<META NAME="TITLE" CONTENT="">

Discussion in 'HTML' started by terry, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. terry

    terry Guest

    Hello,

    Some websites put both of the following in the head of their web pages.
    Can someone explain the difference, if any?

    <META NAME="TITLE" CONTENT="">

    <TITLE></TITLE>

    Thanks,
    Terry
    terry, Feb 26, 2006
    #1
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  2. terry wrote:

    > Some websites put both of the following in the head of their web pages.
    > Can someone explain the difference, if any?


    > <META NAME="TITLE" CONTENT="">


    Generic meta data with no predefined meaning that seems entirely redundant
    as we have...

    > <TITLE></TITLE>


    .... an element especially for specifying the page title, which gets used by
    most user agents.

    --
    David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
    Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
    David Dorward, Feb 26, 2006
    #2
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  3. On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, David Dorward wrote:

    > > <TITLE></TITLE>

    ^^ btw. I'd recommend putting some content in here!

    > ... an element especially for specifying the page title, which gets
    > used by most user agents.


    Indeed, and every valid HTML page contains one of these in its head
    part.

    There are of course some good-practice recommendations in its use.
    Since it seems the questioner either hasn't found, or hasn't read, or
    hasn't understood, the relevant specification,

    http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/global.html#h-7.4.2

    I'd recommend that they peruse that first, and then ask any questions
    which arise from it.
    Alan J. Flavell, Feb 26, 2006
    #3
  4. terry

    terry Guest

    Alan J. Flavell wrote:
    > On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, David Dorward wrote:
    >
    >>> <TITLE></TITLE>

    > ^^ btw. I'd recommend putting some content in here!
    >
    >> ... an element especially for specifying the page title, which gets
    >> used by most user agents.

    >
    > Indeed, and every valid HTML page contains one of these in its head
    > part.
    >
    > There are of course some good-practice recommendations in its use.
    > Since it seems the questioner either hasn't found, or hasn't read, or
    > hasn't understood, the relevant specification,
    >
    > http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/global.html#h-7.4.2
    >
    > I'd recommend that they peruse that first, and then ask any questions
    > which arise from it.



    Thanks guys. I *think* I understand now. META NAME="TITLE" serves no
    purpose but we put it there anyway. I guess if it doesn't hurt, why not.

    Before posting my question I did read the page you recommended Alan but
    it makes no mention of META NAME="TITLE". It only talks about
    <TITLE></TITLE>. I Googled but didn't come across anything helpful.
    That's when I posted my question.

    Thanks for the help.
    Terry
    terry, Feb 26, 2006
    #4
  5. On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, terry wrote:

    > Before posting my question I did read the page you recommended Alan but


    Well, those who won't make it clear where they are starting from,
    mustn't be *too* surprised to be referred to places they've already
    been.

    > it makes no mention of META NAME="TITLE".


    Indirectly, it does.

    The META element can be used to identify properties of a document
    (e.g., author, expiration date, a list of key words, etc.) and assign
    values to those properties. This specification does not define a
    normative set of properties.

    In other words, META NAME="..." is a container for all kinds of stuff,
    but their usage isn't codified. It then goes on to say:

    Note. The META element is a generic mechanism for specifying meta
    data. However, some HTML elements and attributes already handle
    certain pieces of meta data and may be used by authors instead of
    META to specify those pieces: the TITLE element, the ADDRESS
    element, the INS and DEL elements, the title attribute, and the cite
    attribute.

    I'd say that was a hint that they were guiding readers towards using
    the purpose-designed <title> element - wouldn't you?

    As yet, no-one has suggested a reason to prefer the use of <meta
    name="title"...> , nor am I aware of one myself. I don't suppose it
    does any harm, other than cluttering up the document with extra stuff.
    But omitting the actual <title> element is not an option, if you want
    to write valid HTML - and there are quite a few practical benefits for
    getting that right (search engines, summaries, browser title bars -
    window and/or tab - bookmark titles etc...)

    have fun
    Alan J. Flavell, Feb 26, 2006
    #5
  6. terry

    terry Guest

    Alan J. Flavell wrote:
    > On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, terry wrote:
    >
    >> Before posting my question I did read the page you recommended Alan but

    >
    > Well, those who won't make it clear where they are starting from,
    > mustn't be *too* surprised to be referred to places they've already
    > been.
    >
    >> it makes no mention of META NAME="TITLE".

    >
    > Indirectly, it does.
    >
    > The META element can be used to identify properties of a document
    > (e.g., author, expiration date, a list of key words, etc.) and assign
    > values to those properties. This specification does not define a
    > normative set of properties.
    >
    > In other words, META NAME="..." is a container for all kinds of stuff,
    > but their usage isn't codified. It then goes on to say:
    >
    > Note. The META element is a generic mechanism for specifying meta
    > data. However, some HTML elements and attributes already handle
    > certain pieces of meta data and may be used by authors instead of
    > META to specify those pieces: the TITLE element, the ADDRESS
    > element, the INS and DEL elements, the title attribute, and the cite
    > attribute.
    >
    > I'd say that was a hint that they were guiding readers towards using
    > the purpose-designed <title> element - wouldn't you?
    >
    > As yet, no-one has suggested a reason to prefer the use of <meta
    > name="title"...> , nor am I aware of one myself. I don't suppose it
    > does any harm, other than cluttering up the document with extra stuff.
    > But omitting the actual <title> element is not an option, if you want
    > to write valid HTML - and there are quite a few practical benefits for
    > getting that right (search engines, summaries, browser title bars -
    > window and/or tab - bookmark titles etc...)
    >
    > have fun


    Thanks Alan! I appreciate the explanation. I do have a better
    understanding now.

