HTML draft - clarification of quoted string processing

Bryan Cheung (
Fri, 3 Dec 93 10:48:17 EST

I may just be blind, but I don't see a place in the HTML spec which
describes what is supposed to happen to special characters inside quoted
strings. Consider an HTML statement such as:

<form method=post action="/htbin-post/banner hello > foobar">
...form goes here

My question relates to how the i/o redirection character (or any special
character) is to be treated when used within quotes inside of a standard
HTML directive. Should special characters be completely protected when
quoted inside of a directive?? Does it make sense to specify that escapes
such as &gt; be used within quoted strings? Where should this go in the
spec? (I looked for it, and can't find it - please point me there if I
missed it.

On a related note, the above question was generated by some strange
behavior I discovered in the following abuse of NCSA httpd, and X Mosaic:

HTML file:
<inc srv "|echo Backslash escapes:">
<inc srv "| echo greater than: \>">
<inc srv "| echo less than: \<">
<inc srv "|echo HTML amper/semi escapes:">
<inc srv "| echo greater than: &gt;">
<inc srv "| echo less than: &lt;">

Source received by X Mosaic:
Backslash escapes:

greater than:
less than: <
HTML amper/semi escapes:

greater than:

less than:


A few questions:

1) Why are extra newlines generated after each <inc srv "|blah">

2) Why doesn't \> work when \< seems to.

3) Does this happen only to me?

I am using XMosaic 2.0 and httpd 1.0a5 under AIX 3.2.4.

-- Bryan Cheung