Re: progress on HTML 2.0 reconstruction

Eric Bina (
Tue, 28 Mar 95 23:44:35 EST (Joe English) wrote:
>Paul Burchard <> wrote:
>> In Section 3.3, p.12, of HTML2
>> "Roy T. Fielding" <fielding@avron.ICS.UCI.EDU> writes:
>> >
>> > In the case of an unknown tag, both the start tag
>> > (including its entire attribute specification list)
>> > and matching end tag (if any) should be ignored and its
>> > content had.

>Couldn't this section just be removed?
>As I understand it, it only describes the
>recommended behaviour for browsers upon
>encountering invalid documents. Any smart
>browser implementor should be able to figure
>this out on their own.
>The presence of this section in the specification
>is widely interpreted by users as offering carte blanche
>to invent whatever new tags and attributes they feel like.
>How about: "In the case of an unknown tag, the
>results are undefined." That better reflects
>the true situation -- some browsers are known to do
>strange things with unknown tags, like making
>the content blink or centering it.
>Does the specification *really* need to say anything
>about what to do with illegal documents?

Well, while many of you perceive that this section has been
abused by Netscape additions, it also serves as a VERY valuable
way for all browsers to phase in new tags that are added in
later specs (such as HTML 3.0).

If this section was change to just say the behavior was undefined,
then I can easily see future browser developers programming to the
spec, and then being completely messed up when some tags from the
"next generation" spec come along.

Eric Bina