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Differences between HTML 4.01 Strict and HTML 4.01 Transitional?

P: n/a
I am designing a content management system and I want to make sure all pages
entered into it's database by users are using valid HTML. I have designed
the system to use HTML 4.01 Transitional throughout, however the php powered
html checker I have only caters for HTML 4.01 Strict.

If possible I need to know the complete differences between Strict and
Transitional so I can go through the php script and correctly set it up to
properly check pages are using 4.01 Transitional before submission to the
database is allowed by the system.

Is there anyone who knows where a list of these differences can be found?

I have found this one for XHTML Strict and Transitional but nothing as yet
for HTML.

http://liorean.web-graphics.com/xhtm...se-strict.html

Thanks in advance for any help on this!

Kieran
Jul 24 '05 #1
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13 Replies


P: n/a
Op Tue, 31 May 2005 18:13:13 +0100 schreef "Kieran"
<ki***************@gmail.com>:
I am designing a content management system and I want to make sure all pages
entered into it's database by users are using valid HTML. I have designed
the system to use HTML 4.01 Transitional throughout, however the php powered
html checker I have only caters for HTML 4.01 Strict.

If possible I need to know the complete differences between Strict and
Transitional so I can go through the php script and correctly set it up to
properly check pages are using 4.01 Transitional before submission to the
database is allowed by the system.

Is there anyone who knows where a list of these differences can be found?

I have found this one for XHTML Strict and Transitional but nothing as yet
for HTML.

http://liorean.web-graphics.com/xhtm...se-strict.html

Thanks in advance for any help on this!

Kieran


Not exactly sure if this of any help.

In the HTML 4.01 specification on the W3C website, there is an index
of HTML elements and HTML Attributes. Any element or attribute that is
"deprecated" is allowed in 4.01 transitional, but not in strict (if I
understand it correctly).
This might get you going ...

B.t.w. anything that is strict 4.01 also conforms to 4.01
transitional, so I'm not quite sure why you would want to make youre
system produce transitional if it produces strict.

Bart
--
Bart Broersma
br*********************@tiscali.nl
(ff _ANTISPAM_ wegpoetsen uit dit adres natuurlijk)
Jul 24 '05 #2

P: n/a
Kieran wrote:
If possible I need to know the complete differences between Strict and
Transitional so I can go through the php script and correctly set it up to
properly check pages are using 4.01 Transitional before submission to the
database is allowed by the system.
Strict is Transitional with most of the stuff that you shouldn't use
removed.
Is there anyone who knows where a list of these differences can be found?
http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/index/elements.html
http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/index/attributes.html

Elements and attributes that appear in Transtional but not Strict are marked
with an "L" in the DTD column. There are some other differences, such as
<form> and <body> elements being allowed to hold only block level elements
in Strict, but are allowed Inline elements in Transitional.
I have found this one for XHTML Strict and Transitional but nothing as yet
for HTML.

http://liorean.web-graphics.com/xhtm...se-strict.html


Assuming you mean XHTML 1.0 Strict and Transitional, then the differences
between those are exactly the same as the differences between 4.01 Strict
and Transitional. XHTML 1.0 is HTML 4.01 expressed in XML.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
Jul 24 '05 #3

P: n/a
Bart wrote:
In the HTML 4.01 specification on the W3C website, there is an index
of HTML elements and HTML Attributes. Any element or attribute that is
"deprecated" is allowed in 4.01 transitional, but not in strict (if I
understand it correctly).


That's a bit approximate. Iframe, for example, isn't deprecated, but doesn't
appear in Strict.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
Jul 24 '05 #4

P: n/a
Kieran wrote:
I am designing a content management system and I want to make sure all pages
entered into it's database by users are using valid HTML. I have designed
the system to use HTML 4.01 Transitional throughout, however the php powered
html checker I have only caters for HTML 4.01 Strict.

If possible I need to know the complete differences between Strict and
Transitional so I can go through the php script and correctly set it up to
properly check pages are using 4.01 Transitional before submission to the
database is allowed by the system.


"Transitional" is a weasel-word for Legacy. It was designed to cope
with a legacy of old, broken browsers and many authors desire to do
presentation that was backwards-compatible with them.

Those browsers that were old and deprecated seven years ago are no
longer relevant. So "transitional" HTML is likewise no longer
relevant. Just forget about it.

