Fate of <P> [Was: Toward Closure on HTML]

"Daniel W. Connolly" <connolly@hal.com>
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Date: Thu, 7 Apr 1994 17:38:42 --100
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From: "Daniel W. Connolly" <connolly@hal.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list <www-talk@www0.cern.ch>
Subject: Fate of <P> [Was: Toward Closure on HTML]
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In message <9404070808.AA24233@dragget.hpl.hp.com>, Dave Raggett writes:
>I would like to clear up a confusion that people seem to be
>having on paragraphs in html+.
>This is correct:
>        <p>this is a paragraph.</p>
>But so is:
>        <p>this is a paragraph.
>        <p>and this is another one
>        <p>and so is this
>SGML allows you to omit end tags when specified by the document type
>definition, as parsers can easily infer the end of the element. In this
>case the next <P> tag implies the end of the previous paragraph.

I suggest that even though this is doable, it is not consistent with
current practice -- and I'm not talking about technical matters here.
Much of the HTML documentation (NCSA's primer, CERN doc, etc.) says
that <P> is a paragraph separator, not a paragraph container. I think
this is the way 95% of the HTML authors see it in their heads.

I suggest HTML+ use a new name for this paragraph container element,
say PP. When folks mean paragraph separator, they can write <P>. When
they mean container, they can write <PP>.

We should introduce this element into HTML also. I think it's a
trivial change to Mosaic, lynx, etc. to introduce support for a PP

It's a bad thing to have the same name mean two different things in

>Browsers can go beyond the SGML standard and infer missing start tags
>as well, so the following illegal piece of html+
>        <h1>A header</h1>
>        followed by a paragraph.
>Gets interpreted by the browser as:
>        <h1>A header</h1>
>        <p>followed by a paragraph.

Is there a formal description of exactly what errors are handled by an
HTML+ implementation?