Re: Bug in validator?

It seems to me that the following problem has not been addressed at the
detailed level, although the general advice of not using <BR /> like
notations with non-XHTML doctypes has been given (and helps to avoid the

On Tue, 8 Jul 2003, Chris wrote:

> Sorry, it's behind a login, so I can't post a URL, however, here is a
> larger chunk of the code.

Generally, I think anyone asking for help with validating a page should
take the trouble of uploading a copy of it onto the Web, when needed.

> <p/>

This is the heart of the matter, in the technical sense. Using the WDG
validator gives a hint:

  ^Warning: net-enabling start-tag; possibly missing required quotes
around an attribute value

I'm afraid I'm partly guilty of that particular formulation, since I have
mentioned that the situation where a validator thinks that there's a NET
enabling start tag _typically_ results from not quoting an attribute
value, as explained in my "Saga of the slashed validators",

In this case, the informative warning is partly misleading, since the
problem results from the use of <p/>, presumably meant to serve as an
empty p element (for some odd reason - such elements are explicitly
frowned upon in HTML specifications, though they are formally valid).

What happens when a validator sees <p/> is that it treats it as starting a
construct of the form
which is, by SGML rules, a valid shorthand for
Hence, the first slash "/" in the character data content is taken as NET
(Null End Tag), as </p>, which in this case means that the p element would
be closed even though an a element inside it has not been closed - thus,
"end tag for "A" omitted, but its declaration does not permit this".

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela,

Received on Tuesday, 15 July 2003 17:05:05 UTC