W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-validator@w3.org > July 2003

Odd error message; no explanation...

From: Havard Eidnes <he@uninett.no>
Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2003 12:36:31 +0200 (CEST)
Message-Id: <20030715.123631.89033135.he@uninett.no>
To: www-validator@w3.org


I hope you'll excuse me for barging in here like this.  I'll also
admit that I'm neither an HTML or SGML expert (uh-oh).

I'm working on trying to make the NetBSD install documentation in HTML
form validate, and I've been using your validator service while trying
to do so.  I'm currently left with a single error which says:

   1.  Line 3666, column 3:  document type does not allow element "DL"
       here; missing one of "APPLET", "OBJECT", "MAP", "IFRAME",
       "BUTTON" start-tag


The error message does not contain pointers to any relevant part of the
specs, and my SGML skill level isn't up to digesting the DTD and understand
why <dl> isn't allowed in that place, and the description of <dl> in the
html4.01 spec also doesn't say much about "allowed contexts" (perhaps
that's mentioned elsewhere?).  This part of the text is part of "normal
running text", and none of the start tags mentioned above look like
"reasonable candidates" in this spot.

In other fixes I've made, I've had to reorder <code><pre>xxx</pre></code>
into <pre><code>xxx</code></pre>; using the former also produced the error
message above.

The document with the single remaining error can be found on


I'm wondering whether the above error message can be improved, so that
relative novices such as myself could more easily understand what needs to
be fixed.

Best regards, and thanks for any time looking at this,

- Håvard
Received on Tuesday, 15 July 2003 06:44:52 UTC

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