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Re: Preventing tags from collapsing

Subject: Re: Preventing tags from collapsing
From: David Carlisle <davidc@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 15:19:39 +0100
Re:  Preventing tags from collapsing
> (it's very intuitive to go looking for a switch to turn off the
> minimisation...)

Yes but in the case of minimising, or not, <textarea> at least the
setting of such a switch would produce something correct when viewed as
html or xhtml. What would worry me though is sending documents that
contained EMPTY elements such as <br/> or even <br /> with an html mime
type. There the / is a syntax error (or does entirely the wrong thing,
depending on exactly which SGML declaration for HTML you are using) so
basically you are _relying_ on non-existing error reporting by popular
browsers in order to send out bad html but have it display. (It may be
100% valid XHTML, but if you are sending it as HTML then it is just HTML
with syntax errors it seems to me.)

There are good reasons for browsers not reporting errors since the
reader may have no way of fixing the errors anyway, but I thought the
usual advice was to be strict in what you sent out and forgiving in what
you accepted. This advice seems to be warped in the case of (X)HTML
as HTML validity is so undervalued that it is acceptable (even the
W3C does it for their own pages) to send out invalid html so long as its
valid in some other language, and to rely on the browsers to be lax
enough not to report the syntax differences.


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