scripts and XHTML

Simon St.Laurent simonstl at
Fri Oct 15 18:46:36 BST 1999

Continuing the explorations I was making last night, this time for a 'ways to
abuse comments' section, I was working on a piece about the common use in HTML
of comments around the contents of SCRIPT elements. (It hides the content from
browsers that don't support scripts, basically.)

Here's an example HTML document that uses this convention:
<HEAD><TITLE>Generating Content - Or Not</TITLE></HEAD>
<SCRIPT LANGUAGE="JavaScript"><!--
document.writeln("<H1>Generated Content</H1>");
var todaysDate=new Date();
var message="<P>Welcome to " + (todaysDate.getMonth()+1) + "/" +
todaysDate.getDate() + "/" + todaysDate.getYear() + "!</P>"
<!-- // is used to hide the HTML comment closing from JavaScript-->

HTML 4.01 supports this convention - see 
XHTML 1.0 has nothing to say about this convention, even in its 'Script and
Style Elements' section ( where it
the use of CDATA sections to escape potentially difficult code.  Comments
appear not to be described at all, though they are used in examples.

I'd guess the convention has come to the end of the line, but it's not really
clear.  Thoughts?  Is the final final review period (after members have voted)
over yet?

Simon St.Laurent
XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
Building XML Applications
Inside XML DTDs: Scientific and Technical
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