Re: Toward Closure on HTML

Rob Raisch, The Internet Company (
Thu, 7 Apr 1994 10:18:40 -0700 (PDT)

Dave, that may be correct in principle, but in real life it opens a
rather nasty can of worms. (Re: <p>Text -- infering or assuming the
missing </p> endtag)

When we get to a point where we support stylesheets (PLEASE!) it is of
extreme importance to consider <p></p> a container. Without this, it is
not possible to assign stylistic attributes to a contained element.

Current practice suggests that <p> is not a container at all, it is a
logical break -- or it is considered as a container with no contents. This
is the behavior of available browsers, as I understand them.

This is text with no container. (1)
Perhaps this is text in a <p> container. (2)
Hmmm... no </p> associated with the previous <p>! Do we assume that there
was to be one, or do we treat <p> as a break? (3)

The principles behind SGML -- and by its lineage, HTML -- are to markup
the structure of the document.

In the previous example, what is the text associated with (1)? It is
<body> text or <p> text? And if we build stylesheets which allow logical
elements within the document to have their own stylistic "hints", which do
we apply to (1)?

Inquiring minds want to know.

-- </rr> Rob Raisch, The Internet Company