[thelist] Valid form for meta tags?

David Dorward evolt at david.us-lot.org
Thu Jul 31 03:24:01 CDT 2003

On Wed, Jul 30, 2003 at 10:19:44 -0700, Edwin Horneij wrote:
> <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
> I am using the HTML 4.01 transitional doctype. When I run a page 
> through the W3C HTML validator it gives the error message "character 
> data is not allowed here", while seeming to indicate the forward slash 
> closing my meta tags. I don't get this error with tags like
> <br />
> so I am confused. The text of the error message says nothing to me, but 
> I suppose that just shows my ignorance. Are meta tags somehow special? 

<meta> tags are in the <head> section.

This has to to with what "<element />" action means in SGML, which is
different to what it means in HTML.

In XML, <element /> means <element></element>.

In SGML, <element /> means <element>> becuase the "/" ends the tag.

HTML 4.01 is SGML based, and while you are allowed to have ">"
characters in the body (where they will be displayed like 'a', 'b' and
'c'), they are not allowed in the <head> (and nor is 'a', 'b' or 'c')

Don't use XHTML syntax in an HTML document.

David Dorward                                     http://david.us-lot.org/
Which is stupider: Pop-up ads claiming they'll stop spam, or spam claiming
it'll stop pop-up ads?                                       -- Dork Tower

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