[whatwg] WA1: <meta> attribute requirements

fantasai fantasai.lists at inkedblade.net
Tue Jul 19 23:58:27 PDT 2005

Ian Hickson wrote:
> On Tue, 19 Jul 2005, Olav Junker Kjær wrote:
>>But the notion of conformance is still quite useful to authors and 
>>authoring tools. E.g. if a META-element without any attributes appears 
>>in a document, its clearly due to an oversight or a bug in some tool, so 
>>it would be useful to have a conformance checker or authoring tool flag 
>>this, even if a browsers will handle it somewhat gracefully (by ignoring 


> I agree that we need to make conformance checking useful, of course. I 
> disagree that a blank <meta/> is necessarily a problem. Maybe the author 
> wanted to add some attributes dynamically later. Maybe he wants the DOM of 
> all his pages to be equivalent and at that point in his pages there simply 
> is no metadata to give.


> The difficulty is in walking the fine line between useful and 
> over-constrained. For example, the fact that <ol></ol> is invalid in HTML4 
> is a real problem.

Agreed with the last paragraph.

One way of drawing the line might be, does dropping this requirement
result in a semantically-meaningful representation? An empty list
represents an empty list. But a <meta> without a 'name', or a <link>
without a 'href': these, per spec, represent nothing. They do not even
provide any structural semantics as <div> and <span> do; the document
has the same semantics as if the element did not exist.


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