W3C

HTML 5

A vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML

W3C Working Draft 12 February 2009

This Version:
http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-html5-20090212/
Latest Published Version:
http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/
Latest Editor's Draft:
http://www.w3.org/html/wg/html5/
Previous Versions:
http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/WD-html5-20080610/
http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/WD-html5-20080122/
Editors:
Ian Hickson, Google, Inc.
David Hyatt, Apple, Inc.

The content of this document is also available as multiple HTML files.


Abstract

This specification defines the 5th major revision of the core language of the World Wide Web: the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). In this version, new features are introduced to help Web application authors, new elements are introduced based on research into prevailing authoring practices, and special attention has been given to defining clear conformance criteria for user agents in an effort to improve interoperability.

Status of this document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the most recently formally published revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at http://www.w3.org/TR/.

The WHATWG version of this specification is available under a license that permits reuse of the specification text.

If you wish to make comments regarding this document, please send them to public-html-comments@w3.org (subscribe, archives) or whatwg@whatwg.org (subscribe, archives), or submit them using our public bug database. All feedback is welcome.

We maintain a list of all e-mails that have not yet been considered and a list of all bug reports that have not yet been resolved.

Implementors should be aware that this specification is not stable. Implementors who are not taking part in the discussions are likely to find the specification changing out from under them in incompatible ways. Vendors interested in implementing this specification before it eventually reaches the Candidate Recommendation stage should join the aforementioned mailing lists and take part in the discussions.

The publication of this document by the W3C as a W3C Working Draft does not imply that all of the participants in the W3C HTML working group endorse the contents of the specification. Indeed, for any section of the specification, one can usually find many members of the working group or of the W3C as a whole who object strongly to the current text, the existence of the section at all, or the idea that the working group should even spend time discussing the concept of that section.

The latest stable version of the editor's draft of this specification is always available on the W3C CVS server and in the WHATWG Subversion repository. The latest editor's working copy (which may contain unfinished text in the process of being prepared) is also available.

There are various ways to follow the change history for the specification:

E-mail notifications of changes
HTML-Diffs mailing list (diff-marked HTML versions for each change): http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html-diffs/latest
Commit-Watchers mailing list (complete source diffs): http://lists.whatwg.org/listinfo.cgi/commit-watchers-whatwg.org
Real-time notifications of changes:
Generated diff-marked HTML versions for each change: http://twitter.com/HTML5
All (non-editorial) changes to the spec source: http://twitter.com/WHATWG
Browsable version-control record of all changes:
CVSWeb interface with side-by-side diffs: http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/html5/spec/Overview.html
Annotated summary with unified diffs: http://html5.org/tools/web-apps-tracker
Raw Subversion interface: svn checkout http://svn.whatwg.org/webapps/

The W3C HTML Working Group is the W3C working group responsible for this specification's progress along the W3C Recommendation track. This specification is the 12 February 2009 Working Draft.

This specification is also being produced by the WHATWG. The two specifications are identical from the table of contents onwards.

This specification is intended to replace (be a new version of) what was previously the HTML4, XHTML 1.0, and DOM2 HTML specifications.

This document was produced by a group operating under the 5 February 2004 W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

Stability

Different parts of this specification are at different levels of maturity.

Some of the more major known issues are marked like this. There are many other issues that have been raised as well; the issues given in this document are not the only known issues! Also, firing of events needs to be unified (right now some bubble, some don't, they all use different text to fire events, etc).

Table of contents

  1. 1 Introduction
    1. 1.1 Background
    2. 1.2 Audience
    3. 1.3 Scope
    4. 1.4 History
    5. 1.5 Relationships to other specifications
      1. 1.5.1 Relationship to HTML 4.01 and DOM2 HTML
      2. 1.5.2 Relationship to XHTML 1.x
      3. 1.5.3 Relationship to XHTML2 and XForms
      4. 1.5.4 Relationship to Flash, Silverlight, XUL and similar proprietary languages
    6. 1.6 HTML vs XHTML
    7. 1.7 Structure of this specification
      1. 1.7.1 How to read this specification
      2. 1.7.2 Typographic conventions
  2. 2 Common infrastructure
    1. 2.1 Terminology
      1. 2.1.1 XML
      2. 2.1.2 DOM trees
      3. 2.1.3 Scripting
      4. 2.1.4 Plugins
      5. 2.1.5 Character encodings
    2. 2.2 Conformance requirements
      1. 2.2.1 Dependencies
      2. 2.2.2 Features defined in other specifications
      3. 2.2.3 Common conformance requirements for APIs exposed to JavaScript
    3. 2.3 Case-sensitivity and string comparison
    4. 2.4 Common microsyntaxes
      1. 2.4.1 Common parser idioms
      2. 2.4.2 Boolean attributes
      3. 2.4.3 Numbers
        1. 2.4.3.1 Non-negative integers
        2. 2.4.3.2 Signed integers
        3. 2.4.3.3 Real numbers
        4. 2.4.3.4 Ratios
        5. 2.4.3.5 Percentages and lengths
        6. 2.4.3.6 Lists of integers
        7. 2.4.3.7 Lists of dimensions
      4. 2.4.4 Dates and times
        1. 2.4.4.1 Months
        2. 2.4.4.2 Dates
        3. 2.4.4.3 Times
        4. 2.4.4.4 Local dates and times
        5. 2.4.4.5 Global dates and times
        6. 2.4.4.6 Weeks
        7. 2.4.4.7 Vaguer moments in time
      5. 2.4.5 Colors
      6. 2.4.6 Space-separated tokens
      7. 2.4.7 Comma-separated tokens
      8. 2.4.8 Keywords and enumerated attributes
      9. 2.4.9 References
    5. 2.5 URLs
      1. 2.5.1 Terminology
      2. 2.5.2 Parsing URLs
      3. 2.5.3 Resolving URLs
      4. 2.5.4 Dynamic changes to base URLs
      5. 2.5.5 Interfaces for URL manipulation
    6. 2.6 Fetching resources
      1. 2.6.1 Protocol concepts
      2. 2.6.2 Encrypted HTTP and related security concerns
    7. 2.7 Determining the type of a resource
      1. 2.7.1 Content-Type metadata
      2. 2.7.2 Content-Type sniffing: Web pages
      3. 2.7.3 Content-Type sniffing: text or binary
      4. 2.7.4 Content-Type sniffing: unknown type
      5. 2.7.5 Content-Type sniffing: image
      6. 2.7.6 Content-Type sniffing: feed or HTML
    8. 2.8 Common DOM interfaces
      1. 2.8.1 Reflecting content attributes in DOM attributes
      2. 2.8.2 Collections
        1. 2.8.2.1 HTMLCollection
        2. 2.8.2.2 HTMLFormControlsCollection
        3. 2.8.2.3 HTMLOptionsCollection
      3. 2.8.3 DOMTokenList
      4. 2.8.4 Safe passing of structured data
      5. 2.8.5 DOMStringMap
      6. 2.8.6 DOM feature strings
      7. 2.8.7 Exceptions
      8. 2.8.8 Garbage collection
  3. 3 Semantics and structure of HTML documents
    1. 3.1 Introduction
    2. 3.2 Documents
      1. 3.2.1 Documents in the DOM
      2. 3.2.2 Security
      3. 3.2.3 Resource metadata management
      4. 3.2.4 DOM tree accessors
    3. 3.3 Elements
      1. 3.3.1 Semantics
      2. 3.3.2 Elements in the DOM
      3. 3.3.3 Global attributes
        1. 3.3.3.1 The id attribute
        2. 3.3.3.2 The title attribute
        3. 3.3.3.3 The lang and xml:lang attributes
        4. 3.3.3.4 The xml:base attribute (XML only)
        5. 3.3.3.5 The dir attribute
        6. 3.3.3.6 The class attribute
        7. 3.3.3.7 The style attribute
        8. 3.3.3.8 Embedding custom non-visible data
    4. 3.4 Content models
      1. 3.4.1 Kinds of content
        1. 3.4.1.1 Metadata content
        2. 3.4.1.2 Flow content
        3. 3.4.1.3 Sectioning content
        4. 3.4.1.4 Heading content
        5. 3.4.1.5 Phrasing content
        6. 3.4.1.6 Embedded content
        7. 3.4.1.7 Interactive content
      2. 3.4.2 Transparent content models
    5. 3.5 Paragraphs
    6. 3.6 APIs in HTML documents
    7. 3.7 Dynamic markup insertion
      1. 3.7.1 Controlling the input stream
      2. 3.7.2 document.write()
      3. 3.7.3 document.writeln()
      4. 3.7.4 innerHTML
      5. 3.7.5 outerHTML
      6. 3.7.6 insertAdjacentHTML()
  4. 4 The elements of HTML
    1. 4.1 The root element
      1. 4.1.1 The html element
    2. 4.2 Document metadata
      1. 4.2.1 The head element
      2. 4.2.2 The title element
      3. 4.2.3 The base element
      4. 4.2.4 The link element
      5. 4.2.5 The meta element
        1. 4.2.5.1 Standard metadata names
        2. 4.2.5.2 Other metadata names
        3. 4.2.5.3 Pragma directives
        4. 4.2.5.4 Other pragma directives
        5. 4.2.5.5 Specifying the document's character encoding
      6. 4.2.6 The style element
      7. 4.2.7 Styling
    3. 4.3 Scripting
      1. 4.3.1 The script element
        1. 4.3.1.1 Scripting languages
        2. 4.3.1.2 Inline documentation for external scripts
      2. 4.3.2 The noscript element
      3. 4.3.3 The eventsource element
    4. 4.4 Sections
      1. 4.4.1 The body element
      2. 4.4.2 The section element
      3. 4.4.3 The nav element
      4. 4.4.4 The article element
      5. 4.4.5 The aside element
      6. 4.4.6 The h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 elements
      7. 4.4.7 The header element
      8. 4.4.8 The footer element
      9. 4.4.9 The address element
      10. 4.4.10 Headings and sections
        1. 4.4.10.1 Creating an outline
        2. 4.4.10.2 Distinguishing site-wide headings from page headings
    5. 4.5 Grouping content
      1. 4.5.1 The p element
      2. 4.5.2 The hr element
      3. 4.5.3 The br element
      4. 4.5.4 The pre element
      5. 4.5.5 The dialog element
      6. 4.5.6 The blockquote element
      7. 4.5.7 The ol element
      8. 4.5.8 The ul element
      9. 4.5.9 The li element
      10. 4.5.10 The dl element
      11. 4.5.11 The dt element
      12. 4.5.12 The dd element
      13. 4.5.13 Common grouping idioms
        1. 4.5.13.1 Tag clouds
    6. 4.6 Text-level semantics
      1. 4.6.1 The a element
      2. 4.6.2 The q element
      3. 4.6.3 The cite element
      4. 4.6.4 The em element
      5. 4.6.5 The strong element
      6. 4.6.6 The small element
      7. 4.6.7 The mark element
      8. 4.6.8 The dfn element
      9. 4.6.9 The abbr element
      10. 4.6.10 The time element
      11. 4.6.11 The progress element
      12. 4.6.12 The meter element
      13. 4.6.13 The code element
      14. 4.6.14 The var element
      15. 4.6.15 The samp element
      16. 4.6.16 The kbd element
      17. 4.6.17 The sub and sup elements
      18. 4.6.18 The span element
      19. 4.6.19 The i element
      20. 4.6.20 The b element
      21. 4.6.21 The bdo element
      22. 4.6.22 The ruby element
      23. 4.6.23 The rt element
      24. 4.6.24 The rp element
      25. 4.6.25 Usage summary
      26. 4.6.26 Footnotes
    7. 4.7 Edits
      1. 4.7.1 The ins element
      2. 4.7.2 The del element
      3. 4.7.3 Attributes common to ins and del elements
      4. 4.7.4 Edits and paragraphs
      5. 4.7.5 Edits and lists
    8. 4.8 Embedded content
      1. 4.8.1 The figure element
      2. 4.8.2 The img element
        1. 4.8.2.1 Requirements for providing text to act as an alternative for images
          1. 4.8.2.1.1 A link or button containing nothing but the image
          2. 4.8.2.1.2 A phrase or paragraph with an alternative graphical representation: charts, diagrams, graphs, maps, illustrations
          3. 4.8.2.1.3 A short phrase or label with an alternative graphical representation: icons, logos
          4. 4.8.2.1.4 Text that has been rendered to a graphic for typographical effect
          5. 4.8.2.1.5 A graphical representation of some of the surrounding text
          6. 4.8.2.1.6 A purely decorative image that doesn't add any information
          7. 4.8.2.1.7 A group of images that form a single larger picture with no links
          8. 4.8.2.1.8 A group of images that form a single larger picture with links
          9. 4.8.2.1.9 A key part of the content
          10. 4.8.2.1.10 An image not intended for the user
          11. 4.8.2.1.11 An image in an e-mail or document intended for a specific person who is known to be able to view images
          12. 4.8.2.1.12 General guidelines
          13. 4.8.2.1.13 Guidance for markup generators
      3. 4.8.3 The iframe element
      4. 4.8.4 The embed element
      5. 4.8.5 The object element
      6. 4.8.6 The param element
      7. 4.8.7 The video element
        1. 4.8.7.1 Video and audio codecs for video elements
      8. 4.8.8 The audio element
        1. 4.8.8.1 Audio codecs for audio elements
      9. 4.8.9 The source element
      10. 4.8.10 Media elements
        1. 4.8.10.1 Error codes
        2. 4.8.10.2 Location of the media resource
        3. 4.8.10.3 Media types
        4. 4.8.10.4 Network states
        5. 4.8.10.5 Loading the media resource
        6. 4.8.10.6 Offsets into the media resource
        7. 4.8.10.7 The ready states
        8. 4.8.10.8 Cue ranges
        9. 4.8.10.9 Playing the media resource
        10. 4.8.10.10 Seeking
        11. 4.8.10.11 User interface
        12. 4.8.10.12 Time ranges
        13. 4.8.10.13 Event summary
        14. 4.8.10.14 Security and privacy considerations
      11. 4.8.11 The canvas element
        1. 4.8.11.1 The 2D context
          1. 4.8.11.1.1 The canvas state
          2. 4.8.11.1.2 Transformations
          3. 4.8.11.1.3 Compositing
          4. 4.8.11.1.4 Colors and styles
          5. 4.8.11.1.5 Line styles
          6. 4.8.11.1.6 Shadows
          7. 4.8.11.1.7 Simple shapes (rectangles)
          8. 4.8.11.1.8 Complex shapes (paths)
          9. 4.8.11.1.9 Text
          10. 4.8.11.1.10 Images
          11. 4.8.11.1.11 Pixel manipulation
          12. 4.8.11.1.12 Drawing model
        2. 4.8.11.2 Color spaces and color correction
        3. 4.8.11.3 Security with canvas elements
      12. 4.8.12 The map element
      13. 4.8.13 The area element
      14. 4.8.14 Image maps
        1. 4.8.14.1 Authoring
        2. 4.8.14.2 Processing model
      15. 4.8.15 MathML
      16. 4.8.16 SVG
      17. 4.8.17 Dimension attributes
    9. 4.9 Tabular data
      1. 4.9.1 Introduction
      2. 4.9.2 The table element
      3. 4.9.3 The caption element
      4. 4.9.4 The colgroup element
      5. 4.9.5 The col element
      6. 4.9.6 The tbody element
      7. 4.9.7 The thead element
      8. 4.9.8 The tfoot element
      9. 4.9.9 The tr element
      10. 4.9.10 The td element
      11. 4.9.11 The th element
      12. 4.9.12 Attributes common to td and th elements
      13. 4.9.13 Processing model
        1. 4.9.13.1 Forming a table
        2. 4.9.13.2 Forming relationships between data cells and header cells
    10. 4.10 Forms
      1. 4.10.1 The form element
      2. 4.10.2 The fieldset element
      3. 4.10.3 The label element
      4. 4.10.4 The input element
        1. 4.10.4.1 States of the type attribute
          1. 4.10.4.1.1 Hidden state
          2. 4.10.4.1.2 Text state and Search state
          3. 4.10.4.1.3 URL state
          4. 4.10.4.1.4 E-mail state
          5. 4.10.4.1.5 Password state
          6. 4.10.4.1.6 Date and Time state
          7. 4.10.4.1.7 Date state
          8. 4.10.4.1.8 Month state
          9. 4.10.4.1.9 Week state
          10. 4.10.4.1.10 Time state
          11. 4.10.4.1.11 Local Date and Time state
          12. 4.10.4.1.12 Number state
          13. 4.10.4.1.13 Range state
          14. 4.10.4.1.14 Color state
          15. 4.10.4.1.15 Checkbox state
          16. 4.10.4.1.16 Radio Button state
          17. 4.10.4.1.17 File Upload state
          18. 4.10.4.1.18 Submit Button state
          19. 4.10.4.1.19 Image Button state
          20. 4.10.4.1.20 Reset Button state
          21. 4.10.4.1.21 Button state
        2. 4.10.4.2 Common input element attributes
          1. 4.10.4.2.1 The autocomplete attribute
          2. 4.10.4.2.2 The list attribute
          3. 4.10.4.2.3 The readonly attribute
          4. 4.10.4.2.4 The size attribute
          5. 4.10.4.2.5 The required attribute
          6. 4.10.4.2.6 The multiple attribute
          7. 4.10.4.2.7 The maxlength attribute
          8. 4.10.4.2.8 The pattern attribute
          9. 4.10.4.2.9 The min and max attributes
          10. 4.10.4.2.10 The step attribute
          11. 4.10.4.2.11 The placeholder attribute
        3. 4.10.4.3 Common input element APIs
        4. 4.10.4.4 Common event behaviors
      5. 4.10.5 The button element
      6. 4.10.6 The select element
      7. 4.10.7 The datalist element
      8. 4.10.8 The optgroup element
      9. 4.10.9 The option element
      10. 4.10.10 The textarea element
      11. 4.10.11 The output element
      12. 4.10.12 Association of controls and forms
      13. 4.10.13 Attributes common to form controls
        1. 4.10.13.1 Naming form controls
        2. 4.10.13.2 Enabling and disabling form controls
        3. 4.10.13.3 A form control's value
        4. 4.10.13.4 Autofocusing a form control
        5. 4.10.13.5 Limiting user input length
        6. 4.10.13.6 Form submission
      14. 4.10.14 Constraints
        1. 4.10.14.1 Definitions
        2. 4.10.14.2 Constraint validation
        3. 4.10.14.3 The constraint validation API
        4. 4.10.14.4 Security
      15. 4.10.15 Form submission
        1. 4.10.15.1 Implicit submission
        2. 4.10.15.2 Form submission algorithm
        3. 4.10.15.3 URL-encoded form data
        4. 4.10.15.4 Multipart form data
        5. 4.10.15.5 Plain text form data
      16. 4.10.16 Resetting a form
      17. 4.10.17 Event dispatch
    11. 4.11 Interactive elements
      1. 4.11.1 The details element
      2. 4.11.2 The datagrid element
        1. 4.11.2.1 The datagrid data model
        2. 4.11.2.2 How rows are identified
        3. 4.11.2.3 The data provider interface
        4. 4.11.2.4 The default data provider
          1. 4.11.2.4.1 Common default data provider method definitions for cells
        5. 4.11.2.5 Populating the datagrid element
        6. 4.11.2.6 Updating the datagrid
        7. 4.11.2.7 Requirements for interactive user agents
        8. 4.11.2.8 The selection
        9. 4.11.2.9 Columns and captions
      3. 4.11.3 The command element
      4. 4.11.4 The bb element
        1. 4.11.4.1 Browser button types
          1. 4.11.4.1.1 The make application state
      5. 4.11.5 The menu element
        1. 4.11.5.1 Introduction
        2. 4.11.5.2 Building menus and tool bars
        3. 4.11.5.3 Context menus
        4. 4.11.5.4 Tool bars
      6. 4.11.6 Commands
        1. 4.11.6.1 Using the a element to define a command
        2. 4.11.6.2 Using the button element to define a command
        3. 4.11.6.3 Using the input element to define a command
        4. 4.11.6.4 Using the option element to define a command
        5. 4.11.6.5 Using the command element to define a command
        6. 4.11.6.6 Using the bb element to define a command
    12. 4.12 Miscellaneous elements
      1. 4.12.1 The legend element
      2. 4.12.2 The div element
    13. 4.13 Matching HTML elements using selectors
  5. 5 Web browsers
    1. 5.1 Browsing contexts
      1. 5.1.1 Nested browsing contexts
        1. 5.1.1.1 Navigating nested browsing contexts in the DOM
      2. 5.1.2 Auxiliary browsing contexts
        1. 5.1.2.1 Navigating auxiliary browsing contexts in the DOM
      3. 5.1.3 Secondary browsing contexts
      4. 5.1.4 Security
      5. 5.1.5 Groupings of browsing contexts
      6. 5.1.6 Browsing context names
    2. 5.2 The WindowProxy object
    3. 5.3 The Window object
      1. 5.3.1 Security
      2. 5.3.2 APIs for creating and navigating browsing contexts by name
      3. 5.3.3 Accessing other browsing contexts
      4. 5.3.4 Garbage collection and browsing contexts
      5. 5.3.5 Named access on the Window object
      6. 5.3.6 Browser interface elements
    4. 5.4 Origin
      1. 5.4.1 Relaxing the same-origin restriction
    5. 5.5 Scripting
      1. 5.5.1 Introduction
      2. 5.5.2 Enabling and disabling scripting
      3. 5.5.3 Processing model
        1. 5.5.3.1 Definitions
        2. 5.5.3.2 Calling scripts
        3. 5.5.3.3 Creating scripts
        4. 5.5.3.4 Killing scripts
      4. 5.5.4 Event loops
        1. 5.5.4.1 Generic task sources
      5. 5.5.5 The javascript: protocol
      6. 5.5.6 Events
        1. 5.5.6.1 Event handler attributes
        2. 5.5.6.2 Event handler attributes on elements and on Window objects
        3. 5.5.6.3 Event firing
        4. 5.5.6.4 Events and the Window object
        5. 5.5.6.5 Runtime script errors
    6. 5.6 User prompts
      1. 5.6.1 Simple dialogs
      2. 5.6.2 Printing
      3. 5.6.3 Dialogs implemented using separate documents
    7. 5.7 System state and capabilities
      1. 5.7.1 Client identification
      2. 5.7.2 Custom protocol and content handlers
        1. 5.7.2.1 Security and privacy
        2. 5.7.2.2 Sample user interface
    8. 5.8 Offline Web applications
      1. 5.8.1 Introduction
      2. 5.8.2 Application caches
      3. 5.8.3 The cache manifest syntax
        1. 5.8.3.1 A sample manifest
        2. 5.8.3.2 Writing cache manifests
        3. 5.8.3.3 Parsing cache manifests
      4. 5.8.4 Updating an application cache
      5. 5.8.5 Matching a fallback namespace
      6. 5.8.6 The application cache selection algorithm
        1. 5.8.6.1 Changes to the networking model
      7. 5.8.7 Application cache API
      8. 5.8.8 Browser state
    9. 5.9 Session history and navigation
      1. 5.9.1 The session history of browsing contexts
      2. 5.9.2 The History interface
      3. 5.9.3 Activating state object entries
      4. 5.9.4 The Location interface
        1. 5.9.4.1 Security
      5. 5.9.5 Implementation notes for session history
    10. 5.10 Browsing the Web
      1. 5.10.1 Navigating across documents
      2. 5.10.2 Page load processing model for HTML files
      3. 5.10.3 Page load processing model for XML files
      4. 5.10.4 Page load processing model for text files
      5. 5.10.5 Page load processing model for images
      6. 5.10.6 Page load processing model for content that uses plugins
      7. 5.10.7 Page load processing model for inline content that doesn't have a DOM
      8. 5.10.8 Navigating to a fragment identifier
      9. 5.10.9 History traversal
      10. 5.10.10 Unloading documents
        1. 5.10.10.1 Event definition
    11. 5.11 Structured client-side storage
      1. 5.11.1 Storing name/value pairs
        1. 5.11.1.1 Introduction
        2. 5.11.1.2 The Storage interface
        3. 5.11.1.3 The sessionStorage attribute
        4. 5.11.1.4 The localStorage attribute
        5. 5.11.1.5 The storage event
          1. 5.11.1.5.1 Event definition
        6. 5.11.1.6 Threads
      2. 5.11.2 Database storage
        1. 5.11.2.1 Introduction
        2. 5.11.2.2 Databases
        3. 5.11.2.3 Executing SQL statements
        4. 5.11.2.4 Database query results
        5. 5.11.2.5 Errors
        6. 5.11.2.6 Processing model
      3. 5.11.3 Disk space
      4. 5.11.4 Privacy
        1. 5.11.4.1 User tracking
        2. 5.11.4.2 Cookie resurrection
      5. 5.11.5 Security
        1. 5.11.5.1 DNS spoofing attacks
        2. 5.11.5.2 Cross-directory attacks
        3. 5.11.5.3 Implementation risks
        4. 5.11.5.4 SQL and user agents
        5. 5.11.5.5 SQL injection
    12. 5.12 Links
      1. 5.12.1 Hyperlink elements
      2. 5.12.2 Following hyperlinks
        1. 5.12.2.1 Hyperlink auditing
      3. 5.12.3 Link types
        1. 5.12.3.1 Link type "alternate"
        2. 5.12.3.2 Link type "archives"
        3. 5.12.3.3 Link type "author"
        4. 5.12.3.4 Link type "bookmark"
        5. 5.12.3.5 Link type "external"
        6. 5.12.3.6 Link type "feed"
        7. 5.12.3.7 Link type "help"
        8. 5.12.3.8 Link type "icon"
        9. 5.12.3.9 Link type "license"
        10. 5.12.3.10 Link type "nofollow"
        11. 5.12.3.11 Link type "noreferrer"
        12. 5.12.3.12 Link type "pingback"
        13. 5.12.3.13 Link type "prefetch"
        14. 5.12.3.14 Link type "search"
        15. 5.12.3.15 Link type "stylesheet"
        16. 5.12.3.16 Link type "sidebar"
        17. 5.12.3.17 Link type "tag"
        18. 5.12.3.18 Hierarchical link types
          1. 5.12.3.18.1 Link type "index"
          2. 5.12.3.18.2 Link type "up"
        19. 5.12.3.19 Sequential link types
          1. 5.12.3.19.1 Link type "first"
          2. 5.12.3.19.2 Link type "last"
          3. 5.12.3.19.3 Link type "next"
          4. 5.12.3.19.4 Link type "prev"
        20. 5.12.3.20 Other link types
  6. 6 User Interaction
    1. 6.1 Introduction
    2. 6.2 The hidden attribute
    3. 6.3 Activation
    4. 6.4 Scrolling elements into view
    5. 6.5 Focus
      1. 6.5.1 Sequential focus navigation
      2. 6.5.2 Focus management
      3. 6.5.3 Document-level focus APIs
      4. 6.5.4 Element-level focus APIs
    6. 6.6 The text selection APIs
      1. 6.6.1 APIs for the browsing context selection
      2. 6.6.2 APIs for the text field selections
    7. 6.7 The contenteditable attribute
      1. 6.7.1 User editing actions
      2. 6.7.2 Making entire documents editable
    8. 6.8 Drag and drop
      1. 6.8.1 Introduction
      2. 6.8.2 The DragEvent and DataTransfer interfaces
      3. 6.8.3 Events fired during a drag-and-drop action
      4. 6.8.4 Drag-and-drop processing model
        1. 6.8.4.1 When the drag-and-drop operation starts or ends in another document
        2. 6.8.4.2 When the drag-and-drop operation starts or ends in another application
      5. 6.8.5 The draggable attribute
      6. 6.8.6 Copy and paste
        1. 6.8.6.1 Copy to clipboard
        2. 6.8.6.2 Cut to clipboard
        3. 6.8.6.3 Paste from clipboard
        4. 6.8.6.4 Paste from selection
      7. 6.8.7 Security risks in the drag-and-drop model
    9. 6.9 Undo history
      1. 6.9.1 The UndoManager interface
      2. 6.9.2 Undo: moving back in the undo transaction history
      3. 6.9.3 Redo: moving forward in the undo transaction history
      4. 6.9.4 The UndoManagerEvent interface and the undo and redo events
      5. 6.9.5 Implementation notes
    10. 6.10 Command APIs
  7. 7 Communication
    1. 7.1 Event definitions
    2. 7.2 Server-sent events
      1. 7.2.1 The RemoteEventTarget interface
      2. 7.2.2 Connecting to an event stream
      3. 7.2.3 Parsing an event stream
      4. 7.2.4 Interpreting an event stream
      5. 7.2.5 Notes
    3. 7.3 Web sockets
      1. 7.3.1 Introduction
      2. 7.3.2 The WebSocket interface
      3. 7.3.3 WebSocket Events
      4. 7.3.4 Feedback from the protocol
      5. 7.3.5 The Web Socket protocol
        1. 7.3.5.1 Introduction
        2. 7.3.5.2 Client-side requirements
          1. 7.3.5.2.1 Handshake
          2. 7.3.5.2.2 Data framing
        3. 7.3.5.3 Server-side requirements
          1. 7.3.5.3.1 Minimal handshake
          2. 7.3.5.3.2 Handshake details
          3. 7.3.5.3.3 Data framing
        4. 7.3.5.4 Closing the connection
        5. 7.3.5.5 Security considerations
        6. 7.3.5.6 IANA considerations
    4. 7.4 Cross-document messaging
      1. 7.4.1 Introduction
      2. 7.4.2 Security
        1. 7.4.2.1 Authors
        2. 7.4.2.2 User agents
      3. 7.4.3 Posting messages
      4. 7.4.4 Posting messages with message ports
    5. 7.5 Channel messaging
      1. 7.5.1 Introduction
      2. 7.5.2 Message channels
      3. 7.5.3 Message ports
        1. 7.5.3.1 Ports and garbage collection
  8. 8 The HTML syntax
    1. 8.1 Writing HTML documents
      1. 8.1.1 The DOCTYPE
      2. 8.1.2 Elements
        1. 8.1.2.1 Start tags
        2. 8.1.2.2 End tags
        3. 8.1.2.3 Attributes
        4. 8.1.2.4 Optional tags
        5. 8.1.2.5 Restrictions on content models
        6. 8.1.2.6 Restrictions on the contents of CDATA and RCDATA elements
      3. 8.1.3 Text
        1. 8.1.3.1 Newlines
      4. 8.1.4 Character references
      5. 8.1.5 CDATA sections
      6. 8.1.6 Comments
    2. 8.2 Parsing HTML documents
      1. 8.2.1 Overview of the parsing model
      2. 8.2.2 The input stream
        1. 8.2.2.1 Determining the character encoding
        2. 8.2.2.2 Character encoding requirements
        3. 8.2.2.3 Preprocessing the input stream
        4. 8.2.2.4 Changing the encoding while parsing
      3. 8.2.3 Parse state
        1. 8.2.3.1 The insertion mode
        2. 8.2.3.2 The stack of open elements
        3. 8.2.3.3 The list of active formatting elements
        4. 8.2.3.4 The element pointers
        5. 8.2.3.5 Other parsing state flags
      4. 8.2.4 Tokenization
        1. 8.2.4.1 Data state
        2. 8.2.4.2 Character reference data state
        3. 8.2.4.3 Tag open state
        4. 8.2.4.4 Close tag open state
        5. 8.2.4.5 Tag name state
        6. 8.2.4.6 Before attribute name state
        7. 8.2.4.7 Attribute name state
        8. 8.2.4.8 After attribute name state
        9. 8.2.4.9 Before attribute value state
        10. 8.2.4.10 Attribute value (double-quoted) state
        11. 8.2.4.11 Attribute value (single-quoted) state
        12. 8.2.4.12 Attribute value (unquoted) state
        13. 8.2.4.13 Character reference in attribute value state
        14. 8.2.4.14 After attribute value (quoted) state
        15. 8.2.4.15 Self-closing start tag state
        16. 8.2.4.16 Bogus comment state
        17. 8.2.4.17 Markup declaration open state
        18. 8.2.4.18 Comment start state
        19. 8.2.4.19 Comment start dash state
        20. 8.2.4.20 Comment state
        21. 8.2.4.21 Comment end dash state
        22. 8.2.4.22 Comment end state
        23. 8.2.4.23 DOCTYPE state
        24. 8.2.4.24 Before DOCTYPE name state
        25. 8.2.4.25 DOCTYPE name state
        26. 8.2.4.26 After DOCTYPE name state
        27. 8.2.4.27 Before DOCTYPE public identifier state
        28. 8.2.4.28 DOCTYPE public identifier (double-quoted) state
        29. 8.2.4.29 DOCTYPE public identifier (single-quoted) state
        30. 8.2.4.30 After DOCTYPE public identifier state
        31. 8.2.4.31 Before DOCTYPE system identifier state
        32. 8.2.4.32 DOCTYPE system identifier (double-quoted) state
        33. 8.2.4.33 DOCTYPE system identifier (single-quoted) state
        34. 8.2.4.34 After DOCTYPE system identifier state
        35. 8.2.4.35 Bogus DOCTYPE state
        36. 8.2.4.36 CDATA section state
        37. 8.2.4.37 Tokenizing character references
      5. 8.2.5 Tree construction
        1. 8.2.5.1 Creating and inserting elements
        2. 8.2.5.2 Closing elements that have implied end tags
        3. 8.2.5.3 Foster parenting
        4. 8.2.5.4 The "initial" insertion mode
        5. 8.2.5.5 The "before html" insertion mode
        6. 8.2.5.6 The "before head" insertion mode
        7. 8.2.5.7 The "in head" insertion mode
        8. 8.2.5.8 The "in head noscript" insertion mode
        9. 8.2.5.9 The "after head" insertion mode
        10. 8.2.5.10 The "in body" insertion mode
        11. 8.2.5.11 The "in CDATA/RCDATA" insertion mode
        12. 8.2.5.12 The "in table" insertion mode
        13. 8.2.5.13 The "in caption" insertion mode
        14. 8.2.5.14 The "in column group" insertion mode
        15. 8.2.5.15 The "in table body" insertion mode
        16. 8.2.5.16 The "in row" insertion mode
        17. 8.2.5.17 The "in cell" insertion mode
        18. 8.2.5.18 The "in select" insertion mode
        19. 8.2.5.19 The "in select in table" insertion mode
        20. 8.2.5.20 The "in foreign content" insertion mode
        21. 8.2.5.21 The "after body" insertion mode
        22. 8.2.5.22 The "in frameset" insertion mode
        23. 8.2.5.23 The "after frameset" insertion mode
        24. 8.2.5.24 The "after after body" insertion mode
        25. 8.2.5.25 The "after after frameset" insertion mode
      6. 8.2.6 The end
      7. 8.2.7 Coercing an HTML DOM into an infoset
    3. 8.3 Namespaces
    4. 8.4 Serializing HTML fragments
    5. 8.5 Parsing HTML fragments
    6. 8.6 Named character references
  9. 9 The XHTML syntax
    1. 9.1 Writing XHTML documents
    2. 9.2 Parsing XHTML documents
    3. 9.3 Serializing XHTML fragments
    4. 9.4 Parsing XHTML fragments
  10. 10 Rendering
    1. 10.1 Introduction
    2. 10.2 The CSS user agent style sheet and presentational hints
      1. 10.2.1 Introduction
      2. 10.2.2 Display types
      3. 10.2.3 Margins and padding
      4. 10.2.4 Alignment
      5. 10.2.5 Fonts and colors
      6. 10.2.6 Punctuation and decorations
      7. 10.2.7 Resetting rules for inherited properties
      8. 10.2.8 The hr element
      9. 10.2.9 The fieldset element
    3. 10.3 Replaced elements
      1. 10.3.1 Embedded content
      2. 10.3.2 Images
      3. 10.3.3 Attributes for embedded content and images
      4. 10.3.4 Image maps
      5. 10.3.5 Tool bars
    4. 10.4 Bindings
      1. 10.4.1 Introduction
      2. 10.4.2 The bb element
      3. 10.4.3 The button element
      4. 10.4.4 The datagrid element
      5. 10.4.5 The details element
      6. 10.4.6 The input element as a text entry widget
      7. 10.4.7 The input element as domain-specific widgets
      8. 10.4.8 The input element as a range control
      9. 10.4.9 The input element as a color well
      10. 10.4.10 The input element as a check box and radio button widgets
      11. 10.4.11 The input element as a file upload control
      12. 10.4.12 The input element as a button
      13. 10.4.13 The marquee element
      14. 10.4.14 The meter element
      15. 10.4.15 The progress element
      16. 10.4.16 The select element
      17. 10.4.17 The textarea element
    5. 10.5 Frames and framesets
    6. 10.6 Interactive media
      1. 10.6.1 Links, forms, and navigation
      2. 10.6.2 The mark element
      3. 10.6.3 The title attribute
    7. 10.7 Print media
    8. 10.8 Interaction with CSS
  11. 11 Obsolete features
    1. 11.1 Self-contained features
      1. 11.1.1 The applet element
      2. 11.1.2 The marquee element
    2. 11.2 Other elements and attributes
    3. 11.3 Other DOM APIs
    4. 11.4 Conformance checkers
  12. 12 Things that you can't do with this specification because they are better handled using other technologies that are further described herein
    1. 12.1 Localization
    2. 12.2 Declarative 2D vector graphics and animation
    3. 12.3 Declarative 3D scenes
    4. 12.4 Timers
    5. 12.5 Rendering and the DOM
  13. Index
  14. References
  15. Acknowledgements

1 Introduction

1.1 Background

This section is non-normative.

The World Wide Web's markup language has always been HTML. HTML was primarily designed as a language for semantically describing scientific documents, although its general design and adaptations over the years has enabled it to be used to describe a number of other types of documents.

The main area that has not been adequately addressed by HTML is a vague subject referred to as Web Applications. This specification attempts to rectify this, while at the same time updating the HTML specifications to address issues raised in the past few years.

1.2 Audience

This section is non-normative.

This specification is intended for authors of documents and scripts that use the features defined in this specificaton, and implementors of tools that are intended to conform to this specification, and individuals wishing to establish the correctness of documents or implementations with respect to the requirements of this specification.

This document is probably not suited to readers who do not already have at least a passing familiarity with Web technologies, as in places it sacrifices clarity for precision, and brevity for completeness. More approachable tutorials and authoring guides can provide a gentler introduction to the topic.

In particular, readers should be familiar with the basics of DOM Core and DOM Events before reading this specification. An understanding of WebIDL, HTTP, XML, Unicode, character encodings, JavaScript, and CSS will be helpful in places but is not essential.

1.3 Scope

This section is non-normative.

This specification is limited to providing a semantic-level markup language and associated semantic-level scripting APIs for authoring accessible pages on the Web ranging from static documents to dynamic applications.

The scope of this specification does not include providing mechanisms for media-specific customization of presentation (although default rendering rules for Web browsers are included at the end of this specification, and several mechanisms for hooking into CSS are provided as part of the language).

The scope of this specification does not include documenting every HTML or DOM feature supported by Web browsers. Browsers support many features that are considered to be very bad for accessibility or that are otherwise inappropriate. For example, the blink element is clearly presentational and authors wishing to cause text to blink should instead use CSS.

The scope of this specification is not to describe an entire operating system. In particular, hardware configuration software, image manipulation tools, and applications that users would be expected to use with high-end workstations on a daily basis are out of scope. In terms of applications, this specification is targeted specifically at applications that would be expected to be used by users on an occasional basis, or regularly but from disparate locations, with low CPU requirements. For instance online purchasing systems, searching systems, games (especially multiplayer online games), public telephone books or address books, communications software (e-mail clients, instant messaging clients, discussion software), document editing software, etc.

For sophisticated cross-platform applications, there already exist several proprietary solutions (such as Mozilla's XUL, Adobe's Flash, or Microsoft's Silverlight). These solutions are evolving faster than any standards process could follow, and the requirements are evolving even faster. These systems are also significantly more complicated to specify, and are orders of magnitude more difficult to achieve interoperability with, than the solutions described in this document. Platform-specific solutions for such sophisticated applications (for example the Mac OS X Core APIs) are even further ahead.

1.4 History

This section is non-normative.

Work on HTML5 originally started in late 2003, as a proof of concept to show that it was possible to extend HTML4's forms to provide many of the features that XForms 1.0 introduced, without requiring browsers to implement rendering engines that were incompatible with existing HTML Web pages. At this early stage, while the draft was already publicly available, and input was already being solicited from all sources, the specification was only under Opera Software's copyright.

In early 2004, some of the principles that underlie this effort, as well as an early draft proposal covering just forms-related features, were presented to the W3C jointly by Mozilla and Opera at a workshop discussing the future of Web Applications on the Web. The proposal was rejected on the grounds that the proposal conflicted with the previously chosen direction for the Web's evolution.

Shortly thereafter, Apple, Mozilla, and Opera jointly announced their intent to continue working on the effort. A public mailing list was created, and the drafts were moved to the WHATWG site. The copyright was subsequently amended to be jointly owned by all three vendors, and to allow reuse of the specifications.

In 2006, the W3C expressed interest in the specification, and created a working group chartered to work with the WHATWG on the development of the HTML5 specifications. The working group opened in 2007. Apple, Mozilla, and Opera allowed the W3C to publish the specifications under the W3C copyright, while keeping versions with the less restrictive license on the WHATWG site.

Since then, both groups have been working together.

1.5 Relationships to other specifications

1.5.1 Relationship to HTML 4.01 and DOM2 HTML

This section is non-normative.

This specification represents a new version of HTML4, along with a new version of the associated DOM2 HTML API. Migration from HTML4 to the format and APIs described in this specification should in most cases be straightforward, as care has been taken to ensure that backwards-compatibility is retained. [HTML4] [DOM2HTML]

1.5.2 Relationship to XHTML 1.x

This section is non-normative.

This specification is intended to replace XHTML 1.0 as the normative definition of the XML serialization of the HTML vocabulary. [XHTML10]

While this specification updates the semantics and requirements of the vocabulary defined by XHTML Modularization 1.1 and used by XHTML 1.1, it does not attempt to provide a replacement for the modularization scheme defined and used by those (and other) specifications, and therefore cannot be considered a complete replacement for them. [XHTMLMOD] [XHTML11]

Thus, authors and implementors who do not need such a modularization scheme can consider this specification a replacement for XHTML 1.x, but those who do need such a mechanism are encouraged to continue using the XHTML 1.1 line of specifications.

1.5.3 Relationship to XHTML2 and XForms

This section is non-normative.

XHTML2 defines a new vocabulary with features for hyperlinks, multimedia content, annotating document edits, rich metadata, declarative interactive forms, and describing the semantics of human literary works such as poems and scientific papers. [XHTML2]

XForms similarly defines a new vocabulary with features for complex data entry, such as tax forms or insurance forms.

However, XHTML2 and XForms lack features to express the semantics of many of the non-document types of content often seen on the Web. For instance, they are not well-suited for marking up forum sites, auction sites, search engines, online shops, mapping applications, e-mail applications, word processors, real-time strategy games, and the like.

This specification aims to extend HTML so that it is also suitable in these contexts.

XHTML2, XForms, and this specification all use different namespaces and therefore can all be implemented in the same XML processor.

1.5.4 Relationship to Flash, Silverlight, XUL and similar proprietary languages

This section is non-normative.

This specification is independent of the various proprietary application languages that various vendors provide, but is intended to address many of the same problems.

In contrast with proprietary languages, this specification is intended to define an openly-produced, vendor-neutral language, to be implemented in a broad range of competing products, across a wide range of platforms and devices. This enables developers to write applications that are not limited to one vendor's implementation or language. Furthermore, while writing applications that target vendor-specific platforms necessarily introduces a cost that application developers and their customers or users will face if they are forced to switch (or desire to switch) to another vendor's platform, using an openly-produced and vendor neutral language means that application authors can switch vendors with little to no cost.

1.6 HTML vs XHTML

This section is non-normative.

This specification defines an abstract language for describing documents and applications, and some APIs for interacting with in-memory representations of resources that use this language.

The in-memory representation is known as "DOM5 HTML", or "the DOM" for short.

There are various concrete syntaxes that can be used to transmit resources that use this abstract language, two of which are defined in this specification.

The first such concrete syntax is "HTML5". This is the format recommended for most authors. It is compatible with all legacy Web browsers. If a document is transmitted with the MIME type text/html, then it will be processed as an "HTML5" document by Web browsers.

The second concrete syntax uses XML, and is known as "XHTML5". When a document is transmitted with an XML MIME type, such as application/xhtml+xml, then it is processed by an XML processor by Web browsers, and treated as an "XHTML5" document. Authors are reminded that the processing for XML and HTML differs; in particular, even minor syntax errors will prevent an XML document from being rendered fully, whereas they would be ignored in the "HTML5" syntax.

The "DOM5 HTML", "HTML5", and "XHTML5" representations cannot all represent the same content. For example, namespaces cannot be represented using "HTML5", but they are supported in "DOM5 HTML" and "XHTML5". Similarly, documents that use the noscript feature can be represented using "HTML5", but cannot be represented with "XHTML5" and "DOM5 HTML". Comments that contain the string "-->" can be represented in "DOM5 HTML" but not in "HTML5" and "XHTML5". And so forth.

1.7 Structure of this specification

This section is non-normative.

This specification is divided into the following major sections:

Common Infrastructure
The conformance classes, algorithms, definitions, and the common underpinnings of the rest of the specification.
The DOM
Documents are built from elements. These elements form a tree using the DOM. This section defines the features of this DOM, as well as introducing the features common to all elements, and the concepts used in defining elements.
Elements
Each element has a predefined meaning, which is explained in this section. User agent requirements for how to handle each element are also given, along with rules for authors on how to use the element.
Web Browsers
HTML documents do not exist in a vacuum — this section defines many of the features that affect environments that deal with multiple pages, links between pages, and running scripts.
User Interaction
HTML documents can provide a number of mechanisms for users to interact with and modify content, which are described in this section.
The Communication APIs
Applications written in HTML often require mechanisms to communicate with remote servers, as well as communicating with other applications from different domains running on the same client.
The Language Syntax
All of these features would be for naught if they couldn't be represented in a serialized form and sent to other people, and so this section defines the syntax of HTML, along with rules for how to parse HTML.

There are also a couple of appendices, defining rendering rules for Web browsers and listing areas that are out of scope for this specification.

1.7.1 How to read this specification

This specification should be read like all other specifications. First, it should be read cover-to-cover, multiple times. Then, it should be read backwards at least once. Then it should be read by picking random sections from the contents list and following all the cross-references.

1.7.2 Typographic conventions

This is a definition, requirement, or explanation.

This is a note.

This is an example.

This is an open issue.

This is a warning.

The defining instance of a term is marked up like this. Uses of that term are marked up like this or like this.

The defining instance of an element, attribute, or API is marked up like this. References to that element, attribute, or API are marked up like this.

Other code fragments are marked up like this.

Variables are marked up like this.

interface Example {
  // this is an IDL definition
};

2 Common infrastructure

2.1 Terminology

This specification refers to both HTML and XML attributes and DOM attributes, often in the same context. When it is not clear which is being referred to, they are referred to as content attributes for HTML and XML attributes, and DOM attributes for those from the DOM. Similarly, the term "properties" is used for both ECMAScript object properties and CSS properties. When these are ambiguous they are qualified as object properties and CSS properties respectively.

The term HTML documents is sometimes used in contrast with XML documents to specifically mean documents that were parsed using an HTML parser (as opposed to using an XML parser or created purely through the DOM).

Generally, when the specification states that a feature applies to HTML or XHTML, it also includes the other. When a feature specifically only applies to one of the two languages, it is called out by explicitly stating that it does not apply to the other format, as in "for HTML, ... (this does not apply to XHTML)".

This specification uses the term document to refer to any use of HTML, ranging from short static documents to long essays or reports with rich multimedia, as well as to fully-fledged interactive applications.

