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RE: Forms


From: Jukka Korpela
Date: Nov 25, 2002 12:00AM

Philip Pawley wrote:

> This example shows how important it can be to include quotes
> around attribute values. The "/" in unquoted attributes are
> confusing the parser.

It is advisable to use quotes around attribute values, especially
if they contain characters like "/", but they don't really confuse
parsers - just people.

> <LINK href="Webmaster Survey_files/Forms.css"
> type=text/css rel=stylesheet>

A correct SGML parser, which is what (real) validators use,
will regard the second occurrence of "/" (outside quotes)
as terminating the tag. This may confuse the user of a validator,
but there is no confusion in the parser; it plays by the SGML
rules, nothing more, nothing less. For a detailed explanation,
see "The saga of the slashed validators",

Almost all browsers (I thinks Emacs w3 is the only exception
I have read about) fail to play by SGML rules and will treat
that "/" as just another data character, doing what the author
actually meant. No confusion.

Some modern browsers might obey XML rules, which are
greatly simplified versions of SGML rules, when fed with
documents purported to be XML, or more specifically XHTML.
In that case, that "/" would be taken as terminating the
tag, and the rest is just data.

This isn't specifically an accessibility issue. Rather, a matter
of normal robust authoring.

Jukka Korpela, senior adviser
TIEKE Finnish Information Society Development Centre
Diffuse Business Guide to Web Accessibility and Design for All:

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