Can Either of These be Legal HTML?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by OccasionalFlyer, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. I'm trying to work with some HTML generated by a Middleware tool and
    frankly, both look illegal to me. Assuming (perhaps a dangerous thing
    to do) that the tool is creating something valid, what would these two
    lines mean?

    I know what the "individuals.CS..." is. That's what's called a profile
    field by the tool I'm using, and it would resolve to a value a user
    typed in previously, if the user has been at this page beforehand.
    Otherwise, the value would be empty. It's what's around this field
    that I don't get.

    <OPTION {Individuals.CS-Appl Academic.Program_1_Nm Default:SELECTED}
    VALUE="1">Choose A Program</OPTION>

    I can't find any evidnece that you can put a variable in an OPTION
    tag, nor that you can surround anything in a form element with {}.

    Then there's this one:

    <OPTION <pstag:profile default="SELECTED" pmatch="1"
    value="Individuals.CS-Appl Academic.Admit_Type" poutput="SELECTED" />
    VALUE="1"><Choose Admit Type></OPTION>

    This has too many <> pairs I think, and I don't get the ps:tag with
    parameters syntax at all. Plus, you can't have two VALUE fields in an
    option element.

    Do either of these make sense? Thanks.

    Ken
    OccasionalFlyer, Jul 2, 2008
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Guy Macon wrote:
    > Two bits of good advice:
    >
    > [1] Don't guess whether your HTML is legal.
    > Test it. [ http://validator.w3.org/ ]
    >
    > [2] When asking questions in alt.html, provide a URL
    > to an entire page, not just a small snippet of HTML.
    >
    >

    Why does he need a URL to an entire page to ask if a particular
    construction is proper HTML? He isn't asking why his page doesn't work.
    He isn't even claiming to have a page.
    Harlan Messinger, Jul 3, 2008
    #2
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  3. OccasionalFlyer

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On 2 Jul, 22:57, OccasionalFlyer <> wrote:
    > I'm trying to work with some HTML generated by a Middleware tool


    Don't use HTML through middleware. This really is the place where XML
    & XHTML start to make sense instead.

    Most XML-claiming middleware tools use 3rd party XML tools (DOMs,
    parsers) and so they always work with reliably well-formed XML. It
    just works - of the things that go wrong, XML encoding isn't one.
    (Although

    There are almost no middleware tools that use HTML is an SGML-aware
    manner. Those that try are almost all handling it as strings, with
    code written per-tool, and they're unstable and prone to subtle
    errors. It's a snake-pit. When you find a bug, it's just as likely to
    be because the low-level SGML encoding has gone weird (as here), as it
    is to be a useful or interesting appication-level problem.

    Remember that the last (NB _last_) step of a web publishing process
    should often be to transform internal XML/XHTML into HTML 4.01 for
    best publishing compatibility.

    If you _must_ handle HTML internally, it's usually best to do this
    dump and simply - entity encode the lot ( "<" => "&lt;"), then treat
    it as a string.

    > Do either of these make sense?


    No. They aren't valid HTML, because they're not even well-formed SGML.
    Errors at this level are a real pain to work with - you can't run a
    sensible parser over the content as it will just reject it, and you
    don't want to get involved in regex-level string-snipping to deal with
    it yourself (that way lies madness).

    It's impossible to comment further without knowing more context, but
    this generally makes me abandon that middleware product as being too
    broken for worthwhile use.
    Andy Dingley, Jul 3, 2008
    #3
  4. Scripsit Harlan Messinger:

    > Why does he need a URL to an entire page to ask if a particular
    > construction is proper HTML?


    People who understand HTML (as well as the ways in which people learn
    HTML, or - more often - fail to learn HTML) know the reason(s). People
    who don't should just believe what experts say.

    --
    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jul 3, 2008
    #4
  5. On Jul 3, 9:03 am, "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote:
    > Scripsit Harlan Messinger:
    >
    > > Why does he need a URL to an entire page to ask if a particular
    > > construction is proper HTML?