For simplicity, terms such as shown, displayed, and visible might sometimes be used when referring to the way a document is rendered to the user. These terms are not meant to imply a visual medium; they must be considered to apply to other media in equivalent ways.

Some of the algorithms in this specification, for historical reasons, require the user agent to pause until some condition has been met. While a user agent is paused, it must ensure that no scripts execute (e.g. no event handlers, no timers, etc). User agents should remain responsive to user input while paused, however, albeit without letting the user interact with Web pages where that would involve invoking any script.

2.1.1 XML

To ease migration from HTML to XHTML, UAs conforming to this specification will place elements in HTML in the http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml namespace, at least for the purposes of the DOM and CSS. The term "elements in the HTML namespace", or "HTML elements" for short, when used in this specification, thus refers to both HTML and XHTML elements.

Unless otherwise stated, all elements defined or mentioned in this specification are in the http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml namespace, and all attributes defined or mentioned in this specification have no namespace (they are in the per-element partition).

When an XML name, such as an attribute or element name, is referred to in the form prefix:localName, as in xml:id or svg:rect, it refers to a name with the local name localName and the namespace given by the prefix, as defined by the following table:

xml
http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace
html
http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml
svg
http://www.w3.org/2000/svg

Attribute names are said to be XML-compatible if they match the Name production defined in XML, they contain no U+003A COLON (:) characters, and their first three characters are not an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "xml". [XML]

2.1.2 DOM trees

The term root element, when not explicitly qualified as referring to the document's root element, means the furthest ancestor element node of whatever node is being discussed, or the node itself if it has no ancestors. When the node is a part of the document, then that is indeed the document's root element; however, if the node is not currently part of the document tree, the root element will be an orphaned node.

A node's home subtree is the subtree rooted at that node's root element.

The Document of a Node (such as an element) is the Document that the Node's ownerDocument DOM attribute returns.

An element is said to have been inserted into a document when its root element changes and is now the document's root element. If a Node is in a Document then that Document is always the Node's Document, and the Node's ownerDocument DOM attribute thus always returns that Document.

The term tree order means a pre-order, depth-first traversal of DOM nodes involved (through the parentNode/childNodes relationship).

When it is stated that some element or attribute is ignored, or treated as some other value, or handled as if it was something else, this refers only to the processing of the node after it is in the DOM. A user agent must not mutate the DOM in such situations.

The term text node refers to any Text node, including CDATASection nodes; specifically, any Node with node type TEXT_NODE (3) or CDATA_SECTION_NODE (4). [DOM3CORE]

2.1.3 Scripting

The construction "a Foo object", where Foo is actually an interface, is sometimes used instead of the more accurate "an object implementing the interface Foo".

A DOM attribute is said to be getting when its value is being retrieved (e.g. by author script), and is said to be setting when a new value is assigned to it.

If a DOM object is said to be live, then that means that any attributes returning that object must always return the same object (not a new object each time), and the attributes and methods on that object must operate on the actual underlying data, not a snapshot of the data.

The terms fire and dispatch are used interchangeably in the context of events, as in the DOM Events specifications. [DOM3EVENTS]

2.1.4 Plugins

The term plugin is used to mean any content handler, typically a third-party content handler, for Web content types that are not supported by the user agent natively, or for content types that do not expose a DOM, that supports rendering the content as part of the user agent's interface.

One example of a plugin would be a PDF viewer that is instantiated in a browsing context when the user navigates to a PDF file. This would count as a plugin regardless of whether the party that implemented the PDF viewer component was the same as that which implemented the user agent itself. However, a PDF viewer application that launches separate from the user agent (as opposed to using the same interface) is not a plugin by this definition.

This specification does not define a mechanism for interacting with plugins, as it is expected to be user-agent- and platform-specific. Some UAs might opt to support a plugin mechanism such as the Netscape Plugin API; others might use remote content converters or have built-in support for certain types. [NPAPI]

Browsers should take extreme care when interacting with external content intended for plugins. When third-party software is run with the same privileges as the user agent itself, vulnerabilities in the third-party software become as dangerous as those in the user agent.

2.1.5 Character encodings

An ASCII-compatible character encoding is one that is a superset of US-ASCII (specifically, ANSI_X3.4-1968) for bytes in the set 0x09, 0x0A, 0x0C, 0x0D, 0x20 - 0x22, 0x26, 0x27, 0x2C - 0x3F, 0x41 - 0x5A, and 0x61 - 0x7A.

2.2 Conformance requirements

All diagrams, examples, and notes in this specification are non-normative, as are all sections explicitly marked non-normative. Everything else in this specification is normative.

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in the normative parts of this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC2119. For readability, these words do not appear in all uppercase letters in this specification. [RFC2119]

Requirements phrased in the imperative as part of algorithms (such as "strip any leading space characters" or "return false and abort these steps") are to be interpreted with the meaning of the key word ("must", "should", "may", etc) used in introducing the algorithm.

This specification describes the conformance criteria for user agents (relevant to implementors) and documents (relevant to authors and authoring tool implementors).

There is no implied relationship between document conformance requirements and implementation conformance requirements. User agents are not free to handle non-conformant documents as they please; the processing model described in this specification applies to implementations regardless of the conformity of the input documents.

User agents fall into several (overlapping) categories with different conformance requirements.

Web browsers and other interactive user agents

Web browsers that support XHTML must process elements and attributes from the HTML namespace found in XML documents as described in this specification, so that users can interact with them, unless the semantics of those elements have been overridden by other specifications.

A conforming XHTML processor would, upon finding an XHTML script element in an XML document, execute the script contained in that element. However, if the element is found within a transformation expressed in XSLT (assuming the user agent also supports XSLT), then the processor would instead treat the script element as an opaque element that forms part of the transform.

Web browsers that support HTML must process documents labeled as text/html as described in this specification, so that users can interact with them.

User agents that support scripting must also be conforming implementations of the IDL fragments in this specification, as described in the WebIDL specification. [WebIDL]

Non-interactive presentation user agents

User agents that process HTML and XHTML documents purely to render non-interactive versions of them must comply to the same conformance criteria as Web browsers, except that they are exempt from requirements regarding user interaction.

Typical examples of non-interactive presentation user agents are printers (static UAs) and overhead displays (dynamic UAs). It is expected that most static non-interactive presentation user agents will also opt to lack scripting support.

A non-interactive but dynamic presentation UA would still execute scripts, allowing forms to be dynamically submitted, and so forth. However, since the concept of "focus" is irrelevant when the user cannot interact with the document, the UA would not need to support any of the focus-related DOM APIs.

User agents with no scripting support

Implementations that do not support scripting (or which have their scripting features disabled entirely) are exempt from supporting the events and DOM interfaces mentioned in this specification. For the parts of this specification that are defined in terms of an events model or in terms of the DOM, such user agents must still act as if events and the DOM were supported.

Scripting can form an integral part of an application. Web browsers that do not support scripting, or that have scripting disabled, might be unable to fully convey the author's intent.

Conformance checkers

Conformance checkers must verify that a document conforms to the applicable conformance criteria described in this specification. Automated conformance checkers are exempt from detecting errors that require interpretation of the author's intent (for example, while a document is non-conforming if the content of a blockquote element is not a quote, conformance checkers running without the input of human judgement do not have to check that blockquote elements only contain quoted material).

Conformance checkers must check that the input document conforms when parsed without a browsing context (meaning that no scripts are run, and that the parser's scripting flag is disabled), and should also check that the input document conforms when parsed with a browsing context in which scripts execute, and that the scripts never cause non-conforming states to occur other than transiently during script execution itself. (This is only a "SHOULD" and not a "MUST" requirement because it has been proven to be impossible. [HALTINGPROBLEM])

The term "HTML5 validator" can be used to refer to a conformance checker that itself conforms to the applicable requirements of this specification.

XML DTDs cannot express all the conformance requirements of this specification. Therefore, a validating XML processor and a DTD cannot constitute a conformance checker. Also, since neither of the two authoring formats defined in this specification are applications of SGML, a validating SGML system cannot constitute a conformance checker either.

To put it another way, there are three types of conformance criteria:

  1. Criteria that can be expressed in a DTD.
  2. Criteria that cannot be expressed by a DTD, but can still be checked by a machine.
  3. Criteria that can only be checked by a human.

A conformance checker must check for the first two. A simple DTD-based validator only checks for the first class of errors and is therefore not a conforming conformance checker according to this specification.

Data mining tools

Applications and tools that process HTML and XHTML documents for reasons other than to either render the documents or check them for conformance should act in accordance to the semantics of the documents that they process.

A tool that generates document outlines but increases the nesting level for each paragraph and does not increase the nesting level for each section would not be conforming.

Authoring tools and markup generators

Authoring tools and markup generators must generate conforming documents. Conformance criteria that apply to authors also apply to authoring tools, where appropriate.

Authoring tools are exempt from the strict requirements of using elements only for their specified purpose, but only to the extent that authoring tools are not yet able to determine author intent.

For example, it is not conforming to use an address element for arbitrary contact information; that element can only be used for marking up contact information for the author of the document or section. However, since an authoring tool is likely unable to determine the difference, an authoring tool is exempt from that requirement.

In terms of conformance checking, an editor is therefore required to output documents that conform to the same extent that a conformance checker will verify.

When an authoring tool is used to edit a non-conforming document, it may preserve the conformance errors in sections of the document that were not edited during the editing session (i.e. an editing tool is allowed to round-trip erroneous content). However, an authoring tool must not claim that the output is conformant if errors have been so preserved.

Authoring tools are expected to come in two broad varieties: tools that work from structure or semantic data, and tools that work on a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get media-specific editing basis (WYSIWYG).

The former is the preferred mechanism for tools that author HTML, since the structure in the source information can be used to make informed choices regarding which HTML elements and attributes are most appropriate.

However, WYSIWYG tools are legitimate. WYSIWYG tools should use elements they know are appropriate, and should not use elements that they do not know to be appropriate. This might in certain extreme cases mean limiting the use of flow elements to just a few elements, like div, b, i, and span and making liberal use of the style attribute.

All authoring tools, whether WYSIWYG or not, should make a best effort attempt at enabling users to create well-structured, semantically rich, media-independent content.

Some conformance requirements are phrased as requirements on elements, attributes, methods or objects. Such requirements fall into two categories: those describing content model restrictions, and those describing implementation behavior. The former category of requirements are requirements on documents and authoring tools. The second category are requirements on user agents.

Conformance requirements phrased as algorithms or specific steps may be implemented in any manner, so long as the end result is equivalent. (In particular, the algorithms defined in this specification are intended to be easy to follow, and not intended to be performant.)

User agents may impose implementation-specific limits on otherwise unconstrained inputs, e.g. to prevent denial of service attacks, to guard against running out of memory, or to work around platform-specific limitations.

For compatibility with existing content and prior specifications, this specification describes two authoring formats: one based on XML (referred to as XHTML5), and one using a custom format inspired by SGML (referred to as HTML5). Implementations may support only one of these two formats, although supporting both is encouraged.

XHTML documents (XML documents using elements from the HTML namespace) that use the new features described in this specification and that are served over the wire (e.g. by HTTP) must be sent using an XML MIME type such as application/xml or application/xhtml+xml and must not be served as text/html. [RFC3023]

HTML documents, if they are served over the wire (e.g. by HTTP) must be labeled with the text/html MIME type.

The language in this specification assumes that the user agent expands all entity references, and therefore does not include entity reference nodes in the DOM. If user agents do include entity reference nodes in the DOM, then user agents must handle them as if they were fully expanded when implementing this specification. For example, if a requirement talks about an element's child text nodes, then any text nodes that are children of an entity reference that is a child of that element would be used as well. Entity references to unknown entities must be treated as if they contained just an empty text node for the purposes of the algorithms defined in this specification.

2.2.1 Dependencies

This specification relies on several other underlying specifications.

XML

Implementations that support XHTML5 must support some version of XML, as well as its corresponding namespaces specification, because XHTML5 uses an XML serialization with namespaces. [XML] [XMLNAMES]

DOM

The Document Object Model (DOM) is a representation — a model — of a document and its content. The DOM is not just an API; the conformance criteria of HTML implementations are defined, in this specification, in terms of operations on the DOM. [DOM3CORE]

Implementations must support some version of DOM Core and DOM Events, because this specification is defined in terms of the DOM, and some of the features are defined as extensions to the DOM Core interfaces. [DOM3CORE] [DOM3EVENTS]

ECMAScript

The IDL fragments in this specification must be interpreted as required for conforming IDL fragments, as described in the Web IDL specification. [WebIDL]

Media Queries

Implementations must support some version of the Media Queries language. [MQ]

This specification does not require support of any particular network transport protocols, style sheet language, scripting language, or any of the DOM and WebAPI specifications beyond those described above. However, the language described by this specification is biased towards CSS as the styling language, ECMAScript as the scripting language, and HTTP as the network protocol, and several features assume that those languages and protocols are in use.

This specification might have certain additional requirements on character encodings, image formats, audio formats, and video formats in the respective sections.

2.2.2 Features defined in other specifications

this section will be removed at some point

Some elements are defined in terms of their DOM textContent attribute. This is an attribute defined on the Node interface in DOM3 Core. [DOM3CORE]

The interface DOMTimeStamp is defined in DOM3 Core. [DOM3CORE]

The rules for handling alternative style sheets are defined in the CSS object model specification. [CSSOM]

See http://dev.w3.org/cvsweb/~checkout~/csswg/cssom/Overview.html?content-type=text/html;%20charset=utf-8

2.2.3 Common conformance requirements for APIs exposed to JavaScript

This section will eventually be removed in favour of WebIDL.

A lot of arrays/lists/collections in this spec assume zero-based indexes but use the term "indexth" liberally. We should define those to be zero-based and be clearer about this.

Unless otherwise specified, if a DOM attribute that is a floating point number type (float) is assigned an Infinity or Not-a-Number value, a NOT_SUPPORTED_ERR exception must be raised.

Unless otherwise specified, if a method with an argument that is a floating point number type (float) is passed an Infinity or Not-a-Number value, a NOT_SUPPORTED_ERR exception must be raised.

Unless otherwise specified, if a method is passed fewer arguments than is defined for that method in its IDL definition, a NOT_SUPPORTED_ERR exception must be raised.

Unless otherwise specified, if a method is passed more arguments than is defined for that method in its IDL definition, the excess arguments must be ignored.

2.3 Case-sensitivity and string comparison

This specification defines several comparison operators for strings.

Comparing two strings in a case-sensitive manner means comparing them exactly, codepoint for codepoint.

Comparing two strings in an ASCII case-insensitive manner means comparing them exactly, codepoint for codepoint, except that the characters in the range U+0041 .. U+005A (i.e. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A to LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z) and the corresponding characters in the range U+0061 .. U+007A (i.e. LATIN SMALL LETTER A to LATIN SMALL LETTER Z) are considered to also match.

Comparing two strings in a compatibility caseless manner means using the Unicode compatibility caseless match operation to compare the two strings. [UNICODECASE]

Converting a string to uppercase means replacing all characters in the range U+0061 .. U+007A (i.e. LATIN SMALL LETTER A to LATIN SMALL LETTER Z) with the corresponding characters in the range U+0041 .. U+005A (i.e. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A to LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z).

Converting a string to lowercase means replacing all characters in the range U+0041 .. U+005A (i.e. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A to LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z) with the corresponding characters in the range U+0061 .. U+007A (i.e. LATIN SMALL LETTER A to LATIN SMALL LETTER Z).

A string pattern is a prefix match for a string s when pattern is not longer than s and truncating s to pattern's length leaves the two strings as matches of each other.

2.4 Common microsyntaxes

There are various places in HTML that accept particular data types, such as dates or numbers. This section describes what the conformance criteria for content in those formats is, and how to parse them.

Need to go through the whole spec and make sure all the attribute values are clearly defined either in terms of microsyntaxes or in terms of other specs, or as "Text" or some such.

2.4.1 Common parser idioms

The space characters, for the purposes of this specification, are U+0020 SPACE, U+0009 CHARACTER TABULATION (tab), U+000A LINE FEED (LF), U+000C FORM FEED (FF), and U+000D CARRIAGE RETURN (CR).

The White_Space characters are those that have the Unicode property "White_Space". [UNICODE]

Some of the micro-parsers described below follow the pattern of having an input variable that holds the string being parsed, and having a position variable pointing at the next character to parse in input.

For parsers based on this pattern, a step that requires the user agent to collect a sequence of characters means that the following algorithm must be run, with characters being the set of characters that can be collected:

  1. Let input and position be the same variables as those of the same name in the algorithm that invoked these steps.

  2. Let result be the empty string.

  3. While position doesn't point past the end of input and the character at position is one of the characters, append that character to the end of result and advance position to the next character in input.

  4. Return result.

The step skip whitespace means that the user agent must collect a sequence of characters that are space characters. The step skip White_Space characters means that the user agent must collect a sequence of characters that are White_Space characters. In both cases, the collected characters are not used. [UNICODE]

When a user agent is to strip line breaks from a string, the user agent must remove any U+000A LINE FEED (LF) and U+000D CARRIAGE RETURN (CR) characters from that string.

The codepoint length of a string is the number of Unicode codepoints in that string.

2.4.2 Boolean attributes

A number of attributes in HTML5 are boolean attributes. The presence of a boolean attribute on an element represents the true value, and the absence of the attribute represents the false value.

If the attribute is present, its value must either be the empty string or a value that is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the attribute's canonical name, with no leading or trailing whitespace.

The values "true" and "false" are not allowed on boolean attributes. To represent a false value, the attribute has to be omitted altogether.

2.4.3 Numbers

2.4.3.1 Non-negative integers

A string is a valid non-negative integer if it consists of one of more characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9).

A valid non-negative integer represents the number that is represented in base ten by that string of digits.

The rules for parsing non-negative integers are as given in the following algorithm. When invoked, the steps must be followed in the order given, aborting at the first step that returns a value. This algorithm will either return zero, a positive integer, or an error. Leading spaces are ignored. Trailing spaces and indeed any trailing garbage characters are ignored.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Let value have the value 0.

  4. Skip whitespace.

  5. If position is past the end of input, return an error.

  6. If the next character is a U+002B PLUS SIGN character (+), advance position to the next character.

  7. If position is past the end of input, return an error.

  8. If the next character is not one of U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), then return an error.

  9. If the next character is one of U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9):

    1. Multiply value by ten.
    2. Add the value of the current character (0..9) to value.
    3. Advance position to the next character.
    4. If position is not past the end of input, return to the top of step 7 in the overall algorithm (that's the step within which these substeps find themselves).
  10. Return value.

2.4.3.2 Signed integers

A string is a valid integer if it consists of one of more characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), optionally prefixed with a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-") character.

A valid integer without a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-") prefix represents the number that is represented in base ten by that string of digits. A valid integer with a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-") prefix represents the number represented in base ten by the string of digits that follows the U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS, subtracted from zero.

The rules for parsing integers are similar to the rules for non-negative integers, and are as given in the following algorithm. When invoked, the steps must be followed in the order given, aborting at the first step that returns a value. This algorithm will either return an integer or an error. Leading spaces are ignored. Trailing spaces and trailing garbage characters are ignored.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Let value have the value 0.

  4. Let sign have the value "positive".

  5. Skip whitespace.

  6. If position is past the end of input, return an error.

  7. If the character indicated by position (the first character) is a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-") character:

    1. Let sign be "negative".
    2. Advance position to the next character.
    3. If position is past the end of input, return an error.
  8. If the next character is not one of U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), then return an error.

  9. If the next character is one of U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9):

    1. Multiply value by ten.
    2. Add the value of the current character (0..9) to value.
    3. Advance position to the next character.
    4. If position is not past the end of input, return to the top of step 9 in the overall algorithm (that's the step within which these substeps find themselves).
  10. If sign is "positive", return value, otherwise return 0-value.

2.4.3.3 Real numbers

A string is a valid floating point number if it consists of:

  1. Optionally, a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-") character.
  2. A series of one or more characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9).
  3. Optionally:
    1. A single U+002E FULL STOP (".") character.
    2. A series of one or more characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9).
  4. Optionally:
    1. Either a U+0065 LATIN SMALL LETTER E character or a U+0045 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER E character.
    2. Optionally, a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-") character or U+002B PLUS SIGN ("+") character.
    3. A series of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9).

A valid floating point number represents the number obtained by multiplying the significand by ten raised to the power of the exponent, where the significand is the first number, interpreted as base ten (including the decimal point and the number after the decimal point, if any, and interpreting the significand as a negative number if the whole string starts with a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-") character and the number is not zero), and where the exponent is the number after the E, if any (interpreted as a negative number if there is a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-") character between the E and the number and the number is not zero, or else ignoring a U+002B PLUS SIGN ("+") character between the E and the number if there is one). If there is no E, then the exponent is treated as zero.

The values ±Infinity and NaN are not valid floating point numbers.

The best representation of the floating point number n is the string obtained from applying the ECMAScript operator ToString to n.

The rules for parsing floating point number values are as given in the following algorithm. As with the previous algorithms, when this one is invoked, the steps must be followed in the order given, aborting at the first step that returns something. This algorithm will either return a number or an error. Leading spaces are ignored. Trailing spaces and garbage characters are ignored.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Let value have the value 1.

  4. Let divisor have the value 1.

  5. Let exponent have the value 1.

  6. Skip whitespace.

  7. If position is past the end of input, return an error.

  8. If the character indicated by position is a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-") character:

    1. Change value and divisor to −1.
    2. Advance position to the next character.
    3. If position is past the end of input, return an error.
  9. If the character indicated by position is not one of U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), then return an error.

  10. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), and interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Multiply value by that integer.

  11. If position is past the end of input, return value.
  12. If the character indicated by position is a U+002E FULL STOP ("."), run these substeps:

    1. Advance position to the next character.

    2. If position is past the end of input, or if the character indicated by position is not one of U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), then return value.

    3. Fraction loop: Multiply divisor by ten.

    4. Add the value of the current character interpreted as a base-ten digit (0..9) divided by divisor, to value.
    5. Advance position to the next character.

    6. If position is past the end of input, then return value.

    7. If the character indicated by position is one of U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), return to the step labeled fraction loop in these substeps.

  13. If the character indicated by position is a U+0065 LATIN SMALL LETTER E character or a U+0045 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER E character, run these substeps:

    1. Advance position to the next character.

    2. If position is past the end of input, then return value.

    3. If the character indicated by position is a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-") character:

      1. Change exponent to −1.
      2. Advance position to the next character.
      3. If position is past the end of input, then return value.

      Otherwise, if the character indicated by position is a U+002B PLUS SIGN ("+") character:

      1. Advance position to the next character.
      2. If position is past the end of input, then return value.

    4. If the character indicated by position is not one of U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), then return value.

    5. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), and interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Multiply exponent by that integer.

    6. Multiply value by ten raised to the exponentth power.

  14. Return value.

2.4.3.4 Ratios

The algorithms described in this section are used by the progress and meter elements.

A valid denominator punctuation character is one of the characters from the table below. There is a value associated with each denominator punctuation character, as shown in the table below.

Denominator Punctuation Character Value
U+0025 PERCENT SIGN % 100
U+066A ARABIC PERCENT SIGN ٪ 100
U+FE6A SMALL PERCENT SIGN 100
U+FF05 FULLWIDTH PERCENT SIGN 100
U+2030 PER MILLE SIGN 1000
U+2031 PER TEN THOUSAND SIGN 10000

The steps for finding one or two numbers of a ratio in a string are as follows:

  1. If the string is empty, then return nothing and abort these steps.
  2. Find a number in the string according to the algorithm below, starting at the start of the string.
  3. If the sub-algorithm in step 2 returned nothing or returned an error condition, return nothing and abort these steps.
  4. Set number1 to the number returned by the sub-algorithm in step 2.
  5. Starting with the character immediately after the last one examined by the sub-algorithm in step 2, skip all White_Space characters in the string (this might match zero characters).
  6. If there are still further characters in the string, and the next character in the string is a valid denominator punctuation character, set denominator to that character.
  7. If the string contains any other characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE, but denominator was given a value in the step 6, return nothing and abort these steps.
  8. Otherwise, if denominator was given a value in step 6, return number1 and denominator and abort these steps.
  9. Find a number in the string again, starting immediately after the last character that was examined by the sub-algorithm in step 2.
  10. If the sub-algorithm in step 9 returned nothing or an error condition, return number1 and abort these steps.
  11. Set number2 to the number returned by the sub-algorithm in step 9.
  12. Starting with the character immediately after the last one examined by the sub-algorithm in step 9, skip all White_Space characters in the string (this might match zero characters).
  13. If there are still further characters in the string, and the next character in the string is a valid denominator punctuation character, return nothing and abort these steps.
  14. If the string contains any other characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE, return nothing and abort these steps.
  15. Otherwise, return number1 and number2.

The algorithm to find a number is as follows. It is given a string and a starting position, and returns either nothing, a number, or an error condition.

  1. Starting at the given starting position, ignore all characters in the given string until the first character that is either a U+002E FULL STOP or one of the ten characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE.
  2. If there are no such characters, return nothing and abort these steps.
  3. Starting with the character matched in step 1, collect all the consecutive characters that are either a U+002E FULL STOP or one of the ten characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE, and assign this string of one or more characters to string.
  4. If string consists of just a single U+002E FULL STOP character or if it contains more than one U+002E FULL STOP character then return an error condition and abort these steps.
  5. Parse string according to the rules for parsing floating point number values, to obtain number. This step cannot fail (string is guaranteed to be a valid floating point number).
  6. Return number.
2.4.3.5 Percentages and lengths

The rules for parsing dimension values are as given in the following algorithm. When invoked, the steps must be followed in the order given, aborting at the first step that returns a value. This algorithm will either return a number greater than or equal to 1.0, or an error; if a number is returned, then it is further categorised as either a percentage or a length.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Skip whitespace.

  4. If position is past the end of input, return an error.

  5. If the next character is a U+002B PLUS SIGN character (+), advance position to the next character.

  6. Collect a sequence of characters that are U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) characters, and discard them.

  7. If position is past the end of input, return an error.

  8. If the next character is not one of U+0031 DIGIT ONE (1) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), then return an error.

  9. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), and interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Let value be that number.

  10. If position is past the end of input, return value as an integer.

  11. If the next character is a U+002E FULL STOP character (.):

    1. Advance position to the next character.

    2. If the next character is not one of U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), then return value as an integer.

    3. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). Let length be the number of characters collected. Let fraction be the result of interpreting the collected characters as a base-ten integer, and then dividing that number by 10length.

    4. Increment value by fraction.

  12. If position is past the end of input, return value as a length.

  13. If the next character is a U+0025 PERCENT SIGN character (%), return value as a percentage.

  14. Return value as a length.

2.4.3.6 Lists of integers

A valid list of integers is a number of valid integers separated by U+002C COMMA characters, with no other characters (e.g. no space characters). In addition, there might be restrictions on the number of integers that can be given, or on the range of values allowed.

The rules for parsing a list of integers are as follows:

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Let numbers be an initially empty list of integers. This list will be the result of this algorithm.

  4. If there is a character in the string input at position position, and it is either a U+0020 SPACE, U+002C COMMA, or U+003B SEMICOLON character, then advance position to the next character in input, or to beyond the end of the string if there are no more characters.

  5. If position points to beyond the end of input, return numbers and abort.

  6. If the character in the string input at position position is a U+0020 SPACE, U+002C COMMA, or U+003B SEMICOLON character, then return to step 4.

  7. Let negated be false.

  8. Let value be 0.

  9. Let started be false. This variable is set to true when the parser sees a number or a "-" character.

  10. Let got number be false. This variable is set to true when the parser sees a number.

  11. Let finished be false. This variable is set to true to switch parser into a mode where it ignores characters until the next separator.

  12. Let bogus be false.

  13. Parser: If the character in the string input at position position is:

    A U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS character

    Follow these substeps:

    1. If got number is true, let finished be true.
    2. If finished is true, skip to the next step in the overall set of steps.
    3. If started is true, let negated be false.
    4. Otherwise, if started is false and if bogus is false, let negated be true.
    5. Let started be true.
    A character in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE

    Follow these substeps:

    1. If finished is true, skip to the next step in the overall set of steps.
    2. Multiply value by ten.
    3. Add the value of the digit, interpreted in base ten, to value.
    4. Let started be true.
    5. Let got number be true.
    A U+0020 SPACE character
    A U+002C COMMA character
    A U+003B SEMICOLON character

    Follow these substeps:

    1. If got number is false, return the numbers list and abort. This happens if an entry in the list has no digits, as in "1,2,x,4".
    2. If negated is true, then negate value.
    3. Append value to the numbers list.
    4. Jump to step 4 in the overall set of steps.
    A character in the range U+0001 .. U+001F, U+0021 .. U+002B, U+002D .. U+002F, U+003A, U+003C .. U+0040, U+005B .. U+0060, U+007b .. U+007F (i.e. any other non-alphabetic ASCII character)

    Follow these substeps:

    1. If got number is true, let finished be true.
    2. If finished is true, skip to the next step in the overall set of steps.
    3. Let negated be false.
    Any other character

    Follow these substeps:

    1. If finished is true, skip to the next step in the overall set of steps.
    2. Let negated be false.
    3. Let bogus be true.
    4. If started is true, then return the numbers list, and abort. (The value in value is not appended to the list first; it is dropped.)
  14. Advance position to the next character in input, or to beyond the end of the string if there are no more characters.

  15. If position points to a character (and not to beyond the end of input), jump to the big Parser step above.

  16. If negated is true, then negate value.

  17. If got number is true, then append value to the numbers list.

  18. Return the numbers list and abort.

2.4.3.7 Lists of dimensions

The rules for parsing a list of dimensions are as follows. These rules return a list of zero or more pairs consisting of a number and a unit, the unit being one of percentage, relative, and absolute.

  1. Let raw input be the string being parsed.

  2. If the last character in raw input is a U+002C COMMA character (","), then remove that character from raw input.

  3. Split the string raw input on commas. Let raw tokens be the resulting list of tokens.

  4. Let result be an empty list of number/unit pairs.

  5. For each token in raw tokens, run the following substeps:

    1. Let input be the token.

    2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

    3. Let value be the number 0.

    4. Let unit be absolute.

    5. If position is past the end of input, set unit to relative and jump to the last substep.

    6. If the character at position is a character in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), interpret the resulting sequence as an integer in base ten, and increment value by that integer.

    7. If the character at position is a U+002E FULL STOP character (.), run these substeps:

      1. Collect a sequence of characters consisting of space characters and characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). Let s be the resulting sequence.

      2. Remove all space characters in s.

      3. If s is not the empty string, run these subsubsteps:

        1. Let length be the number of characters in s (after the spaces were removed).

        2. Let fraction be the result of interpreting s as a base-ten integer, and then dividing that number by 10length.

        3. Increment value by fraction.

    8. Skip whitespace.

    9. If the character at position is a U+0025 PERCENT SIGN (%) character, then set unit to percentage.

      Otherwise, if the character at position is a U+002A ASTERISK character (*), then set unit to relative.

    10. Add an entry to result consisting of the number given by value and the unit given by unit.

  6. Return the list result.

2.4.4 Dates and times

In the algorithms below, the number of days in month month of year year is: 31 if month is 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, or 12; 30 if month is 4, 6, 9, or 11; 29 if month is 2 and year is a number divisible by 400, or if year is a number divisible by 4 but not by 100; and 28 otherwise. This takes into account leap years in the Gregorian calendar. [GREGORIAN]

The digits in the date and time syntaxes defined in this section must be characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE, used to express numbers in base ten.

2.4.4.1 Months

A month consists of a specific proleptic Gregorian date with no timezone information and no date information beyond a year and a month. [GREGORIAN]

A string is a valid month string representing a year year and month month if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. Four or more digits, representing year, where year > 0
  2. A U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS character (-)
  3. Two digits, representing the month month, in the range 1 ≤ month ≤ 12

The rules to parse a month string are as follows. This will either return a year and month, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Parse a month component to obtain year and month. If this returns nothing, then fail.

  4. If position is not beyond the end of input, then fail.

  5. Return year and month.

The rules to parse a month component, given an input string and a position, are as follows. This will either return a year and a month, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). If the collected sequence is not at least four characters long, then fail. Otherwise, interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Let that number be the year.

  2. If year is not a number greater than zero, then fail.

  3. If position is beyond the end of input or if the character at position is not a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS character, then fail. Otherwise, move position forwards one character.

  4. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). If the collected sequence is not exactly two characters long, then fail. Otherwise, interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Let that number be the month.

  5. If month is not a number in the range 1 ≤ month ≤ 12, then fail.

  6. Return year and month.

2.4.4.2 Dates

A date consists of a specific proleptic Gregorian date with no timezone information, consisting of a year, a month, and a day. [GREGORIAN]

A string is a valid date string representing a year year, month month, and day day if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. A valid month string, representing year and month
  2. A U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS character (-)
  3. Two digits, representing day, in the range 1 ≤ day ≤ maxday where maxday is the number of days in the month month and year year

The rules to parse a date string are as follows. This will either return a date, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Parse a date component to obtain year, month, and day. If this returns nothing, then fail.

  4. If position is not beyond the end of input, then fail.

  5. Let date be the date with year year, month month, and day day.

  6. Return date.

The rules to parse a date component, given an input string and a position, are as follows. This will either return a year, a month, and a day, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. Parse a month component to obtain year and month. If this returns nothing, then fail.

  2. Let maxday be the number of days in month month of year year.

  3. If position is beyond the end of input or if the character at position is not a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS character, then fail. Otherwise, move position forwards one character.

  4. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). If the collected sequence is not exactly two characters long, then fail. Otherwise, interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Let that number be the day.

  5. If day is not a number in the range 1 ≤ month ≤ maxday, then fail.

  6. Return year, month, and day.

2.4.4.3 Times

A time consists of a specific time with no timezone information, consisting of an hour, a minute, a second, and a fraction of a second.

A string is a valid time string representing an hour hour, a minute minute, and a second second if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. Two digits, representing hour, in the range 0 ≤ hour ≤ 23
  2. A U+003A COLON character (:)
  3. Two digits, representing minute
  4. Optionally (required if second is non-zero):
    1. A U+003A COLON character (:)
    2. Two digits, representing the integer part of second, in the range 0 ≤ s ≤ 59
    3. Optionally (required if second is not an integer):
      1. A 002E FULL STOP character (.)
      2. One or more digits, representing the fractional part of second

The second component cannot be 60 or 61; leap seconds cannot be represented.

The rules to parse a time string are as follows. This will either return a time, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Parse a time component to obtain hour, minute, and second. If this returns nothing, then fail.

  4. If position is not beyond the end of input, then fail.

  5. Let time be the time with hour hour, minute minute, and second second.

  6. Return time.

The rules to parse a time component, given an input string and a position, are as follows. This will either return an hour, a minute, and a second, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). If the collected sequence is not exactly two characters long, then fail. Otherwise, interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Let that number be the hour.

  2. If hour is not a number in the range 0 ≤ hour ≤ 23, then fail.
  3. If position is beyond the end of input or if the character at position is not a U+003A COLON character, then fail. Otherwise, move position forwards one character.

  4. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). If the collected sequence is not exactly two characters long, then fail. Otherwise, interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Let that number be the minute.

  5. If minute is not a number in the range 0 ≤ minute ≤ 59, then fail.
  6. Let second be a string with the value "0".

  7. If position is not beyond the end of input and the character at position is a U+003A COLON, then run these substeps:

    1. Advance position to the next character in input.

    2. If position is beyond the end of input, or at the last character in input, or if the next two characters in input starting at position are not two characters both in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), then fail.

    3. Collect a sequence of characters that are either characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9) or U+002E FULL STOP characters. If the collected sequence has more than one U+002E FULL STOP characters, or if the last character in the sequence is a U+002E FULL STOP character, then fail. Otherwise, let the collected string be second instead of its previous value.

  8. Interpret second as a base-ten number (possibly with a fractional part). Let second be that number instead of the string version.

  9. If second is not a number in the range 0 ≤ second < 60, then fail.

  10. Return hour, minute, and second.

2.4.4.4 Local dates and times

A local date and time consists of a specific proleptic Gregorian date, consisting of a year, a month, and a day, and a time, consisting of an hour, a minute, a second, and a fraction of a second, but expressed without a time zone. [GREGORIAN]

A string is a valid local date and time string representing a date and time if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. A valid date string representing the date.
  2. A U+0054 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER T character.
  3. A valid time string representing the time.

The rules to parse a local date and time string are as follows. This will either return a date and time, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Parse a date component to obtain year, month, and day. If this returns nothing, then fail.

  4. If position is beyond the end of input or if the character at position is not a U+0054 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER T character then fail. Otherwise, move position forwards one character.

  5. Parse a time component to obtain hour, minute, and second. If this returns nothing, then fail.

  6. If position is not beyond the end of input, then fail.

  7. Let date be the date with year year, month month, and day day.

  8. Let time be the time with hour hour, minute minute, and second second.

  9. Return date and time.

2.4.4.5 Global dates and times

A global date and time consists of a specific proleptic Gregorian date, consisting of a year, a month, and a day, and a time, consisting of an hour, a minute, a second, and a fraction of a second, expressed with a time zone, consisting of a number of hours and minutes. [GREGORIAN]

A string is a valid global date and time string representing a date, time, and a timezone offset if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. A valid date string representing the date
  2. A U+0054 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER T character
  3. A valid time string representing the time
  4. Either:

This format allows for time zone offsets from -23:59 to +23:59. In practice, however, the range of actual time zones is -12:00 to +14:00, and the minutes component of actual time zones is always either 00, 30, or 45.

The following are some examples of dates written as valid global date and time strings.

"0037-12-13T00:00Z"
Midnight UTC on the birthday of Nero (the Roman Emperor).
"1979-10-14T12:00:00.001-04:00"
One millisecond after noon on October 14th 1979, in the time zone in use on the east coast of North America during daylight saving time.
"8592-01-01T02:09+02:09"
Midnight UTC on the 1st of January, 8592. The time zone associated with that time is two hours and nine minutes ahead of UTC, which is not a real time zone currently, but is nonetheless allowed.

Several things are notable about these dates:

The rules to parse a global date and time string are as follows. This will either return a time in UTC, with associated timezone information for round tripping or display purposes, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Parse a date component to obtain year, month, and day. If this returns nothing, then fail.

  4. If position is beyond the end of input or if the character at position is not a U+0054 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER T character then fail. Otherwise, move position forwards one character.

  5. Parse a time component to obtain hour, minute, and second. If this returns nothing, then fail.

  6. If position is beyond the end of input, then fail.

  7. Parse a timezone component to obtain timezonehours and timezoneminutes. If this returns nothing, then fail.

  8. If position is not beyond the end of input, then fail.

  9. Let time be the moment in time at year year, month month, day day, hours hour, minute minute, second second, subtracting timezonehours hours and timezoneminutes minutes. That moment in time is a moment in the UTC timezone.

  10. Let timezone be timezonehours hours and timezoneminutes minutes from UTC.

  11. Return time and timezone.

The rules to parse a timezone component, given an input string and a position, are as follows. This will either return timezone hours and timezone minutes, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. If the character at position is a U+005A LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z, then:

    1. Let timezonehours be 0.

    2. Let timezoneminutes be 0.

    3. Advance position to the next character in input.

    Otherwise, if the character at position is either a U+002B PLUS SIGN ("+") or a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-"), then:

    1. If the character at position is a U+002B PLUS SIGN ("+"), let sign be "positive". Otherwise, it's a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS ("-"); let sign be "negative".

    2. Advance position to the next character in input.

    3. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). If the collected sequence is not exactly two characters long, then fail. Otherwise, interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Let that number be the timezonehours.

    4. If timezonehours is not a number in the range 0 ≤ timezonehours ≤ 23, then fail.
    5. If sign is "negative", then negate timezonehours.
    6. If position is beyond the end of input or if the character at position is not a U+003A COLON character, then fail. Otherwise, move position forwards one character.

    7. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). If the collected sequence is not exactly two characters long, then fail. Otherwise, interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Let that number be the timezoneminutes.

    8. If timezoneminutes is not a number in the range 0 ≤ timezoneminutes ≤ 59, then fail.
    9. If sign is "negative", then negate timezoneminutes.
  2. Return timezonehours and timezoneminutes.

2.4.4.6 Weeks

A week consists of a week-year number and a week number representing a seven day period. Each week-year in this calendaring system has either 52 weeks or 53 weeks, as defined below. A week is a seven-day period. The week starting on the Gregorian date Monday December 29th 1969 (1969-12-29) is defined as week number 1 in week-year 1970. Consecutive weeks are numbered sequentially. The week before the number 1 week in a week-year is the last week in the previous week-year, and vice versa. [GREGORIAN]

A week-year with a number year that corresponds to a year year in the proleptic Gregorian calendar that has a Thursday as its first day (January 1st), and a week-year year where year is a number divisible by 400, or a number divisible by 4 but not by 100, has 53 weeks. All other week-years have 52 weeks.

The week number of the last day of a week-year with 53 weeks is 53; the week number of the last day of a week-year with 52 weeks is 52.

The week-year number of a particular day can be different than the number of the year that contains that day in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. The first week in a week-year year is the week that contains the first Thursday of the Gregorian year year.

A string is a valid week string representing a week-year year and week week if it consists of the following components in the given order:

  1. Four or more digits, representing year, where year > 0
  2. A U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS character (-)
  3. A U+0057 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER W character
  4. Two digits, representing the week week, in the range 1 ≤ week ≤ maxweek, where maxweek is the week number of the last day of week-year year

The rules to parse a week string are as follows. This will either return a week-year number and week number, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). If the collected sequence is not at least four characters long, then fail. Otherwise, interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Let that number be the year.

  4. If year is not a number greater than zero, then fail.

  5. If position is beyond the end of input or if the character at position is not a U+002D HYPHEN-MINUS character, then fail. Otherwise, move position forwards one character.

  6. If position is beyond the end of input or if the character at position is not a U+0057 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER W character, then fail. Otherwise, move position forwards one character.

  7. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9). If the collected sequence is not exactly two characters long, then fail. Otherwise, interpret the resulting sequence as a base-ten integer. Let that number be the week.

  8. Let maxweek be the week number of the last day of year year.

  9. If week is not a number in the range 1 ≤ week ≤ maxweek, then fail.

  10. If position is not beyond the end of input, then fail.

  11. Return the week-year number year and the week number week.

2.4.4.7 Vaguer moments in time

A date or time string consists of either a date, a time, or a global date and time.

A string is a valid date or time string if it is also one of the following:

A string is a valid date or time string in content if it consists of zero or more White_Space characters, followed by a valid date or time string, followed by zero or more further White_Space characters.

The rules to parse a date or time string are as follows. The algorithm is invoked with a flag indicating if the in attribute variant or the in content variant is to be used. The algorithm will either return a date, a time, a global date and time, or nothing. If at any point the algorithm says that it "fails", this means that it is aborted at that point and returns nothing.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. For the in content variant: skip White_Space characters.

  4. Set start position to the same position as position.

  5. Set the date present and time present flags to true.

  6. Parse a date component to obtain year, month, and day. If this fails, then set the date present flag to false.

  7. If date present is true, and position is not beyond the end of input, and the character at position is a U+0054 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER T character, then advance position to the next character in input.

    Otherwise, if date present is true, and either position is beyond the end of input or the character at position is not a U+0054 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER T character, then set time present to false.

    Otherwise, if date present is false, set position back to the same position as start position.

  8. If the time present flag is true, then parse a time component to obtain hour, minute, and second. If this returns nothing, then set the time present flag to false.

  9. If both the date present and time present flags are false, then fail.

  10. If the time present flag is true, but position is beyond the end of input, then fail.

  11. If the date present and time present flags are both true, parse a timezone component to obtain timezonehours and timezoneminutes. If this returns nothing, then fail.

  12. For the in content variant: skip White_Space characters.

  13. If position is not beyond the end of input, then fail.

  14. If the date present flag is true and the time present flag is false, then let date be the date with year year, month month, and day day, and return date.

    Otherwise, if the time present flag is true and the date present flag is false, then let time be the time with hour hour, minute minute, and second second, and return time.

    Otherwise, let time be the moment in time at year year, month month, day day, hours hour, minute minute, second second, subtracting timezonehours hours and timezoneminutes minutes, that moment in time being a moment in the UTC timezone; let timezone be timezonehours hours and timezoneminutes minutes from UTC; and return time and timezone.

2.4.5 Colors

A simple color consists of three 8-bit numbers in the range 0..255, representing the red, green, and blue components of the color respectively, in the sRGB color space. [SRGB]

A string is a valid simple color if it is exactly seven characters long, and the first character is a U+0023 NUMBER SIGN (#) character, and the remaining six characters are all in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), U+0041 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A .. U+0046 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER F, U+0061 LATIN SMALL LETTER A .. U+0066 LATIN SMALL LETTER F, with the first two digits representing the red component, the middle two digits representing the green component, and the last two digits representing the blue component, in hexadecimal.

A string is a valid lowercase simple color if it is a valid simple color and doesn't use any characters in the range U+0041 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A .. U+0046 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER F.

The rules for parsing simple color values are as given in the following algorithm. When invoked, the steps must be followed in the order given, aborting at the first step that returns a value. This algorithm will either return a simple color or an error.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. If input is not exactly seven characters long, then return an error.

  3. If the first character in input is not a U+0023 NUMBER SIGN (#) character, then return an error.

  4. If the last six characters of input are not all in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), U+0041 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A .. U+0046 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER F, U+0061 LATIN SMALL LETTER A .. U+0066 LATIN SMALL LETTER F, then return an error.

  5. Let result be a simple color.

  6. Interpret the second and third characters as a hexadecimal number and let the result be the red component of result.

  7. Interpret the fourth and fifth characters as a hexadecimal number and let the result be the green component of result.

  8. Interpret the sixth and seventh characters as a hexadecimal number and let the result be the blue component of result.

  9. Return result.

The rules for serialising simple color values given a simple color are as given in the following algorithm:

  1. Let result be a string consisting of a single U+0023 NUMBER SIGN (#) character.

  2. Convert the red, green, and blue components in turn to two-digit hexadecimal numbers using the digits U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9) and U+0061 LATIN SMALL LETTER A .. U+0066 LATIN SMALL LETTER F, zero-padding if necessary, and append these numbers to result, in the order red, green, blue.

  3. Return result, which will be a valid lowercase simple color.


Some obsolete legacy attributes parse colors in a more complicated manner, using the rules for parsing a legacy color value, which are given in the following algorithm. When invoked, the steps must be followed in the order given, aborting at the first step that returns a value. This algorithm will either return a simple color or an error.

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. If input is the empty string, then return an error.

  3. If input is an ASCII case-insensitive match for one of the keywords listed in the SVG color keywords section of the CSS3 Color specification, the return the simple color corresponding to that keyword. [CSS3COLOR]

  4. If input is four characters long, and the first character in input is a U+0023 NUMBER SIGN (#) character, and the the last three characters of input are all in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), U+0041 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A .. U+0046 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER F, and U+0061 LATIN SMALL LETTER A .. U+0066 LATIN SMALL LETTER F, then run these substeps:

    1. Let result be a simple color.

    2. Interpret the second character of input as a hexadecimal digit; let the red component of result be the resulting number multiplied by 17.

    3. Interpret the third character of input as a hexadecimal digit; let the green component of result be the resulting number multiplied by 17.

    4. Interpret the fourth character of input as a hexadecimal digit; let the blue component of result be the resulting number multiplied by 17.

    5. Return result.

  5. Replace any characters in input that have a Unicode codepoint greater than U+FFFF (i.e. any characters that are not in the basic multilingual plane) with the two-character string "00".

  6. If input is longer than 128 characters, truncate input, leaving only the first 128 characters.

  7. If the first character in input is a U+0023 NUMBER SIGN character (#), remove it.

  8. Replace any character in input that is not in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), U+0041 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A .. U+0046 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER F, and U+0061 LATIN SMALL LETTER A .. U+0066 LATIN SMALL LETTER F with the character U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0).

