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Mark H. Wood
Mon, 23 Mar 1998 08:32:32 -0500 (EST)
On Fri, 20 Mar 1998, Dave Eaton wrote:
> On Fri, 20 Mar 1998, Philip Webb wrote:
> > it would seem very simple for Lynx at least to alert the user,
> > i picture a suitable formatted `Message from Lynx' inserted in the page;
> > it could perhaps be done for image-heavy HTML too;
> > any problem about adding this for 2-8-1 ?
> Yes, it is counter to the specifications.
> HTML 3.2 (http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html32.html) stated:
> "User agents should hide the contents of these [SCRIPT] elements."
Does W3C use "should" in the same way as IETF does? That is, does it
mean "we really strongly recommend that you do this, but your code can be
standard-conforming even if it does something else"? If so, we could (if
we choose) decline the suggestion with thanks and a note in the doco to
the effect that we have done so (and why).
> What authors could do at this point was provide script comment lines
> outside the HTML comment which hid the script. Though perhaps odd looking,
> these comments could warn a user they were missing something.
> HTML 4.0 (http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/):
> HTML 4 has added the NOSCRIPT element to permit authors to provide
> content if they wish. From the spec:
> "User agents that do not support client-side scripts must render this
> element's [NOSCRIPT] contents."
This ignores the observation that 99.44% of all authors are also
browser-patriots (which is not necessarily evil) and assume that, if the
reader doesn't use the same browser the author does, he will be happy to
switch (which assumption *is* evil). Authors tend to custer in three groups:
(1) using some automated tool and entirely unaware of whether it provides
NOSCRIPT, ALT, and so forth; (2) assuming that everybody uses the same
browser, so they don't care whether they use these tags; and (3) the 69
or so members of the any-browser movement. In summary: yes, authors
could do the Right Thing but they often don't.
I realize that *doing* something about all the incomplete code out there
goes against the principle that one should trust the author and accept
what he gives you, but surely in this case (since there are so many
authors proven untrustworthy) one could accept a non-default option not to
> If Lynx starts warning on SCRIPT tags without scanning to see if there is
> also an associated NOSCRIPT tag, it will cause a properly composed HTML 4
> page to be displayed with erroneous warnings.
True. And since the bulk of the HTML out there seems to be improperly
composed, this could be a significant annoyance.
Mark H. Wood, Lead System Programmer address@hidden
One more time: a (level-2) switch is a bridge. A "level-3 switch" is
a router. Deal with it.