Re: progress on HTML 2.0 reconstruction

Roy T. Fielding (fielding@avron.ICS.UCI.EDU)
Wed, 29 Mar 95 05:54:27 EST

Joe writes:

> What *could* a browser do with unrecognized elements, other
> than ignore them? Barf? That's not very robust. Flag
> them as an error? That might even be useful. Invoke a new
> experimental feature? That's been *demonstrated* to be
> useful.
> Ignoring unrecognized elements and attributes is clearly a
> good implementation strategy, and it is appropriate to
> assume that browsers are implemented this way when
> designing HTML extensions. However, a specification
> defining a *document format* has no business describing
> what implementations should do with documents that *do not
> conform* to that format.

Folks, the HTML 2.0 specification defines more than just a document
format -- it defines the text/html media type *and how a network
user agent should interpret that type*. Because 2.0 is the default
for text/html, it must specify the STANDARD behavior upon receipt
of unexpected information (as has always been the case for the Web).
That is why the aforementioned section is located under the section
about the Internet media type.

....Roy T. Fielding Department of ICS, University of California, Irvine USA