Re: Last call: Intro, SGML, MIME sections

lilley (
Fri, 5 May 95 07:01:28 EDT

Greg Kostello said:
> At 12:44 PM 5/4/95 EDT, Dan Connolly wrote:
> > writes:

> > > Given certain historical problems with P, I would be happier if the
> > > first occurence of P in an example in the standard showed a closing P tag
> > > somewhere.

> >I think you would be in the minority. </P> tends to send many folks
> >into a fit of rage, whereas the lack of </P> doesn't bother the folks
> >who grok P as a container. This is completely arbitrary, as far as I'm
> >concerned. Any other opinions?

Is this a technical discussion? Dan, lock your keyboard when you leave
your office; someone has sent mail purporting to come from you ;-)

The example does not mention </p> because it makes some people angry?
Come on.

> I'm probably in the same minority, but I thought I should voice my opinion
> as well.
> While I understand the reasoning behind why the </P> is optional, I think
> that novices to HTML are typically confused and view <P> as a separator i.e.
> they equate it with an "end of line" character and not as a beginning tag.
> By using the <P></P> paring, a paragraph becomes no different than any other
> element, and the ambiguity goes away.

I agree with this. When I teach people HTML, the first document I show them
has this format:

<p>More stuff</p>

So I talk about the title, and here we see the beginning and end tags.
And now we have a main heading, with the start and end tags. Lastly we
have a paragraph, and here are the start and end tags. No-one has ever
had a problem with this. Start them out right, and everything is fine.
You can get onto missing out tags later, once the basic concept has
sunk home.

I am aware that missing out the trailing </p> is correct SGML. I was
not speaking from an SGML viewpoint, but a pedagogical one. The first
example sets the tone, so the first example should have a </p>
prominently displayed.

Chris Lilley, Technical Author
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