Re: Toward Closure on HTML

Matt Timmermans/MSL (
Thu, 7 Apr 1994 12:06:11 -0400

[Daniel W. Connolly]
| Inferring </p> tags would be is easy. Well... at least the SGML
| standard says how to do it in a way that's consistent with current
| practice in HTML.
| It's the start tags (<p>) that cause trouble.

Currently in HTML, <p> tags represent divisions between paragraphs. This
implies that there is nothing that can occur before or after a paragraph that
could also occur within a paragraph.

Given these conditions, if the DTD were to be rewritten to use 'p' elements as
containers instead of divisions, it would be possible to specify BOTH the start
and end tags as omissible.

When parsing current HTML documents with the new DTD, an SGML parser would
usually infer the initial <p>, and infer a </p> before each explicit <p>.

The one exception is that leading empty paragraphs specified with a <p>
_immediately_ following the enclosing start tag would be ignored.


Matt Timmermans | Phone: +1 613 727-5696
Microstar Software Ltd. | Fax: +1 613 727-9491
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