  9. While input's length is zero or not a multiple of three, append a U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) character to input.

  10. Split input into three strings of equal length, to obtain three components. Let length be the length of those components (one third the length of input).

  11. If length is greater than 8, then remove the leading length-8 characters in each component, and let length be 8.

  12. While length is greater than two and the first character in each component is a U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) character, remove that character and reduce length by one.

  13. If length is still greater than two, truncate each component, leaving only the first two characters in each.

  14. Let result be a simple color.

  15. Interpret the first component as a hexadecimal number; let the red component of result be the resulting number.

  16. Interpret the second component as a hexadecimal number; let the green component of result be the resulting number.

  17. Interpret the third component as a hexadecimal number; let the blue component of result be the resulting number.

  18. Return result.


The 2D graphics context has a separate color syntax that also handles opacity.

2.4.6 Space-separated tokens

A set of space-separated tokens is a set of zero or more words separated by one or more space characters, where words consist of any string of one or more characters, none of which are space characters.

A string containing a set of space-separated tokens may have leading or trailing space characters.

An unordered set of unique space-separated tokens is a set of space-separated tokens where none of the words are duplicated.

An ordered set of unique space-separated tokens is a set of space-separated tokens where none of the words are duplicated but where the order of the tokens is meaningful.

Sets of space-separated tokens sometimes have a defined set of allowed values. When a set of allowed values is defined, the tokens must all be from that list of allowed values; other values are non-conforming. If no such set of allowed values is provided, then all values are conforming.

When a user agent has to split a string on spaces, it must use the following algorithm:

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Let tokens be a list of tokens, initially empty.

  4. Skip whitespace

  5. While position is not past the end of input:

    1. Collect a sequence of characters that are not space characters.

    2. Add the string collected in the previous step to tokens.

    3. Skip whitespace

  6. Return tokens.

When a user agent has to remove a token from a string, it must use the following algorithm:

  1. Let input be the string being modified.

  2. Let token be the token being removed. It will not contain any space characters.

  3. Let output be the output string, initially empty.

  4. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  5. If position is beyond the end of input, set the string being modified to output, and abort these steps.

  6. If the character at position is a space character:

    1. Append the character at position to the end of output.

    2. Increment position so it points at the next character in input.

    3. Return to step 5 in the overall set of steps.

  7. Otherwise, the character at position is the first character of a token. Collect a sequence of characters that are not space characters, and let that be s.

  8. If s is exactly equal to token, then:

    1. Skip whitespace (in input).

    2. Remove any space characters currently at the end of output.

    3. If position is not past the end of input, and output is not the empty string, append a single U+0020 SPACE character at the end of output.

  9. Otherwise, append s to the end of output.

  10. Return to step 6 in the overall set of steps.

This causes any occurrences of the token to be removed from the string, and any spaces that were surrounding the token to be collapsed to a single space, except at the start and end of the string, where such spaces are removed.

2.4.7 Comma-separated tokens

A set of comma-separated tokens is a set of zero or more tokens each separated from the next by a single U+002C COMMA character (,), where tokens consist of any string of zero or more characters, neither beginning nor ending with space characters, nor containing any U+002C COMMA characters (,), and optionally surrounded by space characters.

For instance, the string " a ,b,,d d " consists of four tokens: "a", "b", the empty string, and "d d". Leading and trailing whitespace around each token doesn't count as part of the token, and the empty string can be a token.

Sets of comma-separated tokens sometimes have further restrictions on what consists a valid token. When such restrictions are defined, the tokens must all fit within those restrictions; other values are non-conforming. If no such restrictions are specified, then all values are conforming.

When a user agent has to split a string on commas, it must use the following algorithm:

  1. Let input be the string being parsed.

  2. Let position be a pointer into input, initially pointing at the start of the string.

  3. Let tokens be a list of tokens, initially empty.

  4. Token: If position is past the end of input, jump to the last step.

  5. Collect a sequence of characters that are not U+002C COMMA characters (,). Let s be the resulting sequence (which might be the empty string).

  6. Remove any leading or trailing sequence of space characters from s.

  7. Add s to tokens.

  8. If position is not past the end of input, then the character at position is a U+002C COMMA character (,); advance position past that character.

  9. Jump back to the step labeled token.

  10. Return tokens.

2.4.8 Keywords and enumerated attributes

Some attributes are defined as taking one of a finite set of keywords. Such attributes are called enumerated attributes. The keywords are each defined to map to a particular state (several keywords might map to the same state, in which case some of the keywords are synonyms of each other; additionally, some of the keywords can be said to be non-conforming, and are only in the specification for historical reasons). In addition, two default states can be given. The first is the invalid value default, the second is the missing value default.

If an enumerated attribute is specified, the attribute's value must be an ASCII case-insensitive match for one of the given keywords that are not said to be non-conforming, with no leading or trailing whitespace.

When the attribute is specified, if its value is an ASCII case-insensitively match for one of the given keywords then that keyword's state is the state that the attribute represents. If the attribute value matches none of the given keywords, but the attribute has an invalid value default, then the attribute represents that state. Otherwise, if the attribute value matches none of the keywords but there is a missing value default state defined, then that is the state represented by the attribute. Otherwise, there is no default, and invalid values must be ignored.

When the attribute is not specified, if there is a missing value default state defined, then that is the state represented by the (missing) attribute. Otherwise, the absence of the attribute means that there is no state represented.

The empty string can be one of the keywords in some cases. For example the contenteditable attribute has two states: true, matching the true keyword and the empty string, false, matching false and all other keywords (it's the invalid value default). It could further be thought of as having a third state inherit, which would be the default when the attribute is not specified at all (the missing value default), but for various reasons that isn't the way this specification actually defines it.

2.4.9 References

A valid hash-name reference to an element of type type is a string consisting of a U+0023 NUMBER SIGN (#) character followed by a string which exactly matches the value of the name attribute of an element in the document with type type.

The rules for parsing a hash-name reference to an element of type type are as follows:

  1. If the string being parsed does not contain a U+0023 NUMBER SIGN character, or if the first such character in the string is the last character in the string, then return null and abort these steps.

  2. Let s be the string from the character immediately after the first U+0023 NUMBER SIGN character in the string being parsed up to the end of that string.

  3. Return the first element of type type that has an id attribute whose value is a case-sensitive match for s or a name attribute whose value is a compatibility caseless match for s.

2.5 URLs

This specification defines the term URL, and defines various algorithms for dealing with URLs, because for historical reasons the rules defined by the URI and IRI specifications are not a complete description of what HTML user agents need to implement to be compatible with Web content.

2.5.1 Terminology

A URL is a string used to identify a resource.

A URL is a valid URL if at least one of the following conditions holds:

A URL has an associated URL character encoding, determined as follows:

If the URL came from a script (e.g. as an argument to a method)
The URL character encoding is the script's character encoding.
If the URL came from a DOM node (e.g. from an element)
The node has a Document, and the URL character encoding is the document's character encoding.
If the URL had a character encoding defined when the URL was created or defined
The URL character encoding is as defined.

The term "URL" in this specification is used in a manner distinct from the precise technical meaning it is given in RFC 3986. Readers familiar with that RFC will find it easier to read this specification if they pretend the term "URL" as used herein is really called something else altogether.

2.5.2 Parsing URLs

To parse a URL url into its component parts, the user agent must use the following steps:

  1. Strip leading and trailing space characters from url.

  2. Parse url in the manner defined by RFC 3986, with the following exceptions:

  3. If url doesn't match the <URI-reference> production, even after the above changes are made to the ABNF definitions, then parsing the URL fails with an error. [RFC3986]

    Otherwise, parsing url was successful; the components of the URL are substrings of url defined as follows:

    <scheme>

    The substring matched by the <scheme> production, if any.

    <host>

    The substring matched by the <host> production, if any.

    <port>

    The substring matched by the <port> production, if any.

    <hostport>

    If there is a <scheme> component and a <port> component and the port given by the <port> component is different than the default port defined for the protocol given by the <scheme> component, then <hostport> is the substring that starts with the substring matched by the <host> production and ends with the substring matched by the <port> production, and includes the colon in between the two. Otherwise, it is the same as the <host> component.

    <path>

    The substring matched by one of the following productions, if one of them was matched:

    • <path-abempty>
    • <path-absolute>
    • <path-noscheme>
    • <path-rootless>
    • <path-empty>
    <query>

    The substring matched by the <query> production, if any.

    <fragment>

    The substring matched by the <fragment> production, if any.

    <host-specific>

    The substring that follows the substring matched by the <authority> production, or the whole string if the <authority> production wasn't matched.

2.5.3 Resolving URLs

To resolve a URL to an absolute URL relative to either another absolute URL or an element, the user agent must use the following steps. Resolving a URL can result in an error, in which case the URL is not resolvable.

  1. Let url be the URL being resolved.

  2. Let encoding be the URL character encoding.

  3. If encoding is UTF-16, then change it to UTF-8.

  4. If the algorithm was invoked with an absolute URL to use as the base URL, let base be that absolute URL.

    Otherwise, let base be the base URI of the element, as defined by the XML Base specification, with the base URI of the document entity being defined as the document base URL of the Document that owns the element. [XMLBASE]

    For the purposes of the XML Base specification, user agents must act as if all Document objects represented XML documents.

    It is possible for xml:base attributes to be present even in HTML fragments, as such attributes can be added dynamically using script. (Such scripts would not be conforming, however, as xml:base attributes are not allowed in HTML documents.)

    The document base URL of a Document is the absolute URL obtained by running these substeps:

    1. Let fallback base url be the document's address.

    2. If fallback base url is about:blank, and the Document's browsing context has a creator browsing context, then let fallback base url be the document base URL of the creator Document instead.

    3. If there is no base element that is both a child of the head element and has an href attribute, then the document base URL is fallback base url.

    4. Otherwise, let url be the value of the href attribute of the first such element.

    5. Resolve url relative to fallback base url (thus, the base href attribute isn't affected by xml:base attributes).

    6. The document base URL is the result of the previous step if it was successful; otherwise it is fallback base url.

  5. Parse url into its component parts.

  6. If parsing url resulted in a <host> component, then replace the matching subtring of url with the string that results from expanding any sequences of percent-encoded octets in that component that are valid UTF-8 sequences into Unicode characters as defined by UTF-8.

    If any percent-encoded octets in that component are not valid UTF-8 sequences, then return an error and abort these steps.

    Apply the IDNA ToASCII algorithm to the matching substring, with both the AllowUnassigned and UseSTD3ASCIIRules flags set. Replace the matching substring with the result of the ToASCII algorithm.

    If ToASCII fails to convert one of the components of the string, e.g. because it is too long or because it contains invalid characters, then return an error and abort these steps. [RFC3490]

  7. If parsing url resulted in a <path> component, then replace the matching substring of url with the string that results from applying the following steps to each character other than U+0025 PERCENT SIGN (%) that doesn't match the original <path> production defined in RFC 3986:

    1. Encode the character into a sequence of octets as defined by UTF-8.
    2. Replace the character with the percent-encoded form of those octets. [RFC3986]

    For instance if url was "//example.com/a^b☺c%FFd%z/?e", then the <path> component's substring would be "/a^b☺c%FFd%z/" and the two characters that would have to be escaped would be "^" and "". The result after this step was applied would therefore be that url now had the value "//example.com/a%5Eb%E2%98%BAc%FFd%z/?e".

  8. If parsing url resulted in a <query> component, then replace the matching substring of url with the string that results from applying the following steps to each character other than U+0025 PERCENT SIGN (%) that doesn't match the original <query> production defined in RFC 3986:

    1. If the character in question cannot be expressed in the encoding encoding, then replace it with a single 0x3F octet (an ASCII question mark) and skip the remaining substeps for this character.
    2. Encode the character into a sequence of octets as defined by the encoding encoding.
    3. Replace the character with the percent-encoded form of those octets. [RFC3986]
  9. Apply the algorithm described in RFC 3986 section 5.2 Relative Resolution, using url as the potentially relative URI reference (R), and base as the base URI (Base). [RFC3986]

  10. Apply any relevant conformance criteria of RFC 3986 and RFC 3987, returning an error and aborting these steps if appropriate. [RFC3986] [RFC3987]

    For instance, if an absolute URI that would be returned by the above algorithm violates the restrictions specific to its scheme, e.g. a data: URI using the "//" server-based naming authority syntax, then user agents are to treat this as an error instead.

  11. Let result be the target URI (T) returned by the Relative Resolution algorithm.

  12. If result uses a scheme with a server-based naming authority, replace all U+005C REVERSE SOLIDUS (\) characters in result with U+002F SOLIDUS (/) characters.

  13. Return result.

A URL is an absolute URL if resolving it results in the same URL without an error.

2.5.4 Dynamic changes to base URLs

When an xml:base attribute changes, the attribute's element, and all descendant elements, are affected by a base URL change.

When a document's document base URL changes, all elements in that document are affected by a base URL change.

When an element is moved from one document to another, if the two documents have different base URLs, then that element and all its descendants are affected by a base URL change.

When an element is affected by a base URL change, it must act as described in the following list:

If the element is a hyperlink element

If the absolute URL identified by the hyperlink is being shown to the user, or if any data derived from that URL is affecting the display, then the href attribute should be reresolved relative to the element and the UI updated appropriately.

For example, the CSS :link/:visited pseudo-classes might have been affected.

If the hyperlink has a ping attribute and its absolute URL(s) are being shown to the user, then the ping attribute's tokens should be reresolved relative to the element and the UI updated appropriately.

If the element is a blockquote, q, ins, or del element with a cite attribute

If the absolute URL identified by the cite attribute is being shown to the user, or if any data derived from that URL is affecting the display, then the URL should be reresolved relative to the element and the UI updated appropriately.

Otherwise

The element is not directly affected.

Changing the base URL doesn't affect the image displayed by img elements, although subsequent accesses of the src DOM attribute from script will return a new absolute URL that might no longer correspond to the image being shown.

2.5.5 Interfaces for URL manipulation

An interface that has a complement of URL decomposition attributes will have seven attributes with the following definitions:

           attribute DOMString protocol;
           attribute DOMString host;
           attribute DOMString hostname;
           attribute DOMString port;
           attribute DOMString pathname;
           attribute DOMString search;
           attribute DOMString hash;

The attributes defined to be URL decomposition attributes must act as described for the attributes with the same corresponding names in this section.

In addition, an interface with a complement of URL decomposition attributes will define an input, which is a URL that the attributes act on, and a common setter action, which is a set of steps invoked when any of the attributes' setters are invoked.

The seven URL decomposition attributes have similar requirements.

On getting, if the input fulfills the condition given in the "getter condition" column corresponding to the attribute in the table below, the user agent must return the part of the input URL given in the "component" column, with any prefixes specified in the "prefix" column appropriately added to the start of the string and any suffixes specified in the "suffix" column appropriately added to the end of the string. Otherwise, the attribute must return the empty string.

On setting, the new value must first be mutated as described by the "setter preprocessor" column, then mutated by %-escaping any characters in the new value that are not valid in the relevant component as given by the "component" column. Then, if the resulting new value fulfills the condition given in the "setter condition" column, the user agent must make a new string output by replacing the component of the URL given by the "component" column in the input URL with the new value; otherwise, the user agent must let output be equal to the input. Finally, the user agent must invoke the common setter action with the value of output.

When replacing a component in the URL, if the component is part of an optional group in the URL syntax consisting of a character followed by the component, the component (including its prefix character) must be included even if the new value is the empty string.

The previous paragraph applies in particular to the ":" before a <port> component, the "?" before a <query> component, and the "#" before a <fragment> component.

For the purposes of the above definitions, URLs must be parsed using the URL parsing rules defined in this specification.

Attribute Component Getter Condition Prefix Suffix Setter Preprocessor Setter Condition
protocol <scheme> U+003A COLON (":") Remove all trailing U+003A COLON (":") characters The new value is not the empty string
host <hostport> input is hierarchical and uses a server-based naming authority
hostname <host> input is hierarchical and uses a server-based naming authority Remove all leading U+002F SOLIDUS ("/") characters
port <port> input is hierarchical, uses a server-based naming authority, and contained a <port> component (possibly an empty one) Remove any characters in the new value that are not in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO .. U+0039 DIGIT NINE. If the resulting string is empty, set it to a single U+0030 DIGIT ZERO character ('0').
pathname <path> input is hierarchical If it has no leading U+002F SOLIDUS ("/") character, prepend a U+002F SOLIDUS ("/") character to the new value
search <query> input is hierarchical, and contained a <query> component (possibly an empty one) U+003F QUESTION MARK ("?") Remove one leading U+003F QUESTION MARK ("?") character, if any
hash <fragment> input contained a <fragment> component (possibly an empty one) U+0023 NUMBER SIGN ("#") Remove one leading U+0023 NUMBER SIGN ("#") character, if any

The table below demonstrates how the getter condition for search results in different results depending on the exact original syntax of the URL:

Input URL search value Explanation
http://example.com/ empty string No <query> component in input URL.
http://example.com/? ? There is a <query> component, but it is empty. The question mark in the resulting value is the prefix.
http://example.com/?test ?test The <query> component has the value "test".
http://example.com/?test# ?test The (empty) <fragment> component is not part of the <query> component.

2.6 Fetching resources

When a user agent is to fetch a resource, the following steps must be run:

  1. If the resource is identified by the URL about:blank, then return the empty string and abort these steps.

  2. Perform the remaining steps asynchronously.

  3. If the resource is identified by an absolute URL, and the resource is to be obtained using a idempotent action (such as an HTTP GET or equivalent), and it is already being downloaded for other reasons (e.g. another invocation of this algorithm), and the user agent is configured such that it is to reuse the data from the existing download instead of initiating a new one, then use the results of the existing download instead of starting a new one.

    Otherwise, at a time convenient to the user and the user agent, download (or otherwise obtain) the resource, applying the semantics of the relevant specifications (e.g. performing an HTTP GET or POST operation, or reading the file from disk, following redirects, dereferencing javascript: URLs, etc).

  4. When the resource is available, queue a task that uses the resource as appropriate. If the resource can be processed incrementally, as, for instance, with a progressively interlaced JPEG or an HTML file, multiple tasks may be queued to process the data as it is downloaded. The task source for these tasks is the networking task source.

The offline application cache processing model introduces some changes to the networking model to handle the returning of cached resources.

The navigation processing model handles redirects itself, overriding the redirection handling that would be done by the fetching algorithm.

Whether the type sniffing rules apply to the fetched resource depends on the algorithm that invokes the rules — they are not always applicable.

2.6.1 Protocol concepts

User agents can implement a variety of transfer protocols, but this specification mostly defines behavior in terms of HTTP. [HTTP]

The HTTP GET method is equivalent to the default retrieval action of the protocol. For example, RETR in FTP. Such actions are idempotent and safe, in HTTP terms.

The HTTP response codes are equivalent to statuses in other protocols that have the same basic meanings. For example, a "file not found" error is equivalent to a 404 code, a server error is equivalent to a 5xx code, and so on.

The HTTP headers are equivalent to fields in other protocols that have the same basic meaning. For example, the the HTTP authentication headers are equivalent to the authentication aspects of the FTP protocol.

If there are any specific questions with what should be considered equivalent to what, let me know, and I'll make it more explicit for those cases.

Anything in this specification that refers to HTTP also applies to HTTP-over-TLS, as represented by URLs representing the https scheme.

User agents should report certificate errors to the user and must either refuse to download resources sent with erroneous certificates or must act as if such resources were in fact served with no encryption.

Not doing so can result in users not noticing man-in-the-middle attacks.

If a user connects to a server with a self-signed certificate, the user agent could allow the connection but just act as if there had been no encryption. If the user agent instead allowed the user to override the problem and then displayed the page as if it was fully and safely encrypted, the user could be easily tricked into accepting man-in-the-middle connections.

If a user connects to a server with full encryption, but the page then refers to an external resource that has an expired certificate, then the user agent will act as if the resource was unavailable, possibly also reporting the problem to the user. If the user agent instead allowed the resource to be used, then an attacker could just look for "secure" sites that used resources from a different host and only apply man-in-the-middle attacks to that host, for example taking over scripts in the page.

2.7 Determining the type of a resource

It is imperative that the rules in this section be followed exactly. When a user agent uses different heuristics for content type detection than the server expects, security problems can occur. For example, if a server believes that the client will treat a contributed file as an image (and thus treat it as benign), but a Web browser believes the content to be HTML (and thus execute any scripts contained therein), the end user can be exposed to malicious content, making the user vulnerable to cookie theft attacks and other cross-site scripting attacks.

2.7.1 Content-Type metadata

What explicit Content-Type metadata is associated with the resource (the resource's type information) depends on the protocol that was used to fetch the resource.

For HTTP resources, only the first Content-Type HTTP header, if any, contributes any type information; the explicit type of the resource is then the value of that header, interpreted as described by the HTTP specifications. If the Content-Type HTTP header is present but the value of the first such header cannot be interpreted as described by the HTTP specifications (e.g. because its value doesn't contain a U+002F SOLIDUS ('/') character), then the resource has no type information (even if there are multiple Content-Type HTTP headers and one of the other ones is syntactically correct). [HTTP]

For resources fetched from the file system, user agents should use platform-specific conventions, e.g. operating system extension/type mappings.

Extensions must not be used for determining resource types for resources fetched over HTTP.

For resources fetched over most other protocols, e.g. FTP, there is no type information.

The algorithm for extracting an encoding from a Content-Type, given a string s, is as follows. It either returns an encoding or nothing.

  1. Find the first seven characters in s that are an ASCII case-insensitive match for the word "charset". If no such match is found, return nothing.

  2. Skip any U+0009, U+000A, U+000C, U+000D, or U+0020 characters that immediately follow the word 'charset' (there might not be any).

  3. If the next character is not a U+003D EQUALS SIGN ('='), return nothing.

  4. Skip any U+0009, U+000A, U+000C, U+000D, or U+0020 characters that immediately follow the equals sign (there might not be any).

  5. Process the next character as follows:

    If it is a U+0022 QUOTATION MARK ('"') and there is a later U+0022 QUOTATION MARK ('"') in s
    If it is a U+0027 APOSTROPHE ("'") and there is a later U+0027 APOSTROPHE ("'") in s

    Return the string between this character and the next earliest occurrence of this character.

    If it is an unmatched U+0022 QUOTATION MARK ('"')
    If it is an unmatched U+0027 APOSTROPHE ("'")
    If there is no next character

    Return nothing.

    Otherwise

    Return the string from this character to the first U+0009, U+000A, U+000C, U+000D, U+0020, or U+003B character or the end of s, whichever comes first.

The above algorithm is a willful violation of the HTTP specification. [RFC2616]

2.7.2 Content-Type sniffing: Web pages

The sniffed type of a resource must be found as follows:

  1. If the user agent is configured to strictly obey Content-Type headers for this resource, then jump to the last step in this set of steps.

  2. If the resource was fetched over an HTTP protocol and there is an HTTP Content-Type header and the value of the first such header has bytes that exactly match one of the following lines:

    Bytes in Hexadecimal Textual representation
    74 65 78 74 2f 70 6c 61 69 6e text/plain
    74 65 78 74 2f 70 6c 61 69 6e 3b 20 63 68 61 72 73 65 74 3d 49 53 4f 2d 38 38 35 39 2d 31 text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
    74 65 78 74 2f 70 6c 61 69 6e 3b 20 63 68 61 72 73 65 74 3d 69 73 6f 2d 38 38 35 39 2d 31 text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
    74 65 78 74 2f 70 6c 61 69 6e 3b 20 63 68 61 72 73 65 74 3d 55 54 46 2d 38 text/plain; charset=UTF-8

    ...then jump to the text or binary section below.

  3. Let official type be the type given by the Content-Type metadata for the resource, ignoring parameters. If there is no such type, jump to the unknown type step below. Comparisons with this type, as defined by MIME specifications, are done in an ASCII case-insensitive manner. [RFC2046]

  4. If official type is "unknown/unknown" or "application/unknown", jump to the unknown type step below.

  5. If official type ends in "+xml", or if it is either "text/xml" or "application/xml", then the sniffed type of the resource is official type; return that and abort these steps.

  6. If official type is an image type supported by the user agent (e.g. "image/png", "image/gif", "image/jpeg", etc), then jump to the images section below, passing it the official type.

  7. If official type is "text/html", then jump to the feed or HTML section below.

  8. The sniffed type of the resource is official type.

2.7.3 Content-Type sniffing: text or binary

  1. The user agent may wait for 512 or more bytes of the resource to be available.

  2. Let n be the smaller of either 512 or the number of bytes already available.

  3. If n is 4 or more, and the first bytes of the resource match one of the following byte sets:

    Bytes in Hexadecimal Description
    FE FF UTF-16BE BOM
    FF FE UTF-16LE BOM
    EF BB BF UTF-8 BOM

    ...then the sniffed type of the resource is "text/plain". Abort these steps.

  4. If none of the first n bytes of the resource are binary data bytes then the sniffed type of the resource is "text/plain". Abort these steps.

  5. If the first bytes of the resource match one of the byte sequences in the "pattern" column of the table in the unknown type section below, ignoring any rows whose cell in the "security" column says "scriptable" (or "n/a"), then the sniffed type of the resource is the type given in the corresponding cell in the "sniffed type" column on that row; abort these steps.

    It is critical that this step not ever return a scriptable type (e.g. text/html), as otherwise that would allow a privilege escalation attack.

  6. Otherwise, the sniffed type of the resource is "application/octet-stream".

Bytes covered by the following ranges are binary data bytes:

2.7.4 Content-Type sniffing: unknown type

  1. The user agent may wait for 512 or more bytes of the resource to be available.

  2. Let stream length be the smaller of either 512 or the number of bytes already available.

  3. For each row in the table below:

    If the row has no "WS" bytes:
    1. Let pattern length be the length of the pattern (number of bytes described by the cell in the second column of the row).
    2. If stream length is smaller than pattern length then skip this row.
    3. Apply the "and" operator to the first pattern length bytes of the resource and the given mask (the bytes in the cell of first column of that row), and let the result be the data.
    4. If the bytes of the data matches the given pattern bytes exactly, then the sniffed type of the resource is the type given in the cell of the third column in that row; abort these steps.
    If the row has a "WS" byte:
    1. Let indexpattern be an index into the mask and pattern byte strings of the row.

    2. Let indexstream be an index into the byte stream being examined.

    3. Loop: If indexstream points beyond the end of the byte stream, then this row doesn't match, skip this row.

    4. Examine the indexstreamth byte of the byte stream as follows:

      If the indexpatternth byte of the pattern is a normal hexadecimal byte and not a "WS" byte:

      If the "and" operator, applied to the indexstreamth byte of the stream and the indexpatternth byte of the mask, yield a value different that the indexpatternth byte of the pattern, then skip this row.

      Otherwise, increment indexpattern to the next byte in the mask and pattern and indexstream to the next byte in the byte stream.

      Otherwise, if the indexpatternth byte of the pattern is a "WS" byte:

      "WS" means "whitespace", and allows insignificant whitespace to be skipped when sniffing for a type signature.

      If the indexstreamth byte of the stream is one of 0x09 (ASCII TAB), 0x0A (ASCII LF), 0x0C (ASCII FF), 0x0D (ASCII CR), or 0x20 (ASCII space), then increment only the indexstream to the next byte in the byte stream.

      Otherwise, increment only the indexpattern to the next byte in the mask and pattern.

    5. If indexpattern does not point beyond the end of the mask and pattern byte strings, then jump back to the loop step in this algorithm.

    6. Otherwise, the sniffed type of the resource is the type given in the cell of the third column in that row; abort these steps.

  4. If none of the first n bytes of the resource are binary data bytes then the sniffed type of the resource is "text/plain". Abort these steps.

  5. Otherwise, the sniffed type of the resource is "application/octet-stream".

The table used by the above algorithm is:

Bytes in Hexadecimal Sniffed type Security Comment
Mask Pattern
FF FF DF DF DF DF DF DF DF FF DF DF DF DF 3C 21 44 4F 43 54 59 50 45 20 48 54 4D 4C text/html Scriptable The string "<!DOCTYPE HTML" in US-ASCII or compatible encodings, case-insensitively.
FF FF DF DF DF DF WS 3C 48 54 4D 4C text/html Scriptable The string "<HTML" in US-ASCII or compatible encodings, case-insensitively, possibly with leading spaces.
FF FF DF DF DF DF WS 3C 48 45 41 44 text/html Scriptable The string "<HEAD" in US-ASCII or compatible encodings, case-insensitively, possibly with leading spaces.
FF FF DF DF DF DF DF DF WS 3C 53 43 52 49 50 54 text/html Scriptable The string "<SCRIPT" in US-ASCII or compatible encodings, case-insensitively, possibly with leading spaces.
FF FF FF FF FF 25 50 44 46 2D application/pdf Scriptable The string "%PDF-", the PDF signature.
FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF 25 21 50 53 2D 41 64 6F 62 65 2D application/postscript Safe The string "%!PS-Adobe-", the PostScript signature.
FF FF 00 00 FE FF 00 00 text/plain n/a UTF-16BE BOM
FF FF 00 00 FF FF 00 00 text/plain n/a UTF-16LE BOM
FF FF FF 00 EF BB BF 00 text/plain n/a UTF-8 BOM
FF FF FF FF FF FF 47 49 46 38 37 61 image/gif Safe The string "GIF87a", a GIF signature.
FF FF FF FF FF FF 47 49 46 38 39 61 image/gif Safe The string "GIF89a", a GIF signature.
FF FF FF FF FF FF FF FF 89 50 4E 47 0D 0A 1A 0A image/png Safe The PNG signature.
FF FF FF FF D8 FF image/jpeg Safe A JPEG SOI marker followed by the first byte of another marker.
FF FF 42 4D image/bmp Safe The string "BM", a BMP signature.
FF FF FF FF 00 00 01 00 image/vnd.microsoft.icon Safe A 0 word following by a 1 word, a Windows Icon file format signature.

I'd like to add types like MPEG, AVI, Flash, Java, etc, to the above table.

User agents may support further types if desired, by implicitly adding to the above table. However, user agents should not use any other patterns for types already mentioned in the table above, as this could then be used for privilege escalation (where, e.g., a server uses the above table to determine that content is not HTML and thus safe from XSS attacks, but then a user agent detects it as HTML anyway and allows script to execute).

The column marked "security" is used by the algorithm in the "text or binary" section, to avoid sniffing text/plain content as a type that can be used for a privilege escalation attack.

2.7.5 Content-Type sniffing: image

If the resource's official type is "image/svg+xml", then the sniffed type of the resource is its official type (an XML type).

Otherwise, if the first bytes of the resource match one of the byte sequences in the first column of the following table, then the sniffed type of the resource is the type given in the corresponding cell in the second column on the same row:

Bytes in Hexadecimal Sniffed type Comment
47 49 46 38 37 61 image/gif The string "GIF87a", a GIF signature.
47 49 46 38 39 61 image/gif The string "GIF89a", a GIF signature.
89 50 4E 47 0D 0A 1A 0A image/png The PNG signature.
FF D8 FF image/jpeg A JPEG SOI marker followed by the first byte of another marker.
42 4D image/bmp The string "BM", a BMP signature.
00 00 01 00 image/vnd.microsoft.icon A 0 word following by a 1 word, a Windows Icon file format signature.

Otherwise, the sniffed type of the resource is the same as its official type.

2.7.6 Content-Type sniffing: feed or HTML

  1. The user agent may wait for 512 or more bytes of the resource to be available.

  2. Let s be the stream of bytes, and let s[i] represent the byte in s with position i, treating s as zero-indexed (so the first byte is at i=0).

  3. If at any point this algorithm requires the user agent to determine the value of a byte in s which is not yet available, or which is past the first 512 bytes of the resource, or which is beyond the end of the resource, the user agent must stop this algorithm, and assume that the sniffed type of the resource is "text/html".

    User agents are allowed, by the first step of this algorithm, to wait until the first 512 bytes of the resource are available.

  4. Initialize pos to 0.

  5. If s[0] is 0xEF, s[1] is 0xBB, and s[2] is 0xBF, then set pos to 3. (This skips over a leading UTF-8 BOM, if any.)

  6. Loop start: Examine s[pos].

    If it is 0x09 (ASCII tab), 0x20 (ASCII space), 0x0A (ASCII LF), or 0x0D (ASCII CR)
    Increase pos by 1 and repeat this step.
    If it is 0x3C (ASCII "<")
    Increase pos by 1 and go to the next step.
    If it is anything else
    The sniffed type of the resource is "text/html". Abort these steps.
  7. If the bytes with positions pos to pos+2 in s are exactly equal to 0x21, 0x2D, 0x2D respectively (ASCII for "!--"), then:

    1. Increase pos by 3.
    2. If the bytes with positions pos to pos+2 in s are exactly equal to 0x2D, 0x2D, 0x3E respectively (ASCII for "-->"), then increase pos by 3 and jump back to the previous step (the step labeled loop start) in the overall algorithm in this section.
    3. Otherwise, increase pos by 1.
    4. Return to step 2 in these substeps.
  8. If s[pos] is 0x21 (ASCII "!"):

    1. Increase pos by 1.
    2. If s[pos] equal 0x3E, then increase pos by 1 and jump back to the step labeled loop start in the overall algorithm in this section.
    3. Otherwise, return to step 1 in these substeps.
  9. If s[pos] is 0x3F (ASCII "?"):

    1. Increase pos by 1.
    2. If s[pos] and s[pos+1] equal 0x3F and 0x3E respectively, then increase pos by 1 and jump back to the step labeled loop start in the overall algorithm in this section.
    3. Otherwise, return to step 1 in these substeps.
  10. Otherwise, if the bytes in s starting at pos match any of the sequences of bytes in the first column of the following table, then the user agent must follow the steps given in the corresponding cell in the second column of the same row.

    Bytes in Hexadecimal Requirement Comment
    72 73 73 The sniffed type of the resource is "application/rss+xml"; abort these steps The three ASCII characters "rss"
    66 65 65 64 The sniffed type of the resource is "application/atom+xml"; abort these steps The four ASCII characters "feed"
    72 64 66 3A 52 44 46 Continue to the next step in this algorithm The ASCII characters "rdf:RDF"

    If none of the byte sequences above match the bytes in s starting at pos, then the sniffed type of the resource is "text/html". Abort these steps.

  11. If, before the next ">", you find two xmlns* attributes with http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns# and http://purl.org/rss/1.0/ as the namespaces, then the sniffed type of the resource is "application/rss+xml", abort these steps. (maybe we only need to check for http://purl.org/rss/1.0/ actually)

  12. Otherwise, the sniffed type of the resource is "text/html".

For efficiency reasons, implementations may wish to implement this algorithm and the algorithm for detecting the character encoding of HTML documents in parallel.

2.8 Common DOM interfaces

2.8.1 Reflecting content attributes in DOM attributes

Some DOM attributes are defined to reflect a particular content attribute. This means that on getting, the DOM attribute returns the current value of the content attribute, and on setting, the DOM attribute changes the value of the content attribute to the given value.

If a reflecting DOM attribute is a DOMString attribute whose content attribute is defined to contain a URL, then on getting, the DOM attribute must resolve the value of the content attribute relative to the element and return the resulting absolute URL if that was successful, or the empty string otherwise; and on setting, must set the content attribute to the specified literal value. If the content attribute is absent, the DOM attribute must return the default value, if the content attribute has one, or else the empty string.

If a reflecting DOM attribute is a DOMString attribute whose content attribute is defined to contain one or more URLs, then on getting, the DOM attribute must split the content attribute on spaces and return the concatenation of resolving each token URL to an absolute URL relative to the element, with a single U+0020 SPACE character between each URL, ignoring any tokens that did not resolve successfully. If the content attribute is absent, the DOM attribute must return the default value, if the content attribute has one, or else the empty string. On setting, the DOM attribute must set the content attribute to the specified literal value.

If a reflecting DOM attribute is a DOMString whose content attribute is an enumerated attribute, and the DOM attribute is limited to only known values, then, on getting, the DOM attribute must return the conforming value associated with the state the attribute is in (in its canonical case), or the empty string if the attribute is in a state that has no associated keyword value; and on setting, if the new value is an ASCII case-insensitive match for one of the keywords given for that attribute, then the content attribute must be set to the conforming value associated with the state that the attribute would be in if set to the given new value, otherwise, if the new value is the empty string, then the content attribute must be removed, otherwise, the setter must raise a SYNTAX_ERR exception.

If a reflecting DOM attribute is a DOMString but doesn't fall into any of the above categories, then the getting and setting must be done in a transparent, case-preserving manner.

If a reflecting DOM attribute is a boolean attribute, then on getting the DOM attribute must return true if the attribute is set, and false if it is absent. On setting, the content attribute must be removed if the DOM attribute is set to false, and must be set to have the same value as its name if the DOM attribute is set to true. (This corresponds to the rules for boolean content attributes.)

If a reflecting DOM attribute is a signed integer type (long) then, on getting, the content attribute must be parsed according to the rules for parsing signed integers, and if that is successful, and the value is in the range of the DOM attribute's type, the resulting value must be returned. If, on the other hand, it fails or returns an out of range value, or if the attribute is absent, then the default value must be returned instead, or 0 if there is no default value. On setting, the given value must be converted to the shortest possible string representing the number as a valid integer in base ten and then that string must be used as the new content attribute value.

If a reflecting DOM attribute is an unsigned integer type (unsigned long) then, on getting, the content attribute must be parsed according to the rules for parsing non-negative integers, and if that is successful, and the value is in the range of the DOM attribute's type, the resulting value must be returned. If, on the other hand, it fails or returns an out of range value, or if the attribute is absent, the default value must be returned instead, or 0 if there is no default value. On setting, the given value must be converted to the shortest possible string representing the number as a valid non-negative integer in base ten and then that string must be used as the new content attribute value.

If a reflecting DOM attribute is an unsigned integer type (unsigned long) that is limited to only positive non-zero numbers, then the behavior is similar to the previous case, but zero is not allowed. On getting, the content attribute must first be parsed according to the rules for parsing non-negative integers, and if that is successful, and the value is in the range of the DOM attribute's type, the resulting value must be returned. If, on the other hand, it fails or returns an out of range value, or if the attribute is absent, the default value must be returned instead, or 1 if there is no default value. On setting, if the value is zero, the user agent must fire an INDEX_SIZE_ERR exception. Otherwise, the given value must be converted to the shortest possible string representing the number as a valid non-negative integer in base ten and then that string must be used as the new content attribute value.

If a reflecting DOM attribute is a floating point number type (float) and it doesn't fall into one of the earlier categories, then, on getting, the content attribute must be parsed according to the rules for parsing floating point number values, and if that is successful, and the value is in the range of the DOM attribute's type, the resulting value must be returned. If, on the other hand, it fails or returns an out of range value, or if the attribute is absent, the default value must be returned instead, or 0.0 if there is no default value. On setting, the given value must be converted to the best representation of the floating point number and then that string must be used as the new content attribute value.

The values ±Infinity and NaN throw an exception on setting, as defined by WebIDL. [WEBIDL]

If a reflecting DOM attribute is of the type DOMTokenList, then on getting it must return a DOMTokenList object whose underlying string is the element's corresponding content attribute. When the DOMTokenList object mutates its underlying string, the content attribute must itself be immediately mutated. When the attribute is absent, then the string represented by the DOMTokenList object is the empty string; when the object mutates this empty string, the user agent must first add the corresponding content attribute, and then mutate that attribute instead. DOMTokenList attributes are always read-only. The same DOMTokenList object must be returned every time for each attribute.

If a reflecting DOM attribute has the type HTMLElement, or an interface that descends from HTMLElement, then, on getting, it must run the following algorithm (stopping at the first point where a value is returned):

  1. If the corresponding content attribute is absent, then the DOM attribute must return null.
  2. Let candidate be the element that the document.getElementById() method would find if it was passed as its argument the current value of the corresponding content attribute.
  3. If candidate is null, or if it is not type-compatible with the DOM attribute, then the DOM attribute must return null.
  4. Otherwise, it must return candidate.

On setting, if the given element has an id attribute, then the content attribute must be set to the value of that id attribute. Otherwise, the DOM attribute must be set to the empty string.

2.8.2 Collections

The HTMLCollection, HTMLFormControlsCollection, and HTMLOptionsCollection interfaces represent various lists of DOM nodes. Collectively, objects implementing these interfaces are called collections.

When a collection is created, a filter and a root are associated with the collection.

For example, when the HTMLCollection object for the document.images attribute is created, it is associated with a filter that selects only img elements, and rooted at the root of the document.

The collection then represents a live view of the subtree rooted at the collection's root, containing only nodes that match the given filter. The view is linear. In the absence of specific requirements to the contrary, the nodes within the collection must be sorted in tree order.

The rows list is not in tree order.

An attribute that returns a collection must return the same object every time it is retrieved.

2.8.2.1 HTMLCollection

The HTMLCollection interface represents a generic collection of elements.

[Callable=namedItem]
interface HTMLCollection {
  readonly attribute unsigned long length;
  [IndexGetter] Element item(in unsigned long index);
  [NameGetter] Element namedItem(in DOMString name);
};

The object's indices of the supported indexed properties are the numbers in the range zero to one less than the number of nodes represented by the collection. If there are no such elements, then there are no supported indexed properties.

The length attribute must return the number of nodes represented by the collection.

The item(index) method must return the indexth node in the collection. If there is no indexth node in the collection, then the method must return null.

The names of the supported named properties consist of the values of the name attributes of each a, applet, area, embed, form, frame, frameset, iframe, img, and object element represented by the collection with a name attribute, plus the list of IDs that the elements represented by the collection have.

The namedItem(key) method must return the first node in the collection that matches the following requirements:

If no such elements are found, then the method must return null.

2.8.2.2 HTMLFormControlsCollection

The HTMLFormControlsCollection interface represents a collection of listed elements in form and fieldset elements.

[Callable=namedItem]
interface HTMLFormControlsCollection {
  readonly attribute unsigned long length;
  [IndexGetter] HTMLElement item(in unsigned long index);
  [NameGetter] Object namedItem(in DOMString name);
};

The object's indices of the supported indexed properties are the numbers in the range zero to one less than the number of nodes represented by the collection. If there are no such elements, then there are no supported indexed properties.

The length attribute must return the number of nodes represented by the collection.

The item(index) method must return the indexth node in the collection. If there is no indexth node in the collection, then the method must return null.

The names of the supported named properties consist of the values of all the id and name attributes of all the elements represented by the collection.

The namedItem(name) method must act according to the following algorithm:

  1. If, at the time the method is called, there is exactly one node in the collection that has either an id attribute or a name attribute equal to name, then return that node and stop the algorithm.
  2. Otherwise, if there are no nodes in the collection that have either an id attribute or a name attribute equal to name, then return null and stop the algorithm.
  3. Otherwise, create a NodeList object representing a live view of the HTMLFormControlsCollection object, further filtered so that the only nodes in the NodeList object are those that have either an id attribute or a name attribute equal to name. The nodes in the NodeList object must be sorted in tree order.
  4. Return that NodeList object.
2.8.2.3 HTMLOptionsCollection

The HTMLOptionsCollection interface represents a list of option elements. It is always rooted on a select element and has attributes and methods that manipulate that element's descendants.

[Callable=namedItem]
interface HTMLOptionsCollection {
           attribute unsigned long length;
  [IndexGetter] HTMLOptionElement item(in unsigned long index);
  [NameGetter] Object namedItem(in DOMString name);
  void add(in HTMLElement element, in HTMLElement before);
  void add(in HTMLElement element, in long before);
  void remove(in long index);
};

The object's indices of the supported indexed properties are the numbers in the range zero to one less than the number of nodes represented by the collection. If there are no such elements, then there are no supported indexed properties.

On getting, the length attribute must return the number of nodes represented by the collection.

On setting, the behavior depends on whether the new value is equal to, greater than, or less than the number of nodes represented by the collection at that time. If the number is the same, then setting the attribute must do nothing. If the new value is greater, then n new option elements with no attributes and no child nodes must be appended to the select element on which the HTMLOptionsCollection is rooted, where n is the difference between the two numbers (new value minus old value). If the new value is lower, then the last n nodes in the collection must be removed from their parent nodes, where n is the difference between the two numbers (old value minus new value).

Setting length never removes or adds any optgroup elements, and never adds new children to existing optgroup elements (though it can remove children from them).

The item(index) method must return the indexth node in the collection. If there is no indexth node in the collection, then the method must return null.

The names of the supported named properties consist of the values of all the id and name attributes of all the elements represented by the collection.

The namedItem(name) method must act according to the following algorithm:

  1. If, at the time the method is called, there is exactly one node in the collection that has either an id attribute or a name attribute equal to name, then return that node and stop the algorithm.
  2. Otherwise, if there are no nodes in the collection that have either an id attribute or a name attribute equal to name, then return null and stop the algorithm.
  3. Otherwise, create a NodeList object representing a live view of the HTMLOptionsCollection object, further filtered so that the only nodes in the NodeList object are those that have either an id attribute or a name attribute equal to name. The nodes in the NodeList object must be sorted in tree order.
  4. Return that NodeList object.

The add(element, before) method must act according to the following algorithm:

  1. If element is not an option or optgroup element, then return and abort these steps.

  2. If element is an ancestor of the select element element on which the HTMLOptionsCollection is rooted, then throw a HIERARCHY_REQUEST_ERR exception.

  3. If before is an element, but that element isn't a descendant of the select element element on which the HTMLOptionsCollection is rooted, then throw a NOT_FOUND_ERR exception.

  4. If element and before are the same element, then return and abort these steps.

  5. If before is a node, then let reference be that node. Otherwise, if before is an integer, and there is a beforeth node in the collection, let reference be that node. Otherwise, let reference be null.

  6. If reference is not null, let parent be the parent node of reference. Otherwise, let parent be the select element element on which the HTMLOptionsCollection is rooted.

  7. Act as if the DOM Core insertBefore() method was invoked on the parent node, with element as the first argument and reference as the second argument.

The remove(index) method must act according to the following algorithm:

  1. If the number of nodes represented by the collection is zero, abort these steps.

  2. If index is not a number greater than or equal to 0 and less than the number of nodes represented by the collection, let element be the first element in the collection. Otherwise, let element be the indexth element in the collection.

  3. Remove element from its parent node.

2.8.3 DOMTokenList

The DOMTokenList interface represents an interface to an underlying string that consists of an unordered set of unique space-separated tokens.

Which string underlies a particular DOMTokenList object is defined when the object is created. It might be a content attribute (e.g. the string that underlies the classList object is the class attribute), or it might be an anonymous string (e.g. when a DOMTokenList object is passed to an author-implemented callback in the datagrid APIs).

[Stringifies] interface DOMTokenList {
  readonly attribute unsigned long length;
  [IndexGetter] DOMString item(in unsigned long index);
  boolean has(in DOMString token);
  void add(in DOMString token);
  void remove(in DOMString token);
  boolean toggle(in DOMString token);
};

The length attribute must return the number of unique tokens that result from splitting the underlying string on spaces. This is the length.

The object's indices of the supported indexed properties are the numbers in the range zero to length-1, unless the length is zero, in which case there are no supported indexed properties.

The item(index) method must split the underlying string on spaces, sort the resulting list of tokens by Unicode codepoint, remove exact duplicates, and then return the indexth item in this list. If index is equal to or greater than the number of tokens, then the method must return null.

The has(token) method must run the following algorithm:

  1. If the token argument contains any space characters, then raise an INVALID_CHARACTER_ERR exception and stop the algorithm.
  2. Otherwise, split the underlying string on spaces to get the list of tokens in the object's underlying string.
  3. If the token indicated by token is one of the tokens in the object's underlying string then return true and stop this algorithm.
  4. Otherwise, return false.

