SHORTTAG NET (was: [whatwg] [web-apps] Some comments)

Ian Hickson ian at
Tue Aug 24 02:00:37 PDT 2004

On Tue, 24 Aug 2004, Lachlan Hunt wrote:
> Ian Hickson wrote:
> > On Fri, 6 Aug 2004, Anne van Kesteren wrote:
> > > Maybe other things should be added as well. Example: UAs should 
> > > render |<br />| as |<br>| and not as |<br>\n&gt;|.
> > 
> > Sending the XML variant of Web Apps or Web Forms as text/html is 
> > invalid anyway, so we don't need to define that particularly IMHO. In 
> > fact frankly I'd rather we supported <foo//.
> Would it be at all possible to have this SHORTTAG feature implemented in 
> UAs these days? I realise it would cause many XHTML documents to render 
> incorrectly, but wouldn't it be possible to extend DOCTYPE sniffing to 
> enable this feature if a WHATWG doctype, or even HTML4 Strict doctype 
> were detected? Or, are there already too many documents that use XML 
> syntax but having declared an HTML4 doctype, thus causing far more 
> problems than benfits?

Too many documents of all kinds use the XHTML syntax, sadly. Mozilla, 
several _years_ ago, used to parse <foo/> in HTML as <foo></foo>. Even 
then (we're talking like 2000 or something) it was so common to find pages 
with that kind of markup that Mozilla had to stop doing it. Now it's bound 
to be an even worse problem.

It's a lost battle, sadly. That's why fantasai turned off SHORTTAG NET in 
the SGML declaration for WHATWG.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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