Re: HTML DTD question & comment

Joe English (
Thu, 07 Dec 1995 10:30:42 -0800 (Kerry Burton) wrote:

> The element PLAINTEXT is declared as:
> <!ELEMENT PLAINTEXT - O %literal>
> and the entity "literal" is declared as
> <!ENTITY % literal "CDATA"
> -- historical, non-conforming parsing mode where
> the only markup signal is the end tag
> in full
> -->
> In view of the comment, shouldn't both of PLAINTEXT's minimization
> indicators be '-'?

The PLAINTEXT element is an ancient vestige from the very
early days of the Web. In the initial Web prototypes, it was
assumed that the only thing transmitted via HTTP was HTML;
"<PLAINTEXT>" was a special flag to indicate that what followed
was not in HTML format.

Needless to say, <PLAINTEXT> should not be used any more
now that HTTP has a true content negotiation mechanism.
(Neither should <LIT> or <XMP>, but that's a different matter.)

--Joe English