds to the following HTML:

> <h1>A Short Document</h1>
>
> <p>This is a short plain-text document which someone
> might want to convert into HTML.
>
> <p>As faithful readers of this list will recall,
> <i>R?gles typographiques</i> requires note names to be
> typeset in italics (<i>ut</i>, <i>r?</i>, <i>mi</i>, etc.),
> which is not possible in plain text.

Unfortunately, this is not valid; the following two lines must be  
added to the top:

> <!DOCTYPE html>
> <title>A Short Document</title>

The DOCTYPE is unfortunate, but seems impossible to get rid of at this  
point.

A <title> is usually a good idea, but is it really necessary to  
require this for conformance?  After all, a <title> is not something  
which an author is likely to forget, and leaving it out has no  
unexpected consequences.

-- 
?istein E. Andersen
Received on Friday, 17 April 2009 12:49:38 UTC

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