The add(token) method must run the following algorithm:

  1. If the token argument contains any space characters, then raise an INVALID_CHARACTER_ERR exception and stop the algorithm.
  2. Otherwise, split the underlying string on spaces to get the list of tokens in the object's underlying string.
  3. If the given token is already one of the tokens in the DOMTokenList object's underlying string then stop the algorithm.
  4. Otherwise, if the DOMTokenList object's underlying string is not the empty string and the last character of that string is not a space character, then append a U+0020 SPACE character to the end of that string.
  5. Append the value of token to the end of the DOMTokenList object's underlying string.

The remove(token) method must run the following algorithm:

  1. If the token argument contains any space characters, then raise an INVALID_CHARACTER_ERR exception and stop the algorithm.
  2. Otherwise, remove the given token from the underlying string.

The toggle(token) method must run the following algorithm:

  1. If the token argument contains any space characters, then raise an INVALID_CHARACTER_ERR exception and stop the algorithm.
  2. Otherwise, split the underlying string on spaces to get the list of tokens in the object's underlying string.
  3. If the given token is already one of the tokens in the DOMTokenList object's underlying string then remove the given token from the underlying string, and stop the algorithm, returning false.
  4. Otherwise, if the DOMTokenList object's underlying string is not the empty string and the last character of that string is not a space character, then append a U+0020 SPACE character to the end of that string.
  5. Append the value of token to the end of the DOMTokenList object's underlying string.
  6. Return true.

Objects implementing the DOMTokenList interface must stringify to the object's underlying string representation.

2.8.4 Safe passing of structured data

When a user agent is required to obtain a structured clone of an object, it must run the following algorithm, which either returns a separate object, or throws an exception.

  1. Let input be the object being cloned.

  2. Let memory be a list of objects, initially empty. (This is used to catch cycles.)

  3. Let output be the object resulting from calling the internal structured cloning algorithm with input and memory.

  4. Return output.

The internal structured cloning algorithm is always called with two arguments, input and memory, and its behavior depends on the type of input, as follows:

If input is the undefined value

Return the undefined value.

If input is the null value

Return the null value.

If input is the false value

Return the false value.

If input is the true value

Return the true value.

If input is a Number object

Return a newly constructed Number object with the same value as input.

If input is a String object

Return a newly constructed String object with the same value as input.

If input is a Date object

Return a newly constructed Date object with the same value as input.

If input is a host object

Return the null value.

If input is an Array object
If input is an Object object
  1. If input is in memory, then throw a NOT_SUPPORTED_ERR exception and abort the overall structured clone algorithm.

  2. Otherwise, let new memory be a list consisting of the items in memory with the addition of input.

  3. Create a new object, output, of the same type as input: either an Array or an Object.

  4. For each property in input, add a corresponding property to output having the same name, and having a value created from invoking the internal structured cloning algorithm recursively with the value of the property as the "input" argument and new memory as the "memory" argument. The order of the properties in the input and output objects must be the same.

  5. Return output.

2.8.5 DOMStringMap

The DOMStringMap interface represents a set of name-value pairs. When a DOMStringMap object is instantiated, it is associated with three algorithms, one for getting getting the list of name-value pairs, one for setting names to certain values, and one for deleting names.

[NameCreator, NameDeleter, NameGetter, NameSetter]
interface DOMStringMap {};

The names of the supported named properties on a DOMStringMap object at any instant are the names of each pair returned from the algorithm for getting the list of name-value pairs at that instant.

When a DOMStringMap object is indexed to retrieve a named property name, the value returned must be the value component of the name-value pair whose name component is name in the list returned by the algorithm for getting the list of name-value pairs.

When a DOMStringMap object is indexed to create or modify a named property name with value value, the algorithm for setting names to certain values must be run, passing name as the name and the result of converting value to a DOMString as the value.

When a DOMStringMap object is indexed to delete a named property named name, the algorithm for deleting names must be run, passing name as the name.

The DOMStringMap interface definition here is only intended for JavaScript environments. Other language bindings will need to define how DOMStringMap is to be implemented for those languages.

2.8.6 DOM feature strings

DOM3 Core defines mechanisms for checking for interface support, and for obtaining implementations of interfaces, using feature strings. [DOM3CORE]

A DOM application can use the hasFeature(feature, version) method of the DOMImplementation interface with parameter values "HTML" and "5.0" (respectively) to determine whether or not this module is supported by the implementation. In addition to the feature string "HTML", the feature string "XHTML" (with version string "5.0") can be used to check if the implementation supports XHTML. User agents should respond with a true value when the hasFeature method is queried with these values. Authors are cautioned, however, that UAs returning true might not be perfectly compliant, and that UAs returning false might well have support for features in this specification; in general, therefore, use of this method is discouraged.

The values "HTML" and "XHTML" (both with version "5.0") should also be supported in the context of the getFeature() and isSupported() methods, as defined by DOM3 Core.

The interfaces defined in this specification are not always supersets of the interfaces defined in DOM2 HTML; some features that were formerly deprecated, poorly supported, rarely used or considered unnecessary have been removed. Therefore it is not guaranteed that an implementation that supports "HTML" "5.0" also supports "HTML" "2.0".

2.8.7 Exceptions

The following DOMException codes are defined in DOM Core. [DOMCORE]

  1. INDEX_SIZE_ERR
  2. DOMSTRING_SIZE_ERR
  3. HIERARCHY_REQUEST_ERR
  4. WRONG_DOCUMENT_ERR
  5. INVALID_CHARACTER_ERR
  6. NO_DATA_ALLOWED_ERR
  7. NO_MODIFICATION_ALLOWED_ERR
  8. NOT_FOUND_ERR
  9. NOT_SUPPORTED_ERR
  10. INUSE_ATTRIBUTE_ERR
  11. INVALID_STATE_ERR
  12. SYNTAX_ERR
  13. INVALID_MODIFICATION_ERR
  14. NAMESPACE_ERR
  15. INVALID_ACCESS_ERR
  16. VALIDATION_ERR
  17. TYPE_MISMATCH_ERR
  18. SECURITY_ERR
  19. NETWORK_ERR
  20. ABORT_ERR
  21. URL_MISMATCH_ERR
  22. QUOTA_EXCEEDED_ERR
  23. UNAVAILABLE_SCRIPT_ERR
  24. PARSE_ERR
  25. SERIALISE_ERR

2.8.8 Garbage collection

There is an implied strong reference from any DOM attribute that returns a pre-existing object to that object.

For example, the document.location attribute means that there is a strong reference from a Document object to its Location object. Similarly, there is always a strong reference from a Document to any descendant nodes, and from any node to its owner Document.

3 Semantics and structure of HTML documents

3.1 Introduction

This section is non-normative.

An introduction to marking up a document.

3.2 Documents

Every XML and HTML document in an HTML UA is represented by a Document object. [DOM3CORE]

The document's address is an absolute URL that is set when the Document is created.

When a Document is created by a script using the createDocument() API, the document's address is the same as the document's address of the active document of the script's browsing context.

Document objects are assumed to be XML documents unless they are flagged as being HTML documents when they are created. Whether a document is an HTML document or an XML document affects the behavior of certain APIs, as well as a few CSS rendering rules. [CSS21]

A Document object created by the createDocument() API on the DOMImplementation object is initially an XML document, but can be made into an HTML document by calling document.open() on it.

3.2.1 Documents in the DOM

All Document objects (in user agents implementing this specification) must also implement the HTMLDocument interface, available using binding-specific methods. (This is the case whether or not the document in question is an HTML document or indeed whether it contains any HTML elements at all.) Document objects must also implement the document-level interface of any other namespaces found in the document that the UA supports. For example, if an HTML implementation also supports SVG, then the Document object must implement HTMLDocument and SVGDocument.

Because the HTMLDocument interface is now obtained using binding-specific casting methods instead of simply being the primary interface of the document object, it is no longer defined as inheriting from Document.

[NameGetter=OverrideBuiltins, ImplementedOn=Document]
interface HTMLDocument {
  // resource metadata management
  [PutForwards=href] readonly attribute Location location;
  readonly attribute DOMString URL;
           attribute DOMString domain;
  readonly attribute DOMString referrer;
           attribute DOMString cookie;
  readonly attribute DOMString lastModified;
  readonly attribute DOMString compatMode;
           attribute DOMString charset;
  readonly attribute DOMString characterSet;
  readonly attribute DOMString defaultCharset;
  readonly attribute DOMString readyState;

  // DOM tree accessors
           attribute DOMString title;
           attribute DOMString dir;
           attribute HTMLElement body;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection images;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection embeds;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection plugins;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection links;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection forms;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection anchors;
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection scripts;
  NodeList getElementsByName(in DOMString elementName);
  NodeList getElementsByClassName(in DOMString classNames);

  // dynamic markup insertion
           attribute DOMString innerHTML;
  HTMLDocument open([Optional] in DOMString type, [Optional] in DOMString replace);
  WindowProxy open(in DOMString url, in DOMString name, in DOMString features, [Optional] in boolean replace);
  void close();
  void write([Variadic] in DOMString text);
  void writeln([Variadic] in DOMString text);

  // user interaction
  Selection getSelection();
  readonly attribute Element activeElement;
  boolean hasFocus();
           attribute boolean designMode;
  boolean execCommand(in DOMString commandId);
  boolean execCommand(in DOMString commandId, in boolean showUI);
  boolean execCommand(in DOMString commandId, in boolean showUI, in DOMString value);
  boolean queryCommandEnabled(in DOMString commandId);
  boolean queryCommandIndeterm(in DOMString commandId);
  boolean queryCommandState(in DOMString commandId);
  boolean queryCommandSupported(in DOMString commandId);
  DOMString queryCommandValue(in DOMString commandId);
  readonly attribute HTMLCollection commands;
};

Since the HTMLDocument interface holds methods and attributes related to a number of disparate features, the members of this interface are described in various different sections.

3.2.2 Security

User agents must raise a SECURITY_ERR exception whenever any of the members of an HTMLDocument object are accessed by scripts whose effective script origin is not the same as the Document's effective script origin.

3.2.3 Resource metadata management

The URL attribute must return the document's address.

The referrer attribute must return either the address of the active document of the source browsing context at the time the navigation was started (that is, the page which navigated the browsing context to the current document), or the empty string if there is no such originating page, or if the UA has been configured not to report referrers in this case, or if the navigation was initiated for a hyperlink with a noreferrer keyword.

In the case of HTTP, the referrer DOM attribute will match the Referer (sic) header that was sent when fetching the current page.

Typically user agents are configured to not report referrers in the case where the referrer uses an encrypted protocol and the current page does not (e.g. when navigating from an https: page to an http: page).


The cookie attribute represents the cookies of the resource.

On getting, if the document is not associated with a browsing context then the user agent must raise an INVALID_STATE_ERR exception. Otherwise, if the sandboxed origin browsing context flag is set on the browsing context of the document, the user agent must raise a SECURITY_ERR exception. Otherwise, if the document's address does not use a server-based naming authority, it must return the empty string. Otherwise, it must return the same string as the value of the Cookie HTTP header it would include if fetching the resource indicated by the document's address over HTTP, as per RFC 2109 section 4.3.4 or later specifications, excluding HTTP-only cookies. [RFC2109] [RFC2965]

On setting, if the document is not associated with a browsing context then the user agent must raise an INVALID_STATE_ERR exception. Otherwise, if the sandboxed origin browsing context flag is set on the browsing context of the document, the user agent must raise a SECURITY_ERR exception. Otherwise, if the document's address does not use a server-based naming authority, it must do nothing. Otherwise, the user agent must act as it would when processing cookies if it had just attempted to fetch the document's address over HTTP, and had received a response with a Set-Cookie header whose value was the specified value, as per RFC 2109 sections 4.3.1, 4.3.2, and 4.3.3 or later specifications, but without overwriting the values of HTTP-only cookies. [RFC2109] [RFC2965]

This specification does not define what makes an HTTP-only cookie, and at the time of publication the editor is not aware of any reference for HTTP-only cookies. They are a feature supported by some Web browsers wherein an "httponly" parameter added to the cookie string causes the cookie to be hidden from script.

Since the cookie attribute is accessible across frames, the path restrictions on cookies are only a tool to help manage which cookies are sent to which parts of the site, and are not in any way a security feature.


The lastModified attribute, on getting, must return the date and time of the Document's source file's last modification, in the user's local timezone, in the following format:

  1. The month component of the date.
  2. A U+002F SOLIDUS character ('/').
  3. The day component of the date.
  4. A U+002F SOLIDUS character ('/').
  5. The year component of the date.
  6. A U+0020 SPACE character.
  7. The hours component of the time.
  8. A U+003A COLON character (':').
  9. The minutes component of the time.
  10. A U+003A COLON character (':').
  11. The seconds component of the time.

All the numeric components above, other than the year, must be given as two digits in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE representing the number in base ten, zero-padded if necessary.

The Document's source file's last modification date and time must be derived from relevant features of the networking protocols used, e.g. from the value of the HTTP Last-Modified header of the document, or from metadata in the file system for local files. If the last modification date and time are not known, the attribute must return the string 01/01/1970 00:00:00.

A Document is always set to one of three modes: no quirks mode, the default; quirks mode, used typically for legacy documents; and limited quirks mode, also known as "almost standards" mode. The mode is only ever changed from the default by the HTML parser, based on the presence, absence, or value of the DOCTYPE string.

The compatMode DOM attribute must return the literal string "CSS1Compat" unless the document has been set to quirks mode by the HTML parser, in which case it must instead return the literal string "BackCompat".

As far as parsing goes, the quirks I know of are:

Documents have an associated character encoding. When a Document object is created, the document's character encoding must be initialized to UTF-16. Various algorithms during page loading affect this value, as does the charset setter. [IANACHARSET]

The charset DOM attribute must, on getting, return the preferred MIME name of the document's character encoding. On setting, if the new value is an IANA-registered alias for a character encoding, the document's character encoding must be set to that character encoding. (Otherwise, nothing happens.)

The characterSet DOM attribute must, on getting, return the preferred MIME name of the document's character encoding.

The defaultCharset DOM attribute must, on getting, return the preferred MIME name of a character encoding, possibly the user's default encoding, or an encoding associated with the user's current geographical location, or any arbitrary encoding name.

Each document has a current document readiness. When a Document object is created, it must have its current document readiness set to the string "loading" if the document is associated with an HTML parser or an XML parser, or to the string "complete" otherwise. Various algorithms during page loading affect this value. When the value is set, the user agent must fire a simple event called readystatechange at the Document object.

The readyState DOM attribute must, on getting, return the current document readiness.

3.2.4 DOM tree accessors

The html element of a document is the document's root element, if there is one and it's an html element, or null otherwise.

The head element of a document is the first head element that is a child of the html element, if there is one, or null otherwise.


The title element of a document is the first title element in the document (in tree order), if there is one, or null otherwise.

The title attribute must, on getting, run the following algorithm:

  1. If the root element is an svg element in the "http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" namespace, and the user agent supports SVG, then the getter must return the value that would have been returned by the DOM attribute of the same name on the SVGDocument interface.

  2. Otherwise, it must return a concatenation of the data of all the child text nodes of the title element, in tree order, or the empty string if the title element is null.

On setting, the following algorithm must be run:

  1. If the root element is an svg element in the "http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" namespace, and the user agent supports SVG, then the setter must defer to the setter for the DOM attribute of the same name on the SVGDocument interface (if it is readonly, then this will raise an exception). Stop the algorithm here.

  2. If the title element is null and the head element is null, then the attribute must do nothing. Stop the algorithm here.
  3. If the title element is null, then a new title element must be created and appended to the head element.
  4. The children of the title element (if any) must all be removed.
  5. A single Text node whose data is the new value being assigned must be appended to the title element.

The title attribute on the HTMLDocument interface should shadow the attribute of the same name on the SVGDocument interface when the user agent supports both HTML and SVG.


The body element of a document is the first child of the html element that is either a body element or a frameset element. If there is no such element, it is null. If the body element is null, then when the specification requires that events be fired at "the body element", they must instead be fired at the Document object.

The body attribute, on getting, must return the body element of the document (either a body element, a frameset element, or null). On setting, the following algorithm must be run:

  1. If the new value is not a body or frameset element, then raise a HIERARCHY_REQUEST_ERR exception and abort these steps.
  2. Otherwise, if the new value is the same as the body element, do nothing. Abort these steps.
  3. Otherwise, if the body element is not null, then replace that element with the new value in the DOM, as if the root element's replaceChild() method had been called with the new value and the incumbent body element as its two arguments respectively, then abort these steps.
  4. Otherwise, the the body element is null. Append the new value to the root element.

The images attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only img elements.

The embeds attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only embed elements.

The plugins attribute must return the same object as that returned by the embeds attribute.

The links attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only a elements with href attributes and area elements with href attributes.

The forms attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only form elements.

The anchors attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only a elements with name attributes.

The scripts attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only script elements.


The getElementsByName(name) method takes a string name, and must return a live NodeList containing all the a, applet, button, form, frame, frameset, iframe, img, input, map, meta, object, select, and textarea elements in that document that have a name attribute whose value is equal to the name argument (in a case-sensitive manner), in tree order.

The getElementsByClassName(classNames) method takes a string that contains an unordered set of unique space-separated tokens representing classes. When called, the method must return a live NodeList object containing all the elements in the document, in tree order, that have all the classes specified in that argument, having obtained the classes by splitting a string on spaces. If there are no tokens specified in the argument, then the method must return an empty NodeList. If the document is in quirks mode, then the comparisons for the classes must be done in an ASCII case-insensitive manner, otherwise, the comparisons must be done in a case-sensitive manner.

The getElementsByClassName() method on the HTMLElement interface must return a live NodeList with the nodes that the HTMLDocument getElementsByClassName() method would return when passed the same argument(s), excluding any elements that are not descendants of the HTMLElement object on which the method was invoked.

HTML, SVG, and MathML elements define which classes they are in by having an attribute in the per-element partition with the name class containing a space-separated list of classes to which the element belongs. Other specifications may also allow elements in their namespaces to be labeled as being in specific classes.

Given the following XHTML fragment:

<div id="example">
 <p id="p1" class="aaa bbb"/>
 <p id="p2" class="aaa ccc"/>
 <p id="p3" class="bbb ccc"/>
</div>

A call to document.getElementById('example').getElementsByClassName('aaa') would return a NodeList with the two paragraphs p1 and p2 in it.

A call to getElementsByClassName('ccc bbb') would only return one node, however, namely p3. A call to document.getElementById('example').getElementsByClassName('bbb  ccc ') would return the same thing.

A call to getElementsByClassName('aaa,bbb') would return no nodes; none of the elements above are in the "aaa,bbb" class.


The HTMLDocument interface supports named properties. The names of the supported named properties at any moment consist of the values of the name content attributes of all the applet, embed, form, iframe, img, and fallback-free object elements in the Document that have name content attributes, and the values of the id content attributes of all the applet and fallback-free object elements in the Document that have id content attributes, and the values of the id content attributes of all the img elements in the Document that have both name content attributes and id content attributes.

When the HTMLDocument object is indexed for property retrieval using a name name, then the user agent must return the value obtained using the following steps:

  1. Let elements be the list of named elements with the name name in the Document.

    There will be at least one such element, by definition.

  2. If elements has only one element, and that element is an iframe element, then return the WindowProxy object of the nested browsing context represented by that iframe element, and abort these steps.

  3. Otherwise, if elements has only one element, return that element and abort these steps.

  4. Otherwise return an HTMLCollection rooted at the Document node, whose filter matches only named elements with the name name.

Named elements with the name name, for the purposes of the above algorithm, are those that are either:

An object element is said to be fallback-free if it has no element descendants other than param elements, and no text node descendants that are not inter-element whitespace.


The dir attribute on the HTMLDocument interface is defined along with the dir content attribute.

3.3 Elements

3.3.1 Semantics

Elements, attributes, and attribute values in HTML are defined (by this specification) to have certain meanings (semantics). For example, the ol element represents an ordered list, and the lang attribute represents the language of the content.

Authors must not use elements, attributes, and attribute values for purposes other than their appropriate intended semantic purpose.

For example, the following document is non-conforming, despite being syntactically correct:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en-GB">
 <head> <title> Demonstration </title> </head>
 <body>
  <table>
   <tr> <td> My favourite animal is the cat. </td> </tr>
   <tr>
    <td>
     —<a href="http://example.org/~ernest/"><cite>Ernest</cite></a>,
     in an essay from 1992
    </td>
   </tr>
  </table>
 </body>
</html>

...because the data placed in the cells is clearly not tabular data (and the cite element mis-used). A corrected version of this document might be:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en-GB">
 <head> <title> Demonstration </title> </head>
 <body>
  <blockquote>
   <p> My favourite animal is the cat. </p>
  </blockquote>
  <p>
   —<a href="http://example.org/~ernest/">Ernest</a>,
   in an essay from 1992
  </p>
 </body>
</html>

This next document fragment, intended to represent the heading of a corporate site, is similarly non-conforming because the second line is not intended to be a heading of a subsection, but merely a subheading or subtitle (a subordinate heading for the same section).

<body>
 <h1>ABC Company</h1>
 <h2>Leading the way in widget design since 1432</h2>
 ...

The header element should be used in these kinds of situations:

<body>
 <header>
  <h1>ABC Company</h1>
  <h2>Leading the way in widget design since 1432</h2>
 </header>
 ...

Through scripting and using other mechanisms, the values of attributes, text, and indeed the entire structure of the document may change dynamically while a user agent is processing it. The semantics of a document at an instant in time are those represented by the state of the document at that instant in time, and the semantics of a document can therefore change over time. User agents must update their presentation of the document as this occurs.

HTML has a progress element that describes a progress bar. If its "value" attribute is dynamically updated by a script, the UA would update the rendering to show the progress changing.

3.3.2 Elements in the DOM

The nodes representing HTML elements in the DOM must implement, and expose to scripts, the interfaces listed for them in the relevant sections of this specification. This includes HTML elements in XML documents, even when those documents are in another context (e.g. inside an XSLT transform).

Elements in the DOM represent things; that is, they have intrinsic meaning, also known as semantics.

For example, an ol element represents an ordered list.

The basic interface, from which all the HTML elements' interfaces inherit, and which must be used by elements that have no additional requirements, is the HTMLElement interface.

interface HTMLElement : Element {
  // DOM tree accessors
  NodeList getElementsByClassName(in DOMString classNames);

  // dynamic markup insertion
           attribute DOMString innerHTML;
           attribute DOMString outerHTML;
  void insertAdjacentHTML(in DOMString position, in DOMString text);

  // metadata attributes
           attribute DOMString id;
           attribute DOMString title;
           attribute DOMString lang;
           attribute DOMString dir;
           attribute DOMString className;
  readonly attribute DOMTokenList classList;
  readonly attribute DOMStringMap dataset;

  // user interaction
           attribute boolean hidden;
  void click();
  void scrollIntoView();
  void scrollIntoView(in boolean top);
           attribute long tabIndex;
  void focus();
  void blur();
           attribute boolean draggable;
           attribute DOMString contentEditable;
  readonly attribute boolean isContentEditable;
           attribute HTMLMenuElement contextMenu;

  // styling
  readonly attribute CSSStyleDeclaration style;

  // event handler DOM attributes
           attribute Function onabort;
           attribute Function onblur;
           attribute Function onchange;
           attribute Function onclick;
           attribute Function oncontextmenu;
           attribute Function ondblclick;
           attribute Function ondrag;
           attribute Function ondragend;
           attribute Function ondragenter;
           attribute Function ondragleave;
           attribute Function ondragover;
           attribute Function ondragstart;
           attribute Function ondrop;
           attribute Function onerror;
           attribute Function onfocus;
           attribute Function onkeydown;
           attribute Function onkeypress;
           attribute Function onkeyup;
           attribute Function onload;
           attribute Function onmessage;
           attribute Function onmousedown;
           attribute Function onmousemove;
           attribute Function onmouseout;
           attribute Function onmouseover;
           attribute Function onmouseup;
           attribute Function onmousewheel;
           attribute Function onscroll;
           attribute Function onselect;
           attribute Function onsubmit;
};

The HTMLElement interface holds methods and attributes related to a number of disparate features, and the members of this interface are therefore described in various different sections of this specification.

3.3.3 Global attributes

The following attributes are common to and may be specified on all HTML elements (even those not defined in this specification):

Global attributes:
class
contenteditable
contextmenu
dir
draggable
id
hidden
lang
style
tabindex
title

In addition, unless otherwise specified, the following event handler content attributes may be specified on any HTML element:

Event handler content attributes:
onabort
onblur
onchange
onclick
oncontextmenu
ondblclick
ondrag
ondragend
ondragenter
ondragleave
ondragover
ondragstart
ondrop
onerror*
onfocus
onkeydown
onkeypress
onkeyup
onload*
onmessage*
onmousedown
onmousemove
onmouseout
onmouseover
onmouseup
onmousewheel
onscroll
onselect
onsubmit

The attributes marked with an asterisk cannot be specified on body elements as those elements expose event handler attributes of the Window object with the same names.


Also, custom data attributes (e.g. data-foldername or data-msgid) can be specified on any HTML element, to store custom data specific to the page.

In HTML documents, elements in the HTML namespace may have an xmlns attribute specified, if, and only if, it has the exact value "http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml". This does not apply to XML documents.

In HTML, the xmlns attribute has absolutely no effect. It is basically a talisman. It is allowed merely to make migration to and from XHTML mildly easier. When parsed by an HTML parser, the attribute ends up in no namespace, not the "http://www.w3.org/2000/xmlns/" namespace like namespace declaration attributes in XML do.

In XML, an xmlns attribute is part of the namespace declaration mechanism, and an element cannot actually have an xmlns attribute in no namespace specified.

3.3.3.1 The id attribute

The id attribute represents its element's unique identifier. The value must be unique in the element's home subtree and must contain at least one character. The value must not contain any space characters.

If the value is not the empty string, user agents must associate the element with the given value (exactly, including any space characters) for the purposes of ID matching within the element's home subtree (e.g. for selectors in CSS or for the getElementById() method in the DOM).

Identifiers are opaque strings. Particular meanings should not be derived from the value of the id attribute.

This specification doesn't preclude an element having multiple IDs, if other mechanisms (e.g. DOM Core methods) can set an element's ID in a way that doesn't conflict with the id attribute.

The id DOM attribute must reflect the id content attribute.

3.3.3.2 The title attribute

The title attribute represents advisory information for the element, such as would be appropriate for a tooltip. On a link, this could be the title or a description of the target resource; on an image, it could be the image credit or a description of the image; on a paragraph, it could be a footnote or commentary on the text; on a citation, it could be further information about the source; and so forth. The value is text.

If this attribute is omitted from an element, then it implies that the title attribute of the nearest ancestor HTML element with a title attribute set is also relevant to this element. Setting the attribute overrides this, explicitly stating that the advisory information of any ancestors is not relevant to this element. Setting the attribute to the empty string indicates that the element has no advisory information.

If the title attribute's value contains U+000A LINE FEED (LF) characters, the content is split into multiple lines. Each U+000A LINE FEED (LF) character represents a line break.

Some elements, such as link, abbr, and input, define additional semantics for the title attribute beyond the semantics described above.

The title DOM attribute must reflect the title content attribute.

3.3.3.3 The lang and xml:lang attributes

The lang attribute specifies the primary language for the element's contents and for any of the element's attributes that contain text. Its value must be a valid RFC 3066 language code, or the empty string. [RFC3066]

The xml:lang attribute (that is, the lang attribute with the xml prefix in the http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace namespace) is defined in XML. [XML]

If these attributes are omitted from an element, then the language of this element is the same as the language of its parent element, if any. Setting the attribute to the empty string indicates that the primary language is unknown.

The lang attribute may be used on any HTML element.

The xml:lang attribute may be used on HTML elements in XML documents, as well as elements in other namespaces if the relevant specifications allow it (in particular, MathML and SVG allow xml:lang attributes to be specified on their elements). If both the lang attribute and the xml:lang attribute are specified on the same element, they must have exactly the same value when compared in an ASCII case-insensitive manner.

Authors must not use the xml:lang attribute (that is, the lang attribute with the xml prefix in the http://www.w3.org/XML/1998/namespace namespace) in HTML documents. To ease migration to and from XHTML, authors may specify an attribute in no namespace with no prefix and with the localname xml:lang on HTML elements in HTML documents, but such attributes must only be specified if a lang attribute is also specified, and both attributes must have the same value when compared in an ASCII case-insensitive manner.


To determine the language of a node, user agents must look at the nearest ancestor element (including the element itself if the node is an element) that has an xml:lang attribute set or is an HTML element and has a lang attribute set. That attribute specifies the language of the node.

If both the xml:lang attribute and the lang attribute are set on an element, user agents must use the xml:lang attribute, and the lang attribute must be ignored for the purposes of determining the element's language.

If no explicit language is given for the root element, but there is a document-wide default language set, then that is the language of the node.

If there is no document-wide default language, then language information from a higher-level protocol (such as HTTP), if any, must be used as the final fallback language. In the absence of any language information, the default value is unknown (the empty string).

If the resulting value is not a recognised language code, then it must be treated as an unknown language (as if the value was the empty string).


User agents may use the element's language to determine proper processing or rendering (e.g. in the selection of appropriate fonts or pronunciations, or for dictionary selection).

The lang DOM attribute must reflect the lang content attribute.

3.3.3.4 The xml:base attribute (XML only)

The xml:base attribute is defined in XML Base. [XMLBASE]

The xml:base attribute may be used on elements of XML documents. Authors must not use the xml:base attribute in HTML documents.

3.3.3.5 The dir attribute

The dir attribute specifies the element's text directionality. The attribute is an enumerated attribute with the keyword ltr mapping to the state ltr, and the keyword rtl mapping to the state rtl. The attribute has no defaults.

The processing of this attribute is primarily performed by the presentation layer. For example, the rendering section in this specification defines a mapping from this attribute to the CSS 'direction' and 'unicode-bidi' properties, and CSS defines rendering in terms of those properties.

The directionality of an element, which is used in particular by the canvas element's text rendering API, is either 'ltr' or 'rtl'. If the user agent supports CSS and the 'direction' property on this element has a computed value of either 'ltr' or 'rtl', then that is the directionality of the element. Otherwise, if the element is being rendered, then the directionality of the element is the directionality used by the presentation layer, potentially determined from the value of the dir attribute on the element. Otherwise, if the element's dir attribute has the state ltr, the element's directionality is 'ltr' (left-to-right); if the attribute has the state rtl, the element's directionality is 'rtl' (right-to-left); and oherwise, the element's directionality is the same as its parent element, or 'ltr' if there is no parent element.

The dir DOM attribute on an element must reflect the dir content attribute of that element, limited to only known values.

The dir DOM attribute on HTMLDocument objects must reflect the dir content attribute of the html element, if any, limited to only known values. If there is no such element, then the attribute must return the empty string and do nothing on setting.

Authors are strongly encouraged to use the dir attribute to indicate text direction rather than using CSS, since that way their documents will continue to render correctly even in the absence of CSS (e.g. as interpreted by search engines).

3.3.3.6 The class attribute

Every HTML element may have a class attribute specified.

The attribute, if specified, must have a value that is an unordered set of unique space-separated tokens representing the various classes that the element belongs to.

The classes that an HTML element has assigned to it consists of all the classes returned when the value of the class attribute is split on spaces.

Assigning classes to an element affects class matching in selectors in CSS, the getElementsByClassName() method in the DOM, and other such features.

Authors may use any value in the class attribute, but are encouraged to use the values that describe the nature of the content, rather than values that describe the desired presentation of the content.

The className and classList DOM attributes must both reflect the class content attribute.

3.3.3.7 The style attribute

All elements may have the style content attribute set. If specified, the attribute must contain only a list of zero or more semicolon-separated (;) CSS declarations. [CSS21]

In user agents that support CSS, the attribute's value must be parsed when the attribute is added or has its value changed, with its value treated as the body (the part inside the curly brackets) of a declaration block in a rule whose selector matches just the element on which the attribute is set. All URLs in the value must be resolved relative to the element when the attribute is parsed. For the purposes of the CSS cascade, the attribute must be considered to be a 'style' attribute at the author level.

Documents that use style attributes on any of their elements must still be comprehensible and usable if those attributes were removed.

In particular, using the style attribute to hide and show content, or to convey meaning that is otherwise not included in the document, is non-conforming.

The style DOM attribute must return a CSSStyleDeclaration whose value represents the declarations specified in the attribute, if present. Mutating the CSSStyleDeclaration object must create a style attribute on the element (if there isn't one already) and then change its value to be a value representing the serialized form of the CSSStyleDeclaration object. [CSSOM]

In the following example, the words that refer to colors are marked up using the span element and the style attribute to make those words show up in the relevant colors in visual media.

<p>My sweat suit is <span style="color: green; background:
transparent">green</span> and my eyes are <span style="color: blue;
background: transparent">blue</span>.</p>
3.3.3.8 Embedding custom non-visible data

A custom data attribute is an attribute whose name starts with the string "data-", has at least one character after the hyphen, is XML-compatible, has no namespace, and contains no characters in the range U+0041 .. U+005A (LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A .. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z).

All attributes in HTML documents get lowercased automatically, so the restriction on uppercase letters doesn't affect such documents.

Custom data attributes are intended to store custom data private to the page or application, for which there are no more appropriate attributes or elements.

These attributes are not intended for use by software that is independent of the site that uses the attributes.

For instance, a site about music could annotate list items representing tracks in an album with custom data attributes containing the length of each track. This information could then be used by the site itself to allow the user to sort the list by track length, or to filter the list for tracks of certain lengths.

<ol>
 <li data-length="2m11s">Beyond The Sea</li>
 ...
</ol>

It would be inappropriate, however, for the user to use generic software not associated with that music site to search for tracks of a certain length by looking at this data.

This is because these attributes are intended for use by the site's own scripts, and are not a generic extension mechanism for publicly-usable metadata.

Every HTML element may have any number of custom data attributes specified, with any value.

The dataset DOM attribute provides convenient accessors for all the data-* attributes on an element. On getting, the dataset DOM attribute must return a DOMStringMap object, associated with the following algorithms, which expose these attributes on their element:

The algorithm for getting the list of name-value pairs
  1. Let list be an empty list of name-value pairs.
  2. For each content attribute on the element whose first five characters are the string "data-", add a name-value pair to list whose name is the attribute's name with the first five character removed and whose value is the attribute's value.
  3. Return list.
The algorithm for setting names to certain values
  1. Let name be the concatenation of the string data- and the name passed to the algorithm.
  2. Let value be the value passed to the algorithm.
  3. Set the value of the attribute with the name name, to the value value, replacing any previous value if the attribute already existed. If setAttribute() would have raised an exception when setting an attribute with the name name, then this must raise the same exception.
The algorithm for deleting names
  1. Let name be the concatenation of the string data- and the name passed to the algorithm.
  2. Remove the attribute with the name name, if such an attribute exists. Do nothing otherwise.

If a Web page wanted an element to represent a space ship, e.g. as part of a game, it would have to use the class attribute along with data-* attributes:

<div class="spaceship" data-id="92432"
     data-weapons="laser 2" data-shields="50%"
     data-x="30" data-y="10" data-z="90">
 <button class="fire"
         onclick="spaceships[this.parentNode.dataset.id].fire()">
  Fire
 </button>
</div>

Authors should carefully design such extensions so that when the attributes are ignored and any associated CSS dropped, the page is still usable.

User agents must not derive any implementation behavior from these attributes or values. Specifications intended for user agents must not define these attributes to have any meaningful values.

3.4 Content models

All the elements in this specification have a defined content model, which describes what nodes are allowed inside the elements, and thus what the structure of an HTML document or fragment must look like.

As noted in the conformance and terminology sections, for the purposes of determining if an element matches its content model or not, CDATASection nodes in the DOM are treated as equivalent to Text nodes, and entity reference nodes are treated as if they were expanded in place.

The space characters are always allowed between elements. User agents represent these characters between elements in the source markup as text nodes in the DOM. Empty text nodes and text nodes consisting of just sequences of those characters are considered inter-element whitespace.

Inter-element whitespace, comment nodes, and processing instruction nodes must be ignored when establishing whether an element matches its content model or not, and must be ignored when following algorithms that define document and element semantics.

An element A is said to be preceded or followed by a second element B if A and B have the same parent node and there are no other element nodes or text nodes (other than inter-element whitespace) between them.

Authors must not use elements in the HTML namespace anywhere except where they are explicitly allowed, as defined for each element, or as explicitly required by other specifications. For XML compound documents, these contexts could be inside elements from other namespaces, if those elements are defined as providing the relevant contexts.

The Atom specification defines the Atom content element, when its type attribute has the value xhtml, as requiring that it contains a single HTML div element. Thus, a div element is allowed in that context, even though this is not explicitly normatively stated by this specification. [ATOM]

In addition, elements in the HTML namespace may be orphan nodes (i.e. without a parent node).

For example, creating a td element and storing it in a global variable in a script is conforming, even though td elements are otherwise only supposed to be used inside tr elements.

var data = {
  name: "Banana",
  cell: document.createElement('td'), 
};

3.4.1 Kinds of content

Each element in HTML falls into zero or more categories that group elements with similar characteristics together. The following broad categories are used in this specification:

These categories are related as follows:

Sectioning content, heading content, phrasing content, and
  embedded content are all types of flow content. Embedded content is
  also a type of phrasing content.

In addition, certain elements are categorised as form-associated elements and further subcategorised so so to define their role in various form-related processing models.

Some elements have unique requirements and do not fit into any particular category.

3.4.1.1 Metadata content

Metadata content is content that sets up the presentation or behavior of the rest of the content, or that sets up the relationship of the document with other documents, or that conveys other "out of band" information.

Elements from other namespaces whose semantics are primarily metadata-related (e.g. RDF) are also metadata content.

Thus, in the XML serialisation, one can use RDF, like this:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"
      xmlns:r="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#">
 <head>
  <title>Hedral's Home Page</title>
  <r:RDF>
   <Person xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/10/swap/pim/contact#"
           r:about="http://hedral.example.com/#">
    <fullName>Cat Hedral</fullName>
    <mailbox r:resource="mailto:hedral@damowmow.com"/>
    <personalTitle>Sir</personalTitle> 
   </Person>
  </r:RDF>
 </head>
 <body>
  <h1>My home page</h1>
  <p>I like playing with string, I guess. Sister says squirrels are fun
  too so sometimes I follow her to play with them.</p>
 </body>
</html>

This isn't possible in the HTML serialisation, however.

3.4.1.2 Flow content

Most elements that are used in the body of documents and applications are categorized as flow content.

As a general rule, elements whose content model allows any flow content should have either at least one descendant text node that is not inter-element whitespace, or at least one descendant element node that is embedded content. For the purposes of this requirement, del elements and their descendants must not be counted as contributing to the ancestors of the del element.

This requirement is not a hard requirement, however, as there are many cases where an element can be empty legitimately, for example when it is used as a placeholder which will later be filled in by a script, or when the element is part of a template and would on most pages be filled in but on some pages is not relevant.

3.4.1.3 Sectioning content

Sectioning content is content that defines the scope of headers, footers, and contact information.

Each sectioning content element potentially has a heading and an outline. See the section on headings and sections for further details.

There are also certain elements that are sectioning roots. These are distinct from sectioning content, but they can also have an outline.

3.4.1.4 Heading content

Heading content defines the header of a section (whether explicitly marked up using sectioning content elements, or implied by the heading content itself).

3.4.1.5 Phrasing content

Phrasing content is the text of the document, as well as elements that mark up that text at the intra-paragraph level. Runs of phrasing content form paragraphs.

As a general rule, elements whose content model allows any phrasing content should have either at least one descendant text node that is not inter-element whitespace, or at least one descendant element node that is embedded content. For the purposes of this requirement, nodes that are descendants of del elements must not be counted as contributing to the ancestors of the del element.

Most elements that are categorized as phrasing content can only contain elements that are themselves categorized as phrasing content, not any flow content.

Text nodes that are not inter-element whitespace are phrasing content.

3.4.1.6 Embedded content

Embedded content is content that imports another resource into the document, or content from another vocabulary that is inserted into the document.

Elements that are from namespaces other than the HTML namespace and that convey content but not metadata, are embedded content for the purposes of the content models defined in this specification. (For example, MathML, or SVG.)

Some embedded content elements can have fallback content: content that is to be used when the external resource cannot be used (e.g. because it is of an unsupported format). The element definitions state what the fallback is, if any.

3.4.1.7 Interactive content

Interactive content is content that is specifically intended for user interaction.

Certain elements in HTML have an activation behavior, which means the user agent should allow the user to manually trigger them in some way, for instance using keyboard or voice input, or through mouse clicks. When the user triggers an element with a defined activation behavior in a manner other than clicking it, the default action of the interaction event must be to run synthetic click activation steps on the element.

When a user agent is to run synthetic click activation steps on an element, the user agent must run pre-click activation steps on the element, then fire a click event at the element. The default action of this click event must be to run post-click activation steps on the element. If the event is canceled, the user agent must run canceled activation steps on the element instead.

Given an element target, the nearest activatable element is the element returned by the following algorithm:

  1. If target has a defined activation behavior, then return target and abort these steps.

  2. If target has a parent element, then set target to that parent element and return to the first step.

  3. Otherwise, there is no nearest activatable element.

When a pointing device is clicked, the user agent must run these steps:

  1. Let e be the nearest activatable element of the element designated by the user, if any.

  2. If there is an element e, run pre-click activation steps on it.

  3. Dispatching the required click event.

    Another specification presumably requires the firing of the click event?

    If there is an element e, then the default action of the click event must be to run post-click activation steps on element e.

    If there is an element e but the event is canceled, the user agent must run canceled activation steps on element e.

The above doesn't happen for arbitrary synthetic events dispatched by author script. However, the click() method can be used to make it happen programmatically.

When a user agent is to run post-click activation steps on an element, the user agent must fire a simple event called DOMActivate at that element. The default action of this event must be to run final activation steps on that element. If the event is canceled, the user agent must run canceled activation steps on the element instead.

When a user agent is to run pre-click activation steps on an element, it must run the pre-click activation steps defined for that element, if any.

When a user agent is to run canceled activation steps on an element, it must run the canceled activation steps defined for that element, if any.

When a user agent is to run final activation steps on an element, it must run the activation behavior defined for that element. Activation behaviors can refer to the click and DOMActivate events that were fired by the steps above leading up to this point.

3.4.2 Transparent content models

Some elements are described as transparent; they have "transparent" as their content model. Some elements are described as semi-transparent; this means that part of their content model is "transparent" but that is not the only part of the content model that must be satisfied.

When a content model includes a part that is "transparent", those parts must not contain content that would not be conformant if all transparent and semi-transparent elements in the tree were replaced, in their parent element, by the children in the "transparent" part of their content model, retaining order.

When a transparent or semi-transparent element has no parent, then the part of its content model that is "transparent" must instead be treated as accepting any flow content.

3.5 Paragraphs

A paragraph is typically a block of text with one or more sentences that discuss a particular topic, as in typography, but can also be used for more general thematic grouping. For instance, an address is also a paragraph, as is a part of a form, a byline, or a stanza in a poem.

Paragraphs in flow content are defined relative to what the document looks like without the a, ins and del elements complicating matters, since those elements, with their hybrid content models, can straddle paragraph boundaries.

Let view be a view of the DOM that replaces all a, ins and del elements in the document with their contents. Then, in view, for each run of phrasing content uninterrupted by other types of content, in an element that accepts content other than phrasing content, let first be the first node of the run, and let last be the last node of the run. For each run, a paragraph exists in the original DOM from immediately before first to immediately after last. (Paragraphs can thus span across a, ins and del elements.)

A paragraph is also formed explicitly by p elements.

The p element can be used to wrap individual paragraphs when there would otherwise not be any content other than phrasing content to separate the paragraphs from each other.

In the following example, there are two paragraphs in a section. There is also a header, which contains phrasing content that is not a paragraph. Note how the comments and intra-element whitespace do not form paragraphs.

<section>
  <h1>Example of paragraphs</h1>
  This is the <em>first</em> paragraph in this example.
  <p>This is the second.</p>
  <!-- This is not a paragraph. -->
</section>

The following example takes that markup and puts ins and del elements around some of the markup to show that the text was changed (though in this case, the changes don't really make much sense, admittedly). Notice how this example has exactly the same paragraphs as the previous one, despite the ins and del elements.

<section>
  <ins><h1>Example of paragraphs</h1>
  This is the <em>first</em> paragraph in</ins> this example<del>.
  <p>This is the second.</p></del>
  <!-- This is not a paragraph. -->
</section>

In the following example, the link spans half of the first paragraph, all of the header separating the two paragraphs, and half of the second paragraph.

<aside>
 Welcome!
 <a href="about.html">
  This is home of...
  <h1>The Falcons!</h1>
  The Lockheed Martin multirole jet fighter aircraft!
 </a>
 This page discusses the F-16 Fighting Falcon's innermost secrets.
</aside>

Here is another way of marking this up, this time showing the paragraphs explicitly, and splitting the one link element into three:

<aside>
 <p>Welcome! <a href="about.html">This is home of...</a></p>
 <h1><a href="about.html">The Falcons!</a></h1>
 <p><a href="about.html">The Lockheed Martin multirole jet
 fighter aircraft!</a> This page discusses the F-16 Fighting
 Falcon's innermost secrets.</p>
</aside>

Generally, having elements straddle paragraph boundaries is best avoided. Maintaining such markup can be difficult.

3.6 APIs in HTML documents

For HTML documents, and for HTML elements in HTML documents, certain APIs defined in DOM3 Core become case-insensitive or case-changing, as sometimes defined in DOM3 Core, and as summarized or required below. [DOM3CORE].

This does not apply to XML documents or to elements that are not in the HTML namespace despite being in HTML documents.

Element.tagName and Node.nodeName

These attributes must return element names converted to uppercase, regardless of the case with which they were created.

Document.createElement()

The canonical form of HTML markup is all-lowercase; thus, this method will lowercase the argument before creating the requisite element. Also, the element created must be in the HTML namespace.

This doesn't apply to Document.createElementNS(). Thus, it is possible, by passing this last method a tag name in the wrong case, to create an element that claims to have the tag name of an element defined in this specification, but doesn't support its interfaces, because it really has another tag name not accessible from the DOM APIs.

Element.setAttributeNode()

When an Attr node is set on an HTML element, it must have its name converted to lowercase before the element is affected.

This doesn't apply to Document.setAttributeNodeNS().

Element.setAttribute()

When an attribute is set on an HTML element, the name argument must be converted to lowercas before the element is affected.

This doesn't apply to Document.setAttributeNS().

Document.getElementsByTagName() and Element.getElementsByTagName()

These methods (but not their namespaced counterparts) must compare the given argument in an ASCII case-insensitive manner when looking at HTML elements, and in a case-sensitive manner otherwise.

Thus, in an HTML document with nodes in multiple namespaces, these methods will be both case-sensitive and case-insensitive at the same time.

Document.renameNode()

If the new namespace is the HTML namespace, then the new qualified name must be converted to lowercase before the rename takes place.

3.7 Dynamic markup insertion

APIs for dynamically inserting markup into the document interact with the parser, and thus their behavior, varies depending on whether they are used with HTML documents (and the HTML parser) or XHTML in XML documents (and the XML parser).

3.7.1 Controlling the input stream

The open() method comes in several variants with different numbers of arguments.

When called with two or fewer arguments, the method must act as follows:

  1. Let type be the value of the first argument, if there is one, or "text/html" otherwise.

  2. Let replace be true if there is a second argument and it is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the value "replace", and false otherwise.

  3. If the document has an active parser that isn't a script-created parser, and the insertion point associated with that parser's input stream is not undefined (that is, it does point to somewhere in the input stream), then the method does nothing. Abort these steps and return the Document object on which the method was invoked.

