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Re: Subversion HTML pages are invalid.

From: Max Bowsher <maxb_at_ukf.net>
Date: 2004-12-10 20:59:50 CET

Noah Slater wrote:
> Hello,
> If I take a vanila page served by svn and add a DOCTYPE specifying
> HTML 4.01 Strict we get the following document:
> ---------------------------------------
> "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
> <html>
> <head><title>Revision 9114: /</title></head>
> <body>
> <h2>Revision 9114: /</h2>
> <ul>
> <li>branches/</li>
> <li>trunk/</li>
> </ul>
> <hr noshade><em>Powered by <a
> href="http://subversion.tigris.org/">Subversion</a> version 1.1.1
> (r11581).</em>
> </body></html>
> ---------------------------------------
> I chose to use HTML 4.01 for the reasons I specifide in my previous
> email. I chose the Strict DOCTYPE because in a simple situation like
> this there realy is no excuse not doing.

In general, I'm content with "Transitional", for cases where a minimal
amount of style information is to be conveyed using legacy means. On the
other hand given that the sole Transitional element in use is <hr noshade>
Which renders _almost_ indistinguishably from a plain <hr> in my Mozilla and
IE, I think we should sacrifice the noshade for the sake of standards -
especially since the usual Apache signature footers use plain <hr>.

> The main thrust of my initial email was the inclusion of a DOCTYPE and
> the migration to HTML 4.01, but if I am being pedantic there are also
> a fair few errors or inconsistances in even this simple document. I
> shall list them below.
> Firslt, there is no character encoding specified in the document. This
> could, perhaps, be handled by the webserver - but it doesn't hurt to
> include it here. If the webserver is not specifiying character
> encoding it most definately must be included as close to the top of
> the document as possible due to the fact user-agents scan documents
> for the character encoding before returning to the start of the file
> to parse from the begining having assertained the correct encoding.

mod_dav_svn will always provide charset=UTF-8 in the headers for HTML
Therefore, I don't think there is any reason to duplicate the information.

> We then come across the <hr noshade> tag. The "noshade" attribute is
> not a valid attribute and should be removed. Even if it was a valid
> attribute it would be for presentational purposes and hence would have
> no place within the body. The correct place for such presentation
> element is an inline/external stylesheet.

I ended up responding to this as part of the Strict/Transitional issue
above, so I have nothing more to add here.

> Later down an <em> tag is opened without an initial <p> tag. You can
> only apply an inline element such asemphasis to text which is a child
> of some other block level element such as a paragraph.

True, will fix.

> Moving on to non-errors, we have all documents started with a <h2>
> element. This doesn't make any sence since header elements are suposed
> to apear in the document in a logical heirarchical order. As such, the
> first header of a document should always be <h1>.

The standard merely says "Some people consider". I think that <h2> is
generally rendered in a more appropriate size, and don't see anything wrong
with exploiting this.

> There is also a link to the Subversion website at the bottom of all
> pages and it might be a semantic boost if this link had an apropriate
> "title" attribute.

I don't see what a title could usefully say.

> The head section of the document could also be imporved by providing
> some meta information such "rel" links for "next" "previous" and "up"
> links etc. I shall quote from "HTML Techniques for Web Content
> Accessibility Guidelines 1.0" published by the W3C
> (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/):
> "Content developers should use the LINK element and link types (refer
> to [HTML4], section 6.12) to describe document navigation mechanisms
> and organization. Some user agents may synthesize navigation tools or
> allow ordered printing of a set of documents based on such markup.
> The following LINK elements might be included in the head of chapter 2
> of a book:
> <LINK rel="Next" href="chapter3">
> <LINK rel="Prev" href="chapter1">
> <LINK rel="Start" href="cover">
> "

We are talking about directory listings - not a book.

> One final thing that could be added is the language attribute for the
> last (to be) paragraph. Something along the lines of lang="en" would
> work.

IMO, overkill.


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Received on Fri Dec 10 21:02:28 2004

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