[whatwg] HTML as a text format: Should <title> be optional?

Øistein E. Andersen liszt at coq.no
Sat Apr 18 04:54:28 PDT 2009

On 18 Apr 2009, at 00:02, Randy Drielinger wrote:

> If you're converting from a textfile, title could refer to the  
> filename.

It could, but chances are that the original filename would typically  
be less useful than the URL, which is what most browsers use when the  
<title> element is omitted, so this rather sounds like an argument  
against forcing authors to include a <title>.

On 18 Apr 2009, at 02:10, Michael Enright wrote:

> If you want a title, put a title element in.


> Is the concern about validation?

Yes, my concern is that a validator should be useful as an authoring  
tool and not overwhelm the author with spurious errors.  As I see it,  
leaving out <title> is very much like leaving out a paragraph of text  
and not something that should matter for validation.

> Could the validator's warning about missing doctype be taken as
> advisory? [...] It only affects the details of rendering (by turning  
> off quirks)

The doctype could technically be made optional in documents on which  
it has little or no impact (including in particular documents with no  
JavaScript, CSS or equivalent HTML attributes), but this would  
arguably add quite a bit of complexity and also make it slightly more  
difficult to add (certain classes of) CSS, since a doctype would have  
to be added to give the expected rendering (and for the document to  
remain conforming).

Øistein E. Andersen

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