Re: HTML3 body tag

Dave Raggett (
Tue, 7 Mar 1995 07:27:33 +0500

> Does the HTML3 new encoding for multiple body sections require that all
> sections be inline? Or can I specify an external reference? I might have many
> pages with the same header/footer and I would only like to maintain one copy.
> This implies that I would need something like a SRC attribute on a BODY tag.

I can think of two ways of including markup from other documents:

a) Using the FIG element, so that one document is nested in another
without syntactic interactions.

b) As a kind of macro substitution. In this case, the results of the
substitution must result in a syntactically valid document that
conforms to the DTD, for instance, the included markup shouldn't
include elements belonging to the document head.

The first could be supported without change to the HTML 3.0, while the
latter is independent of the 3.0 DTD, and instead requires a convention
for macro processing directives analogous to the C language preprocessor.
We could perhaps use SGML processing directives, e.g.

<?include "">

But note that a new content type is needed since the inclusion is a piece
of a document, rather than a valid HTML document itself.

Note: the multiple body sections feature has been dropped from the
3.0 proposal for now, see:

-- Dave Raggett <> tel: +44 117 922 8046 fax: +44 117 922 8924
Hewlett Packard Laboratories, Filton Road, Bristol BS12 6QZ, United Kingdom