W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > October 1996

Re: TAG closing! I got proof now! :)

From: Carl Morris <msftrncs@htcnet.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 1996 16:38:49 -0500
Message-Id: <199610032144.QAA07002@inet.htcnet.com>
To: "WWW HTML List" <www-html@w3.org>
| End-tag minimization is allowed or disallowed by the DTD, not by SGML
| itself, and in this case the file is wrong no matter which way you
| at it: 

A DTD backs, it does not require ... lets get this straight ... I am
free to write a parser that handles HTML the way I thought it oughta be
handled, the DTD would only back me if there was an arguement on me
doing it wrong (in in most cases would prove me wrong)

|    * the HTML 3 DTD allowed </style> to be omitted, but required the
|      confusingly-named NOTATION attribute (eg notation="w3c-style"); 
| but 
|    * the 3.2 and Cougar DTDs do not permit minimization of </style> 
|      but still require a TYPE attribute.

BUT read the spec, not the DTD!  Yuo will read that it implies that at
least browsers should probably expect the end tag to be missing ...
maybe in lue of the 3.0 DTD?

| HTML drafts can imply what they like about _browsers_, but _parsers_
| must follow the rules laid down by ISO 8879. Browsers should
| be tolerant of broken files, as it is assumed or taken for granted
| most authors have not read the spec and don't care anyway. 

An HTML parser and an SRML parser are two different things, every
browser contains an HTML parser ...  not very many contain SGML parsers
(and IMPO never should)... not, not "don't care anyway", we're sick of
the SGML crap...  You don't see C compiler venders stick with just the
ANSI C, it doesn't sell...

| What would be useful is if browsers could have a "strict" mode, in
| they would parse correctly, but then display the file as best they
| and light up some kind of warning icon at the trouble spots. 

What would be nice is if browsers were really loose, but as a designer
I could bring up an option that would point out all the bad coding that
it was having to second guess at...

| As the author of this file hasn't bothered to include a DOCTYPE
| declaration, it is impossible to tell which DTD was intended, but I
| suspect either (a) the author couldn't be bothered with the rules, or
| (b) didn't know there was a difference, or (c) didn't bother to read
| the spec (or all three). This is not uncommon. 

and does it matter ... HTML is HTML.  An HTML 3.0 document SHOULD
display on an HTML 2.0 browser ...  if it doesn't, lets quit right
here, pack HTML and SGML up, and give up... all hope is lost...  As an
author I sure the hell ain't going to right a custom page for every
damned browser .. since not every browser uses the same DTD or
otherwise known as rules.

| Either way there's a problem, because in this example, STYLE has no
| content (it's all been commented out), so only a broken (ie
| non-validating) browser will read it.

Its got lots of content, and no its not commented, its CDATA ...
comments don't exist in CDATA ...  only the closing tag of the element
or its parents...

| And in any event, whoever it was can't spell "background" right.

Now that I didn't catch ... but there were other errors in the content
too, sucj as font-face is really font-family

| I suggest people ignore files like this and create their own using 
| the proper tools. I don't believe at this stage it is worth notifying
| W3C that such material exists on their server.

It was apearently a quick update to the page to include STYLE and was
never checked, as the author had many other things to do...  

But I find my self making the EXACT same tag mistake every time I start
a new page ... always forgetting the closing STYLE...  its so easy!
(and any parser I wrote would be smart enough to end it for me! :)
Received on Thursday, 3 October 1996 17:39:04 UTC

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