Fate of <P> [Was: Toward Closure on HTML]

Daniel W. Connolly (connolly@hal.com)
Thu, 07 Apr 1994 10:30:05 -0500

In message <9404070808.AA24233@dragget.hpl.hp.com>, Dave Raggett writes:
>I would like to clear up a confusion that people seem to be
>having on paragraphs in html+.
>This is correct:
> <p>this is a paragraph.</p>
>But so is:
> <p>this is a paragraph.
> <p>and this is another one
> <p>and so is this
>SGML allows you to omit end tags when specified by the document type
>definition, as parsers can easily infer the end of the element. In this
>case the next <P> tag implies the end of the previous paragraph.

I suggest that even though this is doable, it is not consistent with
current practice -- and I'm not talking about technical matters here.
Much of the HTML documentation (NCSA's primer, CERN doc, etc.) says
that <P> is a paragraph separator, not a paragraph container. I think
this is the way 95% of the HTML authors see it in their heads.

I suggest HTML+ use a new name for this paragraph container element,
say PP. When folks mean paragraph separator, they can write <P>. When
they mean container, they can write <PP>.

We should introduce this element into HTML also. I think it's a
trivial change to Mosaic, lynx, etc. to introduce support for a PP

It's a bad thing to have the same name mean two different things in

>Browsers can go beyond the SGML standard and infer missing start tags
>as well, so the following illegal piece of html+
> <h1>A header</h1>
> followed by a paragraph.
>Gets interpreted by the browser as:
> <h1>A header</h1>
> <p>followed by a paragraph.

Is there a formal description of exactly what errors are handled by an
HTML+ implementation?