Re: HTML spec. questions

James (
Sun, 9 Jan 1994 21:00:00 -0800 (PST)

On Sun, 9 Jan 1994, Kevin 'Kev' Hughes wrote:

> (James) Eric Tilton writes:
> > Following my comments on comp.infosystems.www about device-indpendent
> > HTML and the like, a number of people have suggested that what's needed
> > is a tool for the checking of HTML code for inconsistencies and bad
> > practices. To that end, I'm starting to work on "lint for the web" sort
> > of program.
> I think you could put in a user-defined flag, to see whether
> the program would collapse empty lines and remove empty spaces before
> lines.
> I'd like to know what's correct about paragraph breaks myself;
> "<pre>a line</pre>" puts a break at the end in Mosaic for X, but not
> MacMosaic; the same for ending header tags and list tags.

Also, I've noticed that <HR> doesn't always put white space before or
after itself. I'd like to suggest that all tags that imply a paragraph
break also imply white space before AND after themselves. I'd also like
to suggest that <HR> should officially imply a paragraph break, since it
effectively "breaks two sections of text that might otherwise flow

Out of curiosity, how up to date is the HTML spec at CERN? Is that the
canonical reference? If not, does such a thing exist? It seems like
such a thing is *really* important to have, especially with all these

> I'd like the program to traverse a directory tree and automagically
> fix the files, say replacing them and moving the original to
> "original.html.bak" or "original.html~" or some other user-defined suffix.
> Perhaps a "noclobber" option would be in order...
> ...and it would be great to be able to substitute strings, so when
> host names in URLs change, I could fix all my HTML documents in one
> swoop! Well, I don't want to sound pushy, but I've been wanting to do that
> for some time. Good luck and thanks for taking on the job!

Hmmmm. String substitution would be a useful feature... As for directory
traversal, I'll bear it in mind, but I won't commit to it yet. (If worse
comes to worse, you could use "find" to apply the checker to files in a
tree *ducking to avoid tomatoes* :) I think my first goal will be to write
some kind of reusable module/object that'll take in code and output
"correct" code (or warnings). Then this can be incorporated into other
things like web spiders or browsers, perhaps. I'll try and work up a
prototype in this next week or so, and see how it goes.


/ (James) Eric Tilton, Student AND Student Liaison, WITS \
\ Class of '95 - CS/Hist -- Internet - /
<a href="">ObHyPlan!</a>, chock fulla
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