--
Nick Kew
Jul 24 '05 #5

P: n/a
"Nick Kew" <ni**@asgard.webthing.com> wrote in message
news:5a************@asgard.webthing.com...
Kieran wrote:
I am designing a content management system and I want to make sure all
pages
entered into it's database by users are using valid HTML. I have designed
the system to use HTML 4.01 Transitional throughout, however the php
powered
html checker I have only caters for HTML 4.01 Strict.

If possible I need to know the complete differences between Strict and
Transitional so I can go through the php script and correctly set it up
to
properly check pages are using 4.01 Transitional before submission to the
database is allowed by the system.


"Transitional" is a weasel-word for Legacy. It was designed to cope
with a legacy of old, broken browsers and many authors desire to do
presentation that was backwards-compatible with them.

Those browsers that were old and deprecated seven years ago are no
longer relevant. So "transitional" HTML is likewise no longer
relevant. Just forget about it.

--
Nick Kew


Thanks - I sort of had the idea this was the case, however, many of the
users of the CMS may also have "Legacy" (definitely fewer) html skills, and
while I still wish my site to conform to a standard that every browser can
tackle, I also wish it to be more forgiving with users HTML, which it
appears more possible to do with Transitional.

Also Strict requires all style type elements to use a style sheet. While I
do have a style sheet, in the CMS permissions settings it will be impossible
for users to modify this to allow them to properly conform to HTML Strict if
they wish to change certain things about the way their pages look.

Thanks for the general heads up on the origins of transitional however - I
am trying to use strict in all my non-CMS based sites :)

Kieran
Jul 24 '05 #6

P: n/a
"David Dorward" <do*****@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:d7*******************@news.demon.co.uk...
Kieran wrote:
If possible I need to know the complete differences between Strict and
Transitional so I can go through the php script and correctly set it up
to
properly check pages are using 4.01 Transitional before submission to the
database is allowed by the system.


Strict is Transitional with most of the stuff that you shouldn't use
removed.
Is there anyone who knows where a list of these differences can be found?


http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/index/elements.html
http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/index/attributes.html

Elements and attributes that appear in Transtional but not Strict are
marked
with an "L" in the DTD column. There are some other differences, such as
<form> and <body> elements being allowed to hold only block level elements
in Strict, but are allowed Inline elements in Transitional.
I have found this one for XHTML Strict and Transitional but nothing as
yet
for HTML.

http://liorean.web-graphics.com/xhtm...se-strict.html


Assuming you mean XHTML 1.0 Strict and Transitional, then the differences
between those are exactly the same as the differences between 4.01 Strict
and Transitional. XHTML 1.0 is HTML 4.01 expressed in XML.

Ah, that's very helpful - thanks a lot for this info. I had been assuming
there were documents knocking around that would indicate this kind of thing
I just didn't know quite where to find/how to interpret them.

Thanks for the explanation!

Kieran
Jul 24 '05 #7

P: n/a

"Bart" <br*********************@tiscali.nl> wrote in message
news:5k********************************@4ax.com...
Op Tue, 31 May 2005 18:13:13 +0100 schreef "Kieran"
<ki***************@gmail.com>:
I am designing a content management system and I want to make sure all
pages
entered into it's database by users are using valid HTML. I have designed
the system to use HTML 4.01 Transitional throughout, however the php
powered
html checker I have only caters for HTML 4.01 Strict.

If possible I need to know the complete differences between Strict and
Transitional so I can go through the php script and correctly set it up to
properly check pages are using 4.01 Transitional before submission to the
database is allowed by the system.

Is there anyone who knows where a list of these differences can be found?

I have found this one for XHTML Strict and Transitional but nothing as yet
for HTML.

http://liorean.web-graphics.com/xhtm...se-strict.html

Thanks in advance for any help on this!

Kieran

Not exactly sure if this of any help.

In the HTML 4.01 specification on the W3C website, there is an index
of HTML elements and HTML Attributes. Any element or attribute that is
"deprecated" is allowed in 4.01 transitional, but not in strict (if I
understand it correctly).
This might get you going ...


Thanks for your help here :)
B.t.w. anything that is strict 4.01 also conforms to 4.01
transitional, so I'm not quite sure why you would want to make youre
system produce transitional if it produces strict.


Essentially you are right, however this doesn't take into account the users
of the CMS system not being able to take advantage of style sheets and so
therefore not conforming to strict when they wish to make certain style
changes to their pages. Transitional is also slightly more forgiving in
places which would suit users who have just started out at using HTML - the
situation where a CMS would be most attractive and made use of most.

