Re: HTML 3 DTD? [was: frames ]

lilley (
Tue, 19 Dec 1995 16:38:05 +0000 (GMT)

Abigail said:

> Daniel W. Connolly wrote:
> ++ I'm curious about what folks mean by:
> ++
> ++ "-//IETF//DTD HTML 3.0//EN"
> ++
> ++ As far as I know, there's no HTML 3.0 DTD that the IETF owns. In

> Hmm, I have sgmls installed on my system, and that uses a catalog file,
> which contains, among others, the line:
> -- $Id: catalog,v 1.1 1994/10/07 21:35:07 connolly Exp $ --
> It also lists "-//IETF//DTD HTML 3.0//EN" as the most general way to
> refer to level 3 html. The only reason I include "-//IETF//DTD HTML 3.0//EN"
> or "-//IETF//DTD HTML Strict//EN//3.0" is to validate my documents with
> sgmls.

Ditto. Looking at html-3.dtd which accompanied the recently-expired ID
I see:


Document Type Definition for the HyperText Markup Language (HTML DTD)

Draft: Fri 24-Mar-95 09:46:33

Author: Dave Raggett <>

The entity HTML.Recommended can be used to give a more rigorous
version of the DTD suitable for use with SGML authoring tools.
The default version of the DTD offers a laxer interpretation,
e.g. allowing authors to omit leading <P> elements. You can
switch on the more rigorous version of the DTD by including
the following at the start of your HTML document.

[ <!ENTITY % HTML.Recommended "INCLUDE"> ] >

> Now, I do not know whether IETF owns an HTML 3.0 DTD, but if
> "-//IETF//DTD HTML 3.0//EN" is not a correct way to refer to that DTD,
> then why is it listed in the sgmls catalogue file?

The IETF does not own it, nor does anyone else. But documents written
to that recently expired draft presumably use the doctype you cite
because the draft told them to. Earlier drafts, such as the 01 March
and 13 March ones, had W3O as the owning authority, presumably before it
became clear that it would be called W3C. The 21 March DTD is the first
one I have which cites IETF as the owning authority.

I have this in my catalog:

-- Ways to refer to Level 3: most general to most specific --
PUBLIC "-//W3O//DTD W3 HTML 3.0//EN" html-3.dtd
PUBLIC "-//W3O//DTD W3 HTML 3.0//EN//" html-3.dtd --probably wrong--
PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 3.0//EN" html-3.dtd

and I use the last one of these in any HTML greater-than-2.0 documents
I create. I also have html-2.1e.dtd which contains the text:

<!-- html-2.1e.dtd

Document Type Definition for the HyperText Markup Language,
version 2.1E (HTML DTD)

Last revised: 95/09/25

Authors: Daniel W. Connolly <>
Francois Yergeau <>

<!ENTITY % HTML.Version
"-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.1E//EN"

-- Typical usage:


but this uses the old (!! ;-) !! ) embed element rather than the new insert
element. Once I have a DTD that defines INSERT (hi Dave!) I and probably
others will be please to add this to our catalogs.

Chris Lilley, Technical Author and JISC representative to W3C 
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