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Appendix A. HTML Grammar

Appendix A. HTML Grammar

For the most part, the exact syntax of an HTML or XHTML document is not rigidly enforced by a browser. This gives authors wide latitude in creating documents and gives rise to documents that work on most browsers, but are actually incompatible with the HTML and XHTML standards. Stick to the standards unless your documents are fly-by-night affairs.

The standards explicitly define the ordering and nesting of tags and document elements. This syntax is embedded within the appropriate Document Type Definition and is not readily understood by those not versed in SGML (for HTML 4.01, see Appendix D) or XML (for XHTML 1.0, see Appendix E). Accordingly, we provide an alternate definition of the allowable HTML and XHTML syntax, using a fairly common tool called a "grammar."


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