[whatwg] 'Main Part of the Content' Idiom

bjartur svartman95 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 4 13:36:35 PDT 2010

On 2010-06-04 rescator at emsai.net wrote:
>On 2010-06-04 22:03, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:
>> No browser depends on you using the<body>  element explicitly.  It's
>> perfectly fine to write your document like this:
>> <!doctype html>
>> <title>Test</title>
>> <style>
>>    aside {border:1px solid #bf0000;white-space:nowrap;}
>> </style>
>> <aside>
>>    Just testing aside outside body!
>> </aside>
>> <article>
>>    Main part of article.
>> </article>
>> The<title>  and<style>  get auto-wrapped in a<head>, the<aside>  and
>> <article>  get auto-wrapped in a<body>, and the whole thing below the
>> doctype gets auto-wrapped in an<html>.
>Hmm! Intriguing. That is way cleaner than the "container" wrappers.
>What browsers/engines behaves like that?
>Does all HTML 4.01+ compliant browsers behave like this?
As I understand it the opening and closing tags of the <html>, <head> and
<body> elements are optional so that whenever content that belongs in
one of those elements (such as text) is encountered it's automatically
opened. Same as <p> elements get closed when block content is encountered
(in HTML 4 that is). This is fully specified and documented and is in the

This is valid HTML 4.

is in fact a valid HTML file with an empty <head>.

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