Re: HTML 3.0 suggestion

Murray Altheim (
Thu, 28 Sep 1995 17:36:15 -0400

Jon Lovstad <> writes:
>On Thu, 28 Sep 1995, Carl Benker wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Yesterday I had posted to this mailing list a request to make
>> list items "containers" by adding a </LI> tag to the HTML spec.
>> I received a fair amount of email that said that I should have
>> looked into it a little on my own, since it was already in the
>> standard.
>[Carl continues to reference the HTML 2 spec and says it is not listed
>I have printed the HTML 3 spec as presented by and I can't find it
>listed under the OL/UL sections there either. Could someone please list
>the source where it is a part of the standard?
>BTW, I can't find the </IMG> tag in any standards either, although I've
>seen it used by some HTML editors...

It is stated both in prose and in the DTD. From the May 6th, August 4th,
8th and Sept. 22nd drafts (all essentially the same on this point):

3.2.2. Tags

Tags delimit elements such as headings, paragraphs, lists,
character highlighting, and links. Most HTML elements are
identified in a document as a start-tag, which gives the element
name and attributes, followed by the content, followed by the
end tag. Start-tags are delimited by `<' and `>'; end tags are
delimited by `</' and `>'. An example is:

<H1>This is a Heading</H1>

Some elements only have a start-tag without an end-tag. For
example, to create a line break, use the `<BR>' tag.
Additionally, the end tags of some other elements, such as
Paragraph (`</P>'), List Item (`</LI>'), Definition Term
(`</DT>'), and Definition Description (`</DD>') elements, may be


This is backed up in the DTD with:

<!ELEMENT LI - O %flow>

<!-- <LI> List item -->

The "-" of "- O" meaning that the <LI> open tag is required, the "O"
meaning the end tag </LI> is optional. I can't claim SGML expertise, but I
must say that it pays to do your homework.


Murray M. Altheim, Information Systems Analyst
National Technology Transfer Center, Wheeling, West Virginia