    >
    > People who understand HTML (as well as the ways in which people learn
    > HTML, or - more often - fail to learn HTML) know the reason(s). People
    > who don't should just believe what experts say.
    >
    > --
    > Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/


    If I had a working page that existed in some place that you could see
    it, I would. I did not want to go into the gory details but here
    goes, since you've raised this issue in this way. My university (I am
    a programmer on staff, not a student) has purchased a boatload of
    PeopleSoft modules. One of them is CRM. CRM has a "Document Designer"
    that produces primitive HTML, if you are willing to live with a page
    that contains no branding or style of any kind. We are still at the
    development stage with this product. I don't even have a "working"
    web page for people here to see, as I'm working through other issues
    of having this new, humungous product that won't even let you see what
    it is doing with form parameters. The only way to add branding, a
    stylesheet, etc. to the "page" is to export it and modify it in an
    editor outside of CRM. So I exported it and brought it up in Firefox
    just to see what it looked like now. I saw really weird junk in the
    two fileds I posted HTML for. I knew that whatever was there was
    probably not legal, but since I'm much more comfortable in Java (not
    JavaScript) than HTML, I wanted to be sure that there wasn't something
    I've been unable to find out about the OPTION element or about using
    some product-specific tag inside of an HTML element, e.g., ps:tag,
    before I rewrite the HTML the way I think it needs to be. If you
    really want all the HTML for the page I can provide that, but it won't
    be very useful I expect.

    Ken
    OccasionalFlyer, Jul 3, 2008
    #5
  6. Scripsit OccasionalFlyer:

    > I saw really weird junk in the two fileds I posted HTML for.


    It wasn't HTML. That's one of the reasons why URLs rock.

    If you look at a _file_ in a publishing or management system, it may
    contain HTML tags, but there is no guarantee that it is even meant to be
    HTML. Instead, the system is supposed to generate an HTML document from
    it by applying some rules. The result might be invalid or otherwise
    wrong or poor, but that's a different issue, and we haven't seen even a
    glimpse of it.

    --
    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jul 3, 2008
    #6
  7. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > Scripsit Harlan Messinger:
    >
    >> Why does he need a URL to an entire page to ask if a particular
    >> construction is proper HTML?

    >
    > People who understand HTML (as well as the ways in which people learn
    > HTML, or - more often - fail to learn HTML) know the reason(s). People
    > who don't should just believe what experts say.


    That makes no sense.
    Harlan Messinger, Jul 4, 2008
    #7
  8. Guy Macon wrote:
    > Harlan Messinger wrote:
    >
    >> Why does he need a URL to an entire page to ask if a particular
    >> construction is proper HTML? He isn't asking why his page doesn't work.
    >> He isn't even claiming to have a page.

    >
    > He needs to show the entire page because the parts he didn't
    > show can determine whether his HTML is correct. If the
    > first line is
    >
    > <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
    >
    > the answer as to what is and isn't valid HTML won't
    > be the same as it would be if the first line was
    >
    > <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">


    If someone asked a question about the legality of a particular play in
    football/soccer ("Can the goalie do such-and-such?"), if the answer
    depends on the league and/or tournament in which a match is being
    played, then an appropriate reply would be, "It depends on the league
    and/or tournament". "Post a video of an entire match from beginning to
    end" would be a pointless reply.
    Harlan Messinger, Jul 4, 2008
    #8
  9. OccasionalFlyer

    dorayme Guest

    In article <>,
    mbstevens <> wrote:

    > On Thu, 03 Jul 2008 20:26:18 -0400, el Harlan Messinger punched in:
    >
    > > Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > >> Scripsit Harlan Messinger:
    > >>
    > >>> Why does he need a URL to an entire page to ask if a particular
    > >>> construction is proper HTML?
    > >>
    > >> People who understand HTML (as well as the ways in which people learn
    > >> HTML, or - more often - fail to learn HTML) know the reason(s). People
    > >> who don't should just believe what experts say.

    > >
    > > That makes no sense.

    >
    > Substituting 'God' for 'HTML' --
    > guys who wear their collar
    > backward talk exactly like that.


    Did you say collar back to front?

    <http://dorayme.890m.com/jokes/priestCollar.html>

    --
    dorayme
    dorayme, Jul 4, 2008
    #9
  10. OccasionalFlyer

    dorayme Guest

    In article <>,
    mbstevens <> wrote:

    > On Fri, 04 Jul 2008 11:43:48 +1000, el dorayme punched in:
    >
    > > Did you say collar back to front?
    > >
    > > <http://dorayme.890m.com/jokes/priestCollar.html>

    >
    > <G> -- Speaking of back-collar dudes,
    > I believe Sirens was filmed in your back yard.



    Has an Australian model in it, Elle Macpherson, she is known here as The
    Body. I am not sure she can act?


    > Please post pictures.


