Re: Browsers and syntax errors (Was: Captions for Figures...)

Jim Hurley (
Fri, 10 Mar 1995 15:37:08 +0500

Steinar Bang <>:

>Making browsers forgiving about HTML syntax errors, instead of giving
>good user feedback, is probably the gravest error committed by the
>browser writers.

I think I disagree. It follows from the network pricipal of being
liberally in what ones accepts and cautious in what one sends.

If casual users where made aware of every problem in the document and
every glitch in the network that occurred while viewing, the Web might
not be the success story it is. Not many people really care that
much about these things.

I do think it is pretty bad when, for example, an FTP fetch resulting
in anonymous login being denied is told to the user in such a way that
they think a link is broken, so a little more info when a catastrophe
occurs other than 'can't get doc' would be nice.

Individual homepages are not necessarily the best examples to pick on
when it comes to sloppy or abusive markup, professional people
are sometimes even more abusive when they try to make HTML a
publishing tool and spend all their time achieving the right look and
forgetting that they should be providing information.

BTW, Dan's Validation service still works at the old URL.

Jim Hurley           email: