[whatwg] Handling </br> in the "after head" insertion mode

Calogero Alex Baldacchino alex.baldacchino at email.it
Thu Dec 4 10:14:46 PST 2008

Tommy Thorsen ha scritto:
> For the record, the following markup:
> <!doctype html><body></br>
> results in:
> <html>
>    <head>
>    <body>
>       <br>
> with the current algorithm, because the "in body" insertion mode 
> treats </br> as if it was a <br>.
Maybe not fully in topic.

Section 4.5.3 says,

"|br| elements must be empty. Any content inside |br| elements must not 
be considered part of the surrounding text."

The first part is clearly an authoring rule. But the second part cannot 
be such as well clearly, because an author might feel that as a 
reference to a parsing rule discarding anything like <br>Something</br> 
(but it isn't). Yet, that can't be a parsing rule, since in contrast 
with the "in body" insertion mode (but not only that), which would turn 
it into <br>Something<br>, thus presenting the content to the end user 
(and obviously that's unlikely anyone visiting a web page would check 
the html code looking for content to ignore :-P). For the purpose of 
validation, the first part should be enough (that is, when a </br> end 
tag is found, an error may be prompted to the author). Perhaps, should 
the second sentence be modified with references to scripts (e.g. to tell 
it is wrong to use a br .innerHTML or .appendChild() to modify the 
document) and to styles (e.g. to tell it's wrong to expect any font 
property will affect the sorrounding text), to make it more clearly an 
authoring rule? Or perhaps changed into an exemple of bad markup? Or 
removed, if source of confusion with parsing rules?

Otherwise, I don't follow its meaning (perhaps I'm the only confused 
one). I mean, as far as I know, xml derived languages require a closing 
tag for every elements, while html has never had such requirements per 
se, but that's a matter of syntax, not semantics. And, semantically 
speaking, whatever (but a closing tag) follows an element which can't 
have children, in the markup, obviously consists of one or more siblings 
of such element, while its closing tag (again, that's syntax), if 
misplaced, or not provided for by syntax rules at all, causes a parse 
error (which may, or may not, be handled gracefully by the u.a., that's 
a matter of parsing rules). That is, declaring an element as "empty" 
should imply per se that the element cannot have any descendant, so its 
content is not... its content, but a syntax error. Perhaps, defining the 
empty content model such way might avoid misunderstandings. Or am I 
making some mistakes?

Best Regards, Alex.
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