    You are, of course, referring to Norman Lindsay, our famous artiste. I
    know him best from having read aloud (as many times as I could corner a
    child - usually my own - to listen to it,) The Magic Pudding, which he
    illustrated:

    <http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f9/The_Magic_Pudding.jpg>

    --
    dorayme
    dorayme, Jul 4, 2008
    #10
  11. Guy Macon wrote:
    > Harlan Messinger wrote:
    >> Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Harlan Messinger wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Why does he need a URL to an entire page to ask if a particular
    >>>> construction is proper HTML? He isn't asking why his page doesn't work.
    >>>> He isn't even claiming to have a page.
    >>> He needs to show the entire page because the parts he didn't
    >>> show can determine whether his HTML is correct. If the
    >>> first line is
    >>>
    >>> <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML 2.0//EN">
    >>>
    >>> the answer as to what is and isn't valid HTML won't
    >>> be the same as it would be if the first line was
    >>>
    >>> <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">

    >> If someone asked a question about the legality of a particular play in
    >> football/soccer ("Can the goalie do such-and-such?"), if the answer
    >> depends on the league and/or tournament in which a match is being
    >> played, then an appropriate reply would be, "It depends on the league
    >> and/or tournament". "Post a video of an entire match from beginning to
    >> end" would be a pointless reply.

    >
    > When asking for free help from known experts, refusing to give those
    > experts what they say they need in order to help you may give you a
    > sense of self rightiousness, but it won't get you any help.


    I didn't say anything about refusing to give "known experts" what they
    say they need in order to help. I'm talking about experts (whether
    genuine or self-styled) who decide to make innocent people jump through
    hoops that are unnecessary to answer their particular question because
    it makes them feel important. (Are you saying you ARE the kind of person
    who would ask the person with the football question for a video of an
    entire match?)

    > Please read [ www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html ].


    I have no need to read this, and I know perfectly well that when the
    question being asked by a user is along the lines of "Why won't my page
    work?", it's advisable for the user to give a URL for the page instead
    of assuming a priori that the problem lies within one tiny snippet of
    code that he chooses to paste into his question. This isn't one of those
    cases.
    Harlan Messinger, Jul 4, 2008
    #11
  12. Scripsit Harlan Messinger:

    >> People who understand HTML (as well as the ways in which people learn
    >> HTML, or - more often - fail to learn HTML) know the reason(s).
    >> People who don't should just believe what experts say.

    >
    > That makes no sense.


    Nobody expected you to make any sense of it. After all, you haven't had
    anythinh to say on HTML for a long time.

    --
    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jul 4, 2008
    #12
  13. Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
    > Scripsit Harlan Messinger:
    >
    >>> People who understand HTML (as well as the ways in which people learn
    >>> HTML, or - more often - fail to learn HTML) know the reason(s).
    >>> People who don't should just believe what experts say.

    >>
    >> That makes no sense.

    >
    > Nobody expected you to make any sense of it. After all, you haven't had
    > anythinh to say on HTML for a long time.


    You seem to think that compared with everything else in human knowledge,
    HTML is some deep and special mystery that involves its own rituals and
    calls for its own kabbalistic treatment, and I guess that makes you feel
    special, but, hey, guess what? I do know HTML, not as exhaustively as
    you do but pretty darn well, I work with it almost every day regardless
    of whether I show it off here, I understand the importance of using it
    properly ... and I'm not buying your BS. Your remark makes no more sense
    with respect to HTML than it does to any other topic.
    Harlan Messinger, Jul 4, 2008
    #13
  14. Guy Macon wrote:
    > Harlan Messinger wrote:
    >
    >> Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/> wrote:
    >>
    >>> When asking for free help from known experts, refusing to give those
    >>> experts what they say they need in order to help you may give you a
    >>> sense of self rightiousness, but it won't get you any help.

    >> I didn't say anything about refusing to give "known experts" what they
    >> say they need in order to help. I'm talking about experts (whether
    >> genuine or self-styled) who decide to make innocent people jump through
    >> hoops that are unnecessary to answer their particular question because
    >> it makes them feel important.

    >
    > The two statements are equivalent. All you did was reword the first
    > statement to contain an assertion that you know better than the
    > person who has the answers what he needs in order to answer. You
    > may very well be correct, but that doesn't matter because you aren't
    > the one offering free help, and thus your opinions abot what the
    > person who is offering the free help needs do not matter.


    Uh, yeah, I know that if the answer to a particular question (as in the
    case of the OP's question) doesn't depend on knowing the document type,
    then I know that a person who offers to answer the question doesn't need
    to know the document type in order to answer it. In fact, if *you* think
    you needed to know the document type in order to answer his question,
    then it follows that you really don't know the correct answer to his
    question.

    >> (Are you saying you ARE the kind of person who would ask the
    >> person with the football question for a video of an entire match?)

