[whatwg] Proposal: Change HTML spec to allow any arbitrary value for the <meta> "name" attribute

Smylers Smylers at stripey.com
Tue Jun 4 02:08:45 PDT 2013

Michael[tm] Smith writes:

> Speaking from my perspective as a contributor to development of a
> conformance checker: In practice, we receive a lot of comments and bug
> reports from confused/frustrated users who are trying to use values
> for meta at name that are not registered.

Hi Mike. Thanks for sharing your wisdom on this.

Could you give some examples of the kinds of <meta> names people are

And do you have an idea which user-agents are acting on those names?

I'm interested in whether the <meta> tags people are using are
meaningless cruft or have useful effects in niche fields.

> And as far as the strategy of trying to use the spec and Wiki page as
> a means to educate them about trying to taking the time to register
> meta at name values and only use registered values and standard values
> (those listed in the spec), well, that strategy is not working well.
> They just want the validator to shut up.

How about a validator interface along the lines of:

  I see you've used a <meta name=kapow> tag. kapow isn't a <meta> name
  that I know about. Are you sure that it's a correct name, and that
  it's doing something useful in your document?

  If so, please tell me its purpose here, then I'll know what it's for
  and I won't complain about it again: ______________________________

Then the validator could add a wiki entry for it.


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