    This basically causes document.open() to be ignored when it's called in an inline script found during the parsing of data sent over the network, while still letting it have an effect when called asynchronously or on a document that is itself being spoon-fed using these APIs.

  4. Unload the Document object, with the recycle parameter set to true. If the user refused to allow the document to be unloaded, then these steps must be aborted.

  5. If the document has an active parser, then stop that parser, and throw away any pending content in the input stream. what about if it doesn't, because it's either like a text/plain, or Atom, or PDF, or XHTML, or image document, or something?

  6. Unregister all event listeners registered on the Document node and its descendants.

  7. Remove all child nodes of the document, without firing any mutation events.

  8. Replace the Document's singleton objects with new instances of those objects. (This includes in particular the Window, Location, History, ApplicationCache, UndoManager, Navigator, and Selection objects, the various BarProp objects, the two Storage objects, and the various HTMLCollection objects. It also includes all the WebIDL prototypes in the ECMAScript binding, including the Document object's prototype.)

  9. Change the document's character encoding to UTF-16.

  10. Change the document's address to the first script's browsing context's active document's address.

  11. Create a new HTML parser and associate it with the document. This is a script-created parser (meaning that it can be closed by the document.open() and document.close() methods, and that the tokeniser will wait for an explicit call to document.close() before emitting an end-of-file token). The encoding confidence is irrelevant.

  12. Mark the document as being an HTML document (it might already be so-marked).
  13. If the type string contains a U+003B SEMICOLON (;) character, remove the first such character and all characters from it up to the end of the string.

    Strip all leading and trailing space characters from type.

    If type is not now an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "text/html", then act as if the tokeniser had emitted a start tag token with the tag name "pre", then set the HTML parser's tokenization stage's content model flag to PLAINTEXT.

  14. If replace is false, then:

    1. Remove all the entries in the browsing context's session history after the current entry in its Document's History object
    2. Remove any earlier entries that share the same Document
    3. Add a new entry just before the last entry that is associated with the text that was parsed by the previous parser associated with the Document object, as well as the state of the document at the start of these steps. (This allows the user to step backwards in the session history to see the page before it was blown away by the document.open() call.)
  15. Finally, set the insertion point to point at just before the end of the input stream (which at this point will be empty).

  16. Return the Document on which the method was invoked.

When called with three or more arguments, the open() method on the HTMLDocument object must call the open() method on the Window object of the HTMLDocument object, with the same arguments as the original call to the open() method, and return whatever that method returned. If the HTMLDocument object has no Window object, then the method must raise an INVALID_ACCESS_ERR exception.

The close() method must do nothing if there is no script-created parser associated with the document. If there is such a parser, then, when the method is called, the user agent must insert an explicit "EOF" character at the end of the parser's input stream.

3.7.2 document.write()

The document.write(...) method must act as follows:

  1. If the method was invoked on an XML document, throw an INVALID_ACCESS_ERR exception and abort these steps.

  2. If the insertion point is undefined, the open() method must be called (with no arguments) on the document object. If the user refused to allow the document to be unloaded, then these steps must be aborted. Otherwise, the insertion point will point at just before the end of the (empty) input stream.

  3. The string consisting of the concatenation of all the arguments to the method must be inserted into the input stream just before the insertion point.

  4. If there is a pending external script, then the method must now return without further processing of the input stream.

  5. Otherwise, the tokeniser must process the characters that were inserted, one at a time, processing resulting tokens as they are emitted, and stopping when the tokeniser reaches the insertion point or when the processing of the tokeniser is aborted by the tree construction stage (this can happen if a script end tag token is emitted by the tokeniser).

    If the document.write() method was called from script executing inline (i.e. executing because the parser parsed a set of script tags), then this is a reentrant invocation of the parser.

  6. Finally, the method must return.

3.7.3 document.writeln()

The document.writeln(...) method, when invoked, must act as if the document.write() method had been invoked with the same argument(s), plus an extra argument consisting of a string containing a single line feed character (U+000A).

3.7.4 innerHTML

The innerHTML DOM attribute represents the markup of the node's contents.

On getting, if the node's document is an HTML document, then the attribute must return the result of running the HTML fragment serialization algorithm on the node; otherwise, the node's document is an XML document, and the attribute must return the result of running the XML fragment serialization algorithm on the node instead (this might raise an exception instead of returning a string).

On setting, the following steps must be run:

  1. If the node's document is an HTML document: Invoke the HTML fragment parsing algorithm.

    If the node's document is an XML document: Invoke the XML fragment parsing algorithm.

    In either case, the algorithm must be invoked with the string being assigned into the innerHTML attribute as the input. If the node is an Element node, then, in addition, that element must be passed as the context element.

    If this raises an exception, then abort these steps.

    Otherwise, let new children be the nodes returned.

  2. If the attribute is being set on a Document node, and that document has an active HTML parser or XML parser, then stop that parser.

    what about if it doesn't, because it's either like a text/plain, or Atom, or PDF, or XHTML, or image document, or something?

  3. Remove the child nodes of the node whose innerHTML attribute is being set.

  4. If the attribute is being set on a Document node, let target document be that Document node. Otherwise, the attribute is being set on an Element node; let target document be the ownerDocument of that Element.

  5. Set the ownerDocument of all the nodes in new children to the target document.

  6. Append all the new children nodes to the node whose innerHTML attribute is being set, preserving their order, without firing any mutation events.

3.7.5 outerHTML

The outerHTML DOM attribute represents the markup of the element and its contents.

On getting, if the node's document is an HTML document, then the attribute must return the result of running the HTML fragment serialization algorithm on a fictional node whose only child is the node on which the attribute was invoked; otherwise, the node's document is an XML document, and the attribute must return the result of running the XML fragment serialization algorithm on that fictional node instead (this might raise an exception instead of returning a string).

On setting, the following steps must be run:

  1. Let target be the element whose outerHTML attribute is being set.

  2. If target has no parent node, then abort these steps. There would be no way to obtain a reference to the nodes created even if the remaining steps were run.

  3. If target's parent node is a Document object, throw a NO_MODIFICATION_ALLOWED_ERR exception and abort these steps.

  4. Let parent be target's parent node, unless that is a DocumentFragment node, in which case let parent be an arbitrary body element.

  5. If target's document is an HTML document: Invoke the HTML fragment parsing algorithm.

    If target's document is an XML document: Invoke the XML fragment parsing algorithm.

    In either case, the algorithm must be invoked with the string being assigned into the outerHTML attribute as the input, and parent as the context element.

    If this raises an exception, then abort these steps.

    Otherwise, let new children be targets returned.

  6. Set the ownerDocument of all the nodes in new children to target's document.

  7. Remove target from its parent node and insert in its place all the new children nodes, preserving their order, without firing any mutation events.

3.7.6 insertAdjacentHTML()

The insertAdjacentHTML(position, text) method, when invoked, must run the following algorithm:

  1. Let position and text be the method's first and second arguments, respectively.

  2. Let target be the element on which the method was invoked.

  3. Use the first matching item from this list:

    If position is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "beforebegin"
    If position is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "afterend"

    If target has no parent node, then abort these steps.

    If target's parent node is a Document object, then throw a NO_MODIFICATION_ALLOWED_ERR exception and abort these steps.

    Otherwise, let context be the parent node of target.

    If position is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "afterbegin"
    If position is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "beforeend"

    Let context be the same as target.

    Otherwise

    Throw a SYNTAX_ERR exception.

  4. If target's document is an HTML document: Invoke the HTML fragment parsing algorithm.

    If target's document is an XML document: Invoke the XML fragment parsing algorithm.

    In either case, the algorithm must be invoked with text as the input, and the element selected in by the previous step as the context element.

    If this raises an exception, then abort these steps.

    Otherwise, let new children be targets returned.

  5. Set the ownerDocument of all the nodes in new children to target's document.

  6. Use the first matching item from this list:

    If position is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "beforebegin"

    Insert all the new children nodes immediately before target, preserving their order.

    If position is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "afterbegin"

    Insert all the new children nodes before the first child of target, if there is one, preserving their order. If there is no such child, append them all to target, preserving their order.

    If position is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "beforeend"

    Append all the new children nodes to target, preserving their order.

    If position is an ASCII case-insensitive match for the string "afterend"

    Insert all the new children nodes immediately after target, preserving their order.

    The above mutations must be performed without firing any mutation events.

4 The elements of HTML

4.1 The root element

4.1.1 The html element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
As the root element of a document.
Wherever a subdocument fragment is allowed in a compound document.
Content model:
A head element followed by a body element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
manifest
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The html element represents the root of an HTML document.

The manifest attribute gives the address of the document's application cache manifest, if there is one. If the attribute is present, the attribute's value must be a valid URL.

The manifest attribute only has an effect during the early stages of document load. Changing the attribute dynamically thus has no effect (and thus, no DOM API is provided for this attribute).

For the purposes of application cache selection, later base elements cannot affect the resolving of relative URLs in manifest attributes, as the attributes are processed before those elements are seen.

4.2 Document metadata

4.2.1 The head element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
As the first element in an html element.
Content model:
One or more elements of metadata content, of which exactly one is a title element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The head element represents a collection of metadata for the Document.

4.2.2 The title element

Categories
Metadata content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
In a head element containing no other title elements.
Content model:
Text.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The title element represents the document's title or name. Authors should use titles that identify their documents even when they are used out of context, for example in a user's history or bookmarks, or in search results. The document's title is often different from its first header, since the first header does not have to stand alone when taken out of context.

There must be no more than one title element per document.

The title element must not contain any elements.

Here are some examples of appropriate titles, contrasted with the top-level headers that might be used on those same pages.

  <title>Introduction to The Mating Rituals of Bees</title>
    ...
  <h1>Introduction</h1>
  <p>This companion guide to the highly successful
  <cite>Introduction to Medieval Bee-Keeping</cite> book is...

The next page might be a part of the same site. Note how the title describes the subject matter unambiguously, while the first header assumes the reader knowns what the context is and therefore won't wonder if the dances are Salsa or Waltz:

  <title>Dances used during bee mating rituals</title>
    ...
  <h1>The Dances</h1>

The string to use as the document's title is given by the document.title DOM attribute. User agents should use the document's title when referring to the document in their user interface.

4.2.3 The base element

Categories
Metadata content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
In a head element containing no other base elements.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
href
target
DOM interface:
interface HTMLBaseElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString href;
           attribute DOMString target;
};

The base element allows authors to specify the document base URL for the purposes of resolving relative URLs, and the name of the default browsing context for the purposes of following hyperlinks. The element does not represent any content beyond this information.

There must be no more than one base element per document.

A base element must have either an href attribute, a target attribute, or both.

The href content attribute, if specified, must contain a valid URL.

A base element, if it has an href attribute, must come before any other elements in the tree that have attributes defined as taking URLs, except the html element (its manifest attribute isn't affected by base elements).

If there are multiple base elements with href attributes, all but the first are ignored.

The target attribute, if specified, must contain a valid browsing context name or keyword. User agents use this name when following hyperlinks.

A base element, if it has a target attribute, must come before any elements in the tree that represent hyperlinks.

If there are multiple base elements with target attributes, all but the first are ignored.

The href and target DOM attributes must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

Categories
Metadata content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where metadata content is expected.
In a noscript element that is a child of a head element.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
href
rel
media
hreflang
type
sizes
Also, the title attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLLinkElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute boolean disabled;
           attribute DOMString href;
           attribute DOMString rel;
  readonly attribute DOMTokenList relList;
           attribute DOMString media;
           attribute DOMString hreflang;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute DOMString sizes;
};

The LinkStyle interface must also be implemented by this element, the styling processing model defines how. [CSSOM]

The link element allows authors to link their document to other resources.

The destination of the link(s) is given by the href attribute, which must be present and must contain a valid URL. If the href attribute is absent, then the element does not define a link.

The types of link indicated (the relationships) are given by the value of the rel attribute, which must be present, and must have a value that is a set of space-separated tokens. The allowed values and their meanings are defined in a later section. If the rel attribute is absent, or if the values used are not allowed according to the definitions in this specification, then the element does not define a link.

Two categories of links can be created using the link element. Links to external resources are links to resources that are to be used to augment the current document, and hyperlink links are links to other documents. The link types section defines whether a particular link type is an external resource or a hyperlink. One element can create multiple links (of which some might be external resource links and some might be hyperlinks); exactly which and how many links are created depends on the keywords given in the rel attribute. User agents must process the links on a per-link basis, not a per-element basis.

Each link is handled separately. For instance, if there are two link elements with rel="stylesheet", they each count as a separate external resource, and each is affected by its own attributes independently.

The exact behavior for links to external resources depends on the exact relationship, as defined for the relevant link type. Some of the attributes control whether or not the external resource is to be applied (as defined below). For external resources that are represented in the DOM (for example, style sheets), the DOM representation must be made available even if the resource is not applied. To obtain the resource, the user agent must resolve the URL given by the href attribute, relative to the element, and then fetch the resulting absolute URL. User agents may opt to only fetch such resources when they are needed, instead of pro-actively fetching all the external resources that are not applied.

The semantics of the protocol used (e.g. HTTP) must be followed when fetching external resources. (For example, redirects must be followed and 404 responses must cause the external resource to not be applied.)

Interactive user agents should provide users with a means to follow the hyperlinks created using the link element, somewhere within their user interface. The exact interface is not defined by this specification, but it should include the following information (obtained from the element's attributes, again as defined below), in some form or another (possibly simplified), for each hyperlink created with each link element in the document:

User agents may also include other information, such as the type of the resource (as given by the type attribute).

Hyperlinks created with the link element and its rel attribute apply to the whole page. This contrasts with the rel attribute of a and area elements, which indicates the type of a link whose context is given by the link's location within the document.

The media attribute says which media the resource applies to. The value must be a valid media query. [MQ]

If the link is a hyperlink then the media attribute is purely advisory, and describes for which media the document in question was designed.

However, if the link is an external resource link, then the media attribute is prescriptive. The user agent must apply the external resource to views while their state match the listed media and the other relevant conditions apply, and must not apply them otherwise.

The external resource might have further restrictions defined within that limit its applicability. For example, a CSS style sheet might have some @media blocks. This specification does not override such further restrictions or requirements.

The default, if the media attribute is omitted, is all, meaning that by default links apply to all media.

The hreflang attribute on the link element has the same semantics as the hreflang attribute on hyperlink elements.

The type attribute gives the MIME type of the linked resource. It is purely advisory. The value must be a valid MIME type, optionally with parameters. [RFC2046]

For external resource links, the type attribute is used as a hint to user agents so that they can avoid fetching resources they do not support. If the attribute is present, then the user agent must assume that the resource is of the given type. If the attribute is omitted, but the external resource link type has a default type defined, then the user agent must assume that the resource is of that type. If the UA does not support the given MIME type for the given link relationship, then the UA should not fetch the resource; if the UA does support the given MIME type for the given link relationship, then the UA should fetch the resource. If the attribute is omitted, and the external resource link type does not have a default type defined, but the user agent would fetch the resource if the type was known and supported, then the user agent should fetch the resource under the assumption that it will be supported.

User agents must not consider the type attribute authoritative — upon fetching the resource, user agents must not use the type attribute to determine its actual type. Only the actual type (as defined in the next paragraph) is used to determine whether to apply the resource, not the aforementioned assumed type.

Once the user agent has established the type of the resource, the user agent must apply the resource if it is of a supported type and the other relevant conditions apply, and must ignore the resource otherwise.

If a document contains style sheet links labeled as follows:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="A" type="text/plain">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="B" type="text/css">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="C">

...then a compliant UA that supported only CSS style sheets would fetch the B and C files, and skip the A file (since text/plain is not the MIME type for CSS style sheets).

For files B and C, it would then check the actual types returned by the server. For those that are sent as text/css, it would apply the styles, but for those labeled as text/plain, or any other type, it would not.

If one the two files was returned without a Content-Type metadata, or with a syntactically incorrect type like Content-Type: "null", then the default type for stylesheet links would kick in. Since that default type is text/css, the style sheet would nonetheless be applied.

The title attribute gives the title of the link. With one exception, it is purely advisory. The value is text. The exception is for style sheet links, where the title attribute defines alternative style sheet sets.

The title attribute on link elements differs from the global title attribute of most other elements in that a link without a title does not inherit the title of the parent element: it merely has no title.

The sizes attribute is used with the icon link type. The attribute must not be specified on link elements that do not have a rel attribute that specifies the icon keyword.

Some versions of HTTP defined a Link: header, to be processed like a series of link elements. If supported, for the purposes of ordering links defined by HTTP headers must be assumed to come before any links in the document, in the order that they were given in the HTTP entity header. (URIs in these headers are to be processed and resolved according to the rules given in HTTP; the rules of this specification don't apply.) [RFC2616] [RFC2068]

The DOM attributes href, rel, media, hreflang, and type, and sizes each must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

The DOM attribute relList must reflect the rel content attribute.

The DOM attribute disabled only applies to style sheet links. When the link element defines a style sheet link, then the disabled attribute behaves as defined for the alternative style sheets DOM. For all other link elements it always return false and does nothing on setting.

4.2.5 The meta element

Categories
Metadata content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
If the charset attribute is present, or if the element is in the Encoding declaration state: in a head element.
If the http-equiv attribute is present, and the element is not in the Encoding declaration state: in a head element.
If the http-equiv attribute is present, and the element is not in the Encoding declaration state: in a noscript element that is a child of a head element.
If the name attribute is present: where metadata content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
name
http-equiv
content
charset (HTML only)
DOM interface:
interface HTMLMetaElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString content;
           attribute DOMString name;
           attribute DOMString httpEquiv;
};

The meta element represents various kinds of metadata that cannot be expressed using the title, base, link, style, and script elements.

The meta element can represent document-level metadata with the name attribute, pragma directives with the http-equiv attribute, and the file's character encoding declaration when an HTML document is serialized to string form (e.g. for transmission over the network or for disk storage) with the charset attribute.

Exactly one of the name, http-equiv, and charset attributes must be specified.

If either name or http-equiv is specified, then the content attribute must also be specified. Otherwise, it must be omitted.

The charset attribute specifies the character encoding used by the document. This is called a character encoding declaration.

The charset attribute may be specified in HTML documents only, it must not be used in XML documents. There must not be more than one element with a charset attribute per document.

The content attribute gives the value of the document metadata or pragma directive when the element is used for those purposes. The allowed values depend on the exact context, as described in subsequent sections of this specification.

If a meta element has a name attribute, it sets document metadata. Document metadata is expressed in terms of name/value pairs, the name attribute on the meta element giving the name, and the content attribute on the same element giving the value. The name specifies what aspect of metadata is being set; valid names and the meaning of their values are described in the following sections. If a meta element has no content attribute, then the value part of the metadata name/value pair is the empty string.

If a meta element has the http-equiv attribute specified, it must be either in a head element or in a noscript element that itself is in a head element. If a meta element does not have the http-equiv attribute specified, it must be in a head element.

The DOM attributes name and content must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name. The DOM attribute httpEquiv must reflect the content attribute http-equiv.

4.2.5.1 Standard metadata names

This specification defines a few names for the name attribute of the meta element.

application-name

The value must be a short free-form string that giving the name of the Web application that the page represents. If the page is not a Web application, the application-name metadata name must not be used. User agents may use the application name in UI in preference to the page's title, since the title might include status messages and the like relevant to the status of the page at a particular moment in time instead of just being the name of the application.

description

The value must be a free-form string that describes the page. The value must be appropriate for use in a directory of pages, e.g. in a search engine.

generator

The value must be a free-form string that identifies the software used to generate the document. This value must not be used on hand-authored pages.

4.2.5.2 Other metadata names

Extensions to the predefined set of metadata names may be registered in the WHATWG Wiki MetaExtensions page.

Anyone is free to edit the WHATWG Wiki MetaExtensions page at any time to add a type. These new names must be specified with the following information:

Keyword

The actual name being defined. The name should not be confusingly similar to any other defined name (e.g. differing only in case).

Brief description

A short description of what the metadata name's meaning is, including the format the value is required to be in.

Link to more details
A link to a more detailed description of the metadata name's semantics and requirements. It could be another page on the Wiki, or a link to an external page.
Synonyms

A list of other names that have exactly the same processing requirements. Authors should not use the names defined to be synonyms, they are only intended to allow user agents to support legacy content.

Status

One of the following:

Proposal
The name has not received wide peer review and approval. Someone has proposed it and is using it.
Accepted
The name has received wide peer review and approval. It has a specification that unambiguously defines how to handle pages that use the name, including when they use it in incorrect ways.
Unendorsed
The metadata name has received wide peer review and it has been found wanting. Existing pages are using this keyword, but new pages should avoid it. The "brief description" and "link to more details" entries will give details of what authors should use instead, if anything.

If a metadata name is added with the "proposal" status and found to be redundant with existing values, it should be removed and listed as a synonym for the existing value.

Conformance checkers must use the information given on the WHATWG Wiki MetaExtensions page to establish if a value not explicitly defined in this specification is allowed or not. When an author uses a new type not defined by either this specification or the Wiki page, conformance checkers should offer to add the value to the Wiki, with the details described above, with the "proposal" status.

This specification does not define how new values will get approved. It is expected that the Wiki will have a community that addresses this.

Metadata names whose values are to be URLs must not be proposed or accepted. Links must be represented using the link element, not the meta element.

4.2.5.3 Pragma directives

When the http-equiv attribute is specified on a meta element, the element is a pragma directive.

The http-equiv attribute is an enumerated attribute. The following table lists the keywords defined for this attribute. The states given in the first cell of the rows with keywords give the states to which those keywords map. Some of the keywords are non-conforming, as noted in the last column.

State Keywords Notes
Content Language content-language Non-conforming
Encoding declaration content-type
Default style default-style
Refresh refresh

When a meta element is inserted into the document, if its http-equiv attribute is present and represents one of the above states, then the user agent must run the algorithm appropriate for that state, as described in the following list:

Content language

This non-conforming pragma sets the document-wide default language. Until the pragma is successfully processed, there is no document-wide default language.

  1. If another meta element in the Content Language state has already been successfully processed (i.e. when it was inserted the user agent processed it and reached the last step of this list of steps), then abort these steps.

  2. If the meta element has no content attribute, or if that attribute's value is the empty string, then abort these steps.

  3. Let input be the value of the element's content attribute.

  4. Let position point at the first character of input.

  5. Skip whitespace.

  6. Collect a sequence of characters that are neither space characters nor a U+002C COMMA character (",").

  7. Let the document-wide default language be the string that resulted from the previous step.

For meta elements in the Content Language state, the content attribute must have a value consisting of a valid RFC 3066 language code. [RFC3066]

This pragma is not exactly equivalent to the HTTP Content-Language header, for instance it only supports one language. [RFC2616]

Encoding declaration state

The Encoding declaration state's user agent requirements are all handled by the parsing section of the specification. The state is just an alternative form of setting the charset attribute: it is a character encoding declaration.

For meta elements in the Encoding declaration state, the content attribute must have a value that is an ASCII case-insensitive match for a string that consists of: the literal string "text/html;", optionally followed by any number of space characters, followed by the literal string "charset=", followed by the character encoding name of the character encoding declaration.

If the document contains a meta element in the Encoding declaration state, then the document must not contain a meta element with the charset attribute present.

The Encoding declaration state may be used in HTML documents only, elements in that state must not be used in XML documents.

Default style state
  1. ...
Refresh state
  1. If another meta element in the Refresh state has already been successfully processed (i.e. when it was inserted the user agent processed it and reached the last step of this list of steps), then abort these steps.

  2. If the meta element has no content attribute, or if that attribute's value is the empty string, then abort these steps.

  3. Let input be the value of the element's content attribute.

  4. Let position point at the first character of input.

  5. Skip whitespace.

  6. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE, and parse the resulting string using the rules for parsing non-negative integers. If the sequence of characters collected is the empty string, then no number will have been parsed; abort these steps. Otherwise, let time be the parsed number.

  7. Collect a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE and U+002E FULL STOP ("."). Ignore any collected characters.

  8. Skip whitespace.

  9. Let url be the address of the current page.

  10. If the character in input pointed to by position is a U+003B SEMICOLON (";"), then advance position to the next character. Otherwise, jump to the last step.

  11. Skip whitespace.

  12. If the character in input pointed to by position is one of U+0055 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER U or U+0075 LATIN SMALL LETTER U, then advance position to the next character. Otherwise, jump to the last step.

  13. If the character in input pointed to by position is one of U+0052 LATIN CAPITAL LETTER R or U+0072 LATIN SMALL LETTER R, then advance position to the next character. Otherwise, jump to the last step.

  14. If the character in input pointed to by position is one of U+004C LATIN CAPITAL LETTER L or U+006C LATIN SMALL LETTER L, then advance position to the next character. Otherwise, jump to the last step.

  15. Skip whitespace.

  16. If the character in input pointed to by position is a U+003D EQUALS SIGN ("="), then advance position to the next character. Otherwise, jump to the last step.

  17. Skip whitespace.

  18. Let url be equal to the substring of input from the character at position to the end of the string.

  19. Strip any trailing space characters from the end of url.

  20. Strip any U+0009 CHARACTER TABULATION, U+000A LINE FEED (LF), and U+000D CARRIAGE RETURN (CR) characters from url.

  21. Resolve the url value to an absolute URL, relative to the meta element. If this fails, abort these steps.

  22. Perform one or more of the following steps:

    • Set a timer so that in time seconds, adjusted to take into account user or user agent preferences, if the user has not canceled the redirect, the user agent navigates the document's browsing context to url, with replacement enabled, and with the document's browsing context as the source browsing context.

    • Provide the user with an interface that, when selected, navigates a browsing context to url, with the document's browsing context as the source browsing context.

    • Do nothing.

    In addition, the user agent may, as with anything, inform the user of any and all aspects of its operation, including the state of any timers, the destinations of any timed redirects, and so forth.

For meta elements in the Refresh state, the content attribute must have a value consisting either of:

In the former case, the integer represents a number of seconds before the page is to be reloaded; in the latter case the integer represents a number of seconds before the page is to be replaced by the page at the given URL.

There must not be more than one meta element with any particular state in the document at a time.

4.2.5.4 Other pragma directives

Extensions to the predefined set of pragma directives may, under certain conditions, be registered in the WHATWG Wiki PragmaExtensions page.

Such extensions must use a name that is identical to a previously-registered HTTP header defined in an RFC, and must have behavior identical to that described for the HTTP header. Pragma directions corresponding to headers describing metadata, or not requiring specific user agent processing, must not be registered; instead, use metadata names. Pragma directions corresponding to headers that affect the HTTP processing model (e.g. caching) must not be registered, as they would result in HTTP-level behavior being different for user agents that implement HTML than for user agents that do not.

Anyone is free to edit the WHATWG Wiki PragmaExtensions page at any time to add a pragma directive satisfying these conditions. Such registrations must specify the following information:

Keyword

The actual name being defined.

Brief description

A short description of the purpose of the pragma directive.

Specification
A link to an IETF RFC defining the corresponding HTTP header.

Conformance checkers must use the information given on the WHATWG Wiki PragmaExtensions page to establish if a value not explicitly defined in this specification is allowed or not.

4.2.5.5 Specifying the document's character encoding

A character encoding declaration is a mechanism by which the character encoding used to store or transmit a document is specified.

The following restrictions apply to character encoding declarations:

If the document does not start with a BOM, and if its encoding is not explicitly given by Content-Type metadata, then the character encoding used must be an ASCII-compatible character encoding, and, in addition, if that encoding isn't US-ASCII itself, then the encoding must be specified using a meta element with a charset attribute or a meta element in the Encoding declaration state.

If the document contains a meta element with a charset attribute or a meta element in the Encoding declaration state, then the character encoding used must be an ASCII-compatible character encoding.

Authors should not use JIS_X0212-1990, x-JIS0208, and encodings based on EBCDIC. Authors should not use UTF-32. Authors must not use the CESU-8, UTF-7, BOCU-1 and SCSU encodings. [CESU8] [UTF7] [BOCU1] [SCSU]

Authors are encouraged to use UTF-8. Conformance checkers may advise against authors using legacy encodings.

In XHTML, the XML declaration should be used for inline character encoding information, if necessary.

4.2.6 The style element

Categories
Metadata content.
If the scoped attribute is present: flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
If the scoped attribute is absent: where metadata content is expected.
If the scoped attribute is absent: in a noscript element that is a child of a head element.
If the scoped attribute is present: where flow content is expected, but before any other flow content other than other style elements and inter-element whitespace.
Content model:
Depends on the value of the type attribute.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
media
type
scoped
Also, the title attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLStyleElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute boolean disabled;
           attribute DOMString media;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute boolean scoped;
};

The LinkStyle interface must also be implemented by this element, the styling processing model defines how. [CSSOM]

The style element allows authors to embed style information in their documents. The style element is one of several inputs to the styling processing model. The element does not represent content for the user.

If the type attribute is given, it must contain a valid MIME type, optionally with parameters, that designates a styling language. [RFC2046] If the attribute is absent, the type defaults to text/css. [RFC2138]

When examining types to determine if they support the language, user agents must not ignore unknown MIME parameters — types with unknown parameters must be assumed to be unsupported.

The media attribute says which media the styles apply to. The value must be a valid media query. [MQ] User agents must apply the styles to views while their state match the listed media, and must not apply them otherwise.

The styles might be further limited in scope, e.g. in CSS with the use of @media blocks. This specification does not override such further restrictions or requirements.

The default, if the media attribute is omitted, is all, meaning that by default styles apply to all media.

The scoped attribute is a boolean attribute. If the attribute is present, then the user agent must apply the specified style information only to the style element's parent element (if any), and that element's child nodes. Otherwise, the specified styles must, if applied, be applied to the entire document.

The title attribute on style elements defines alternative style sheet sets. If the style element has no title attribute, then it has no title; the title attribute of ancestors does not apply to the style element.

The title attribute on style elements, like the title attribute on link elements, differs from the global title attribute in that a style block without a title does not inherit the title of the parent element: it merely has no title.

All descendant elements must be processed, according to their semantics, before the style element itself is evaluated. For styling languages that consist of pure text, user agents must evaluate style elements by passing the concatenation of the contents of all the text nodes that are direct children of the style element (not any other nodes such as comments or elements), in tree order, to the style system. For XML-based styling languages, user agents must pass all the child nodes of the style element to the style system.

All URLs found by the styling language's processor must be resolved, relative to the element (or as defined by the styling language), when the processor is invoked.

This specification does not specify a style system, but CSS is expected to be supported by most Web browsers. [CSS21]

The media, type and scoped DOM attributes must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

The DOM disabled attribute behaves as defined for the alternative style sheets DOM.

4.2.7 Styling

The link and style elements can provide styling information for the user agent to use when rendering the document. The DOM Styling specification specifies what styling information is to be used by the user agent and how it is to be used. [CSSOM]

The style and link elements implement the LinkStyle interface. [CSSOM]

For style elements, if the user agent does not support the specified styling language, then the sheet attribute of the element's LinkStyle interface must return null. Similarly, link elements that do not represent external resource links that contribute to the styling processing model (i.e. that do not have a stylesheet keyword in their rel attribute), and link elements whose specified resource has not yet been fetched, or is not in a supported styling language, must have their LinkStyle interface's sheet attribute return null.

Otherwise, the LinkStyle interface's sheet attribute must return a StyleSheet object with the attributes implemented as follows: [CSSOM]

The content type (type DOM attribute)

The content type must be the same as the style's specified type. For style elements, this is the same as the type content attribute's value, or text/css if that is omitted. For link elements, this is the Content-Type metadata of the specified resource.

The location (href DOM attribute)

For link elements, the location must be the result of resolving the URL given by the element's href content attribute, relative to the element, or the empty string if that fails. For style elements, there is no location.

The intended destination media for style information (media DOM attribute)

The media must be the same as the value of the element's media content attribute.

The style sheet title (title DOM attribute)

The title must be the same as the value of the element's title content attribute. If the attribute is absent, then the style sheet does not have a title. The title is used for defining alternative style sheet sets.

The disabled DOM attribute on link and style elements must return false and do nothing on setting, if the sheet attribute of their LinkStyle interface is null. Otherwise, it must return the value of the StyleSheet interface's disabled attribute on getting, and forward the new value to that same attribute on setting.

4.3 Scripting

Scripts allow authors to add interactivity to their documents.

Authors are encouraged to use declarative alternatives to scripting where possible, as declarative mechanisms are often more maintainable, and many users disable scripting.

For example, instead of using script to show or hide a section to show more details, the details element could be used.

Authors are also encouraged to make their applications degrade gracefully in the absence of scripting support.

For example, if an author provides a link in a table header to dynamically resort the table, the link could also be made to function without scripts by requesting the sorted table from the server.

4.3.1 The script element

Categories
Metadata content.
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where metadata content is expected.
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
If there is no src attribute, depends on the value of the type attribute.
If there is a src attribute, the element must be either empty or contain only script documentation.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src
async
defer
type
charset
DOM interface:
interface HTMLScriptElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString src;
           attribute boolean async;
           attribute boolean defer;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute DOMString charset;
           attribute DOMString text;
};

The script element allows authors to include dynamic script and data blocks in their documents. The element does not represent content for the user.

When used to include dynamic scripts, the scripts may either be embedded inline or may be imported from an external file using the src attribute. If the language is not that described by "text/javascript", then the type attribute must be present. If the type attribute is present, its value must be the type of the script's language.

When used to include data blocks, the data must be embedded inline, the format of the data must be given using the type attribute, and the src attribute must not be specified.

The type attribute gives the language of the script or format of the data. If the attribute is present, its value must be a valid MIME type, optionally with parameters. The charset parameter must not be specified. (The default, which is used if the attribute is absent, is "text/javascript".) [RFC2046]

The src attribute, if specified, gives the address of the external script resource to use. The value of the attribute must be a valid URL identifying a script resource of the type given by the type attribute, if the attribute is present, or of the type "text/javascript", if the attribute is absent.

The charset attribute gives the character encoding of the external script resource. The attribute must not be specified if the src attribute is not present. If the attribute is set, its value must be a valid character encoding name, must be the preferred name for that encoding, and must match the encoding given in the charset parameter of the Content-Type metadata of the external file, if any. [IANACHARSET]

The async and defer attributes are boolean attributes that indicate how the script should be executed.

There are three possible modes that can be selected using these attributes. If the async attribute is present, then the script will be executed asynchronously, as soon as it is available. If the async attribute is not present but the defer attribute is present, then the script is executed when the page has finished parsing. If neither attribute is present, then the script is fetched and executed immediately, before the user agent continues parsing the page. The exact processing details for these attributes is described below.

The defer attribute may be specified even if the async attribute is specified, to cause legacy Web browsers that only support defer (and not async) to fall back to the defer behavior instead of the synchronous blocking behavior that is the default.

Changing the src, type, charset, async, and defer attributes dynamically has no direct effect; these attribute are only used at specific times described below (namely, when the element is inserted into the document).

script elements have four associated pieces of metadata. The first is a flag indicating whether or not the script block has been "already executed". Initially, script elements must have this flag unset (script blocks, when created, are not "already executed"). When a script element is cloned, the "already executed" flag, if set, must be propagated to the clone when it is created. The second is a flag indicating whether the element was "parser-inserted". This flag is set by the HTML parser and is used to handle document.write() calls. The third and fourth pieces of metadata are the script block's type and the script block's character encoding. They are determined when the script is run, based on the attributes on the element at that time.

When a script element that is neither marked as having "already executed" nor marked as being "parser-inserted" experiences one of the events listed in the following list, the user agent must run the script element:

Running a script: When a script element is to be run, the user agent must act as follows:

  1. If either:

    ...let the script block's type for this script element be "text/javascript".

    Otherwise, if the script element has a type attribute, let the script block's type for this script element be the value of that attribute.

    Otherwise, the element has a non-empty language attribute; let the script block's type for this script element be the concatenation of the string "text/" followed by the value of the language attribute.

    The language attribute is never conforming, and is always ignored if there is a type attribute present.

  2. If the script element has a charset attribute, then let the script block's character encoding for this script element be the encoding given by the charset attribute.

    Otherwise, let the script block's character encoding for this script element be the same as the encoding of the document itself.

  3. If scripting is disabled for the script element, or if the user agent does not support the scripting language given by the script block's type for this script element, then the user agent must abort these steps at this point. The script is not executed.

  4. If the element has no src attribute, and its child nodes consist only of comment nodes and empty text nodes, then the user agent must abort these steps at this point. The script is not executed.

  5. The user agent must set the element's "already executed" flag.

  6. If the element has a src attribute, then the value of that attribute must be resolved relative to the element, and if that is successful, the specified resource must then be fetched.

    For historical reasons, if the URL is a javascript: URL, then the user agent must not, despite the requirements in the definition of the fetching algorithm, actually execute the given script; instead the user agent must act as if it had received an empty HTTP 400 response.

    Once the resource's Content Type metadata is available, if it ever is, apply the algorithm for extracting an encoding from a Content-Type to it. If this returns an encoding, and the user agent supports that encoding, then let the script block's character encoding be that encoding.

    Once the fetching process has completed, and the script has completed loading, the user agent will have to complete the steps described below. (If the parser is still active at that time, those steps defer to the parser to handle the execution of pending scripts.)

    For performance reasons, user agents may start fetching the script as soon as the attribute is set, instead, in the hope that the element will be inserted into the document. Either way, once the element is inserted into the document, the load must have started. If the UA performs such prefetching, but the element is never inserted in the document, or the src attribute is dynamically changed, then the user agent will not execute the script, and the fetching process will have been effectively wasted.

  7. Then, the first of the following options that describes the situation must be followed:

    If the document is still being parsed, and the element has a defer attribute, and the element does not have an async attribute
    The element must be added to the end of the list of scripts that will execute when the document has finished parsing.

    This isn't compatible with IE for inline deferred scripts, but then what IE does is pretty hard to pin down exactly. Do we want to keep this like it is? Be more compatible?

    If the element has an async attribute and a src attribute
    The element must be added to the end of the list of scripts that will execute asynchronously.
    If the element has an async attribute but no src attribute, and the list of scripts that will execute asynchronously is not empty
    The element must be added to the end of the list of scripts that will execute asynchronously.
    If the element has a src attribute and has been flagged as "parser-inserted"
    The element is the pending external script. (There can only be one such script at a time.)
    If the element has a src attribute
    The element must be added to the end of the list of scripts that will execute as soon as possible.
    Otherwise
    The user agent must immediately execute the script block, even if other scripts are already executing.

When a script completes loading: If the script element was added to one of the lists mentioned above and the document is still being parsed, then the parser handles it. Otherwise, the UA must run the following steps as the task that the networking task source places on the task queue:

If the script element was added to the list of scripts that will execute when the document has finished parsing:
  1. If the script element is not the first element in the list, then do nothing yet. Stop going through these steps.

  2. Otherwise, execute the script block (the first element in the list).

  3. Remove the script element from the list (i.e. shift out the first entry in the list).

  4. If there are any more entries in the list, and if the script associated with the element that is now the first in the list is already loaded, then jump back to step two to execute it.

If the script element was added to the list of scripts that will execute asynchronously:
  1. If the script is not the first element in the list, then do nothing yet. Stop going through these steps.

  2. Execute the script block (the first element in the list).

  3. Remove the script element from the list (i.e. shift out the first entry in the list).

  4. If there are any more scripts in the list, and the element now at the head of the list had no src attribute when it was added to the list, or had one, but its associated script has finished loading, then jump back to step two to execute the script associated with this element.

If the script element was added to the list of scripts that will execute as soon as possible:
  1. Execute the script block.

  2. Remove the script element from the list.

Fetching an external script must delay the load event.

Executing a script block: When the steps above require that the script block be executed, the user agent must act as follows:

If the load resulted in an error (for example a DNS error, or an HTTP 404 error)

Executing the script block must just consist of firing an error event at the element.

If the load was successful
  1. Initialize the script block's source as follows:

    If the script is from an external file

    The contents of that file, interpreted as string of Unicode characters, are the script source.

    The file must be converted to Unicode using the character encoding given by the script block's character encoding.

    If the script is inline and the script block's type is a text-based language

    The value of the DOM text attribute at the time the "running a script" algorithm was first invoked is the script source.

    If the script is inline and the script block's type is an XML-based language

    The child nodes of the script element at the time the "running a script" algorithm was first invoked are the script source.

  2. Create a script from the script element node, using the the script block's source and the the script block's type.

    This is where the script is compiled and actually executed.

  3. Fire a load event at the script element.

The DOM attributes src, type, charset, async, and defer, each must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

The DOM attribute text must return a concatenation of the contents of all the text nodes that are direct children of the script element (ignoring any other nodes such as comments or elements), in tree order. On setting, it must act the same way as the textContent DOM attribute.

In this example, two script elements are used. One embeds an external script, and the other includes some data.

<script src="game-engine.js"></script>
<script type="text/x-game-map">
........U.........e
o............A....e
.....A.....AAA....e
.A..AAA...AAAAA...e
</script>

The data in this case might be used by the script to generate the map of a video game. The data doesn't have to be used that way, though; maybe the map data is actually embedded in other parts of the page's markup, and the data block here is just used by the site's search engine to help users who are looking for particular features in their game maps.

When inserted using the document.write() method, script elements execute (typically synchronously), but when inserted using innerHTML and outerHTML attributes, they do not execute at all.

4.3.1.1 Scripting languages

A user agent is said to support the scripting language if the script block's type matches the MIME type of a scripting language that the user agent implements.

The following lists some MIME types and the languages to which they refer:

text/javascript
text/javascript1.1
text/javascript1.2
text/javascript1.3
ECMAScript. [ECMA262]
text/javascript;e4x=1
ECMAScript with ECMAScript for XML. [ECMA357]

User agents may support other MIME types and other languages.

When examining types to determine if they support the language, user agents must not ignore unknown MIME parameters — types with unknown parameters must be assumed to be unsupported.

4.3.1.2 Inline documentation for external scripts

If a script element's src attribute is specified, then the contents of the script element, if any, must be such that the value of the DOM text attribute, which is derived from the element's contents, matches the documentation production in the following ABNF, the character set for which is Unicode. [ABNF]

documentation = *( *( space / tab / comment ) [ line-comment ] newline )
comment       = slash star *( not-star / star not-slash ) 1*star slash
line-comment  = slash slash *not-newline

; characters
tab           = %x0009 ; U+0009 TAB
newline       = %x000A ; U+000A LINE FEED
space         = %x0020 ; U+0020 SPACE
star          = %x002A ; U+002A ASTERISK
slash         = %x002F ; U+002F SOLIDUS
not-newline   = %x0000-0009 / %x000B-%10FFFF
                ; a Unicode character other than U+000A LINE FEED
not-star      = %x0000-0029 / %x002B-%10FFFF
                ; a Unicode character other than U+002A ASTERISK
not-slash     = %x0000-002E / %x0030-%10FFFF
                ; a Unicode character other than U+002F SOLIDUS

This allows authors to include documentation, such as license information or API information, inside their documents while still referring to external script files. The syntax is constrained so that authors don't accidentally include what looks like valid script while also providing a src attribute.

<script src="cool-effects.js">
 // create new instances using:
 //    var e = new Effect();
 // start the effect using .play, stop using .stop:
 //    e.play();
 //    e.stop();
</script>

4.3.2 The noscript element

Categories
Metadata content.
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
In a head element of an HTML document, if there are no ancestor noscript elements.
Where phrasing content is expected in HTML documents, if there are no ancestor noscript elements.
Content model:
When scripting is disabled, in a head element: in any order, zero or more link elements, zero or more style elements, and zero or more meta elements.
When scripting is disabled, not in a head element: transparent, but there must be no noscript element descendants.
Otherwise: text that conforms to the requirements given in the prose.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The noscript element represents nothing if scripting is enabled, and represents its children if scripting is disabled. It is used to present different markup to user agents that support scripting and those that don't support scripting, by affecting how the document is parsed.

When used in HTML documents, the allowed content model is as follows:

In a head element, if scripting is disabled for the noscript element

The noscript element must contain only link, style, and meta elements.

In a head element, if scripting is enabled for the noscript element

The noscript element must contain only text, except that invoking the HTML fragment parsing algorithm with the noscript element as the context element and the text contents as the input must result in a list of nodes that consists only of link, style, and meta elements, and no parse errors.

Outside of head elements, if scripting is disabled for the noscript element

The noscript element's content model is transparent, with the additional restriction that a noscript element must not have a noscript element as an ancestor (that is, noscript can't be nested).

Outside of head elements, if scripting is enabled for the noscript element

The noscript element must contain only text, except that the text must be such that running the following algorithm results in a conforming document with no noscript elements and no script elements, and such that no step in the algorithm causes an HTML parser to flag a parse error:

  1. Remove every script element from the document.
  2. Make a list of every noscript element in the document. For every noscript element in that list, perform the following steps:
    1. Let the parent element be the parent element of the noscript element.
    2. Take all the children of the parent element that come before the noscript element, and call these elements the before children.
    3. Take all the children of the parent element that come after the noscript element, and call these elements the after children.
    4. Let s be the concatenation of all the text node children of the noscript element.
    5. Set the innerHTML attribute of the parent element to the value of s. (This, as a side-effect, causes the noscript element to be removed from the document.)
    6. Insert the before children at the start of the parent element, preserving their original relative order.
    7. Insert the after children at the end of the parent element, preserving their original relative order.

All these contortions are required because, for historical reasons, the noscript element is handled differently by the HTML parser based on whether scripting was enabled or not when the parser was invoked. The element is not allowed in XML, because in XML the parser is not affected by such state, and thus the element would not have the desired effect.

The noscript element must not be used in XML documents.

The noscript element is only effective in the HTML serialization, it has no effect in the XML serialization.

The noscript element has no other requirements. In particular, children of the noscript element are not exempt from form submission, scripting, and so forth, even when scripting is enabled for the element.

4.3.3 The eventsource element

Categories
Metadata content.
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where metadata content is expected.
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src
DOM interface:
interface HTMLEventSourceElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString src;
};

The eventsource element represents a target for events generated by a remote server.

The src attribute, if specified, must give a valid URL identifying a resource that uses the text/event-stream format.

When an eventsource element with a src attribute specified is inserted into the document, and when an eventsource element that is already in the document has a src attribute added, the user agent must run the add declared event source algorithm.

While an eventsource element is in a document, if its src attribute is mutated, the user agent must must run the remove declared event source algorithm followed by the add declared event source algorithm.

When an eventsource element with a src attribute specified is removed from a document, and when an eventsource element that is in a document with a src attribute specified has its src attribute removed, the user agent must run the remove declared event source algorithm.

When it is created, an eventsource element must have its current declared event source set to "undefined".

The add declared event source algorithm is as follows:

  1. Resolve the URL specified by the eventsource element's src attribute, relative to the element.
  2. If that fails, then set the element's current declared event source to "undefined" and abort these steps.
  3. Otherwise, add the resulting absolute URL to the list of event sources for the element.
  4. Let the element's current declared event source be that absolute URL.

The remove declared event source algorithm is as follows:

  1. If the element's current declared event source is "undefined", abort these steps.
  2. Otherwise, remove the element's current declared event source from the list of event sources for the element.
  3. Let the element's current declared event source be "undefined".

There can be more than one eventsource element per document, but authors should take care to avoid opening multiple connections to the same server as HTTP recommends a limit to the number of simultaneous connections that a user agent can open per server.

The src DOM attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name.

4.4 Sections

Some elements, for example address elements, are scoped to their nearest ancestor sectioning content. For such elements x, the elements that apply to a sectioning content element e are all the x elements whose nearest sectioning content ancestor is e.

4.4.1 The body element

Categories
Sectioning root.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
As the second element in an html element.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
onbeforeunload
onerror
onhashchange
onload
onmessage
onoffline
ononline
onpopstate
onresize
onstorage
onunload
DOM interface:
interface HTMLBodyElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute Function onbeforeunload;
           attribute any      onerror;
           attribute Function onhashchange;
           attribute Function onload;
           attribute Function onmessage;
           attribute Function onoffline;
           attribute Function ononline;
           attribute Function onpopstate;
           attribute Function onresize;
           attribute Function onstorage;
           attribute Function onunload;
};

The body element represents the main content of the document.