    >
    > Yes! Assuming that I don't know the answer, that someone who
    > I know to be an expert does know the answer, that the expert
    > is willing to answer for free,


    ROFL. I'm dying to know what "for free" has to do with what information
    is required to answer the question. If someone pays you, you suddenly
    need less information in order to come up with the same answer? Remarkable.

    It's funny--you're discussing this in terms of such things as "the
    information we need" and "a URL" and "for free", which all come out of
    guides to asking questions on Usenet that I've read before and which, in
    the context in which they're used, make sense. I get the impression
    you've read all this too, but missynthesized it, and now you're spitting
    out these catchphrases like context-independent incantations, not
    noticing that they aren't applicable in the situation to which you're
    applying them.

    For example, there's the "for free" part. Where "for free" comes into it
    is when a person asking a question is well advised to realize that he
    can't take getting correct information for granted and has no recourse
    if he's dissatisfied with the responses. It probably also means that a
    person on the answering side who wants to be a jerk, has the right to be
    a jerk and the OP has no recourse in that case. Nevertheless, not
    getting paid doesn't mean the jerk isn't a jerk.
    Harlan Messinger, Jul 4, 2008
    #14
  15. OccasionalFlyer

    dorayme Guest

    In article <>,
    Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/> wrote:

    > that the expert
    > is willing to answer for free


    Those who most use the phrase 'for free' in dispensing their services
    are often the ones that exact severe non-monetary payments, sometimes
    without good reason, often for the sheer pleasure of bullying, often as
    a gauche demonstration of their superiority, and almost always to make
    sure they get more than the simple pleasure of helping someone for its
    own sake.

    --
    dorayme
    dorayme, Jul 5, 2008
    #15
  16. wayne wrote:
    > Harlan Messinger wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> For example, there's the "for free" part. Where "for free" comes into
    >> it is when a person asking a question is well advised to realize that
    >> he can't take getting correct information for granted and has no
    >> recourse if he's dissatisfied with the responses. It probably also
    >> means that a person on the answering side who wants to be a jerk, has
    >> the right to be a jerk and the OP has no recourse in that case.
    >> Nevertheless, not getting paid doesn't mean the jerk isn't a jerk.

    >
    > Has it occurred to you that if a person is being paid to do a job, the
    > onus is on that person to work to arrive at the solution, i.e.
    > specifically ask/find by other methods the data required for a solution?
    > Without having the necessary data, one can only guess at a solution.
    >
    > One giving "free information" should not be subjected to extra work.


    One who isn't paid shouldn't be subject to having to give a response at
    all. Anyone who gives a response in that situation is volunteering. But
    if you "volunteer", but act like a jerk while "volunteering", by
    subjecting the *questioner* to unnecessary work because of the sense of
    power it gives you, then you're a jerk.


    > Indeed, if there is extra work performed, it should be the OP, whether
    > by providing the data or learning HTML and finding his/her own solution.


    Wow, even if the work is unnecessary or irrelevant to the question? It
    must give you such a great sense of power to coerce people into
    pointless exercises to get a question answered. Look, if you don't want
    to answer, don't answer.

    > I personally admire those who spend so much of their time providing help
    > to others.


    Even when they're jerks about it?

    > By providing them with a url up front, less of their time is
    > needed trying to get the data needed for a correct answer so they can
    > help others too with that time.


    Only in those cases where the URL is relevant.
    Harlan Messinger, Jul 5, 2008
    #16
  17. Scripsit Sherman Pendley:

    > The OP asked if this is legal HTML:
    >
    > <OPTION <pstag:profile default="SELECTED" pmatch="1"
    > value="Individuals.CS-Appl Academic.Admit_Type" poutput="SELECTED" />
    > VALUE="1"><Choose Admit Type></OPTION>
    >
    > How much more information does one need to answer the question?


    Quite a lot, really. To begin with, what does "legal HTML" _mean_
    (generally or to the OP)? Which jurisdiction shall be applied?

    > It's not legal HTML, and never has been for *any* HTML DTD.


    What do DTDs have to do with legality?

    Anyway, the following document was "legal HTML" before HTML 2.0 (before
    people even nominally considered DTDs in the HTML context):

    <TITLE>DEMO</TITLE>
    <PLAINTEXT>
    <OPTION <pstag:profile default="SELECTED" pmatch="1"
    value="Individuals.CS-Appl Academic.Admit_Type" poutput="SELECTED" />
    VALUE="1"><Choose Admit Type></OPTION>

    And you can check and see that modern browsers still render it the
    intended way.

