Re: HTML+ Comments

Peter Lister, Cranfield Computer Centre (
Tue, 20 Jul 93 10:45:08 BST

> I don't recall much discussion on browser recovery from errors. I thought
> that the general idea was to have a server do the parsing so that browsers

I have yet to come across a server which checked an existing HTML
document for correctness.

> For now, when editing, it is much easier to make a typo when YOU have to
> match up your tags than if you always end a tag as </> (you probably would
> even bind this sequence to a single keystroke).

But if in future most HTML will be automatically generated, typos
aren't a problem, are they? Anyway, I use html-mode.el in GNU emacs, so
even though I see the tags, I don't type them per se.

> Verbosity in the form of requiring a tag end other than </> has little
> value today, longer end tags increase file size (though not much),
> increases the number of typos when hand entering codes, and probably has no
> value as editor/browsers become more sophisticated.

Not when things are working normally, no. However, when they DON'T,
verbosity is very useful. SMTP/rfc822 mail headers could be much more
terse than they are, but I'm glad they aren't. C blocks simply use {
and }, but I still put in comments and indent so that I can quickly
match the pairs. The difference between </> and </a> is minimal in
size, but signficant in meaning. Please remember that even automatic
HTML generators are still debugged by hand at some time.

While we're about it, I like with the idea of treating <p>,</p> as
bracketing tags, with an implicit </p> preceding the next <p> if
necessary. I have two reasons: first, this allows for paragraphs to be
display differently (e.g. poetry); second, figures (other than in-line
icons), titles, etc are not paragraphs (as I understand the idea), and
I reckon that it makes more sense to have them explicitly defined as
being outside paragraphs.

Is it reasonable to extend the implicit </p> idea to other tags, e.g
there is an implicit </h*> before every </p>, i.e.

<h1>Chapter heading <----- Implicit </h1>
<p>Paragraph <----- Implicit </p>

etc. I reckon this would make even for less verbosity than </> but
still be very human readable.

Peter Lister
Computer Centre,
Cranfield Institute of Technology, Voice: +44 234 754200 ext 2828
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL UK Fax: +44 234 750875