RE: 2 HTML documents in one

The problem with a page like this is that, unless you test it in every browser, you cannot guarantee how it is going to be interpreted/displayed. Sure, the common ones are lenient and display it as the designer intended, but that's not to say that every browser exhibits that behaviour when confronted with this code.
Also, a page like this will break certain "simple" ways of programmatically parsing HTML pages (quite possibly some search engine spiders/bots). One approach of such a program would be to work its way around the source code, finding the opening <html> tag, then working it's way down until hitting the closing </html> tag. So, confronted with a page like this, it would just "see" the first <html> block, and then completely ignore the second one (which is, I suspect, what the W3C validator did).

In the end, it comes down to the usual question: why stick to standards, if my browser still shows it as I want ?

Patrick H. Lauke
WWW Editor
External Relations Division 
Faraday House 
University of Salford 
Greater Manchester 
M5 4WT 

Tel: +44 (0) 161 295 4779



-----Original Message-----
From: phil potter []
Sent: 03 April 2003 15:29
To: John Foliot - bytown internet;
Subject: Re: 2 HTML documents in one


Yes, I've tried it in WDG's validator and  the double HTML tag was 
picked-up, which was pleasing. I've also reviewed the HTML 
specification that gives a typical use of the HTML tag, which is one 
opening tag and one closing tag - super, that all makes sense, and I 
agree with you that it can't be acceptable for the reasons that you 

However, I was also wondering how say a search engine might deal with a 
double set of meta tags, two body sections etc?

I've also looked at the page via various browsers (inc. Lynx) and all 
seem remarkably forgiving. I wonder whether anyone has any thoughts as 
to what is likely to be a problem with a page like this? One that 
springs to mind is future compatibility; particularly if more rigid 
enforcement of standards is applied in user agents (i.e. less 

Thanks for everyone's comments - I often "lurk" and learn a great deal 
from this interest group.


Received on Thursday, 3 April 2003 09:48:03 UTC