    As so often, the OP's question wasn't the one that needed an answer. We
    don't know what the real problem is, but we might get closer if we asked
    why he wondered whether something is "legal HTML" when it apparently
    isn't HTML at all and isn't meant to be treated as HTML.

    And, of course, a URL would have been essential too. In fact, if the OP
    had considered providing a URL, he might have found the answer without
    posting anything...

    --
    Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Jukka K. Korpela, Jul 5, 2008
    #17
  18. OccasionalFlyer

    dorayme Guest

    In article <>,
    wayne <> wrote:

    > One giving "free information" should not be subjected to extra work.
    > Indeed, if there is extra work performed, it should be the OP, whether
    > by providing the data or learning HTML and finding his/her own solution.
    >
    > I personally admire those who spend so much of their time providing help
    > to others. By providing them with a url up front, less of their time is
    > needed trying to get the data needed for a correct answer so they can
    > help others too with that time.


    Sunday sermon.

    Now and then it is interesting when the helper has to try to imagine the
    problem of the helpee, it gives breathing room to get off the rails and
    do a bit of exploration. You see, it is even nicer for the helper to get
    something more out of the exchange than the satisfaction of helping one
    individual. And by having to imagine an interesting problem that might
    be meant, rather than a ho hum one on the usual railway track, the
    helper now and then turns up something more interesting for more people.

    A truly imaginative helpee should therefore be a bit obscure in order to
    help the helper help the helpee and at the same time help himself or
    herself and others to explore ...

    Look, I won't describe this process at length except to say that in the
    end it will bring us all together like Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice -
    except that the names will be more like Korpela, Bergamot, Stuckle and
    Newbury; there they will be, all a huggin' and kissin' and letting all
    that angst ebb away...

    --
    dorayme
    dorayme, Jul 5, 2008
    #18
  19. OccasionalFlyer

    dorayme Guest

    In article <>,
    Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/> wrote:

    > If I am paying someone, I have paid for the right to tell them
    > "No, I don't agree that you need the information you say you need"
    > and still get an answer.


    When you say, pay a yearly subscription for help, I doubt if there is
    anything in the contract that says or implies this. In fact, I would
    have thought it was part of a paid contract that the helpee does not say
    stuff like this, any more than he pays for the right to blow raspberries
    in the face of the poor helper.

    It is a common misconception that money and power sanction one to behave
    badly. It allows one to do this, but allow and sanction are different.


    > If you want free help, you need to give the
    > helper what he says he needs or do without the help.


    It depends. On

    1. how strange the stranger helper is.
    2. how articulate or competent the helpee is
    3. how much the helper himself is prepared to go the extra mile to help
    others

    On this fine Sunday morning, I say to you, life is more complicated than
    you imagine. <g>

    --
    dorayme
    dorayme, Jul 5, 2008
    #19
  20. OccasionalFlyer

    dorayme Guest

    In article <>,
    Guy Macon <http://www.GuyMacon.com/> wrote:

    > dorayme wrote:
    >
    > >Those who most use the phrase 'for free' in dispensing their services
    > >are often the ones that exact severe non-monetary payments, sometimes
    > >without good reason, often for the sheer pleasure of bullying, often as
    > >a gauche demonstration of their superiority, and almost always to make
    > >sure they get more than the simple pleasure of helping someone for its
    > >own sake.

    >
    > That is true in some cases, and in such cases your choice is to
    > pay the price or do without.
    >
    > There is, however, another class of cases, where the person who
    > needs the help only *thinks* he knows better than the person
    > offering the help what the person offering the help needs to
    > know. If he is such an expert at knowing what is needed to
    > arrive at the answer, why doesn't he simply answer it himself?
    > In this second case, your choice is still the same; pay the
    > price or do without.


    Yes, I know this one but it is not quite right. There is a third choice
    and you might understand it by reflecting on the surprisingly optimistic
    and uplifting expectations we have of others. It is a difficult idea to
    grasp I guess.

    Perhaps you might start to see it in dramatic cases: a mate has fallen
    to a bullet in a battle, he is suffering badly, he asks for impossible
    things from you. You oblige as best as you can, no matter how
    unreasonable. There is no money involved.

    OK, he is a mate, but even if not and merely 'on the same side', the
    same thing goes.

    OK, he is not even 'on the same side', still the same thing might go, he
    appeals to you as a human being.

    Starting to get the idea?

    No? The idea is that people do look to others for help without having
    special obligations to them.

    I expect you will simply dismiss these thoughts as being too dramatic.
    Pity, because in these thoughts lies a complication at the heart of
    human relations that you are missing.

    --
    dorayme
    dorayme, Jul 6, 2008
    #20
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