Kieran
Jul 24 '05 #8

P: n/a
Kieran wrote:
Thanks - I sort of had the idea this was the case, however, many of the
users of the CMS may also have "Legacy" (definitely fewer) html skills,
Education, Education, Education.
and while I still wish my site to conform to a standard that every browser
can tackle
As mentioned previously, Strict is a subset of Transitional. Since Strict
doesn't have anything in it that Transitional doesn't have, it could hardly
be less well supported!
, I also wish it to be more forgiving with users HTML, which it
appears more possible to do with Transitional.
I prefer to send better HTML to the reader.
Also Strict requires all style type elements to use a style sheet.


If by "style sheet" in this case you mean an external CSS file, then you are
wrong. <script> elements and (ick) inline style attributes are as valid in
Strict as they are in Transitional.

That said, the average author shouldn't need to mess about with CSS. The
designer produces a style sheet, then the author writes markup - using
classes and ids defined in the style sheet as needed. This way you achieve
a consistant look across the website.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Home is where the ~/.bashrc is
Jul 24 '05 #9

P: n/a
On Wed, 1 Jun 2005, Kieran wrote:
Thanks - I sort of had the idea this was the case, however, many of the
users of the CMS may also have "Legacy" (definitely fewer) html
translation: useless historical ballast
skills,
for some value of the term 'skill', I suppose...
and while I still wish my site to conform to a standard that every
browser can tackle,
Current browsers can do a perfectly fine job with HTML/2.0, you know,
and even better if a stylesheet is applied. There is *no need* for
that Netscape-ish presentational crud, and anyone who is still
producing it seriously (as opposed to it lurking in their legacy
documents, to which I'd have to plead guilty myself) really needs to
re-educate themselves about the WWW.
I also wish it to be more forgiving with users HTML, which it
appears more possible to do with Transitional.
I'd guess you're confusing two different things. If you're saying
that your authors are incapable of producing syntactically valid HTML,
then maybe you should consider introducing a publishing process which
rectifies that problem. It's not fair to send garbage to one's
readers and hoping that they have a browser which fixes-up bugs in the
same way as the one(s) that the author "tested" with.
Also Strict requires all style type elements to use a style sheet.
Not true, although in most cases it's advisable to use a style sheet
rather than stuffing CSS back into the HTML file. That's simply good
web engineering practice.
While I do have a style sheet, in the CMS permissions settings it
will be impossible for users to modify this to allow them to
properly conform to HTML Strict if they wish to change certain
things about the way their pages look.
Sounds like premature optimisation to me. You haven't yet finished
the discussion - but already you've set hard and fast rules about how
the system is going to work?
Thanks for the general heads up on the origins of transitional
however - I am trying to use strict in all my non-CMS based sites :)


To me I have to say this makes no kind of sense - on the WWW the key
factor is what you're serving out to the reader -- whereas, just how
you create that, internally, is your own affair, but the result has to
be meaningful. So decide the end result (which nowadays should surely
be strict or something very close to it, with CSS for presentation)
and then make sure you use appropriate tools for creating it.

This is surely easier with a content management system than it is with
hand-knitted pages...

How you deal with fogies who insist on creating legacy HTML/3.2-like
stuff is not my problem, but I'd have to say they are only storing up
trouble for the future, for themselves and for your web site. That
unwanted crud from 5-7 years back is now past history, thank goodness,
and (newly-made) web sites are better off without it. With *very* few
exceptions.
Jul 24 '05 #10

P: n/a
On Wed, 1 Jun 2005 09:46:00 +0100, "Kieran"
<ki***************@gmail.com> wrote:
Ah, that's very helpful - thanks a lot for this info. I had been assuming
there were documents knocking around that would indicate this kind of thing
I just didn't know quite where to find/how to interpret them.


You really ought to know this stuff instantly before you even think
about writing a CMS. The world has plenty of dodgy CMS already - if
you're going to add to them, make it a good one.

Jul 24 '05 #11

P: n/a

"Andy Dingley" <di*****@codesmiths.com> wrote in message
news:6b********************************@4ax.com...
On Wed, 1 Jun 2005 09:46:00 +0100, "Kieran"
<ki***************@gmail.com> wrote:
Ah, that's very helpful - thanks a lot for this info. I had been assuming
there were documents knocking around that would indicate this kind of
thing
I just didn't know quite where to find/how to interpret them.


You really ought to know this stuff instantly before you even think
about writing a CMS. The world has plenty of dodgy CMS already - if
you're going to add to them, make it a good one.


Agreed - however the system is it is very modular, and so although the core
HTML would have to be changed in order to fit a different standard, only one
file (the HTML parser) would have to be altered to make everyone's entries
conform to the site's standard.

