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lynx-dev Re: making Web pages universally usable: 10 steps to success

From: Nelson H. F. Beebe
Subject: lynx-dev Re: making Web pages universally usable: 10 steps to success
Date: Mon, 6 May 2002 15:51:53 -0600 (MDT)

Walter Ian Kaye <address@hidden> writes on Fri, 3
May 2002 07:53:10 -0700 

>> Lynx actually makes me hate that format.  When I go to add a
>> bookmark, there's tons of whitespace at either end of the title
>> that I have to delete.

about my recommendation:

>> >               <TITLE>
>> >                   Hello, world
>> >               </TITLE>

The browser is misbehaving.  This is an important, but subtle and
hard-to-find, point about HTML: From p. 64 of this book

@String{pub-KLUWER              = "Kluwer Academic Publishers Group"}
@String{pub-KLUWER:adr          = "Norwell, MA, USA, and Dordrecht,
                                  The Netherlands"}

  author =       "Peter Flynn",
  title =        "Understanding {SGML} and {XML} tools: practical
                 programs for handling structured text",
  publisher =    pub-KLUWER,
  address =      pub-KLUWER:adr,
  pages =        "xxvi + 432",
  year =         "1998",
  ISBN =         "0-7923-8169-6",
  LCCN =         "QA76.76.H94F59 1998",
  bibdate =      "Fri Sep 11 08:29:11 MDT 1998",
  acknowledgement = ack-nhfb,
  annote =       "System requirements: PC, Mac or UNIX platforms.",
  keywords =     "SGML (Document markup language); XML (Document markup

I quote (and highlight the critical phrase):

        The HTML specification additionally requires an application to
        squeeze all multiple white-space characters to a single space
        in mixed context as well, and to omit any white-space
        immediately following a start-tag and immediately before
        end-tags, but not other forms of white-space.

This is an important point: it means that the _'s (representing a
physical space or newline) in this example must be squeezed out

        <TITLE>_____This is a simple title_____</TITLE>

It is precisely this requirement that makes prettyprinting of HTML
feasible, and my html-pretty and Dave Raggett's tidy (available now
in a joint open source project at

) rely on such spaces as not being significant.

- Nelson H. F. Beebe                    Tel: +1 801 581 5254                  -
- Center for Scientific Computing       FAX: +1 801 585 1640, +1 801 581 4148 -
- University of Utah                    Internet e-mail: address@hidden  -
- Department of Mathematics, 110 LCB        address@hidden  address@hidden -
- 155 S 1400 E RM 233                       address@hidden                    -
- Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0090, USA    URL:  -

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