In conforming documents, there is only one body element. The document.body DOM attribute provides scripts with easy access to a document's body element.

Some DOM operations (for example, parts of the drag and drop model) are defined in terms of "the body element". This refers to a particular element in the DOM, as per the definition of the term, and not any arbitrary body element.

The body element exposes as event handler content attributes a number of the event handler attributes of the Window object. It also mirrors their event handler DOM attributes.

The onerror and onmessage event handler attributes of the Window object, exposed on the body element, shadow the generic onerror and onmessage event handler attributes normally supported by HTML elements.

Thus, for example, a bubbling message event fired on a child of the body element of a Document would first trigger the onmessage event handler content attributes of that element, then that of the root html element, and only then would it trigger the onmessage event handler content attribute on the body element. This is because the event would bubble from the target, to the body, to the html, to the Document, to the Window, and the event handler attribute on the body is watching the Window not the body. A regular event listener attached to the body using addEventListener(), however, would fire when the event bubbled through the body and not when it reaches the Window object.

4.4.2 The section element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The section element represents a generic document or application section. A section, in this context, is a thematic grouping of content, typically with a header, possibly with a footer.

Examples of sections would be chapters, the various tabbed pages in a tabbed dialog box, or the numbered sections of a thesis. A Web site's home page could be split into sections for an introduction, news items, contact information.

In the following example, we see an article (part of a larger Web page) about apples, containing two short sections.

<article>
 <header>
  <h1>Apples</h1>
  <p>Tasty, delicious fruit!</p>
 </header>
 <p>The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree.</p>
 <section>
  <h1>Red Delicious</h1>
  <p>These bright red apples are the most common found in many
  supermarkets.</p>
 </section>
 <section>
  <h1>Granny Smith</h1>
  <p>These juicy, green apples and make a great filling for
  apple pies.</p>
 </section>
</article>

4.4.3 The nav element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The nav element represents a section of a page that links to other pages or to parts within the page: a section with navigation links. Not all groups of links on a page need to be in a nav element — only sections that consist of primary navigation blocks are appropriate for the nav element. In particular, it is common for footers to have a list of links to various key parts of a site, but the footer element is more appropriate in such cases.

In the following example, the page has several places where links are present, but only one of those places is considered a navigation section.

<body>
 <header>
  <h1>Wake up sheeple!</h1>
  <p><a href="news.html">News</a> -
     <a href="blog.html">Blog</a> -
     <a href="forums.html">Forums</a></p>
 </header>
 <nav>
  <h1>Navigation</h1>
  <ul>
   <li><a href="articles.html">Index of all articles</a><li>
   <li><a href="today.html">Things sheeple need to wake up for today</a><li>
   <li><a href="successes.html">Sheeple we have managed to wake</a><li>
  </ul>
 </nav>
 <article>
  <p>...page content would be here...</p>
 </article>
 <footer>
  <p>Copyright © 2006 The Example Company</p>
  <p><a href="about.html">About</a> -
     <a href="policy.html">Privacy Policy</a> -
     <a href="contact.html">Contact Us</a></p>
 </footer>
</body>

4.4.4 The article element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The article element represents a section of a page that consists of a composition that forms an independent part of a document, page, or site. This could be a forum post, a magazine or newspaper article, a Web log entry, a user-submitted comment, or any other independent item of content.

An article element is "independent" in that its contents could stand alone, for example in syndication. However, the element is still associated with its ancestors; for instance, contact information that applies to a parent body element still covers the article as well.

When article elements are nested, the inner article elements represent articles that are in principle related to the contents of the outer article. For instance, a Web log entry on a site that accepts user-submitted comments could represent the comments as article elements nested within the article element for the Web log entry.

Author information associated with an article element (q.v. the address element) does not apply to nested article elements.

4.4.5 The aside element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The aside element represents a section of a page that consists of content that is tangentially related to the content around the aside element, and which could be considered separate from that content. Such sections are often represented as sidebars in printed typography.

The following example shows how an aside is used to mark up background material on Switzerland in a much longer news story on Europe.

<aside>
 <h1>Switzerland</h1>
 <p>Switzerland, a land-locked country in the middle of geographic
 Europe, has not joined the geopolitical European Union, though it is
 a signatory to a number of European treaties.</p>
</aside>

The following example shows how an aside is used to mark up a pull quote in a longer article.

...

<p>He later joined a large company, continuing on the same work.
<q>I love my job. People ask me what I do for fun when I'm not at
work. But I'm paid to do my hobby, so I never know what to
answer. Some people wonder what they would do if they didn't have to
work... but I know what I would do, because I was unemployed for a
year, and I filled that time doing exactly what I do
now.</q></p>

<aside>
 <q> People ask me what I do for fun when I'm not at work. But I'm
 paid to do my hobby, so I never know what to answer. </q>
</aside>

<p>Of course his work — or should that be hobby? —
isn't his only passion. He also enjoys other pleasures.</p>

...

4.4.6 The h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6 elements

Categories
Flow content.
Heading content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

These elements define headers for their sections.

The semantics and meaning of these elements are defined in the section on headings and sections.

These elements have a rank given by the number in their name. The h1 element is said to have the highest rank, the h6 element has the lowest rank, and two elements with the same name have equal rank.

4.4.7 The header element

Categories
Flow content.
Heading content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content, including at least one descendant that is heading content, but no sectioning content descendants, no header element descendants, and no footer element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The header element represents the header of a section. The element is typically used to group a set of h1h6 elements to mark up a page's title with its subtitle or tagline. However, header elements may contain more than just the section's headings and subheadings — for example it would be reasonable for the header to include version history information.

For the purposes of document summaries, outlines, and the like, the text of header elements is defined to be the text of the highest ranked h1h6 element descendant of the header element, if there are any such elements, and the first such element if there are multiple elements with that rank. If there are no such elements, then the text of the header element is the empty string.

Other heading elements in the header element indicate subheadings or subtitles.

The rank of a header element is the same as for an h1 element (the highest rank).

The section on headings and sections defines how header elements are assigned to individual sections.

Here are some examples of valid headers. In each case, the emphasised text represents the text that would be used as the header in an application extracting header data and ignoring subheadings.

<header>
 <h1>The reality dysfunction</h1>
 <h2>Space is not the only void</h2>
</header>
<header>
 <h1>Dr. Strangelove</h1>
 <h2>Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb</h2>
</header>
<header>
 <p>Welcome to...</p>
 <h1>Voidwars!</h1>
</header>
<header>
 <h1>Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.2</h1>
 <h2>W3C Working Draft 27 October 2004</h2>
 <dl>
  <dt>This version:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20041027/">http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20041027/</a></dd>
  <dt>Previous version:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20040510/">http://www.w3.org/TR/2004/WD-SVG12-20040510/</a></dd>
  <dt>Latest version of SVG 1.2:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG12/">http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG12/</a></dd>
  <dt>Latest SVG Recommendation:</dt>
  <dd><a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/">http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/</a></dd>
  <dt>Editor:</dt>
  <dd>Dean Jackson, W3C, <a href="mailto:dean@w3.org">dean@w3.org</a></dd>
  <dt>Authors:</dt>
  <dd>See <a href="#authors">Author List</a></dd>
 </dl>
 <p class="copyright"><a href="http://www.w3.org/Consortium/Legal/ipr-notic ...
</header>
Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no heading content descendants, no sectioning content descendants, and no footer element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The footer element represents a footer for the section it applies to. A footer typically contains information about its section such as who wrote it, links to related documents, copyright data, and the like.

Contact information for the section given in a footer should be marked up using the address element.

Footers don't necessarily have to appear at the end of a section, though they usually do.

Here is a page with two footers, one at the top and one at the bottom, with the same content:

<body>
 <footer><a href="../">Back to index...</a></footer>
 <header>
  <h1>Lorem ipsum</h1>
  <h2>The ipsum of all lorems</h2>
 </header>
 <p>A dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod
 tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim
 veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex
 ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in
 voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla
 pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in
 culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.</p>
 <footer><a href="../">Back to index...</a></footer>
</body>

4.4.9 The address element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no heading content descendants, no sectioning content descendants, no footer element descendants, and no address element descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The address element represents the contact information for the section it applies to. If it applies to the body element, then it instead applies to the document as a whole.

For example, a page at the W3C Web site related to HTML might include the following contact information:

<ADDRESS>
 <A href="../People/Raggett/">Dave Raggett</A>, 
 <A href="../People/Arnaud/">Arnaud Le Hors</A>, 
 contact persons for the <A href="Activity">W3C HTML Activity</A>
</ADDRESS>

The address element must not be used to represent arbitrary addresses (e.g. postal addresses), unless those addresses are contact information for the section. (The p element is the appropriate element for marking up such addresses.)

The address element must not contain information other than contact information.

For example, the following is non-conforming use of the address element:

<ADDRESS>Last Modified: 1999/12/24 23:37:50</ADDRESS>

Typically, the address element would be included with other information in a footer element.

To determine the contact information for a sectioning content element (such as a document's body element, which would give the contact information for the page), UAs must collect all the address elements that apply to that sectioning content element and its ancestor sectioning content elements. The contact information is the collection of all the information given by those elements.

Contact information for one sectioning content element, e.g. an aside element, does not apply to its ancestor elements, e.g. the page's body.

4.4.10 Headings and sections

The h1h6 elements and the header element are headings.

The first element of heading content in an element of sectioning content represents the header for that section. Subsequent headers of equal or higher rank start new (implied) sections, headers of lower rank start implied subsections that are part of the previous one. In both cases, the element represents the header of the implied section.

Sectioning content elements are always considered subsections of their nearest ancestor element of sectioning content, regardless of what implied sections other headings may have created.

Certain elements are said to be sectioning roots, including blockquote and td elements. These elements can have their own outlines, but the sections and headers inside these elements do not contribute to the outlines of their ancestors.

For the following fragment:

<body>
 <h1>Foo</h1>
 <h2>Bar</h2>
 <blockquote>
  <h3>Bla</h3>
 </blockquote>
 <p>Baz</p>
 <h2>Quux</h2>
 <section>
  <h3>Thud</h3>
 </section>
 <p>Grunt</p>
</body>

...the structure would be:

  1. Foo (heading of explicit body section, containing the "Grunt" paragraph)
    1. Bar (heading starting implied section, containing a block quote and the "Baz" paragraph)
    2. Quux (heading starting implied section)
    3. Thud (heading of explicit section section)

Notice how the section ends the earlier implicit section so that a later paragraph ("Grunt") is back at the top level.

Sections may contain headers of any rank, but authors are strongly encouraged to either use only h1 elements, or to use elements of the appropriate rank for the section's nesting level.

Authors are also encouraged to explicitly wrap sections in elements of sectioning content, instead of relying on the implicit sections generated by having multiple heading in one element of sectioning content.

For example, the following is correct:

<body>
 <h4>Apples</h4>
 <p>Apples are fruit.</p>
 <section>
  <h2>Taste</h2>
  <p>They taste lovely.</p>
  <h6>Sweet</h6>
  <p>Red apples are sweeter than green ones.</p>
  <h1>Color</h1>
  <p>Apples come in various colors.</p>
 </section>
</body>

However, the same document would be more clearly expressed as:

<body>
 <h1>Apples</h1>
 <p>Apples are fruit.</p>
 <section>
  <h2>Taste</h2>
  <p>They taste lovely.</p>
  <section>
   <h3>Sweet</h3>
   <p>Red apples are sweeter than green ones.</p>
  </section>
 </section>
 <section>
  <h2>Color</h2>
  <p>Apples come in various colors.</p>
 </section>
</body>

Both of the documents above are semantically identical and would produce the same outline in compliant user agents.

4.4.10.1 Creating an outline

This section defines an algorithm for creating an outline for a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element. It is defined in terms of a walk over the nodes of a DOM tree, in tree order, with each node being visited when it is entered and when it is exited during the walk.

The outline for a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element consists of a list of one or more potentially nested sections. A section is a container that corresponds to some nodes in the original DOM tree. Each section can have one heading associated with it, and can contain any number of further nested sections. The algorithm for the outline also associates each node in the DOM tree with a particular section and potentially a heading. (The sections in the outline aren't section elements, though some may correspond to such elements — they are merely conceptual sections.)

The following markup fragment:

<body>
 <h1>A</h1>
 <p>B</p>
 <h2>C</h2>
 <p>D</p>
 <h2>E</h2>
 <p>F</p>
</body>

...results in the following outline being created for the body node (and thus the entire document):

  1. Section created for body node.

    Associated with heading "A".

    Also associated with paragraph "B".

    Nested sections:

    1. Section implied for first h2 element.

      Associated with heading "C".

      Also associated with paragraph "D".

      No nested sections.

    2. Section implied for second h2 element.

      Associated with heading "E".

      Also associated with paragraph "F".

      No nested sections.

The algorithm that must be followed during a walk of a DOM subtree rooted at a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element to determine that element's outline is as follows:

  1. Let current outlinee be null. (It holds the element whose outline is being created.)

  2. Let current section be null. (It holds a pointer to a section, so that elements in the DOM can all be associated with a section.)

  3. Create a stack to hold elements, which is used to handle nesting. Initialize this stack to empty.

  4. As you walk over the DOM in tree order, trigger the first relevant step below for each element as you enter and exit it.

    If the top of the stack is an element, and you are exiting that element

    The element being exited is a heading content element.

    Pop that element from the stack.

    If the top of the stack is a heading content element

    Do nothing.

    When entering a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element

    If current outlinee is not null, push current outlinee onto the stack.

    Let current outlinee be the element that is being entered.

    Let current section be a newly created section for the current outlinee element.

    Let there be a new outline for the new current outlinee, initialized with just the new current section as the only section in the outline.

    When exiting a sectioning content element, if the stack is not empty

    Pop the top element from the stack, and let the current outlinee be that element.

    Let current section be the last section in the outline of the current outlinee element.

    Append the outline of the sectioning content element being exited to the current section. (This does not change which section is the last section in the outline.)

    When exiting a sectioning root element, if the stack is not empty

    Run these steps:

    1. Pop the top element from the stack, and let the current outlinee be that element.

    2. Let current section be the last section in the outline of the current outlinee element.

    3. Finding the deepest child: If current section has no child sections, stop these steps.

    4. Let current section be the last child section of the current current section.

    5. Go back to the substep labeled finding the deepest child.

    When exiting a sectioning content element or a sectioning root element

    The current outlinee is the element being exited.

    Let current section be the first section in the outline of the current outlinee element.

    Skip to the next step in the overall set of steps. (The walk is over.)

    If the current outlinee is null.

    Do nothing.

    When entering a heading content element

    If the current section has no heading, let the element being entered be the heading for the current section.

    Otherwise, if the element being entered has a rank equal to or greater than the heading of the last section of the outline of the current outlinee, then create a new section and append it to the outline of the current outlinee element, so that this new section is the new last section of that outline. Let current section be that new section. Let the element being entered be the new heading for the current section.

    Otherwise, run these substeps:

    1. Let candidate section be current section.

    2. If the element being entered has a rank lower than the rank of the heading of the candidate section, then create a new section, and append it to candidate section. (This does not change which section is the last section in the outline.) Let current section be this new section. Let the element being entered be the new heading for the current section. Abort these substeps.

    3. Let new candidate section be the section that contains candidate section in the outline of current outlinee.

    4. Let candidate section be new candidate section.

    5. Return to step 2.

    Push the element being entered onto the stack. (This causes the algorithm to skip any descendants of the element.)

    Recall that h1 has the highest rank, and h6 has the lowest rank.

    Otherwise

    Do nothing.

    In addition, whenever you exit a node, after doing the steps above, if current section is not null, associate the node with the section current section.

  5. If the current outlinee is null, then there was no sectioning content element or sectioning root element in the DOM. There is no outline. Abort these steps.

  6. Associate any nodes that were not associated with a section in the steps above with current outlinee as their section.

  7. Associate all nodes with the heading of the section with which they are associated, if any.

  8. If current outlinee is the body element, then the outline created for that element is the outline of the entire document.

The tree of sections created by the algorithm above, or a proper subset thereof, must be used when generating document outlines, for example when generating tables of contents.

When creating an interactive table of contents, entries should jump the user to the relevant sectioning content element, if the section was created for a real element in the original document, or to the relevant heading content element, if the section in the tree was generated for a heading in the above process.

Selecting the first section of the document therefore always takes the user to the top of the document, regardless of where the first header in the body is to be found.

The following JavaScript function shows how the tree walk could be implemented. The root argument is the root of the tree to walk, and the enter and exit arguments are callbacks that are called with the nodes as they are entered and exited. [ECMA262]

function (root, enter, exit) {
  var node = root;
  start: while (node) {
    enter(node);
    if (node.firstChild) {
      node = node.firstChild;
      continue start;
    }
    while (node) {
      exit(node);
      if (node.nextSibling) {
        node = node.nextSibling;
        continue start;
      }
      if (node == root)
        node = null;
      else
        node = node.parentNode;
    }
  }
}
4.4.10.2 Distinguishing site-wide headings from page headings

Given the outline of a document, but ignoring any sections created for nav and aside elements, and any of their descendants, if the only root of the tree is the body element's section, and it has only a single subsection which is created by an article element, then the heading of the body element should be assumed to be a site-wide heading, and the heading of the article element should be assumed to be the page's heading.

If a page starts with a heading that is common to the whole site, the document must be authored such that, in the document's outline, ignoring any sections created for nav and aside elements and any of their descendants, the tree has only one root section, the body element's section, its heading is the site-wide heading, the body element has just one subsection, that subsection is created by an article element, and that article's heading is the page heading.

If a page does not contain a site-wide heading, then the page must be authored such that, in the document's outline, ignoring any sections created for nav and aside elements and any of their descendants, either the body element has no subsections, or it has more than one subsection, or it has a single subsection but that subsection is not created by an article element, or there is more than one section at the root of the outline.

Conceptually, a site is thus a document with many articles — when those articles are split into many pages, the heading of the original single page becomes the heading of the site, repeated on every page.

4.5 Grouping content

4.5.1 The p element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The p element represents a paragraph.

The following examples are conforming HTML fragments:

<p>The little kitten gently seated himself on a piece of
carpet. Later in his life, this would be referred to as the time the
cat sat on the mat.</p>
<fieldset>
 <legend>Personal information</legend>
 <p>
   <label>Name: <input name="n"></label>
   <label><input name="anon" type="checkbox"> Hide from other users</label>
 </p>
 <p><label>Address: <textarea name="a"></textarea></label></p>
</fieldset>
<p>There was once an example from Femley,<br>
Whose markup was of dubious quality.<br>
The validator complained,<br>
So the author was pained,<br>
To move the error from the markup to the rhyming.</p>

The p element should not be used when a more specific element is more appropriate.

The following example is technically correct:

<section>
 <!-- ... -->
 <p>Last modified: 2001-04-23</p>
 <p>Author: fred@example.com</p>
</section>

However, it would be better marked-up as:

<section>
 <!-- ... -->
 <footer>Last modified: 2001-04-23</footer>
 <address>Author: fred@example.com</address>
</section>

Or:

<section>
 <!-- ... -->
 <footer>
  <p>Last modified: 2001-04-23</p>
  <address>Author: fred@example.com</address>
 </footer>
</section>

4.5.2 The hr element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The hr element represents a paragraph-level thematic break, e.g. a scene change in a story, or a transition to another topic within a section of a reference book.

4.5.3 The br element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The br element represents a line break.

br elements must be empty. Any content inside br elements must not be considered part of the surrounding text.

br elements must be used only for line breaks that are actually part of the content, as in poems or addresses.

The following example is correct usage of the br element:

<p>P. Sherman<br>
42 Wallaby Way<br>
Sydney</p>

br elements must not be used for separating thematic groups in a paragraph.

The following examples are non-conforming, as they abuse the br element:

<p><a ...>34 comments.</a><br>
<a ...>Add a comment.<a></p>
<p>Name: <input name="name"><br>
Address: <input name="address"></p>

Here are alternatives to the above, which are correct:

<p><a ...>34 comments.</a></p>
<p><a ...>Add a comment.<a></p>
<p>Name: <input name="name"></p>
<p>Address: <input name="address"></p>

If a paragraph consists of nothing but a single br element, it represents a placeholder blank line (e.g. as in a template). Such blank lines must not be used for presentation purposes.

4.5.4 The pre element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The pre element represents a block of preformatted text, in which structure is represented by typographic conventions rather than by elements.

In the HTML serialization, a leading newline character immediately following the pre element start tag is stripped.

Some examples of cases where the pre element could be used:

To represent a block of computer code, the pre element can be used with a code element; to represent a block of computer output the pre element can be used with a samp element. Similarly, the kbd element can be used within a pre element to indicate text that the user is to enter.

In the following snippet, a sample of computer code is presented.

<p>This is the <code>Panel</code> constructor:</p>
<pre><code>function Panel(element, canClose, closeHandler) {
  this.element = element;
  this.canClose = canClose;
  this.closeHandler = function () { if (closeHandler) closeHandler() };
}</code></pre>

In the following snippet, samp and kbd elements are mixed in the contents of a pre element to show a session of Zork I.

<pre><samp>You are in an open field west of a big white house with a boarded
front door.
There is a small mailbox here.

></samp> <kbd>open mailbox</kbd>

<samp>Opening the mailbox reveals:
A leaflet.

></samp></pre>

The following shows a contemporary poem that uses the pre element to preserve its unusual formatting, which forms an intrinsic part of the poem itself.

<pre>                maxling

it is with a          heart
               heavy

that i admit loss of a feline
        so           loved

a friend lost to the
        unknown
                                (night)

~cdr 11dec07</pre>

4.5.5 The dialog element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more pairs of one dt element followed by one dd element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dialog element represents a conversation, meeting minutes, a chat transcript, a dialog in a screenplay, an instant message log, or some other construct in which different players take turns in discourse.

Each part of the conversation must have an explicit talker (or speaker) given by a dt element, and a discourse (or quote) given by a dd element.

This example demonstrates this using an extract from Abbot and Costello's famous sketch, Who's on first:

<dialog>
 <dt> Costello
 <dd> Look, you gotta first baseman?
 <dt> Abbott
 <dd> Certainly.
 <dt> Costello
 <dd> Who's playing first?
 <dt> Abbott
 <dd> That's right.
 <dt> Costello
 <dd> When you pay off the first baseman every month, who gets the money?
 <dt> Abbott
 <dd> Every dollar of it. 
</dialog>

Text in a dt element in a dialog element is implicitly the source of the text given in the following dd element, and the contents of the dd element are implicitly a quote from that speaker. There is thus no need to include cite, q, or blockquote elements in this markup. Indeed, a q element inside a dd element in a conversation would actually imply the people talking were themselves quoting another work. See the cite, q, and blockquote elements for other ways to cite or quote.

4.5.6 The blockquote element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning root.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
cite
DOM interface:
interface HTMLQuoteElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString cite;
};

The HTMLQuoteElement interface is also used by the q element.

The blockquote element represents a section that is quoted from another source.

Content inside a blockquote must be quoted from another source, whose address, if it has one, should be cited in the cite attribute.

If the cite attribute is present, it must be a valid URL. To obtain the corresponding citation link, the value of the attribute must be resolved relative to the element. User agents should allow users to follow such citation links.

The cite DOM attribute must reflect the element's cite content attribute.

The best way to represent a conversation is not with the cite and blockquote elements, but with the dialog element.

This next example shows the use of cite alongside blockquote:

<p>His next piece was the aptly named <cite>Sonnet 130</cite>:</p>
<blockquote cite="http://quotes.example.org/s/sonnet130.html">
  <p>My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun,<br>
  Coral is far more red, than her lips red,<br>
  ...

4.5.7 The ol element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more li elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
reversed
start
DOM interface:
interface HTMLOListElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute boolean reversed;
           attribute long start;
};

The ol element represents a list of items, where the items have been intentionally ordered, such that changing the order would change the meaning of the document.

The items of the list are the li element child nodes of the ol element, in tree order.

The reversed attribute is a boolean attribute. If present, it indicates that the list is a descending list (..., 3, 2, 1). If the attribute is omitted, the list is an ascending list (1, 2, 3, ...).

The start attribute, if present, must be a valid integer giving the ordinal value of the first list item.

If the start attribute is present, user agents must parse it as an integer, in order to determine the attribute's value. The default value, used if the attribute is missing or if the value cannot be converted to a number according to the referenced algorithm, is 1 if the element has no reversed attribute, and is the number of child li elements otherwise.

The first item in the list has the ordinal value given by the ol element's start attribute, unless that li element has a value attribute with a value that can be successfully parsed, in which case it has the ordinal value given by that value attribute.

Each subsequent item in the list has the ordinal value given by its value attribute, if it has one, or, if it doesn't, the ordinal value of the previous item, plus one if the reversed is absent, or minus one if it is present.

The reversed DOM attribute must reflect the value of the reversed content attribute.

The start DOM attribute must reflect the value of the start content attribute.

The following markup shows a list where the order matters, and where the ol element is therefore appropriate. Compare this list to the equivalent list in the ul section to see an example of the same items using the ul element.

<p>I have lived in the following countries (given in the order of when
I first lived there):</p>
<ol>
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>United States
 <li>Norway
</ol>

Note how changing the order of the list changes the meaning of the document. In the following example, changing the relative order of the first two items has changed the birthplace of the author:

<p>I have lived in the following countries (given in the order of when
I first lived there):</p>
<ol>
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>United States
 <li>Norway
</ol>

4.5.8 The ul element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more li elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The ul element represents a list of items, where the order of the items is not important — that is, where changing the order would not materially change the meaning of the document.

The items of the list are the li element child nodes of the ul element.

The following markup shows a list where the order does not matter, and where the ul element is therefore appropriate. Compare this list to the equivalent list in the ol section to see an example of the same items using the ol element.

<p>I have lived in the following countries:</p>
<ul>
 <li>Norway
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>United States
</ul>

Note that changing the order of the list does not change the meaning of the document. The items in the snippet above are given in alphabetical order, but in the snippet below they are given in order of the size of their current account balance in 2007, without changing the meaning of the document whatsoever:

<p>I have lived in the following countries:</p>
<ul>
 <li>Switzerland
 <li>Norway
 <li>United Kingdom
 <li>United States
</ul>

4.5.9 The li element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Inside ol elements.
Inside ul elements.
Inside menu elements.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
If the element is a child of an ol element: value
DOM interface:
interface HTMLLIElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute long value;
};

The li element represents a list item. If its parent element is an ol, ul, or menu element, then the element is an item of the parent element's list, as defined for those elements. Otherwise, the list item has no defined list-related relationship to any other li element.

The value attribute, if present, must be a valid integer giving the ordinal value of the list item.

If the value attribute is present, user agents must parse it as an integer, in order to determine the attribute's value. If the attribute's value cannot be converted to a number, the attribute must be treated as if it was absent. The attribute has no default value.

The value attribute is processed relative to the element's parent ol element (q.v.), if there is one. If there is not, the attribute has no effect.

The value DOM attribute must reflect the value of the value content attribute.

The following example, the top ten movies are listed (in reverse order). Note the way the list is given a title by using a figure element and its legend.

<figure>
 <legend>The top 10 movies of all time</legend>
 <ol>
  <li value="10"><cite>Josie and the Pussycats</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li value="9"><cite lang="sh">Црна мачка, бели мачор</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li value="8"><cite>A Bug's Life</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li value="7"><cite>Toy Story</cite>, 1995</li>
  <li value="6"><cite>Monsters, Inc</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li value="5"><cite>Cars</cite>, 2006</li>
  <li value="4"><cite>Toy Story 2</cite>, 1999</li>
  <li value="3"><cite>Finding Nemo</cite>, 2003</li>
  <li value="2"><cite>The Incredibles</cite>, 2004</li>
  <li value="1"><cite>Ratatouille</cite>, 2007</li>
 </ol>
</figure>

The markup could also be written as follows, using the reversed attribute on the ol element:

<figure>
 <legend>The top 10 movies of all time</legend>
 <ol reversed>
  <li><cite>Josie and the Pussycats</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li><cite lang="sh">Црна мачка, бели мачор</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li><cite>A Bug's Life</cite>, 1998</li>
  <li><cite>Toy Story</cite>, 1995</li>
  <li><cite>Monsters, Inc</cite>, 2001</li>
  <li><cite>Cars</cite>, 2006</li>
  <li><cite>Toy Story 2</cite>, 1999</li>
  <li><cite>Finding Nemo</cite>, 2003</li>
  <li><cite>The Incredibles</cite>, 2004</li>
  <li><cite>Ratatouille</cite>, 2007</li>
 </ol>
</figure>

If the li element is the child of a menu element and itself has a child that defines a command, then the li element will match the :enabled and :disabled pseudo-classes in the same way as the first such child element does.

4.5.10 The dl element

Categories
Flow content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more groups each consisting of one or more dt elements followed by one or more dd elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dl element represents an association list consisting of zero or more name-value groups (a description list). Each group must consist of one or more names (dt elements) followed by one or more values (dd elements).

Name-value groups may be terms and definitions, metadata topics and values, or any other groups of name-value data.

The values within a group are alternatives; multiple paragraphs forming part of the same value must all be given within the same dd element.

The order of the list of groups, and of the names and values within each group, may be significant.

If a dl element is empty, it contains no groups.

If a dl element contains non-whitespace text nodes, or elements other than dt and dd, then those elements or text nodes do not form part of any groups in that dl.

If a dl element contains only dt elements, then it consists of one group with names but no values.

If a dl element contains only dd elements, then it consists of one group with values but no names.

If a dl element starts with one or more dd elements, then the first group has no associated name.

If a dl element ends with one or more dt elements, then the last group has no associated value.

When a dl element doesn't match its content model, it is often due to accidentally using dd elements in the place of dt elements and vice versa. Conformance checkers can spot such mistakes and might be able to advise authors how to correctly use the markup.

In the following example, one entry ("Authors") is linked to two values ("John" and "Luke").

<dl>
 <dt> Authors
 <dd> John
 <dd> Luke
 <dt> Editor
 <dd> Frank
</dl>

In the following example, one definition is linked to two terms.

<dl>
 <dt lang="en-US"> <dfn>color</dfn> </dt>
 <dt lang="en-GB"> <dfn>colour</dfn> </dt>
 <dd> A sensation which (in humans) derives from the ability of
 the fine structure of the eye to distinguish three differently
 filtered analyses of a view. </dd>
</dl>

The following example illustrates the use of the dl element to mark up metadata of sorts. At the end of the example, one group has two metadata labels ("Authors" and "Editors") and two values ("Robert Rothman" and "Daniel Jackson").

<dl>
 <dt> Last modified time </dt>
 <dd> 2004-12-23T23:33Z </dd>
 <dt> Recommended update interval </dt>
 <dd> 60s </dd>
 <dt> Authors </dt>
 <dt> Editors </dt>
 <dd> Robert Rothman </dd>
 <dd> Daniel Jackson </dd>
</dl>

The following example shows the dl element used to give a set of instructions. The order of the instructions here is important (in the other examples, the order of the blocks was not important).

<p>Determine the victory points as follows (use the
first matching case):</p>
<dl>
 <dt> If you have exactly five gold coins </dt>
 <dd> You get five victory points </dd>
 <dt> If you have one or more gold coins, and you have one or more silver coins </dt>
 <dd> You get two victory points </dd>
 <dt> If you have one or more silver coins </dt>
 <dd> You get one victory point </dd>
 <dt> Otherwise </dt>
 <dd> You get no victory points </dd>
</dl>

The following snippet shows a dl element being used as a glossary. Note the use of dfn to indicate the word being defined.

<dl>
 <dt><dfn>Apartment</dfn>, n.</dt>
 <dd>An execution context grouping one or more threads with one or
 more COM objects.</dd>
 <dt><dfn>Flat</dfn>, n.</dt>
 <dd>A deflated tire.</dd>
 <dt><dfn>Home</dfn>, n.</dt>
 <dd>The user's login directory.</dd>
</dl>

The dl element is inappropriate for marking up dialogue, since dialogue is ordered (each speaker/line pair comes after the next). For an example of how to mark up dialogue, see the dialog element.

4.5.11 The dt element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Before dd or dt elements inside dl elements.
Before a dd element inside a dialog element.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dt element represents the term, or name, part of a term-description group in a description list (dl element), and the talker, or speaker, part of a talker-discourse pair in a conversation (dialog element).

The dt element itself, when used in a dl element, does not indicate that its contents are a term being defined, but this can be indicated using the dfn element.

If the dt element is the child of a dialog element, and it further contains a time element, then that time element represents a timestamp for when the associated discourse (dd element) was said, and is not part of the name of the talker.

The following extract shows how an IM conversation log could be marked up.

<dialog>
 <dt> <time>14:22</time> egof
 <dd> I'm not that nerdy, I've only seen 30% of the star trek episodes
 <dt> <time>14:23</time> kaj
 <dd> if you know what percentage of the star trek episodes you have seen, you are inarguably nerdy
 <dt> <time>14:23</time> egof
 <dd> it's unarguably
 <dt> <time>14:24</time> kaj
 <dd> you are not helping your case
</dialog>

4.5.12 The dd element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
After dt or dd elements inside dl elements.
After a dt element inside a dialog element.
Content model:
Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dd element represents the description, definition, or value, part of a term-description group in a description list (dl element), and the discourse, or quote, part in a conversation (dialog element).

A dl can be used to define a vocabulary list, like in a dictionary. In the following example, each entry, given by a dt with a dfn, has several dds, showing the various parts of the definition.

<dl>
 <dt><dfn>happiness</dfn></dt>
 <dd class="pronunciation">/'hæ p. nes/</dd>
 <dd class="part-of-speech"><i><abbr>n.</abbr></i></dd>
 <dd>The state of being happy.</dd>
 <dd>Good fortune; success. <q>Oh <b>happiness</b>! It worked!</q></dd>
 <dt><dfn>rejoice</dfn></dt>
 <dd class="pronunciation">/ri jois'/</dd>
 <dd><i class="part-of-speech"><abbr>v.intr.</abbr></i> To be delighted oneself.</dd>
 <dd><i class="part-of-speech"><abbr>v.tr.</abbr></i> To cause one to be delighted.</dd>
</dl>

4.5.13 Common grouping idioms

4.5.13.1 Tag clouds

This specification does not define any markup specifically for marking up lists of keywords that apply to a group of pages (also known as tag clouds). In general, authors are encouraged to either mark up such lists using ul elements with explicit inline counts that are then hidden and turned into a presentational effect using a style sheet, or to use SVG.

Here, three tags are included in a short tag cloud:

<style>
@media screen, print, handheld, tv {
  /* should be ignored by non-visual browsers */
  .tag-cloud > li > span { display: none; }
  .tag-cloud > li { display: inline; }
  .tag-cloud-1 { font-size: 0.7em; }
  .tag-cloud-2 { font-size: 0.9em; }
  .tag-cloud-3 { font-size: 1.1em; }
  .tag-cloud-4 { font-size: 1.3em; }
  .tag-cloud-5 { font-size: 1.5em; }
}
</style>
...
<ul class="tag-cloud">
 <li class="tag-cloud-4"><a title="28 instances" href="/t/apple">apple</a> <span>(popular)</span>
 <li class="tag-cloud-2"><a title="6 instances"  href="/t/kiwi">kiwi</a> <span>(rare)</span>
 <li class="tag-cloud-5"><a title="41 instances" href="/t/pear">pear</a> <span>(very popular)</span>
</ul>

The actual frequency of each tag is given using the title attribute. A CSS style sheet is provided to convert the markup into a cloud of differently-sized words, but for user agents that do not support CSS or are not visual, the markup contains annotations like "(popular)" or "(rare)" to categorise the various tags by frequency, thus enabling all users to benefit from the information.

The ul element is used (rather than ol) because the order is not particular important: while the list is in fact ordered alphabetically, it would convey the same information if ordered by, say, the length of the tag.

The tag rel-keyword is not used on these a elements because they do not represent tags that apply to the page itself; they are just part of an index listing the tags themselves.

4.6 Text-level semantics

4.6.1 The a element

Categories
Interactive content.
Flow content.
When the element only contains phrasing content: phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Transparent, but there must be no interactive content descendant.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
href
target
ping
rel
media
hreflang
type
DOM interface:
[Stringifies=href] interface HTMLAnchorElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString href;
           attribute DOMString target;
           attribute DOMString ping;
           attribute DOMString rel;
  readonly attribute DOMTokenList relList;
           attribute DOMString media;
           attribute DOMString hreflang;
           attribute DOMString type;
};

The Command interface must also be implemented by this element.

If the a element has an href attribute, then it represents a hyperlink (a hypertext anchor).

If the a element has no href attribute, then the element represents a placeholder for where a link might otherwise have been placed, if it had been relevant.

The target, ping, rel, media, hreflang, and type attributes must be omitted if the href attribute is not present.

If a site uses a consistent navigation tool bar on every page, then the link that would normally link to the page itself could be marked up using an a element:

<nav>
 <ul>
  <li> <a href="/">Home</a> </li>
  <li> <a href="/news">News</a> </li>
  <li> <a>Examples</a> </li>
  <li> <a href="/legal">Legal</a> </li>
 </ul>
</nav>

Interactive user agents should allow users to follow hyperlinks created using the a element. The href, target and ping attributes decide how the link is followed. The rel, media, hreflang, and type attributes may be used to indicate to the user the likely nature of the target resource before the user follows the link.

The activation behavior of a elements that represent hyperlinks is to run the following steps:

  1. If the DOMActivate event in question is not trusted (i.e. a click() method call was the reason for the event being dispatched), and the a element's target attribute is ... then raise an INVALID_ACCESS_ERR exception and abort these steps.

  2. If the target of the click event is an img element with an ismap attribute specified, then server-side image map processing must be performed, as follows:

    1. If the DOMActivate event was dispatched as the result of a real pointing-device-triggered click event on the img element, then let x be the distance in CSS pixels from the left edge of the image's left border, if it has one, or the left edge of the image otherwise, to the location of the click, and let y be the distance in CSS pixels from the top edge of the image's top border, if it has one, or the top edge of the image otherwise, to the location of the click. Otherwise, let x and y be zero.
    2. Let the hyperlink suffix be a U+003F QUESTION MARK character, the value of x expressed as a base-ten integer using ASCII digits (U+0030 DIGIT ZERO to U+0039 DIGIT NINE), a U+002C COMMA character, and the value of y expressed as a base-ten integer using ASCII digits.
  3. Finally, the user agent must follow the hyperlink defined by the a element. If the steps above defined a hyperlink suffix, then take that into account when following the hyperlink.

The DOM attributes href, ping, target, rel, media, hreflang, and type, must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

The DOM attribute relList must reflect the rel content attribute.

The a element may be wrapped around entire paragraphs, lists, tables, and so forth, even entire sections, so long as there is no interactive content within (e.g. buttons or other links). This example shows how this can be used to make an entire advertising block into a link:

<aside class="advertising">
 <h1>Advertising</h1>
 <a href="http://ad.example.com/?adid=1929&amp;pubid=1422">
  <section>
   <h1>Mellblomatic 9000!</h1>
   <p>Turn all your widgets into mellbloms!</p>
   <p>Only $9.99 plus shipping and handling.</p>
  </section>
 </a>
 <a href="http://ad.example.com/?adid=375&amp;pubid=1422">
  <section>
   <h1>The Mellblom Browser</h1>
   <p>Web browsing at the speed of light.</p>
   <p>No other browser goes faster!</p>
  </section>
 </a>
</aside>

4.6.2 The q element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
cite
DOM interface:
The q element uses the HTMLQuoteElement interface.

The q element represents some phrasing content quoted from another source.

Quotation punctuation (such as quotation marks) must not appear immediately before, after, or inside q elements; they will be inserted into the rendering by the user agent.

Content inside a q element must be quoted from another source, whose address, if it has one, should be cited in the cite attribute. The source may be fictional, as when quoting characters in a novel or screenplay.

If the cite attribute is present, it must be a valid URL. To obtain the corresponding citation link, the value of the attribute must be resolved relative to the element. User agents should allow users to follow such citation links.

The q element must not be used in place of quotation marks that do not represent quotes; for example, it is inappropriate to use the q element for marking up sarcastic statements.

The use of q elements to mark up quotations is entirely optional; using explicit quotation punctuation without q elements is just as correct.

Here is a simple example of the use of the q element:

<p>The man said <q>Things that are impossible just take
longer</q>. I disagreed with him.</p>

Here is an example with both an explicit citation link in the q element, and an explicit citation outside:

<p>The W3C page <cite>About W3C</cite> says the W3C's
mission is <q cite="http://www.w3.org/Consortium/">To lead the
World Wide Web to its full potential by developing protocols and
guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web</q>. I
disagree with this mission.</p>

In the following example, the quotation itself contains a quotation:

<p>In <cite>Example One</cite>, he writes <q>The man
said <q>Things that are impossible just take longer</q>. I
disagreed with him</q>. Well, I disagree even more!</p>

In the following example, quotation marks are used instead of the q element:

<p>His best argument was ❝I disagree❞, which
I thought was laughable.</p>

In the following example, there is no quote — the quotation marks are used to name a word. Use of the q element in this case would be inappropriate.

<p>The word "ineffable" could have been used to describe the disaster
resulting from the campaign's mismanagement.</p>

4.6.3 The cite element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The cite element represents the title of a work (e.g. a book, a paper, an essay, a poem, a score, a song, a script, a film, a TV show, a game, a sculpture, a painting, a theatre production, a play, an opera, a musical, an exhibition, etc). This can be a work that is being quoted or referenced in detail (i.e. a citation), or it can just be a work that is mentioned in passing.

A person's name is not the title of a work — even if people call that person a piece of work — and the element must therefore not be used to mark up people's names. (In some cases, the b element might be appropriate for names; e.g. in a gossip article where the names of famous people are keywords rendered with a different style to draw attention to them. In other cases, if an element is really needed, the span element can be used.)

A ship is similarly not a work, and the element must not be used to mark up ship names (the i element can be used for that purpose).

This next example shows a typical use of the cite element:

<p>My favourite book is <cite>The Reality Dysfunction</cite> by
Peter F. Hamilton. My favourite comic is <cite>Pearls Before
Swine</cite> by Stephan Pastis. My favourite track is <cite>Jive
Samba</cite> by the Cannonball Adderley Sextet.</p>

This is correct usage:

<p>According to the Wikipedia article <cite>HTML</cite>, as it
stood in mid-February 2008, leaving attribute values unquoted is
unsafe. This is obviously an over-simplification.</p>

The following, however, is incorrect usage, as the cite element here is containing far more than the title of the work:

<!-- do not copy this example, it is an example of bad usage! -->
<p>According to <cite>the Wikipedia article on HTML</cite>, as it
stood in mid-February 2008, leaving attribute values unquoted is
unsafe. This is obviously an over-simplification.</p>

The cite element is obviously a key part of any citation in a bibliography, but it is only used to mark the title:

<p><cite>Universal Declaration of Human Rights</cite>, United Nations,
December 1948.  Adopted by General Assembly resolution 217 A (III).</p>

A citation is not a quote (for which the q element is appropriate).

This is incorrect usage, because cite is not for quotes:

<p><cite>This is wrong!</cite>, said Ian.</p>

This is also incorrect usage, because a person is not a work:

<p><q>This is still wrong!</q>, said <cite>Ian</cite>.</p>

The correct usage does not use a cite element:

<p><q>This is correct</q>, said Ian.</p>

As mentioned above, the b element might be relevant for marking names as being keywords in certain kinds of documents:

<p>And then <b>Ian</b> said <q>this might be right, in a
gossip column, maybe!</q>.</p>

4.6.4 The em element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The em element represents stress emphasis of its contents.

The level of emphasis that a particular piece of content has is given by its number of ancestor em elements.

The placement of emphasis changes the meaning of the sentence. The element thus forms an integral part of the content. The precise way in which emphasis is used in this way depends on the language.

These examples show how changing the emphasis changes the meaning. First, a general statement of fact, with no emphasis:

<p>Cats are cute animals.</p>

By emphasizing the first word, the statement implies that the kind of animal under discussion is in question (maybe someone is asserting that dogs are cute):

<p><em>Cats</em> are cute animals.</p>

Moving the emphasis to the verb, one highlights that the truth of the entire sentence is in question (maybe someone is saying cats are not cute):

<p>Cats <em>are</em> cute animals.</p>

By moving it to the adjective, the exact nature of the cats is reasserted (maybe someone suggested cats were mean animals):

<p>Cats are <em>cute</em> animals.</p>

Similarly, if someone asserted that cats were vegetables, someone correcting this might emphasize the last word:

<p>Cats are cute <em>animals</em>.</p>

By emphasizing the entire sentence, it becomes clear that the speaker is fighting hard to get the point across. This kind of emphasis also typically affects the punctuation, hence the exclamation mark here.

<p><em>Cats are cute animals!</em></p>

Anger mixed with emphasizing the cuteness could lead to markup such as:

<p><em>Cats are <em>cute</em> animals!</em></p>

4.6.5 The strong element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The strong element represents strong importance for its contents.

The relative level of importance of a piece of content is given by its number of ancestor strong elements; each strong element increases the importance of its contents.

Changing the importance of a piece of text with the strong element does not change the meaning of the sentence.

Here is an example of a warning notice in a game, with the various parts marked up according to how important they are:

<p><strong>Warning.</strong> This dungeon is dangerous.
<strong>Avoid the ducks.</strong> Take any gold you find.
<strong><strong>Do not take any of the diamonds</strong>,
they are explosive and <strong>will destroy anything within
ten meters.</strong></strong> You have been warned.</p>

4.6.6 The small element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The small element represents small print (part of a document often describing disclaimers, caveats, or legal restrictions, such as copyrights or other disadvantages), or other side comments.

The small element does not "de-emphasize" or lower the importance of text emphasised by the em element or marked as important with the strong element.

In this example the footer contains contact information and a copyright.

<footer>
 <address>
  For more details, contact
  <a href="mailto:js@example.com">John Smith</a>.
 </address>
 <p><small>© copyright 2038 Example Corp.</small></p>
</footer>

In this second example, the small element is used for a side comment in an article.

<p>Example Corp today announced record profits for the
second quarter <small>(Full Disclosure: Foo News is a subsidiary of
Example Corp)</small>, leading to speculation about a third quarter
merger with Demo Group.</p>

This is distinct from a sidebar, which might be multiple paragraphs long and is removed from the main flow of text. In the following example, we see a sidebar from the same article. This sidebar also has small print, indicating the source of the information in the sidebar.

<aside>
 <h1>Example Corp</h1>
 <p>This company mostly creates small software and Web
 sites.</p>
 <p>The Example Corp company mission is "To provide entertainment
 and news on a sample basis".</p>
 <p><small>Information obtained from <a
 href="http://example.com/about.html">example.com</a> home
 page.</small></p>
</aside>

In this last example, the small element is marked as being important small print.

<p><strong><small>Continued use of this service will result in a kiss.</small></strong></p>

4.6.7 The mark element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The mark element represents a run of text in one document marked or highlighted for reference purposes, due to its relevance in another context. When used in a quotation or other block of text referred to from the prose, it indicates a highlight that was not originally present but which has been added to bring the reader's attention to a part of the text that might not have been considered important by the original author when the block was originally written, but which is now under previously unexpected scrutiny. When used in the main prose of a document, it indicates a part of the document that has been highlighted due to its likely relevance to the user's current activity.