Also this isn't just like an ordinary run of the mill CMS; certainly not in
terms of integration anyhow ;)

I am however taking on board what is being said here and am considering
carefully what HTML standard to do the whole thing in - thanks for the
input!

Kieran
Jul 24 '05 #12

P: n/a
"Alan J. Flavell" <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk> wrote in message
news:Pi*******************************@ppepc56.ph. gla.ac.uk...
On Wed, 1 Jun 2005, Kieran wrote:
Thanks - I sort of had the idea this was the case, however, many of the
users of the CMS may also have "Legacy" (definitely fewer) html
translation: useless historical ballast
skills,


for some value of the term 'skill', I suppose...
and while I still wish my site to conform to a standard that every
browser can tackle,


Current browsers can do a perfectly fine job with HTML/2.0, you know,
and even better if a stylesheet is applied. There is *no need* for
that Netscape-ish presentational crud, and anyone who is still
producing it seriously (as opposed to it lurking in their legacy
documents, to which I'd have to plead guilty myself) really needs to
re-educate themselves about the WWW.
I also wish it to be more forgiving with users HTML, which it
appears more possible to do with Transitional.


I'd guess you're confusing two different things. If you're saying
that your authors are incapable of producing syntactically valid HTML,
then maybe you should consider introducing a publishing process which
rectifies that problem. It's not fair to send garbage to one's
readers and hoping that they have a browser which fixes-up bugs in the
same way as the one(s) that the author "tested" with.


This is a very valid point, however that is the whole idea of checking a
users html before it can be submitted. I can see Transitional is not a
popular choice, and i am considering changing to strict, however the main
thrust here is it will be impossible for the author to end up causing the
system to send mal-formed html to the reader. If on submission there are
problems, the suthor will be alerted of this, in the same way as the w3c
parser informs you of errors, and they will be able to correct them before
trying to submit their page again.

I think the main decision here is what to get the parser testing for....
Strict or Transitional, and I think based on the answers here I have made
the choice of strict (less work on the parser too as it already supports
strict).

Also Strict requires all style type elements to use a style sheet.


Not true, although in most cases it's advisable to use a style sheet
rather than stuffing CSS back into the HTML file. That's simply good
web engineering practice.
While I do have a style sheet, in the CMS permissions settings it
will be impossible for users to modify this to allow them to
properly conform to HTML Strict if they wish to change certain
things about the way their pages look.


Sounds like premature optimisation to me. You haven't yet finished
the discussion - but already you've set hard and fast rules about how
the system is going to work?
Thanks for the general heads up on the origins of transitional
however - I am trying to use strict in all my non-CMS based sites :)


To me I have to say this makes no kind of sense - on the WWW the key
factor is what you're serving out to the reader -- whereas, just how
you create that, internally, is your own affair, but the result has to
be meaningful. So decide the end result (which nowadays should surely
be strict or something very close to it, with CSS for presentation)
and then make sure you use appropriate tools for creating it.


Under ordinary circumsnatnces I would agree entirely, and I am trying to put
the cart before the horse as much as I can, however my CMS is in fact being
integrated with a system already in place which has the restrictions I speak
of (runs in Transitional etc.)

It is not beyond the realms of possibility to check for 4.01 strict for
authors submissions, and so that is what I have decided to do. This should
mean the reader encounters only valid HTML.

This is surely easier with a content management system than it is with
hand-knitted pages...
Very much so!
How you deal with fogies who insist on creating legacy HTML/3.2-like
stuff is not my problem, but I'd have to say they are only storing up
trouble for the future, for themselves and for your web site. That
unwanted crud from 5-7 years back is now past history, thank goodness,
and (newly-made) web sites are better off without it. With *very* few
exceptions.


Agreed - that's why I am making sure early on to include a parser that
checks all submissions and makes them conform to a standard, which looks set
to be 4.01 Strict. That way people will be forced to write HTML that is
acceptable to readers.

Many thanks for your help in this, all very useful input!

Kieran
Jul 24 '05 #13

P: n/a
Kieran wrote:
I think the main decision here is what to get the parser testing for....
Strict or Transitional, and I think based on the answers here I have made
the choice of strict (less work on the parser too as it already supports
strict).


Don't reinvent the wheel. There are plenty of parsers out there that'll
support strict, transitional, or any other variant: all you have to do
is configure them to use the appropriate DTD.

See http://www.apachetutor.org/apps/annot for one example.

--
Nick Kew
Jul 24 '05 #14

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