    Terry
    terry, Feb 26, 2006
    #6
  7. terry

    Jim Higson Guest

    Alan J. Flavell wrote:

    > As yet, no-one has suggested a reason to prefer the use of <meta
    > name="title"...> , nor am I aware of one myself. I don't suppose it
    > does any harm, other than cluttering up the document with extra stuff.
    > But omitting the actual <title> element is not an option, if you want
    > to write valid HTML - and there are quite a few practical benefits for
    > getting that right (search engines, summaries, browser title bars -
    > window and/or tab - bookmark titles etc...)


    Zooming out a bit, is there a good reason to use *any* meta elements in
    documents for the public internet?

    It seems no search engines use them, and nobody ever really sees them on the
    page. I never bother; should I?

    --
    Jim
    Jim Higson, Feb 26, 2006
    #7
  8. On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, Jim Higson wrote:

    > Zooming out a bit, is there a good reason to use *any* meta elements in
    > documents for the public internet?


    "Dublin Core" specifies a profile of META usage which some groups
    of users find appropriate.

    Google suggests http://dublincore.org/documents/dcq-html/

    > It seems no search engines use them, and nobody ever really sees
    > them on the page. I never bother; should I?


    I guess that if you needed to use them, you would already know about
    it ;-)

    cheers
    Alan J. Flavell, Feb 26, 2006
    #8
  9. terry

    Jim Higson Guest

    Alan J. Flavell wrote:

    > On Sun, 26 Feb 2006, Jim Higson wrote:
    >
    >> Zooming out a bit, is there a good reason to use *any* meta elements in
    >> documents for the public internet?

    >
    > "Dublin Core" specifies a profile of META usage which some groups
    > of users find appropriate.
    >
    > Google suggests http://dublincore.org/documents/dcq-html/


    Ah, yes, IIRC OpenDocument uses DublinCore (which is about the only contact
    I've had with it). I suppose that could be handy, expecialy if Browsers
    ever start showing it.

    >> It seems no search engines use them, and nobody ever really sees
    >> them on the page. I never bother; should I?

    >
    > I guess that if you needed to use them, you would already know about
    > it ;-)
    >
    > cheers
    Jim Higson, Feb 26, 2006
    #9
  10. terry

    Dan Guest

    Jim Higson wrote:
    > Zooming out a bit, is there a good reason to use *any* meta elements in
    > documents for the public internet?


    I have some discussion here:
    http://webtips.dan.info/titles.html

    --
    Dan
    Dan, Feb 27, 2006
    #10
  11. terry

    Andy Dingley Guest

    Alan J. Flavell wrote:

    > "Dublin Core" specifies a profile of META usage which some groups
    > of users find appropriate.


    With our pedantic hats on, DCMI don't "specify" anything relating to
    HTML and <meta> at all. Some people connected with DC have made some
    observations about how this could be done, should someone else happen
    to be looking for informal observations on the subject. It's a very
    long way from "specifies" though.

    There's also a very old RFC 2731 on the subject. The even older paper
    on embedding RDF within HTML is certainly worth a read for useful
    background even today, although I'd hesitate to recommend its blind
    acceptance.

    If you're at the level of embedding DC in HTML, then chances are you'd
    benefit from looking at PRISM too, maybe even the OAI work. There's
    even some UK government rubbish (e-GMS) that you might be forced to
    know about, although it's too broken to recommend unless it's mandatory
    upon you.
    Andy Dingley, Feb 27, 2006
    #11
  12. On Mon, 27 Feb 2006, Andy Dingley wrote:

    > Alan J. Flavell wrote:
    >
    > > "Dublin Core" specifies a profile of META usage which some groups
    > > of users find appropriate.

    >
    > With our pedantic hats on, DCMI don't "specify" anything relating to
    > HTML and <meta> at all.


    The DC web site publishes a document,
    http://dublincore.org/documents/dcq-html/
    whose status claims to be:

    || Status of Document: This is a DCMI Recommendation.

    I'm not an expert in DCMI terminology, but I interpreted that as a
    DCMI recommendation. Care to show me where I went wrong?
    Alan J. Flavell, Feb 28, 2006
    #12
  13. terry

    Andy Dingley Guest

    Alan J. Flavell wrote:

    > I'm not an expert in DCMI terminology, but I interpreted that as a
    > DCMI recommendation. Care to show me where I went wrong?


    DCMI have a weirder attitude than W3C in terms of what they "recommend"
    and how rigorous conformance to these recommendations is. When pushed,
    they retrench on how much they claim to define, making DC1.0 qualifiers
    less useful for interoperability than needed and DC 1.1 awkward indeed.

    Use of DC, and use of DC within HTML, is certainly outside their remit.
    It's simply not theirs to define. So follow their (good) advice on how
    to do it, follow their equally good principles on how to achieve
    interoperability, particularly the 1.0 "dumbing down" principle. Don't
    however use the DC guidance as an absolute standard on "conformance"
    when judging others' implementations. Any embedding of DC into HTML
    that doesn't demonstrably break either of the separate standards is
    perfectly "valid", even if it's at odds with this one specific
    suggestion.

    <h1 class="dc-title" >Foo</h1>
    <h2 class="dc-subject" >Bar bat</h2>

    is still a perfectly valid embedding of DC/HTML. In some contexts, it
    might even be the best of all possible ones.
    Andy Dingley, Mar 2, 2006
    #13
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