Re: Clarification requested for necessity of </A> (Yuri Rubinsky)
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 94 03:19:51 EDT
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From: (Yuri Rubinsky)
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Re:  Clarification requested for necessity of </A>
X-Listprocessor-Version: 6.0c -- ListProcessor by Anastasios Kotsikonas
X-Comment: HTML Working Group (Private)
Eric writes:

> Q: Is it <em>ever</em> legal to omit the </A> tag?
> It has been asserted that the following is legal HTML:
> <H1><A NAME="topofdocument">Welcome to the Top of the Document</H1>
> I disagree, and believe that the </A> should always be present.
> I checked our document, and it would appear that I am correct.
> Anyone care to clarify?

Certainly there are circumstances such as this example where a browser knows
it must end the <A> element (that is, it must imply a </A>). We've unfortunately
seen a number of examples where people do the following:

<LI> Here's a long list item with an <A NAME="whatever" HREF="wherever"> and a
phrase to click on which unfortunately never ends even though <EM>at some
point it becomes kind of obvious</EM> or not that sometime long ago they
probably intended for the anchor to end.

Accordingly, I'd suggest that people who are keying in raw HTML always be
expected to clearly, unambiguously indicate where the <A> ends. As SGML products
come along supporting HTML, they'll all have their own ways of making this
easier, either putting both start- and end-tag in at once, or implying the
end-tag whenever they can.

If users are expected to remember that in some circumstances they can omit
the end-tag, and others not, I think it gets too complicated for them.