This example shows how the mark example can be used to bring attention to a particular part of a quotation:

<p lang="en-US">Consider the following quote:</p>
<blockquote lang="en-GB">
 <p>Look around and you will find, no-one's really
 <mark>colour</mark> blind.</p>
</blockquote>
<p lang="en-US">As we can tell from the <em>spelling</em> of the word,
the person writing this quote is clearly not American.</p>

Another example of the mark element is highlighting parts of a document that are matching some search string. If someone looked at a document, and the server knew that the user was searching for the word "kitten", then the server might return the document with one paragraph modified as follows:

<p>I also have some <mark>kitten</mark>s who are visiting me
these days. They're really cute. I think they like my garden! Maybe I
should adopt a <mark>kitten</mark>.</p>

In the following snippet, a paragraph of text refers to a specific part of a code fragment.

<p>The highlighted part below is where the error lies:</p>
<pre><code>var i: Integer;
begin
   i := <mark>1.1</mark>;
end.</code></pre>

This is another example showing the use of mark to highlight a part of quoted text that was originally not emphasised. In this example, common typographic conventions have led the author to explicitly style mark elements in quotes to render in italics.

<article>
 <style>
  blockquote mark, q mark {
    font: inherit; font-style: italic;
    text-decoration: none;
    background: transparent; color: inherit;
  }
  .bubble em {
    font: inherit; font-size: larger;
    text-decoration: underline;
  }
 </style>
 <h1>She knew</h1>
 <p>Did you notice the subtle joke in the joke on panel 4?</p>
 <blockquote>
  <p class="bubble">I didn't <em>want</em> to believe. <mark>Of course
  on some level I realized it was a known-plaintext attack.</mark> But I
  couldn't admit it until I saw for myself.</p>
 </blockquote>
 <p>(Emphasis mine.) I thought that was great. It's so pedantic, yet it
 explains everything neatly.</p>
</article>

Note, incidentally, the distinction between the em element in this example, which is part of the original text being quoted, and the mark element, which is highlighting a part for comment.

The following example shows the difference between denoting the importance of a span of text (strong) as opposed to denoting the relevance of a span of text (mark). It is an extract from a textbook, where the extract has had the parts relevant to the exam highlighted. The safety warnings, important though they may be, are apparently not relevant to the exam.

<h3>Wormhole Physics Introduction</h3>

<p><mark>A wormhole in normal conditions can be held open for a
maximum of just under 39 minutes.</mark> Conditions that can increase
the time include a powerful energy source coupled to one or both of
the gates connecting the wormhole, and a large gravity well (such as a
black hole).</p>

<p><mark>Momentum is preserved across the wormhole. Electromagnetic
radiation can travel in both directions through a wormhole,
but matter cannot.</mark></p>

<p>When a wormhole is created, a vortex normally forms.
<strong>Warning: The vortex caused by the wormhole opening will
annihilate anything in its path.</strong> Vortexes can be avoided when
using sufficiently advanced dialing technology.</p>

<p><mark>An obstruction in a gate will prevent it from accepting a
wormhole connection.</mark></p>

4.6.8 The dfn element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content, but there must be no descendant dfn elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
Also, the title attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The dfn element represents the defining instance of a term. The paragraph, description list group, or section that is the nearest ancestor of the dfn element must also contain the definition(s) for the term given by the dfn element.

Defining term: If the dfn element has a title attribute, then the exact value of that attribute is the term being defined. Otherwise, if it contains exactly one element child node and no child text nodes, and that child element is an abbr element with a title attribute, then the exact value of that attribute is the term being defined. Otherwise, it is the exact textContent of the dfn element that gives the term being defined.

If the title attribute of the dfn element is present, then it must contain only the term being defined.

The title attribute of ancestor elements does not affect dfn elements.

An a element that links to a dfn element represents an instance of the term defined by the dfn element.

In the following fragment, the term "GDO" is first defined in the first paragraph, then used in the second.

<p>The <dfn><abbr title="Garage Door Opener">GDO</abbr></dfn>
is a device that allows off-world teams to open the iris.</p>
<!-- ... later in the document: -->
<p>Teal'c activated his <abbr title="Garage Door Opener">GDO</abbr>
and so Hammond ordered the iris to be opened.</p>

With the addition of an a element, the reference can be made explicit:

<p>The <dfn id=gdo><abbr title="Garage Door Opener">GDO</abbr></dfn>
is a device that allows off-world teams to open the iris.</p>
<!-- ... later in the document: -->
<p>Teal'c activated his <a href=#gdo><abbr title="Garage Door Opener">GDO</abbr></a>
and so Hammond ordered the iris to be opened.</p>

4.6.9 The abbr element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
Also, the title attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The abbr element represents an abbreviation or acronym, optionally with its expansion. The title attribute may be used to provide an expansion of the abbreviation. The attribute, if specified, must contain an expansion of the abbreviation, and nothing else.

The paragraph below contains an abbreviation marked up with the abbr element. This paragraph defines the term "Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group".

<p>The <dfn id=whatwg><abbr title="Web Hypertext Application
Technology Working Group">WHATWG</abbr></dfn> is a loose
unofficial collaboration of Web browser manufacturers and interested
parties who wish to develop new technologies designed to allow authors
to write and deploy Applications over the World Wide Web.</p>

An alternative way to write this would be:

<p>The <dfn id=whatwg>Web Hypertext Application Technology
Working Group</dfn> (<abbr title="Web Hypertext Application
Technology Working Group">WHATWG</abbr>) is a loose unofficial
collaboration of Web browser manufacturers and interested parties who
wish to develop new technologies designed to allow authors to write
and deploy Applications over the World Wide Web.</p>

This paragraph has two abbreviations. Notice how only one is defined; the other, with no expansion associated with it, does not use the abbr element.

<p>The <abbr title="Web Hypertext Application Technology Working
Group">WHATWG</abbr> started working on HTML5 in 2004.</p>

This paragraph links an abbreviation to its definition.

<p>The <a href="#whatwg"><abbr title="Web Hypertext Application
Technology Working Group">WHATWG</abbr></a> community does not
have much representation from Asia.</p>

This paragraph marks up an abbreviation without giving an expansion, possibly as a hook to apply styles for abbreviations (e.g. smallcaps).

<p>Philip` and Dashiva both denied that they were going to
get the issue counts from past revisions of the specification to
backfill the <abbr>WHATWG</abbr> issue graph.</p>

If an abbreviation is pluralized, the expansion's grammatical number (plural vs singular) must match the grammatical number of the contents of the element.

Here the plural is outside the element, so the expansion is in the singular:

<p>Two <abbr title="Working Group">WG</abbr>s worked on
this specification: the <abbr>WHATWG</abbr> and the
<abbr>HTMLWG</abbr>.</p>

Here the plural is inside the element, so the expansion is in the plural:

<p>Two <abbr title="Working Groups">WGs</abbr> worked on
this specification: the <abbr>WHATWG</abbr> and the
<abbr>HTMLWG</abbr>.</p>

Abbreviations do not have to be marked up using this element. It is expected to be useful in the following cases:

Providing an expansion in a title attribute once will not necessarily cause other abbr elements in the same document with the same contents but without a title attribute to behave as if they had the same expansion. Every abbr element is independent.

4.6.10 The time element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
datetime
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTimeElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString dateTime;
  readonly attribute DOMTimeStamp date;
  readonly attribute DOMTimeStamp time;
  readonly attribute DOMTimeStamp timezone;
};

The time element represents a precise date and/or a time in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. [GREGORIAN]

The datetime attribute, if present, must contain a valid date or time string that identifies the date or time being specified.

If the datetime attribute is not present, then the date or time must be specified in the content of the element, such that the element's textContent is a valid date or time string in content.

The dateTime DOM attribute must reflect the datetime content attribute.

User agents, to obtain the date, time, and timezone represented by a time element, must follow these steps:

  1. If the datetime attribute is present, then use the rules to parse a date or time string with the flag in attribute from the value of that attribute, and let the result be result.
  2. Otherwise, use the rules to parse a date or time string with the flag in content from the element's textContent, and let the result be result.
  3. If result is empty (because the parsing failed), then the date is unknown, the time is unknown, and the timezone is unknown.
  4. Otherwise: if result contains a date, then that is the date; if result contains a time, then that is the time; and if result contains a timezone, then the timezone is the element's timezone. (A timezone can only be present if both a date and a time are also present.)

The date DOM attribute must return null if the date is unknown, and otherwise must return the time corresponding to midnight UTC (i.e. the first second) of the given date.

The time DOM attribute must return null if the time is unknown, and otherwise must return the time corresponding to the given time of 1970-01-01, with the timezone UTC.

The timezone DOM attribute must return null if the timezone is unknown, and otherwise must return the time corresponding to 1970-01-01 00:00 UTC in the given timezone, with the timezone set to UTC (i.e. the time corresponding to 1970-01-01 at 00:00 UTC plus the offset corresponding to the timezone).

In the following snippet:

<p>Our first date was <time datetime="2006-09-23">a Saturday</time>.</p>

...the time element's date attribute would have the value 1,158,969,600,000ms, and the time and timezone attributes would return null.

In the following snippet:

<p>We stopped talking at <time datetime="2006-09-24T05:00-07:00">5am the next morning</time>.</p>

...the time element's date attribute would have the value 1,159,056,000,000ms, the time attribute would have the value 18,000,000ms, and the timezone attribute would return −25,200,000ms. To obtain the actual time, the three attributes can be added together, obtaining 1,159,048,800,000, which is the specified date and time in UTC.

Finally, in the following snippet:

<p>Many people get up at <time>08:00</time>.</p>

...the time element's date attribute would have the value null, the time attribute would have the value 28,800,000ms, and the timezone attribute would return null.

The time element is not intended for encoding times for which a precise date or time cannot be established. For example, it would be inappropriate for encoding times like "one millisecond after the big bang", "the early part of the Jurassic period", or "a winter around 250 BCE".

4.6.11 The progress element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
value
max
DOM interface:
interface HTMLProgressElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute float value;
           attribute float max;
  readonly attribute float position;
};

The progress element represents the completion progress of a task. The progress is either indeterminate, indicating that progress is being made but that it is not clear how much more work remains to be done before the task is complete (e.g. because the task is waiting for a remote host to respond), or the progress is a number in the range zero to a maximum, giving the fraction of work that has so far been completed.

There are two attributes that determine the current task completion represented by the element.

The value attribute specifies how much of the task has been completed, and the max attribute specifies how much work the task requires in total. The units are arbitrary and not specified.

Instead of using the attributes, authors are recommended to include the current value and the maximum value inline as text inside the element.

Here is a snippet of a Web application that shows the progress of some automated task:

<section>
 <h2>Task Progress</h2>
 <p>Progress: <progress><span id="p">0</span>%</progress></p>
 <script>
  var progressBar = document.getElementById('p');
  function updateProgress(newValue) {
    progressBar.textContent = newValue;
  }
 </script>
</section>

(The updateProgress() method in this example would be called by some other code on the page to update the actual progress bar as the task progressed.)

Author requirements: The max and value attributes, when present, must have values that are valid floating point numbers. The max attribute, if present, must have a value greater than zero. The value attribute, if present, must have a value equal to or greater than zero, and less than or equal to the value of the max attribute, if present, or 1, otherwise.

The progress element is the wrong element to use for something that is just a gauge, as opposed to task progress. For instance, indicating disk space usage using progress would be inappropriate. Instead, the meter element is available for such use cases.

User agent requirements: User agents must parse the max and value attributes' values according to the rules for parsing floating point number values.

If the value attribute is omitted, then user agents must also parse the textContent of the progress element in question using the steps for finding one or two numbers of a ratio in a string. These steps will return nothing, one number, one number with a denominator punctuation character, or two numbers.

Using the results of this processing, user agents must determine whether the progress bar is an indeterminate progress bar, or whether it is a determinate progress bar, and in the latter case, what its current and maximum values are, all as follows:

  1. If the max attribute is omitted, and the value is omitted, and the results of parsing the textContent was nothing, then the progress bar is an indeterminate progress bar. Abort these steps.
  2. Otherwise, it is a determinate progress bar.
  3. If the max attribute is included, then, if a value could be parsed out of it, then the maximum value is that value.
  4. Otherwise, if the max attribute is absent but the value attribute is present, or, if the max attribute is present but no value could be parsed from it, then the maximum is 1.
  5. Otherwise, if neither attribute is included, then, if the textContent contained one number with an associated denominator punctuation character, then the maximum value is the value associated with that denominator punctuation character; otherwise, if the textContent contained two numbers, the maximum value is the higher of the two values; otherwise, the maximum value is 1.
  6. If the value attribute is present on the element and a value could be parsed out of it, that value is the current value of the progress bar. Otherwise, if the attribute is present but no value could be parsed from it, the current value is zero.
  7. Otherwise if the value attribute is absent and the max attribute is present, then, if the textContent was parsed and found to contain just one number, with no associated denominator punctuation character, then the current value is that number. Otherwise, if the value attribute is absent and the max attribute is present then the current value is zero.
  8. Otherwise, if neither attribute is present, then the current value is the lower of the one or two numbers that were found in the textContent of the element.
  9. If the maximum value is less than or equal to zero, then it is reset to 1.
  10. If the current value is less than zero, then it is reset to zero.
  11. Finally, if the current value is greater than the maximum value, then the current value is reset to the maximum value.

UA requirements for showing the progress bar: When representing a progress element to the user, the UA should indicate whether it is a determinate or indeterminate progress bar, and in the former case, should indicate the relative position of the current value relative to the maximum value.

The max and value DOM attributes must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name. When the relevant content attributes are absent, the DOM attributes must return zero. The value parsed from the textContent never affects the DOM values.

Would be cool to have the value DOM attribute update the textContent in-line...

If the progress bar is an indeterminate progress bar, then the position DOM attribute must return −1. Otherwise, it must return the result of dividing the current value by the maximum value.

4.6.12 The meter element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
value
min
low
high
max
optimum
DOM interface:
interface HTMLMeterElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute float value;
           attribute float min;
           attribute float max;
           attribute float low;
           attribute float high;
           attribute float optimum;
};

The meter element represents a scalar measurement within a known range, or a fractional value; for example disk usage, the relevance of a query result, or the fraction of a voting population to have selected a particular candidate.

This is also known as a gauge.

The meter element should not be used to indicate progress (as in a progress bar). For that role, HTML provides a separate progress element.

The meter element also does not represent a scalar value of arbitrary range — for example, it would be wrong to use this to report a weight, or height, unless there is a known maximum value.

There are six attributes that determine the semantics of the gauge represented by the element.

The min attribute specifies the lower bound of the range, and the max attribute specifies the upper bound. The value attribute specifies the value to have the gauge indicate as the "measured" value.

The other three attributes can be used to segment the gauge's range into "low", "medium", and "high" parts, and to indicate which part of the gauge is the "optimum" part. The low attribute specifies the range that is considered to be the "low" part, and the high attribute specifies the range that is considered to be the "high" part. The optimum attribute gives the position that is "optimum"; if that is higher than the "high" value then this indicates that the higher the value, the better; if it's lower than the "low" mark then it indicates that lower values are better, and naturally if it is in between then it indicates that neither high nor low values are good.

Authoring requirements: The recommended way of giving the value is to include it as contents of the element, either as two numbers (the higher number represents the maximum, the other number the current value, and the minimum is assumed to be zero), or as a percentage or similar (using one of the characters such as "%"), or as a fraction. However, it is also possible to use the attributes to specify these values.

One of the following conditions, along with all the requirements that are listed with that condition, must be met:

There are exactly two numbers in the contents of the element, and the value, min, and max attributes are all omitted

If specified, the low, high, and optimum attributes must have values greater than or equal to zero and less than or equal to the bigger of the two numbers in the contents of the element.

If both the low and high attributes are specified, then the low attribute's value must be less than or equal to the value of the high attribute.

There is exactly one number followed by zero or more White_Space characters and a valid denominator punctuation character in the contents of the element, and the value, min, and max attributes are all omitted

If specified, the low, high, and optimum attributes must have values greater than or equal to zero and less than or equal to the value associated with the denominator punctuation character.

If both the low and high attributes are specified, then the low attribute's value must be less than or equal to the value of the high attribute.

There is exactly one number in the contents of the element, and the value attribute is omitted
There are no numbers in the contents of the element, and the value attribute is specified

If the min attribute attribute is specified, then the minimum is that attribue's value; otherwise, it is 0.

If the max attribute attribute is specified, then the maximum is that attribue's value; otherwise, it is 1.

If there is exactly one number in the contents of the element, then value is that number; otherwise, value is the value of the value attribute.

The following inequalities must hold, as applicable:

If both the low and high attributes are specified, then the low attribute's value must be less than or equal to the value of the high attribute.

For the purposes of these requirements, a number is a sequence of characters in the range U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0) to U+0039 DIGIT NINE (9), optionally including with a single U+002E FULL STOP character (.), and separated from other numbers by at least one character that isn't any of those; interpreted as a base ten number.

The value, min, low, high, max, and optimum attributes, when present, must have values that are valid floating point numbers.

If no minimum or maximum is specified, then the range is assumed to be 0..1, and the value thus has to be within that range.

The following examples all represent a measurement of three quarters (of the maximum of whatever is being measured):

<meter>75%</meter>
<meter>750‰</meter>
<meter>3/4</meter>
<meter>6 blocks used (out of 8 total)</meter>
<meter>max: 100; current: 75</meter>
<meter><object data="graph75.png">0.75</object></meter>
<meter min="0" max="100" value="75"></meter>

The following example is incorrect use of the element, because it doesn't give a range (and since the default maximum is 1, both of the gauges would end up looking maxed out):

<p>The grapefruit pie had a radius of <meter>12cm</meter>
and a height of <meter>2cm</meter>.</p> <!-- BAD! -->

Instead, one would either not include the meter element, or use the meter element with a defined range to give the dimensions in context compared to other pies:

<p>The grapefruit pie had a radius of 12cm and a height of
2cm.</p>
<dl>
 <dt>Radius: <dd> <meter min=0 max=20 value=12>12cm</meter>
 <dt>Height: <dd> <meter min=0 max=10 value=2>2cm</meter>
</dl>

There is no explicit way to specify units in the meter element, but the units may be specified in the title attribute in free-form text.

The example above could be extended to mention the units:

<dl>
 <dt>Radius: <dd> <meter min=0 max=20 value=12 title="centimeters">12cm</meter>
 <dt>Height: <dd> <meter min=0 max=10 value=2 title="centimeters">2cm</meter>
</dl>

User agent requirements: User agents must parse the min, max, value, low, high, and optimum attributes using the rules for parsing floating point number values.

If the value attribute has been omitted, the user agent must also process the textContent of the element according to the steps for finding one or two numbers of a ratio in a string. These steps will return nothing, one number, one number with a denominator punctuation character, or two numbers.

User agents must then use all these numbers to obtain values for six points on the gauge, as follows. (The order in which these are evaluated is important, as some of the values refer to earlier ones.)

The minimum value

If the min attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then the minimum value is that value. Otherwise, the minimum value is zero.

The maximum value

If the max attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, the maximum value is that value.

Otherwise, if the max attribute is specified but no value could be parsed out of it, or if it was not specified, but either or both of the min or value attributes were specified, then the maximum value is 1.

Otherwise, none of the max, min, and value attributes were specified. If the result of processing the textContent of the element was either nothing or just one number with no denominator punctuation character, then the maximum value is 1; if the result was one number but it had an associated denominator punctuation character, then the maximum value is the value associated with that denominator punctuation character; and finally, if there were two numbers parsed out of the textContent, then the maximum is the higher of those two numbers.

If the above machinations result in a maximum value less than the minimum value, then the maximum value is actually the same as the minimum value.

The actual value

If the value attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then that value is the actual value.

If the value attribute is not specified but the max attribute is specified and the result of processing the textContent of the element was one number with no associated denominator punctuation character, then that number is the actual value.

If neither of the value and max attributes are specified, then, if the result of processing the textContent of the element was one number (with or without an associated denominator punctuation character), then that is the actual value, and if the result of processing the textContent of the element was two numbers, then the actual value is the lower of the two numbers found.

Otherwise, if none of the above apply, the actual value is zero.

If the above procedure results in an actual value less than the minimum value, then the actual value is actually the same as the minimum value.

If, on the other hand, the result is an actual value greater than the maximum value, then the actual value is the maximum value.

The low boundary

If the low attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then the low boundary is that value. Otherwise, the low boundary is the same as the minimum value.

If the low boundary is then less than the minimum value, then the low boundary is actually the same as the minimum value. Similarly, if the low boundary is greater than the maximum value, then it is actually the maximum value instead.

The high boundary

If the high attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then the high boundary is that value. Otherwise, the high boundary is the same as the maximum value.

If the high boundary is then less than the low boundary, then the high boundary is actually the same as the low boundary. Similarly, if the high boundary is greater than the maximum value, then it is actually the maximum value instead.

The optimum point

If the optimum attribute is specified and a value could be parsed out of it, then the optimum point is that value. Otherwise, the optimum point is the midpoint between the minimum value and the maximum value.

If the optimum point is then less than the minimum value, then the optimum point is actually the same as the minimum value. Similarly, if the optimum point is greater than the maximum value, then it is actually the maximum value instead.

All of which will result in the following inequalities all being true:

UA requirements for regions of the gauge: If the optimum point is equal to the low boundary or the high boundary, or anywhere in between them, then the region between the low and high boundaries of the gauge must be treated as the optimum region, and the low and high parts, if any, must be treated as suboptimal. Otherwise, if the optimum point is less than the low boundary, then the region between the minimum value and the low boundary must be treated as the optimum region, the region between the low boundary and the high boundary must be treated as a suboptimal region, and the region between the high boundary and the maximum value must be treated as an even less good region. Finally, if the optimum point is higher than the high boundary, then the situation is reversed; the region between the high boundary and the maximum value must be treated as the optimum region, the region between the high boundary and the low boundary must be treated as a suboptimal region, and the remaining region between the low boundary and the minimum value must be treated as an even less good region.

UA requirements for showing the gauge: When representing a meter element to the user, the UA should indicate the relative position of the actual value to the minimum and maximum values, and the relationship between the actual value and the three regions of the gauge.

The following markup:

<h3>Suggested groups</h3>
<menu type="toolbar">
 <a href="?cmd=hsg" onclick="hideSuggestedGroups()">Hide suggested groups</a>
</menu>
<ul>
 <li>
  <p><a href="/group/comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets/view">comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets</a> -
     <a href="/group/comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets/subscribe">join</a></p>
  <p>Group description: <strong>Layout/presentation on the WWW.</strong></p>
  <p><meter value="0.5">Moderate activity,</meter> Usenet, 618 subscribers</p>
 </li>
 <li>
  <p><a href="/group/netscape.public.mozilla.xpinstall/view">netscape.public.mozilla.xpinstall</a> -
     <a href="/group/netscape.public.mozilla.xpinstall/subscribe">join</a></p>
  <p>Group description: <strong>Mozilla XPInstall discussion.</strong></p>
  <p><meter value="0.25">Low activity,</meter> Usenet, 22 subscribers</p>
 </li>
 <li>
  <p><a href="/group/mozilla.dev.general/view">mozilla.dev.general</a> -
     <a href="/group/mozilla.dev.general/subscribe">join</a></p>
  <p><meter value="0.25">Low activity,</meter> Usenet, 66 subscribers</p>
 </li>
</ul>

Might be rendered as follows:

With the <meter> elements rendered as inline green bars of varying lengths.

User agents may combine the value of the title attribute and the other attributes to provide context-sensitive help or inline text detailing the actual values.

For example, the following snippet:

<meter min=0 max=60 value=23.2 title=seconds></meter>

...might cause the user agent to display a gauge with a tooltip saying "Value: 23.2 out of 60." on one line and "seconds" on a second line.

The min, max, value, low, high, and optimum DOM attributes must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name. When the relevant content attributes are absent, the DOM attributes must return zero. The value parsed from the textContent never affects the DOM values.

Would be cool to have the value DOM attribute update the textContent in-line...

4.6.13 The code element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The code element represents a fragment of computer code. This could be an XML element name, a filename, a computer program, or any other string that a computer would recognize.

Although there is no formal way to indicate the language of computer code being marked up, authors who wish to mark code elements with the language used, e.g. so that syntax highlighting scripts can use the right rules, may do so by adding a class prefixed with "language-" to the element.

The following example shows how the element can be used in a paragraph to mark up element names and computer code, including punctuation.

<p>The <code>code</code> element represents a fragment of computer
code.</p>

<p>When you call the <code>activate()</code> method on the
<code>robotSnowman</code> object, the eyes glow.</p>

<p>The example below uses the <code>begin</code> keyword to indicate
the start of a statement block. It is paired with an <code>end</code>
keyword, which is followed by the <code>.</code> punctuation character
(full stop) to indicate the end of the program.</p>

The following example shows how a block of code could be marked up using the pre and code elements.

<pre><code class="language-pascal">var i: Integer;
begin
   i := 1;
end.</code></pre>

A class is used in that example to indicate the language used.

See the pre element for more details.

4.6.14 The var element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The var element represents a variable. This could be an actual variable in a mathematical expression or programming context, or it could just be a term used as a placeholder in prose.

In the paragraph below, the letter "n" is being used as a variable in prose:

<p>If there are <var>n</var> pipes leading to the ice
cream factory then I expect at <em>least</em> <var>n</var>
flavours of ice cream to be available for purchase!</p>

For mathematics, in particular for anything beyond the simplest of expressions, MathML is more appropriate. However, the var element can still be used to refer to specific variables that are then mentioned in MathML expressions.

In this example, an equation is shown, with a legend that references the variables in the equation. The expression itself is marked up with MathML, but the variables are mentioned in the figure's legend using var.

<figure>
 <math>
  <mi>a</mi>
  <mo>=</mo>
  <msqrt>
   <msup><mi>b</mi><mn>2</mn></msup>
   <mi>+</mi>
   <msup><mi>c</mi><mn>2</mn></msup>
  </msqrt>
 </math>
 <legend> 
  Using Pythagoras' theorem to solve for the hypotenuse <var>a</var> of
  a triangle with sides <var>b</var> and <var>c</var>
 </legend>
</figure>

4.6.15 The samp element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The samp element represents (sample) output from a program or computing system.

See the pre and kbd elements for more details.

This example shows the samp element being used inline:

<p>The computer said <samp>Too much cheese in tray
two</samp> but I didn't know what that meant.</p>

This second example shows a block of sample output. Nested samp and kbd elements allow for the styling of specific elements of the sample output using a style sheet.

<pre><samp><samp class="prompt">jdoe@mowmow:~$</samp> <kbd>ssh demo.example.com</kbd>
Last login: Tue Apr 12 09:10:17 2005 from mowmow.example.com on pts/1
Linux demo 2.6.10-grsec+gg3+e+fhs6b+nfs+gr0501+++p3+c4a+gr2b-reslog-v6.189 #1 SMP Tue Feb 1 11:22:36 PST 2005 i686 unknown

<samp class="prompt">jdoe@demo:~$</samp> <samp class="cursor">_</samp></samp></pre>

4.6.16 The kbd element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The kbd element represents user input (typically keyboard input, although it may also be used to represent other input, such as voice commands).

When the kbd element is nested inside a samp element, it represents the input as it was echoed by the system.

When the kbd element contains a samp element, it represents input based on system output, for example invoking a menu item.

When the kbd element is nested inside another kbd element, it represents an actual key or other single unit of input as appropriate for the input mechanism.

Here the kbd element is used to indicate keys to press:

<p>To make George eat an apple, press <kbd><kbd>Shift</kbd>+<kbd>F3</kbd></kbd></p>

In this second example, the user is told to pick a particular menu item. The outer kbd element marks up a block of input, with the inner kbd elements representing each individual step of the input, and the samp elements inside them indicating that the steps are input based on something being displayed by the system, in this case menu labels:

<p>To make George eat an apple, select
    <kbd><kbd><samp>File</samp></kbd>|<kbd><samp>Eat Apple...</samp></kbd></kbd>
</p>

4.6.17 The sub and sup elements

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which these elements may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The sup element represents a superscript and the sub element represents a subscript.

These elements must be used only to mark up typographical conventions with specific meanings, not for typographical presentation for presentation's sake. For example, it would be inappropriate for the sub and sup elements to be used in the name of the LaTeX document preparation system. In general, authors should use these elements only if the absence of those elements would change the meaning of the content.

When the sub element is used inside a var element, it represents the subscript that identifies the variable in a family of variables.

<p>The coordinate of the <var>i</var>th point is
(<var>x<sub><var>i</var></sub></var>, <var>y<sub><var>i</var></sub></var>).
For example, the 10th point has coordinate
(<var>x<sub>10</sub></var>, <var>y<sub>10</sub></var>).</p>

In certain languages, superscripts are part of the typographical conventions for some abbreviations.

<p>The most beautiful women are
<span lang="fr"><abbr>M<sup>lle</sup></abbr> Gwendoline</span> and 
<span lang="fr"><abbr>M<sup>me</sup></abbr> Denise</span>.</p>

Mathematical expressions often use subscripts and superscripts. Authors are encouraged to use MathML for marking up mathematics, but authors may opt to use sub and sup if detailed mathematical markup is not desired. [MathML]

<var>E</var>=<var>m</var><var>c</var><sup>2</sup>
f(<var>x</var>, <var>n</var>) = log<sub>4</sub><var>x</var><sup><var>n</var></sup>

4.6.18 The span element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The span element doesn't mean anything on its own, but can be useful when used together with other attributes, e.g. class, lang, or dir. It represents its children.

4.6.19 The i element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The i element represents a span of text in an alternate voice or mood, or otherwise offset from the normal prose, such as a taxonomic designation, a technical term, an idiomatic phrase from another language, a thought, a ship name, or some other prose whose typical typographic presentation is italicized.

Terms in languages different from the main text should be annotated with lang attributes (xml:lang in XML).

The examples below show uses of the i element:

<p>The <i class="taxonomy">Felis silvestris catus</i> is cute.</p>
<p>The term <i>prose content</i> is defined above.</p>
<p>There is a certain <i lang="fr">je ne sais quoi</i> in the air.</p>

In the following example, a dream sequence is marked up using i elements.

<p>Raymond tried to sleep.</p>
<p><i>The ship sailed away on Thursday</i>, he
dreamt. <i>The ship had many people aboard, including a beautiful
princess called Carey. He watched her, day-in, day-out, hoping she
would notice him, but she never did.</i></p>
<p><i>Finally one night he picked up the courage to speak with
her—</i></p>
<p>Raymond woke with a start as the fire alarm rang out.</p>

Authors are encouraged to use the class attribute on the i element to identify why the element is being used, so that if the style of a particular use (e.g. dream sequences as opposed to taxonomic terms) is to be changed at a later date, the author doesn't have to go through the entire document (or series of related documents) annotating each use. Similarly, authors are encouraged to consider whether other elements might be more applicable than the i element, for instance the em element for marking up stress emphasis, or the dfn element to mark up the defining instance of a term.

Style sheets can be used to format i elements, just like any other element can be restyled. Thus, it is not the case that content in i elements will necessarily be italicized.

4.6.20 The b element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The b element represents a span of text to be stylistically offset from the normal prose without conveying any extra importance, such as key words in a document abstract, product names in a review, or other spans of text whose typical typographic presentation is boldened.

The following example shows a use of the b element to highlight key words without marking them up as important:

<p>The <b>frobonitor</b> and <b>barbinator</b> components are fried.</p>

In the following example, objects in a text adventure are highlighted as being special by use of the b element.

<p>You enter a small room. Your <b>sword</b> glows
brighter. A <b>rat</b> scurries past the corner wall.</p>

Another case where the b element is appropriate is in marking up the lede (or lead) sentence or paragraph. The following example shows how a BBC article about kittens adopting a rabbit as their own could be marked up using HTML5 elements:

<article>
 <h2>Kittens 'adopted' by pet rabbit</h2>
 <p><b>Six abandoned kittens have found an unexpected new
 mother figure — a pet rabbit.</b></p>
 <p>Veterinary nurse Melanie Humble took the three-week-old
 kittens to her Aberdeen home.</p>
[...]

The b element should be used as a last resort when no other element is more appropriate. In particular, headers should use the h1 to h6 elements, stress emphasis should use the em element, importance should be denoted with the strong element, and text marked or highlighted should use the mark element.

The following would be incorrect usage:

<p><b>WARNING!</b> Do not frob the barbinator!</p>

In the previous example, the correct element to use would have been strong, not b.

Style sheets can be used to format b elements, just like any other element can be restyled. Thus, it is not the case that content in b elements will necessarily be boldened.

4.6.21 The bdo element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
Also, the dir global attribute has special semantics on this element.
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The bdo element represents explicit text directionality formatting control for its children. It allows authors to override the Unicode bidi algorithm by explicitly specifying a direction override. [BIDI]

Authors must specify the dir attribute on this element, with the value ltr to specify a left-to-right override and with the value rtl to specify a right-to-left override.

If the element has the dir attribute set to the exact value ltr, then for the purposes of the bidi algorithm, the user agent must act as if there was a U+202D LEFT-TO-RIGHT OVERRIDE character at the start of the element, and a U+202C POP DIRECTIONAL FORMATTING at the end of the element.

If the element has the dir attribute set to the exact value rtl, then for the purposes of the bidi algorithm, the user agent must act as if there was a U+202E RIGHT-TO-LEFT OVERRIDE character at the start of the element, and a U+202C POP DIRECTIONAL FORMATTING at the end of the element.

The requirements on handling the bdo element for the bidi algorithm may be implemented indirectly through the style layer. For example, an HTML+CSS user agent should implement these requirements by implementing the CSS unicode-bidi property. [CSS21]

4.6.22 The ruby element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
One or more groups of: phrasing content followed either by a single rt element, or an rp element, an rt element, and another rp element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The ruby element allows one or more spans of phrasing content to be marked with ruby annotations. Ruby annotations are short runs of text presented alongside base text, primarily used in East Asian typography as a guide for pronounciation or to include other annotations. In Japanese, this form of typography is also known as furigana.

A ruby element represents the spans of phrasing content it contains, ignoring all the child rt and rp elements and their descendants. Those spans of phrasing content have associated annotations created using the rt element.

In this example, each ideograph in the Japanese text 漢字 is annotated with its kanji reading.

... 
<ruby>
 漢 <rt> かん </rt>
 字 <rt> じ  </rt>
</ruby>
...

This might be rendered as:

The two main ideographs, each with its kanji annotation rendered in a smaller font above it.

In this example, each ideograph in the traditional Chinese text 漢字 is annotated with its bopomofo reading.

<ruby>
 漢 <rt> ㄏㄢˋ </rt>
 字 <rt> ㄗˋ  </rt>
</ruby>

This might be rendered as:

The two main ideographs, each with its bopomofo annotation rendered in a smaller font next to it.

In this example, each ideograph in the simplified Chinese text 汉字 is annotated with its pinyin reading.

...
<ruby>
 汉 <rt> hàn </rt>
 字 <rt> zì  </rt>
</ruby>
...

This might be rendered as:

The two main ideographs, each with its pinyin annotation rendered in a smaller font above it.

4.6.23 The rt element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
As a child of a ruby element.
Content model:
Phrasing content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The rt element marks the ruby text component of a ruby annotation.

An rt element that is a child of a ruby element represents an annotation (given by its children) for the zero or more nodes of phrasing content that immediately precedes it in the ruby element, ignoring rp elements.

An rt element that is not a child of a ruby element represents the same thing as its children.

4.6.24 The rp element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
As a child of a ruby element, either immediately before or immediately after an rt element.
Content model:
If the rp element is immediately after an rt element that is immediately preceded by another rp element: a single character from Unicode character class Pe.
Otherwise: a single character from Unicode character class Ps.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The rp element can be used to provide parentheses around a ruby text component of a ruby annotation, to be shown by user agents that don't support ruby annotations.

An rp element that is a child of a ruby element represents nothing and it and its contents must be ignored. An rp element whose parent element is not a ruby element represents its children.

The example above, in which each ideograph in the text 漢字 is annotated with its kanji reading, could be expanded to use rp so that in legacy user agents the readings are in parentheses:

... 
<ruby>
 漢 <rp>(</rp><rt>かん</rt><rp>)</rp>
 字 <rp>(</rp><rt>じ</rt><rp>)</rp>
</ruby>
...

In conforming user agents the rendering would be as above, but in user agents that do not support ruby, the rendering would be:

... 漢 (かん) 字 (じ) ...

4.6.25 Usage summary

We need to summarize the various elements, in particular to distinguish b/i/em/strong/var/q/mark/cite.

4.6.26 Footnotes

HTML does not have a dedicated mechanism for marking up footnotes. Here are the recommended alternatives.

For short inline annotations, the title attribute should be used.

In this example, two parts of a dialog are annotated.

<dialog>
 <dt>Customer
 <dd>Hello! I wish to register a complaint. Hello. Miss?
 <dt>Shopkeeper
 <dd><span title="Colloquial pronunciation of 'What do you'"
 >Watcha</span> mean, miss?
 <dt>Customer
 <dd>Uh, I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint.
 <dt>Shopkeeper
 <dd>Sorry, <span title="This is, of course, a lie.">we're
 closing for lunch</span>.
</dialog>

For longer annotations, the a element should be used, pointing to an element later in the document. The convention is that the contents of the link be a number in square brackets.

In this example, a footnote in the dialog links to a paragraph below the dialog. The paragraph then reciprocally links back to the dialog, allowing the user to return to the location of the footnote.

<dialog>
 <dt>Announcer
 <dd>Number 16: The <i>hand</i>.
 <dt>Interviewer
 <dd>Good evening. I have with me in the studio tonight Mr
 Norman St John Polevaulter, who for the past few years has
 been contradicting people. Mr Polevaulter, why <em>do</em>
 you contradict people?
 <dt>Norman
 <dd>I don't. <a href="#fn1" id="r1">[1]</a>
 <dt>Interviewer
 <dd>You told me you did!
</dialog>
<section>
 <p id="fn1"><a href="#r1">[1]</a> This is, naturally, a lie,
 but paradoxically if it were true he could not say so without
 contradicting the interviewer and thus making it false.</p>
</section>

For side notes, longer annotations that apply to entire sections of the text rather than just specific words or sentences, the aside element should be used.

In this example, a sidebar is given after a dialog, giving some context to the dialog.

<dialog>
 <dt>Customer
 <dd>I will not buy this record, it is scratched.
 <dt>Shopkeeper
 <dd>I'm sorry?
 <dt>Customer
 <dd>I will not buy this record, it is scratched.
 <dt>Shopkeeper
 <dd>No no no, this's'a tobacconist's.
</dialog>
<aside>
 <p>In 1970, the British Empire lay in ruins, and foreign
 nationalists frequented the streets — many of them Hungarians
 (not the streets — the foreign nationals). Sadly, Alexander
 Yalt has been publishing incompetently-written phrase books.
</aside>

4.7 Edits

The ins and del elements represent edits to the document.

4.7.1 The ins element

Categories
Flow content.
When the element only contains phrasing content: phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Transparent.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
cite
datetime
DOM interface:
Uses the HTMLModElement interface.

The ins element represents an addition to the document.

The following represents the addition of a single paragraph:

<aside>
 <ins>
  <p> I like fruit. </p>
 </ins>
</aside>

As does this, because everything in the aside element here counts as phrasing content and therefore there is just one paragraph:

<aside>
 <ins>
  Apples are <em>tasty</em>.
 </ins>
 <ins>
  So are pears.
 </ins>
</aside>

ins elements should not cross implied paragraph boundaries.

The following example represents the addition of two paragraphs, the second of which was inserted in two parts. The first ins element in this example thus crosses a paragraph boundary, which is considered poor form.

<aside>
 <ins datetime="2005-03-16T00:00Z">
  <p> I like fruit. </p>
  Apples are <em>tasty</em>.
 </ins>
 <ins datetime="2007-12-19T00:00Z">
  So are pears.
 </ins>
</aside>

Here is a better way of marking this up. It uses more elements, but none of the elements cross implied paragraph boundaries.

<aside>
 <ins datetime="2005-03-16T00:00Z">
  <p> I like fruit. </p>
 </ins>
 <ins datetime="2005-03-16T00:00Z">
  Apples are <em>tasty</em>.
 </ins>
 <ins datetime="2007-12-19T00:00Z">
  So are pears.
 </ins>
</aside>

4.7.2 The del element

Categories
Flow content.
When the element only contains phrasing content: phrasing content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Transparent.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
cite
datetime
DOM interface:
Uses the HTMLModElement interface.

The del element represents a removal from the document.

del elements should not cross implied paragraph boundaries.

4.7.3 Attributes common to ins and del elements

The cite attribute may be used to specify the address of a document that explains the change. When that document is long, for instance the minutes of a meeting, authors are encouraged to include a fragment identifier pointing to the specific part of that document that discusses the change.

If the cite attribute is present, it must be a valid URL that explains the change. To obtain the corresponding citation link, the value of the attribute must be resolved relative to the element. User agents should allow users to follow such citation links.

The datetime attribute may be used to specify the time and date of the change.

If present, the datetime attribute must be a valid global date and time string value.

User agents must parse the datetime attribute according to the parse a global date and time string algorithm. If that doesn't return a time, then the modification has no associated timestamp (the value is non-conforming; it is not a valid global date and time string). Otherwise, the modification is marked as having been made at the given datetime. User agents should use the associated timezone information to determine which timezone to present the given datetime in.

The ins and del elements must implement the HTMLModElement interface:

interface HTMLModElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString cite;
           attribute DOMString dateTime;
};

The cite DOM attribute must reflect the element's cite content attribute. The dateTime DOM attribute must reflect the element's datetime content attribute.

4.7.4 Edits and paragraphs

Since the ins and del elements do not affect paragraphing, it is possible, in some cases where paragraphs are implied (without explicit p elements), for an ins or del element to span both an entire paragraph or other non-phrasing content elements and part of another paragraph.

For example:

<section>
 <ins>
  <p>
   This is a paragraph that was inserted.
  </p>
  This is another paragraph whose first sentence was inserted
  at the same time as the paragraph above.
 </ins>
 This is a second sentence, which was there all along.
</section>

By only wrapping some paragraphs in p elements, one can even get the end of one paragraph, a whole second paragraph, and the start of a third paragraph to be covered by the same ins or del element (though this is very confusing, and not considered good practice):

<section>
 This is the first paragraph. <ins>This sentence was
 inserted.
 <p>This second paragraph was inserted.</p>
 This sentence was inserted too.</ins> This is the
 third paragraph in this example.
</section>

However, due to the way implied paragraphs are defined, it is not possible to mark up the end of one paragraph and the start of the very next one using the same ins or del element. You instead have to use one (or two) p element(s) and two ins or del elements:

For example:

<section>
 <p>This is the first paragraph. <del>This sentence was
 deleted.</del></p>
 <p><del>This sentence was deleted too.</del> That
 sentence needed a separate &lt;del&gt; element.</p>
</section>

Partly because of the confusion described above, authors are strongly recommended to always mark up all paragraphs with the p element, and to not have any ins or del elements that cross across any implied paragraphs.

4.7.5 Edits and lists

The content models of the ol and ul elements do not allow ins and del elements as children. Lists always represent all their items, including items that would otherwise have been marked as deleted.

To indicate that an item is inserted or deleted, an ins or del element can be wrapped around the contents of the li element. To indicate that an item has been replaced by another, a single li element can have one or more del elements followed by one or more ins elements.

In the following example, a list that started empty had items added and removed from it over time. The bits in the example that have been emphasised show the parts that are the "current" state of the list. The list item numbers don't take into account the edits, though.

<h1>Stop-ship bugs</h1>
<ol>
 <li><ins datetime="2008-02-12T15:20Z">Bug 225:
 Rain detector doesn't work in snow</ins></li>
 <li><del datetime="2008-03-01T20:22Z"><ins datetime="2008-02-14T12:02Z">Bug 228:
 Water buffer overflows in April</ins></del></li>
 <li><ins datetime="2008-02-16T13:50Z">Bug 230:
 Water heater doesn't use renewable fuels</ins></li>
 <li><del datetime="2008-02-20T21:15Z"><ins datetime="2008-02-16T14:25Z">Bug 232:
 Carbon dioxide emissions detected after startup</ins></del></li>
</ol>

In the following example, a list that started with just fruit was replaced by a list with just colors.

<h1>List of <del>fruits</del><ins>colors</ins></h1>
<ul>
 <li><del>Lime</del><ins>Green</ins></li>
 <li><del>Apple</del></li>
 <li>Orange</li>
 <li><del>Pear</del></li>
 <li><ins>Teal</ins></li>
 <li><del>Lemon</del><ins>Yellow</ins></li>
 <li>Olive</li>
 <li><ins>Purple</ins>
</ul>

4.8 Embedded content

4.8.1 The figure element

Categories
Flow content.
Sectioning root.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
Either: one legend element followed by flow content.
Or: Flow content followed by one legend element.
Or: Flow content.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
Uses HTMLElement.

The figure element represents some flow content, optionally with a caption, which can be moved away from the main flow of the document without affecting the document's meaning.

The element can thus be used to annotate illustrations, diagrams, photos, code listings, etc, that are referred to from the main content of the document, but that could, without affecting the flow of the document, be moved away from that primary content, e.g. to the side of the page, to dedicated pages, or to an appendix.

The first legend element child of the element, if any, represents the caption of the figure element's contents. If there is no child legend element, then there is no caption.

The remainder of the element's contents, if any, represents the content.

This example shows the figure element to mark up a code listing.

<p>In <a href="#l4">listing 4</a> we see the primary core interface
API declaration.</p>
<figure id="l4">
 <legend>Listing 4. The primary core interface API declaration.</legend>
 <pre><code>interface PrimaryCore {
  boolean verifyDataLine();
  void sendData(in sequence&lt;byte> data);
  void initSelfDestruct();
}</code></pre>
</figure>
<p>The API is designed to use UTF-8.</p>

Here we see a figure element to mark up a photo.

<figure>
 <img src="bubbles-work.jpeg"
      alt="Bubbles, sitting in his office chair, works on his
           latest project intently.">
 <legend>Bubbles at work</legend>
</figure>

In this example, we see an image that is not a figure, as well as an image and a video that are.

<h2>Malinko's comics</h2>

<p>This case centered on some sort of "intellectual property"
infringement related to a comic (see Exhibit A). The suit started
after a trailer ending with these words:</p>

<img src="promblem-packed-action.png" alt="ROUGH COPY! Promblem-Packed Action!">

<p>...was aired. A lawyer, armed with a Bigger Notebook, launched a
preemptive strike using snowballs. A complete copy of the trailer is
included with Exhibit B.</p>

<figure>
 <img src="ex-a.png" alt="Two squiggles on a dirty piece of paper.">
 <legend>Exhibit A. The alleged <cite>rough copy</cite> comic.</legend>
</figure>

<figure>
 <video src="ex-b.mov"></video>
 <legend>Exhibit B. The <code>Rough Copy</cite> trailer.</legend>
</figure>

<p>The case was resolved out of court.</p>

Here, a part of a poem is marked up using figure.

<figure>
 <p>'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves<br>
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;<br>
All mimsy were the borogoves,<br>
And the mome raths outgrabe.</p>
 <legend><cite>Jabberwocky</cite> (first verse). Lewis Carroll, 1832-98</legend>
</figure>

In this example, which could be part of a much larger work discussing a castle, the figure has three images in it.

<figure>
 <img src="castle1423.jpeg" title="Etching. Anonymous, ca. 1423."
      alt="The castle has one tower, and a tall wall around it.">
 <img src="castle1858.jpeg" title="Oil-based paint on canvas. Maria Towle, 1858."
      alt="The castle now has two towers and two walls.">
 <img src="castle1999.jpeg" title="Film photograph. Peter Jankle, 1999."
      alt="The castle lies in ruins, the original tower all that remains in one piece.">
 <legend>The castle through the ages: 1423, 1858, and 1999 respectively.</legend>
</figure>

4.8.2 The img element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Embedded content.
If the element has an usemap attribute: Interactive content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where embedded content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
alt
src
usemap
ismap
width
height
DOM interface:
[NamedConstructor=Image(),
 NamedConstructor=Image(in unsigned long width),
 NamedConstructor=Image(in unsigned long width, in unsigned long height)]
interface HTMLImageElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString alt;
           attribute DOMString src;
           attribute DOMString useMap;
           attribute boolean isMap;
           attribute unsigned long width;
           attribute unsigned long height;
  readonly attribute boolean complete;
};

An img element represents an image.

