[whatwg] Allowing ">" in attribute values

Ashley Sheridan ash at ashleysheridan.co.uk
Thu Jun 24 09:08:51 PDT 2010

On Thu, 2010-06-24 at 09:01 -0700, Tab Atkins Jr. wrote:

> On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:20 AM, Benjamin M. Schwartz
> <bmschwar at fas.harvard.edu> wrote:
> > On 06/24/2010 11:04 AM, Kornel Lesinski wrote:
> >> If you mean "parsing" with regular expressions, then I think that's a bad practice and shouldn't be encouraged.
> >
> > Worldwide, regarding HTML, I'm sure there is 100 times more regular
> > expression processing code than full-on lexing code.  Most code that
> > processes HTML is embedded in scripts, doing some small special-purpose
> > operation.  Those regular expressions aren't going away.  Helping them
> > break less is a noble cause.
> Actually, if we could make regex-based "parsing" break more, it would
> probably be a net positive for the world.  Regexes are the source of
> so many holes in "validation"-type scripts.
> In any case, XML doesn't require > to be escaped in attribute values,
> and HTML doesn't appear to either.  In practice, > is used in
> attribute values, so declaring it verboten wouldn't be helpful.
> ~TJ

Just to point out, regex's aren't the problem, and people who are
blaming the issue on regular expressions are as bad as the people
writing the dodgy regex's. The problem is just badly written
expressions, not the tool itself. The same arguments are put forward by
people when regular expressions are suggested as a means to validate
email addresses. It's possible to do, but some people who write them
don't really think about the problem.

[/end rant]


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