Word and XML (was: XML standards coherency and so forth)

John Cowan cowan at locke.ccil.org
Mon Jan 25 18:43:18 GMT 1999

David LeBlanc wrote:

> I think HTML itself left the door open by allowing ommited tags. Wasn't it
> one goal of xml to close the loose idea of what what good markup is?

Actually, valid HTML has nothing loose about it.  It's the HTML
browsers which accept random valid or invalid HTML.  Tag omission
is a standardized part of HTML: for some elements you can omit
end-tags, for others you can't.  A few elements (HTML, HEAD, BODY,
TBODY in TABLEs) allow both start-tags and end-tags to be omitted;
i.e. they are present whether their tags are visible or not.

The real difference in this respect between HTML and XML is that
XML mandates draconian error processing (refusing to parse
un-well-formed documents), and that was put into the spec at
the demand of the major browser vendors, who were tired of playing
we-can-accept-more-bogus-HTML-than-you games.  (Source of this
statement: hearsay.)

John Cowan	http://www.ccil.org/~cowan		cowan at ccil.org
	You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
	You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
		Clear all so!  'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

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