The image given by the src attribute is the embedded content, and the value of the alt attribute is the img element's fallback content.

The src attribute must be present, and must contain a valid URL referencing a non-interactive, optionally animated, image resource that is neither paged nor scripted. If the base URI of the element is the same as the document's address, then the src attribute's value must not be the empty string.

Images can thus be static bitmaps (e.g. PNGs, GIFs, JPEGs), single-page vector documents (single-page PDFs, XML files with an SVG root element), animated bitmaps (APNGs, animated GIFs), animated vector graphics (XML files with an SVG root element that use declarative SMIL animation), and so forth. However, this also precludes SVG files with script, multipage PDF files, interactive MNG files, HTML documents, plain text documents, and so forth.

The requirements on the alt attribute's value are described in the next section.

There has been some suggestion that the longdesc attribute from HTML4 should be included. This has been considered and rejected in the past, but if new evidence is found showing the attribute to actually help users rather than harm them, it may be reconsidered.

The img must not be used as a layout tool. In particular, img elements should not be used to display fully transparent images, as they rarely convey meaning and rarely add anything useful to the document.


Unless the user agent cannot support images, or its support for images has been disabled, or the user agent only fetches elements on demand, or the element's src attribute has a value that is an ignored self-reference, then, when an img is created with a src attribute, and whenever the src attribute is set subsequently, the user agent must resolve the value of that attribute, relative to the element, and if that is successful must then fetch that resource.

The src attribute's value is an ignored self-reference if its value is the empty string, and the base URI of the element is the same as the document's address.

Fetching the image must delay the load event.

This, unfortunately, can be used to perform a rudimentary port scan of the user's local network (especially in conjunction with scripting, though scripting isn't actually necessary to carry out such an attack). User agents may implement cross-origin access control policies that mitigate this attack.

If the image's type is a supported image type, and the image is a valid image of that type, then the image is said to be available (this affects exactly what the element represents, as defined below). This can be true even before the image is completely downloaded, if the user agent supports incremental rendering of images; in such cases, each task that is queued by the networking task source while the image is being fetched must update the presentation of the image appropriately.

If the image was not fetched (e.g. because the UA's image support is disabled, or because the src attribute's value is an ignored self-reference), or if the conditions in the previous paragraph are not met, then the image is not available.

An image might be available in one view but not another. For instance, a Document could be rendered by a screen reader providing a speech synthesis view of the output of a Web browser using the screen media. In this case, the image would be available in the Web browser's screen view, but not available in the screen reader's view.

Whether the image is fetched successfully or not (e.g. whether the response code was a 2xx code or equivalent) must be ignored when determining the image's type and whether it is a valid image.

This allows servers to return images with error responses, and have them displayed.

The user agents should apply the image sniffing rules to determine the type of the image, with the image's associated Content-Type headers giving the official type. If these rules are not applied, then the type of the image must be the type given by the image's associated Content-Type headers.

User agents must not support non-image resources with the img element (e.g. XML files whose root element is an HTML element). User agents must not run executable code (e.g. scripts) embedded in the image resource. User agents must only display the first page of a multipage resource (e.g. a PDF file). User agents must not allow the resource to act in an interactive fashion, but should honour any animation in the resource.

This specification does not specify which image types are to be supported.

The task that is queued by the networking task source once the resource has been fetched, must, if the download was successful and the image is available, queue a task to fire a load event on the img element (this happens after complete starts returning true); and otherwise, if the fetching process fails without a response from the remote server, or completes but the image is not a valid or supported image, queue a task to fire an error event on the img element.


What an img element represents depends on the src attribute and the alt attribute.

If the src attribute is set and the alt attribute is set to the empty string

The image is either decorative or supplemental to the rest of the content, redundant with some other information in the document.

If the image is available and the user agent is configured to display that image, then the element represents the image specified by the src attribute.

Otherwise, the element represents nothing, and may be omitted completely from the rendering. User agents may provide the user with a notification that an image is present but has been omitted from the rendering.

If the src attribute is set and the alt attribute is set to a value that isn't empty

The image is a key part of the content; the alt attribute gives a textual equivalent or replacement for the image.

If the image is available and the user agent is configured to display that image, then the element represents the image specified by the src attribute.

Otherwise, the element represents the text given by the alt attribute. User agents may provide the user with a notification that an image is present but has been omitted from the rendering.

If the src attribute is set and the alt attribute is not

The image might be a key part of the content, and there is no textual equivalent of the image available.

In a conforming document, the absence of the alt attribute indicates that the image is a key part of the content but that a textual replacement for the image was not available when the image was generated.

If the image is available, the element represents the image specified by the src attribute.

If the image is not available or if the user agent is not configured to display the image, then the user agent should display some sort of indicator that there is an image that is not being rendered, and may, if requested by the user, or if so configured, or when required to provide contextual information in response to navigation, provide caption information for the image, derived as follows:

  1. If the image has a title attribute whose value is not the empty string, then the value of that attribute is the caption information; abort these steps.

  2. If the image is the child of a figure element that has a child legend element, then the contents of the first such legend element are the caption information; abort these steps.

  3. Run the algorithm to create the outline for the document.

  4. If the img element did not end up associated with a heading in the outline, or if there are any other images that are lacking an alt attribute and that are associated with the same heading in the outline as the img element in question, then there is no caption information; abort these steps.

  5. The caption information is the heading with which the image is associated according to the outline.

If the src attribute is not set and either the alt attribute is set to the empty string or the alt attribute is not set at all

The element represents nothing.

Otherwise

The element represents the text given by the alt attribute.

The alt attribute does not represent advisory information. User agents must not present the contents of the alt attribute in the same way as content of the title attribute.

User agents may always provide the user with the option to display any image, or to prevent any image from being displayed. User agents may also apply image analysis heuristics to help the user make sense of the image when the user is unable to make direct use of the image, e.g. due to a visual disability or because they are using a text terminal with no graphics capabilities.

The contents of img elements, if any, are ignored for the purposes of rendering.


The usemap attribute, if present, can indicate that the image has an associated image map.

The ismap attribute, when used on an element that is a descendant of an a element with an href attribute, indicates by its presence that the element provides access to a server-side image map. This affects how events are handled on the corresponding a element.

The ismap attribute is a boolean attribute. The attribute must not be specified on an element that does not have an ancestor a element with an href attribute.

The img element supports dimension attributes.

The DOM attributes alt, src, useMap, and isMap each must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

The DOM attributes width and height must return the rendered width and height of the image, in CSS pixels, if the image is being rendered, and is being rendered to a visual medium; or else the intrinsic width and height of the image, in CSS pixels, if the image is available but not being rendered to a visual medium; or else 0, if the image is not available or its dimensions are not known. [CSS21]

The DOM attribute complete must return true if the user agent has fetched the image specified in the src attribute, and it is a valid image, even if the final task queued by the networking task source for the fetching of the image resource has not yet been processed. Otherwise, the attribute must return false.

The value of complete can thus change while a script is executing.

Three constructors are provided for creating HTMLImageElement objects (in addition to the factory methods from DOM Core such as createElement()): Image(), Image(width), and Image(width, height). When invoked as constructors, these must return a new HTMLImageElement object (a new img element). If the width argument is present, the new object's width content attribute must be set to width. If the height argument is also present, the new object's height content attribute must be set to height.

A single image can have different appropriate alternative text depending on the context.

In each of the following cases, the same image is used, yet the alt text is different each time. The image is the coat of arms of the Canton Geneva in Switzerland.

Here it is used as a supplementary icon:

<p>I lived in <img src="carouge.svg" alt=""> Carouge.</p>

Here it is used as an icon representing the town:

<p>Home town: <img src="carouge.svg" alt="Carouge"></p>

Here it is used as part of a text on the town:

<p>Carouge has a coat of arms.</p>
<p><img src="carouge.svg" alt="The coat of arms depicts a lion, sitting in front of a tree."></p>
<p>It is used as decoration all over the town.</p>

Here it is used as a way to support a similar text where the description is given as well as, instead of as an alternative to, the image:

<p>Carouge has a coat of arms.</p>
<p><img src="carouge.svg" alt=""></p>
<p>The coat of arms depicts a lion, sitting in front of a tree.
It is used as decoration all over the town.</p>

Here it is used as part of a story:

<p>He picked up the folder and a piece of paper fell out.</p>
<p><img src="carouge.svg" alt="Shaped like a shield, the paper had a
red background, a green tree, and a yellow lion with its tongue
hanging out and whose tail was shaped like an S."></p>
<p>He stared at the folder. S! The answer he had been looking for all
this time was simply the letter S! How had he not seen that before? It all
came together now. The phone call where Hector had referred to a lion's tail,
the time Marco had stuck his tongue out...</p>

Here it is not known at the time of publication what the image will be, only that it will be a coat of arms of some kind, and thus no replacement text can be provided, and instead only a brief caption for the image is provided, in the title attribute:

<p>The last user to have uploaded a coat of arms uploaded this one:</p>
<p><img src="last-uploaded-coat-of-arms.cgi" title="User-uploaded coat of arms."></p>

Ideally, the author would find a way to provide real replacement text even in this case, e.g. by asking the previous user. Not providing replacement text makes the document more difficult to use for people who are unable to view images, e.g. blind users, or users or very low-bandwidth connections or who pay by the byte, or users who are forced to use a text-only Web browser.

Here are some more examples showing the same picture used in different contexts, with different appropriate alternate texts each time.

<article>
 <h1>My cats</h1>
 <h2>Fluffy</h2>
 <p>Fluffy is my favourite.</p>
 <img src="fluffy.jpg" alt="She likes playing with a ball of yarn.">
 <p>She's just too cute.</p>
 <h2>Miles</h2>
 <p>My other cat, Miles just eats and sleeps.</p>
</article>
<article>
 <h1>Photography</h1>
 <h2>Shooting moving targets indoors</h2>
 <p>The trick here is to know how to anticipate; to know at what speed and
 what distance the subject will pass by.</p>
 <img src="fluffy.jpg" alt="A cat flying by, chasing a ball of yarn, can be
 photographed quite nicely using this technique.">
 <h2>Nature by night</h2>
 <p>To achieve this, you'll need either an extremely sensitive film, or
 immense flash lights.</p>
</article>
<article>
 <h1>About me</h1>
 <h2>My pets</h2>
 <p>I've got a cat named Fluffy and a dog named Miles.</p>
 <img src="fluffy.jpg" alt="Fluffy, my cat, tends to keep itself busy.">
 <p>My dog Miles and I like go on long walks together.</p>
 <h2>music</h2>
 <p>After our walks, having emptied my mind, I like listening to Bach.</p>
</article>
<article>
 <h1>Fluffy and the Yarn</h1>
 <p>Fluffy was a cat who liked to play with yarn. He also liked to jump.</p>
 <aside><img src="fluffy.jpg" alt="" title="Fluffy"></aside>
 <p>He would play in the morning, he would play in the evening.</p>
</article>
4.8.2.1 Requirements for providing text to act as an alternative for images

The requirements for the alt attribute depend on what the image is intended to represent, as described in the following sections.

When an a element that is a hyperlink, or a button element, has no textual content but contains one or more images, the alt attributes must contain text that together convey the purpose of the link or button.

In this example, a user is asked to pick his preferred color from a list of three. Each color is given by an image, but for users who have configured their user agent not to display images, the color names are used instead:

<h1>Pick your color</h1>
<ul>
 <li><a href="green.html"><img src="green.jpeg" alt="Green"></a></li>
 <li><a href="blue.html"><img src="blue.jpeg" alt="Blue"></a></li>
 <li><a href="red.html"><img src="red.jpeg" alt="Red"></a></li>
</ul>

In this example, each button has a set of images to indicate the kind of color output desired by the user. The first image is used in each case to give the alternative text.

<button name="rgb"><img src="red" alt="RGB"><img src="green" alt=""><img src="blue" alt=""></button>
<button name="cmyk"><img src="cyan" alt="CMYK"><img src="magenta" alt=""><img src="yellow" alt=""><img src="black" alt=""></button>

Since each image represents one part of the text, it could also be written like this:

<button name="rgb"><img src="red" alt="R"><img src="green" alt="G"><img src="blue" alt="B"></button>
<button name="cmyk"><img src="cyan" alt="C"><img src="magenta" alt="M"><img src="yellow" alt="Y"><img src="black" alt="K"></button>

However, with other alternative text, this might not work, and putting all the alternative text into one image in each case might make more sense:

<button name="rgb"><img src="red" alt="sRGB profile"><img src="green" alt=""><img src="blue" alt=""></button>
<button name="cmyk"><img src="cyan" alt="CMYK profile"><img src="magenta" alt=""><img src="yellow" alt=""><img src="black" alt=""></button>
4.8.2.1.2 A phrase or paragraph with an alternative graphical representation: charts, diagrams, graphs, maps, illustrations

Sometimes something can be more clearly stated in graphical form, for example as a flowchart, a diagram, a graph, or a simple map showing directions. In such cases, an image can be given using the img element, but the lesser textual version must still be given, so that users who are unable to view the image (e.g. because they have a very slow connection, or because they are using a text-only browser, or because they are listening to the page being read out by a hands-free automobile voice Web browser, or simply because they are blind) are still able to understand the message being conveyed.

The text must be given in the alt attribute, and must convey the same message as the image specified in the src attribute.

It is important to realize that the alternative text is a replacement for the image, not a description of the image.

In the following example we have a flowchart in image form, with text in the alt attribute rephrasing the flowchart in prose form:

<p>In the common case, the data handled by the tokenization stage
comes from the network, but it can also come from script.</p>
<p><img src="images/parsing-model-overview.png" alt="The network
passes data to the Tokeniser stage, which passes data to the Tree
Construction stage. From there, data goes to both the DOM and to
Script Execution. Script Execution is linked to the DOM, and, using
document.write(), passes data to the Tokeniser."></p>

Here's another example, showing a good solution and a bad solution to the problem of including an image in a description.

First, here's the good solution. This sample shows how the alternative text should just be what you would have put in the prose if the image had never existed.

<!-- This is the correct way to do things. -->
<p>
 You are standing in an open field west of a house.
 <img src="house.jpeg" alt="The house is white, with a boarded front door.">
 There is a small mailbox here.
</p>

Second, here's the bad solution. In this incorrect way of doing things, the alternative text is simply a description of the image, instead of a textual replacement for the image. It's bad because when the image isn't shown, the text doesn't flow as well as in the first example.

<!-- This is the wrong way to do things. -->
<p>
 You are standing in an open field west of a house.
 <img src="house.jpeg" alt="A white house, with a boarded front door.">
 There is a small mailbox here.
</p>
4.8.2.1.3 A short phrase or label with an alternative graphical representation: icons, logos

A document can contain information in iconic form. The icon is intended to help users of visual browsers to recognize features at a glance.

In some cases, the icon is supplemental to a text label conveying the same meaning. In those cases, the alt attribute must be present but must be empty.

Here the icons are next to text that conveys the same meaning, so they have an empty alt attribute:

<nav>
 <p><a href="/help/"><img src="/icons/help.png" alt=""> Help</a></p>
 <p><a href="/configure/"><img src="/icons/configuration.png" alt="">
 Configuration Tools</a></p>
</nav>

In other cases, the icon has no text next to it describing what it means; the icon is supposed to be self-explanatory. In those cases, an equivalent textual label must be given in the alt attribute.

Here, posts on a news site are labeled with an icon indicating their topic.

<body>
 <article>
  <header>
   <h1>Ratatouille wins <i>Best Movie of the Year</i> award</h1>
   <p><img src="movies.png" alt="Movies"></p>
  </header>
  <p>Pixar has won yet another <i>Best Movie of the Year</i> award,
  making this its 8th win in the last 12 years.</p>
 </article>
 <article>
  <header>
   <h1>Latest TWiT episode is online</h1>
   <p><img src="podcasts.png" alt="Podcasts"></p>
  </header>
  <p>The latest TWiT episode has been posted, in which we hear
  several tech news stories as well as learning much more about the
  iPhone. This week, the panelists compare how reflective their
  iPhones' Apple logos are.</p>
 </article>
</body>

Many pages include logos, insignia, flags, or emblems, which stand for a particular entity such as a company, organization, project, band, software package, country, or some such.

If the logo is being used to represent the entity, e.g. as a page header, the alt attribute must contain the name of the entity being represented by the logo. The alt attribute must not contain text like the word "logo", as it is not the fact that it is a logo that is being conveyed, it's the entity itself.

If the logo is being used next to the name of the entity that it represents, then the logo is supplemental, and its alt attribute must instead be empty.

If the logo is merely used as decorative material (as branding, or, for example, as a side image in an article that mentions the entity to which the logo belongs), then the entry below on purely decorative images applies. If the logo is actually being discussed, then it is being used as a phrase or paragraph (the description of the logo) with an alternative graphical representation (the logo itself), and the first entry above applies.

In the following snippets, all four of the above cases are present. First, we see a logo used to represent a company:

<h1><img src="XYZ.gif" alt="The XYZ company"></h1>

Next, we see a paragraph which uses a logo right next to the company name, and so doesn't have any alternative text:

<article>
 <h2>News</h2>
 <p>We have recently been looking at buying the <img src="alpha.gif"
 alt=""> ΑΒΓ company, a small Greek company
 specializing in our type of product.</p>

In this third snippet, we have a logo being used in an aside, as part of the larger article discussing the acquisition:

 <aside><p><img src="alpha-large.gif" alt=""></p></aside>
 <p>The ΑΒΓ company has had a good quarter, and our
 pie chart studies of their accounts suggest a much bigger blue slice
 than its green and orange slices, which is always a good sign.</p>
</article>

Finally, we have an opinion piece talking about a logo, and the logo is therefore described in detail in the alternative text.

<p>Consider for a moment their logo:</p>

<p><img src="/images/logo" alt="It consists of a green circle with a
green question mark centered inside it."></p>

<p>How unoriginal can you get? I mean, oooooh, a question mark, how
<em>revolutionary</em>, how utterly <em>ground-breaking</em>, I'm
sure everyone will rush to adopt those specifications now! They could
at least have tried for some sort of, I don't know, sequence of
rounded squares with varying shades of green and bold white outlines,
at least that would look good on the cover of a blue book.</p>

This example shows how the alternative text should be written such that if the image isn't available, and the text is used instead, the text flows seamlessly into the surrounding text, as if the image had never been there in the first place.

4.8.2.1.4 Text that has been rendered to a graphic for typographical effect

Sometimes, an image just consists of text, and the purpose of the image is not to highlight the actual typographic effects used to render the text, but just to convey the text itself.

In such cases, the alt attribute must be present but must consist of the same text as written in the image itself.

Consider a graphic containing the text "Earth Day", but with the letters all decorated with flowers and plants. If the text is merely being used as a header, to spice up the page for graphical users, then the correct alternative text is just the same text "Earth Day", and no mention need be made of the decorations:

<h1><img src="earthdayheader.png" alt="Earth Day"></h1>
4.8.2.1.5 A graphical representation of some of the surrounding text

In many cases, the image is actually just supplementary, and its presence merely reinforces the surrounding text. In these cases, the alt attribute must be present but its value must be the empty string.

In general, an image falls into this category if removing the image doesn't make the page any less useful, but including the image makes it a lot easier for users of visual browsers to understand the concept.

A flowchart that repeats the previous paragraph in graphical form:

<p>The network passes data to the Tokeniser stage, which
passes data to the Tree Construction stage. From there, data goes
to both the DOM and to Script Execution. Script Execution is
linked to the DOM, and, using document.write(), passes data to
the Tokeniser.</p>
<p><img src="images/parsing-model-overview.png" alt=""></p>

In these cases, it would be wrong to include alternative text that consists of just a caption. If a caption is to be included, then either the title attribute can be used, or the figure and legend elements can be used. In the latter case, the image would in fact be a phrase or paragraph with an alternative graphical representation, and would thus require alternative text.

<!-- Using the title="" attribute -->
<p>The network passes data to the Tokeniser stage, which
passes data to the Tree Construction stage. From there, data goes
to both the DOM and to Script Execution. Script Execution is
linked to the DOM, and, using document.write(), passes data to
the Tokeniser.</p>
<p><img src="images/parsing-model-overview.png" alt=""
        title="Flowchart representation of the parsing model."></p>
<!-- Using <figure> and <legend> -->
<p>The network passes data to the Tokeniser stage, which
passes data to the Tree Construction stage. From there, data goes
to both the DOM and to Script Execution. Script Execution is
linked to the DOM, and, using document.write(), passes data to
the Tokeniser.</p>
<figure>
 <img src="images/parsing-model-overview.png" alt="The Network leads
 to the Tokeniser, which leads to the Tree Construction. The Tree
 Construction leads to two items. The first is Script Execution, which
 leads via document.write() back to the Tokeniser. The second item
 from which Tree Construction leads is the DOM. The DOM is related to
 the Script Execution.">
 <legend>Flowchart representation of the parsing model.</legend>
</figure>
<!-- This is WRONG. Do not do this. Instead, do what the above examples do. -->
<p>The network passes data to the Tokeniser stage, which
passes data to the Tree Construction stage. From there, data goes
to both the DOM and to Script Execution. Script Execution is
linked to the DOM, and, using document.write(), passes data to
the Tokeniser.</p>
<p><img src="images/parsing-model-overview.png"
        alt="Flowchart representation of the parsing model."></p>
<!-- Never put the image's caption in the alt="" attribute! -->

A graph that repeats the previous paragraph in graphical form:

<p>According to a study covering several billion pages,
about 62% of documents on the Web in 2007 triggered the Quirks
rendering mode of Web browsers, about 30% triggered the Almost
Standards mode, and about 9% triggered the Standards mode.</p>
<p><img src="rendering-mode-pie-chart.png" alt=""></p>
4.8.2.1.6 A purely decorative image that doesn't add any information

In general, if an image is decorative but isn't especially page-specific, for example an image that forms part of a site-wide design scheme, the image should be specified in the site's CSS, not in the markup of the document.

However, a decorative image that isn't discussed by the surrounding text still has some relevance can be included in a page using the img element. Such images are decorative, but still form part of the content. In these cases, the alt attribute must be present but its value must be the empty string.

Examples where the image is purely decorative despite being relevant would include things like a photo of the Black Rock City landscape in a blog post about an event at Burning Man, or an image of a painting inspired by a poem, on a page reciting that poem. The following snippet shows an example of the latter case (only the first verse is included in this snippet):

<h1>The Lady of Shalott</h1>
<p><img src="shalott.jpeg" alt=""></p>
<p>On either side the river lie<br>
Long fields of barley and of rye,<br>
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;<br>
And through the field the road run by<br>
To many-tower'd Camelot;<br>
And up and down the people go,<br>
Gazing where the lilies blow<br>
Round an island there below,<br>
The island of Shalott.</p>

When a picture has been sliced into smaller image files that are then displayed together to form the complete picture again, one of the images must have its alt attribute set as per the relevant rules that would be appropriate for the picture as a whole, and then all the remaining images must have their alt attribute set to the empty string.

In the following example, a picture representing a company logo for XYZ Corp has been split into two pieces, the first containing the letters "XYZ" and the second with the word "Corp". The alternative text ("XYZ Corp") is all in the first image.

<h1><img src="logo1.png" alt="XYZ Corp"><img src="logo2.png" alt=""></h1>

In the following example, a rating is shown as three filled stars and two empty stars. While the alternative text could have been "★★★☆☆", the author has instead decided to more helpfully give the rating in the form "3 out of 5". That is the alternative text of the first image, and the rest have blank alternative text.

<p>Rating: <meter max=5 value=3><img src="1" alt="3 out of 5"
  ><img src="1" alt=""><img src="1" alt=""><img src="0" alt=""
  ><img src="0" alt=""></meter></p>

Generally, image maps should be used instead of slicing an image for links.

However, if an image is indeed sliced and any of the components of the sliced picture are the sole contents of links, then one image per link must have alternative text in its alt attribute representing the purpose of the link.

In the following example, a picture representing the flying spaghetti monster emblem, with each of the left noodly appendages and the right noodly appendages in different images, so that the user can pick the left side or the right side in an adventure.

<h1>The Church</h1>
<p>You come across a flying spaghetti monster. Which side of His
Noodliness do you wish to reach out for?</p>
<p><a href="?go=left" ><img src="fsm-left.png"  alt="Left side. "></a
  ><img src="fsm-middle.png" alt=""
  ><a href="?go=right"><img src="fsm-right.png" alt="Right side."></a></p>
4.8.2.1.9 A key part of the content

In some cases, the image is a critical part of the content. This could be the case, for instance, on a page that is part of a photo gallery. The image is the whole point of the page containing it.

How to provide alternative text for an image that is a key part of the content depends on the image's provenance.

The general case

When it is possible for detailed alternative text to be provided, for example if the image is part of a series of screenshots in a magazine review, or part of a comic strip, or is a photograph in a blog entry about that photograph, text that can serve as a substitute for the image must be given as the contents of the alt attribute.

A screenshot in a gallery of screenshots for a new OS, with some alternative text:

<figure>
 <img src="KDE%20Light%20desktop.png"
      alt="The desktop is blue, with icons along the left hand side in
           two columns, reading System, Home, K-Mail, etc. A window is
           open showing that menus wrap to a second line if they
           cannot fit in the window. The window has a list of icons
           along the top, with an address bar below it, a list of
           icons for tabs along the left edge, a status bar on the
           bottom, and two panes in the middle. The desktop has a bar
           at the bottom of the screen with a few buttons, a pager, a
           list of open applications, and a clock.">
 <legend>Screenshot of a KDE desktop.</legend>
</figure>

A graph in a financial report:

<img src="sales.gif"
     title="Sales graph"
     alt="From 1998 to 2005, sales increased by the following percentages
     with each year: 624%, 75%, 138%, 40%, 35%, 9%, 21%">

Note that "sales graph" would be inadequate alternative text for a sales graph. Text that would be a good caption is not generally suitable as replacement text.

Images that defy a complete description

In certain cases, the nature of the image might be such that providing thorough alternative text is impractical. For example, the image could be indistinct, or could be a complex fractal, or could be a detailed topographical map.

In these cases, the alt attribute must contain some suitable alternative text, but it may be somewhat brief.

Sometimes there simply is no text that can do justice to an image. For example, there is little that can be said to usefully describe a Rorschach inkblot test. However, a description, even if brief, is still better than nothing:

<figure>
 <img src="/commons/a/a7/Rorschach1.jpg" alt="A shape with left-right
 symmetry with indistinct edges, with a small gap in the center, two
 larger gaps offset slightly from the center, with two similar gaps
 under them. The outline is wider in the top half than the bottom
 half, with the sides extending upwards higher than the center, and
 the center extending below the sides.">
 <legend>A black outline of the first of the ten cards
 in the Rorschach inkblot test.</legend>
</figure>

Note that the following would be a very bad use of alternative text:

<!-- This example is wrong. Do not copy it. -->
<figure>
 <img src="/commons/a/a7/Rorschach1.jpg" alt="A black outline
 of the first of the ten cards in the Rorschach inkblot test.">
 <legend>A black outline of the first of the ten cards
 in the Rorschach inkblot test.</legend>
</figure>

Including the caption in the alternative text like this isn't useful because it effectively duplicates the caption for users who don't have images, taunting them twice yet not helping them any more than if they had only read or heard the caption once.

Another example of an image that defies full description is a fractal, which, by definition, is infinite in complexity.

The following example shows one possible way of providing alternative text for the full view of an image of the Mandelbrot set.

<img src="ms1.jpeg" alt="The Mandelbrot set appears as a cardioid with
its cusp on the real axis in the positive direction, with a smaller
bulb aligned along the same center line, touching it in the negative
direction, and with these two shapes being surrounded by smaller bulbs
of various sizes.">
Images whose contents are not known

In some unfortunate cases, there might be no alternative text available at all, either because the image is obtained in some automated fashion without any associated alternative text (e.g. a Webcam), or because the page is being generated by a script using user-provided images where the user did not provide suitable or usable alternative text (e.g. photograph sharing sites), or because the author does not himself know what the images represent (e.g. a blind photographer sharing an image on his blog).

In such cases, the alt attribute's value may be omitted, but one of the following conditions must be met as well:

Such cases are to be kept to an absolute minimum. If there is even the slightest possibility of the author having the ability to provide real alternative text, then it would not be acceptable to omit the alt attribute.

A photo on a photo-sharing site, if the site received the image with no metadata other than the caption:

<figure>
 <img src="1100670787_6a7c664aef.jpg">
 <legend>Bubbles traveled everywhere with us.</legend>
</figure>

It could also be marked up like this:

<article>
 <h1>Bubbles traveled everywhere with us.</h1>
 <img src="1100670787_6a7c664aef.jpg">
</article>

In either case, though, it would be better if a detailed description of the important parts of the image obtained from the user and included on the page.

A blind user's blog in which a photo taken by the user is shown. Initially, the user might not have any idea what the photo he took shows:

<article>
 <h1>I took a photo</h1>
 <p>I went out today and took a photo!</p>
 <figure>
  <img src="photo2.jpeg">
  <legend>A photograph taken blindly from my front porch.</legend>
 </figure>
</article>

Eventually though, the user might obtain a description of the image from his friends and could then include alternative text:

<article>
 <h1>I took a photo</h1>
 <p>I went out today and took a photo!</p>
 <figure>
  <img src="photo2.jpeg" alt="The photograph shows my hummingbird
  feeder hanging from the edge of my roof. It is half full, but there
  are no birds around. In the background, out-of-focus trees fill the
  shot. The feeder is made of wood with a metal grate, and it contains
  peanuts. The edge of the roof is wooden too, and is painted white
  with light blue streaks.">
  <legend>A photograph taken blindly from my front porch.</legend>
 </figure>
</article>

Sometimes the entire point of the image is that a textual description is not available, and the user is to provide the description. For instance, the point of a CAPTCHA image is to see if the user can literally read the graphic. Here is one way to mark up a CAPTCHA (note the title attribute):

<p><label>What does this image say?
<img src="captcha.cgi?id=8934" title="CAPTCHA">
<input type=text name=captcha></label>
(If you cannot see the image, you can use an <a
href="?audio">audio</a> test instead.)</p>

Another example would be software that displays images and asks for alternative text precisely for the purpose of then writing a page with correct alternative text. Such a page could have a table of images, like this:

<table>
 <thead>
  <tr> <th> Image <th> Description
 <tbody>
  <tr>
   <td> <img src="2421.png" title="Image 640 by 100, filename 'banner.gif'">
   <td> <input name="alt2421">
  <tr>
   <td> <img src="2422.png" title="Image 200 by 480, filename 'ad3.gif'">
   <td> <input name="alt2422">
</table>

Notice that even in this example, as much useful information as possible is still included in the title attribute.

Since some users cannot use images at all (e.g. because they have a very slow connection, or because they are using a text-only browser, or because they are listening to the page being read out by a hands-free automobile voice Web browser, or simply because they are blind), the alt attribute is only allowed to be omitted rather than being provided with replacement text when no alternative text is available and none can be made available, as in the above examples. Lack of effort from the part of the author is not an acceptable reason for omitting the alt attribute.

4.8.2.1.10 An image not intended for the user

Generally authors should avoid using img elements for purposes other than showing images.

If an img element is being used for purposes other than showing an image, e.g. as part of a service to count page views, then the alt attribute must be the empty string.

4.8.2.1.11 An image in an e-mail or document intended for a specific person who is known to be able to view images

When an image is included in a communication (such as an HTML e-mail) aimed at someone who is known to be able to view images, the alt attribute may be omitted. However, even in such cases it is strongly recommended that alternative text be included (as appropriate according to the kind of image involved, as described in the above entries), so that the e-mail is still usable should the user use a mail client that does not support images, or should the e-mail be forwarded on to other users whose abilities might not include easily seeing images.

4.8.2.1.12 General guidelines

The most general rule for writing alternative text is that the intent is that replacing every image with the text of its alt attribute not change the meaning of the page.

So, in general, alternative text can be written by considering what one would have written had one not been able to include the image.

A corollary to this is that the alt attribute's value should never contain text that could be considered the image's caption, title, or legend. It is supposed to contain replacement text that could be used by users instead of the image; it is not meant to supplement the image. The title attribute can be used for supplemental information.

One way to think of alternative text is to think about how you would read the page containing the image to someone over the phone, without mentioning that there is an image present. Whatever you say instead of the image is typically a good start for writing the alternative text.

4.8.2.1.13 Guidance for markup generators

Markup generators (such as WYSIWYG authoring tools) should, wherever possible, obtain alternative text from their users. However, it is recognised that in many cases, this will not be possible.

For images that are the sole contents of links, markup generators should examine the link target to determine the title of the target, or the URL of the target, and use information obtained in this manner as the alternative text.

As a last resort, implementors should either set the alt attribute to the empty string, under the assumption that the image is a purely decorative image that doesn't add any information but is still specific to the surrounding content, or omit the alt attribute altogther, under the assumption that the image is a key part of the content.

Markup generators should generally avoid using the image's own file name as the alternative text.

4.8.3 The iframe element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Embedded content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where embedded content is expected.
Content model:
Text that conforms to the requirements given in the prose.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src
name
sandbox
seamless
width
height
DOM interface:
interface HTMLIFrameElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString src;
           attribute DOMString name;
           attribute DOMString sandbox;
           attribute boolean seamless;
           attribute DOMString width;
           attribute DOMString height;
};

Objects implementing the HTMLIFrameElement interface must also implement the EmbeddingElement interface defined in the Window Object specification. [WINDOW]

The iframe element represents a nested browsing context.

The src attribute gives the address of a page that the nested browsing context is to contain. The attribute, if present, must be a valid URL. When the browsing context is created, if the attribute is present, the user agent must resolve the value of that attribute, relative to the element, and if that is successful, must then navigate the element's browsing context to the resulting absolute URL, with replacement enabled, and with the iframe element's document's browsing context as the source browsing context. If the user navigates away from this page, the iframe's corresponding WindowProxy object will proxy new Window objects for new Document objects, but the src attribute will not change.

Whenever the src attribute is set, the user agent must resolve the value of that attribute, relative to the element, and if that is successful, the nested browsing context must be navigated to the resulting absolute URL, with the iframe element's document's browsing context as the source browsing context.

If the src attribute is not set when the element is created, or if its value cannot be resolved, the browsing context will remain at the initial about:blank page.

The name attribute, if present, must be a valid browsing context name. When the browsing context is created, if the attribute is present, the browsing context name must be set to the value of this attribute; otherwise, the browsing context name must be set to the empty string.

Whenever the name attribute is set, the nested browsing context's name must be changed to the new value. If the attribute is removed, the browsing context name must be set to the empty string.

When content loads in an iframe, after any load events are fired within the content itself, the user agent must fire a load event at the iframe element. When content fails to load (e.g. due to a network error), then the user agent must fire an error event at the element instead.

When there is an active parser in the iframe, and when anything in the iframe that is delaying the load event in the iframe's browsing context, the iframe must delay the load event.

If, during the handling of the load event, the browsing context in the iframe is again navigated, that will further delay the load event.


The sandbox attribute, when specified, enables a set of extra restrictions on any content hosted by the iframe. Its value must be an unordered set of unique space-separated tokens. The allowed values are allow-same-origin, allow-forms, and allow-scripts.

While the sandbox attribute is specified, the iframe element's nested browsing context, and all the browsing contexts nested within it (either directly or indirectly through other nested browsing contexts) must have the following flags set:

The sandboxed navigation browsing context flag

This flag prevents content from navigating browsing contexts other than the sandboxed browsing context itself (or browsing contexts further nested inside it).

This flag also prevents content from creating new auxiliary browsing contexts, e.g. using the target attribute or the window.open() method.

The sandboxed plugins browsing context flag

This flag prevents content from instantiating plugins, whether using the embed element, the object element, the applet element, or through navigation of a nested browsing context.

The sandboxed origin browsing context flag, unless the sandbox attribute's value, when split on spaces, is found to have the allow-same-origin keyword set

This flag forces content into a unique origin for the purposes of the same-origin policy.

This flag also prevents script from reading the document.cookies DOM attribute.

The allow-same-origin attribute is intended for two cases.

First, it can be used to allow content from the same site to be sandboxed to disable scripting, while still allowing access to the DOM of the sandboxed content.

Second, it can be used to embed content from a third-party site, sandboxed to prevent that site from opening popup windows, etc, without preventing the embedded page from communicating back to its originating site, using the database APIs to store data, etc.

The sandboxed forms browsing context flag, unless the sandbox attribute's value, when split on spaces, is found to have the allow-forms keyword set

This flag blocks form submission.

The sandboxed scripts browsing context flag, unless the sandbox attribute's value, when split on spaces, is found to have the allow-scripts keyword set

This flag blocks script execution.

These flags must not be set unless the conditions listed above define them as being set.

In this example, some completely-unknown, potentially hostile, user-provided HTML content is embedded in a page. Because it is sandboxed, it is treated by the user agent as being from a unique origin, despite the content being served from the same site. Thus it is affected by all the normal cross-site restrictions. In addition, the embedded page has scripting disabled, plugins disabled, forms disabled, and it cannot navigate any frames or windows other than itself (or any frames or windows it itself embeds).

<p>We're not scared of you! Here is your content, unedited:</p>
<iframe sandbox src="getusercontent.cgi?id=12193"></iframe>

Note that cookies are still send to the server in the getusercontent.cgi request, though they are not visible in the document.cookies DOM attribute.

In this example, a gadget from another site is embedded. The gadget has scripting and forms enabled, and the origin sandbox restrictions are lifted, allowing the gadget to communicate with its originating server. The sandbox is still useful, however, as it disables plugins and popups, thus reducing the risk of the user being exposed to malware and other annoyances.

<iframe sandbox="allow-same-origin allow-forms allow-scripts"
        src="http://maps.example.com/embedded.html"></iframe>

The seamless attribute is a boolean attribute. When specified, it indicates that the iframe element's browsing context is to be rendered in a manner that makes it appear to be part of the containing document (seamlessly included in the parent document). Specifically, when the attribute is set on an element and while the browsing context's active document has the same origin as the iframe element's document, or the browsing context's active document's address has the same origin as the iframe element's document, the following requirements apply:

Parts of the above might get moved into the rendering section at some point.

If the attribute is not specified, or if the origin conditions listed above are not met, then the user agent should render the nested browsing context in a manner that is clearly distinguishable as a separate browsing context, and the seamless browsing context flag must be set to false for that browsing context.

It is important that user agents recheck the above conditions whenever the active document of the nested browsing context of the iframe changes, such that the seamless browsing context flag gets unset if the nested browsing context is navigated to another origin.

In this example, the site's navigation is embedded using a client-side include using an iframe. Any links in the iframe will, in new user agents, be automatically opened in the iframe's parent browsing context; for legacy user agents, the site could also include a base element with a target attribute with the value _parent. Similarly, in new user agents the styles of the parent page will be automatically applied to the contents of the frame, but to support legacy user agents authors might wish to include the styles explicitly.

<nav><iframe seamless src="nav.include.html"></iframe></nav>

The iframe element supports dimension attributes for cases where the embedded content has specific dimensions (e.g. ad units have well-defined dimensions).

An iframe element never has fallback content, as it will always create a nested browsing context, regardless of whether the specified initial contents are successfully used.

Descendants of iframe elements represent nothing. (In legacy user agents that do not support iframe elements, the contents would be parsed as markup that could act as fallback content.)

The content model of iframe elements is text, except that the text must be such that ... anyone have any bright ideas?

The HTML parser treats markup inside iframe elements as text.

The DOM attributes src, name, sandbox, and seamless must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

4.8.4 The embed element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Embedded content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where embedded content is expected.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src
type
width
height
Any other attribute that has no namespace (see prose).
DOM interface:
interface HTMLEmbedElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString src;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute DOMString width;
           attribute DOMString height;
};

Depending on the type of content instantiated by the embed element, the node may also support other interfaces.

The embed element represents an integration point for an external (typically non-HTML) application or interactive content.

The src attribute gives the address of the resource being embedded. The attribute, if present, must contain a valid URL.

The type attribute, if present, gives the MIME type of the plugin to instantiate. The value must be a valid MIME type, optionally with parameters. If both the type attribute and the src attribute are present, then the type attribute must specify the same type as the explicit Content-Type metadata of the resource given by the src attribute. [RFC2046]

When the element is created with neither a src attribute nor a type attribute, and when attributes are removed such that neither attribute is present on the element anymore, any plugins instantiated for the element must be removed, and the embed element represents nothing.

When the sandboxed plugins browsing context flag is set on the browsing context for which the embed element's document is the active document, then the user agent must render the embed element in a manner that conveys that the plugin was disabled. The user agent may offer the user the option to override the sandbox and instantiate the plugin anyway; if the user invokes such an option, the user agent must act as if the sandboxed plugins browsing context flag was not set for the purposes of this element.

Plugins are disabled in sandboxed browsing contexts because they might not honor the restrictions imposed by the sandbox (e.g. they might allow scripting even when scripting in the sandbox is disabled). User agents should convey the danger of overriding the sandbox to the user if an option to do so is provided.

When the element is created with a src attribute, and whenever the src attribute is subsequently set, and whenever the type attribute is set or removed while the element has a src attribute, if the element is not in a sandboxed browsing context, user agents must resolve the value of the attribute, relative to the element, and if that is successful, should fetch the resulting absolute URL, find and instantiate an appropriate plugin based on the content's type, and hand that plugin the content of the resource, replacing any previously instantiated plugin for the element.

Fetching the resource must delay the load event.

The type of the content being embedded is defined as follows:

  1. If the element has a type attribute, and that attribute's value is a type that a plugin supports, then the value of the type attribute is the content's type.

  2. Otherwise, if the <path> component of the URL of the specified resource matches a pattern that a plugin supports, then the content's type is the type that that plugin can handle.

    For example, a plugin might say that it can handle resources with <path> components that end with the four character string ".swf".

    It would be better if browsers didn't do extension sniffing like this, and only based their decision on the actual contents of the resource. Couldn't we just apply the sniffed type of a resource steps?

  3. Otherwise, if the specified resource has explicit Content-Type metadata, then that is the content's type.

  4. Otherwise, the content has no type and there can be no appropriate plugin for it.

Whether the resource is fetched successfully or not (e.g. whether the response code was a 2xx code or equivalent) must be ignored when determining the resource's type and when handing the resource to the plugin.

This allows servers to return data for plugins even with error responses (e.g. HTTP 500 Internal Server Error codes can still contain plugin data).

When the element is created with a type attribute and no src attribute, and whenever the type attribute is subsequently set, so long as no src attribute is set, and whenever the src attribute is removed when the element has a type attribute, if the element is not in a sandboxed browsing context, user agents should find and instantiate an appropriate plugin based on the value of the type attribute.

Any (namespace-less) attribute may be specified on the embed element, so long as its name is XML-compatible and contains no characters in the range U+0041 .. U+005A (LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A LATIN CAPITAL LETTER Z).

All attributes in HTML documents get lowercased automatically, so the restriction on uppercase letters doesn't affect such documents.

The user agent should pass the names and values of all the attributes of the embed element that have no namespace to the plugin used, when it is instantiated.

If the plugin instantiated for the embed element supports a scriptable interface, the HTMLEmbedElement object representing the element should expose that interface while the element is instantiated.

The embed element has no fallback content. If the user agent can't find a suitable plugin, then the user agent must use a default plugin. (This default could be as simple as saying "Unsupported Format".)

The embed element supports dimension attributes.

The DOM attributes src and type each must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

4.8.5 The object element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Embedded content.
Listed, submittable, form-associated element.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where embedded content is expected.
Content model:
Zero or more param elements, then, transparent.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
data
type
name
usemap
form
width
height
DOM interface:
interface HTMLObjectElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString data;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute DOMString name;
           attribute DOMString useMap;
  readonly attribute HTMLFormElement form;
           attribute DOMString width;
           attribute DOMString height;
};

Objects implementing the HTMLObjectElement interface must also implement the EmbeddingElement interface defined in the Window Object specification. [WINDOW]

Depending on the type of content instantiated by the object element, the node may also support other interfaces.

The object element can represent an external resource, which, depending on the type of the resource, will either be treated as an image, as a nested browsing context, or as an external resource to be processed by a plugin.

The data attribute, if present, specifies the address of the resource. If present, the attribute must be a valid URL.

The type attribute, if present, specifies the type of the resource. If present, the attribute must be a valid MIME type, optionally with parameters. [RFC2046]

One or both of the data and type attributes must be present.

The name attribute, if present, must be a valid browsing context name.

When the element is created, and subsequently whenever the classid attribute changes or is removed, or, if the classid attribute is not present, whenever the data attribute changes or is removed, or, if neither classid attribute nor the data attribute are present, whenever the type attribute changes or is removed, the user agent must run the following steps to determine what the object element represents:

  1. If the element has an ancestor object element that is not showing its fallback content, then jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

  2. If the classid attribute is present, and has a value that isn't the empty string, then: if the user agent can find a plugin suitable according to the value of the classid attribute, and plugins aren't being sandboxed, then that plugin should be used, and the value of the data attribute, if any, should be passed to the plugin. If no suitable plugin can be found, or if the plugin reports an error, jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

  3. If the data attribute is present, then:

    1. If the type attribute is present and its value is not a type that the user agent supports, and is not a type that the user agent can find a plugin for, then the user agent may jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback) without fetching the content to examine its real type.

    2. Resolve the URL specified by the data attribute, relative to the element.

      If that is successful, fetch the resulting absolute URL.

      The fetching of the resource must delay the load event.

    3. If the resource is not yet available (e.g. because the resource was not available in the cache, so that loading the resource required making a request over the network), then jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback). When the resource becomes available, or if the load fails, restart this algorithm from this step. Resources can load incrementally; user agents may opt to consider a resource "available" whenever enough data has been obtained to begin processing the resource.

    4. If the load failed (e.g. the URL could not be resolved, there was an HTTP 404 error, there was a DNS error), fire an error event at the element, then jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

    5. Determine the resource type, as follows:

      1. Let the resource type be unknown.

      2. If the resource has associated Content-Type metadata, then let the resource type be the type specified in the resource's Content-Type metadata.

      3. If the resource type is unknown or "application/octet-stream" and there is a type attribute present on the object element, then change the resource type to instead be the type specified in that type attribute.

        Otherwise, if the resource type is "application/octet-stream" but there is no type attribute on the object element, then change the resource type to be unknown, so that the sniffing rules in the next step are invoked.

      4. If the resource type is still unknown, then change the resource type to instead be the sniffed type of the resource.

    6. Handle the content as given by the first of the following cases that matches:

      If the resource type can be handled by a plugin and plugins aren't being sandboxed

      The user agent should use that plugin and pass the content of the resource to that plugin. If the plugin reports an error, then jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

      If the resource type is an XML MIME type
      If the resource type is HTML
      If the resource type does not start with "image/"

      The object element must be associated with a nested browsing context, if it does not already have one. The element's nested browsing context must then be navigated to the given resource, with replacement enabled, and with the object element's document's browsing context as the source browsing context. (The data attribute of the object element doesn't get updated if the browsing context gets further navigated to other locations.)

      The object element represents the nested browsing context.

      If the name attribute is present, the browsing context name must be set to the value of this attribute; otherwise, the browsing context name must be set to the empty string.

      navigation might end up treating it as something else, because it can do sniffing. how should we handle that? it could also refetch the resource entirely, maybe from another application cache.

      If the resource type starts with "image/", and support for images has not been disabled

      Apply the image sniffing rules to determine the type of the image.

      The object element represents the specified image. The image is not a nested browsing context.

      If the image cannot be rendered, e.g. because it is malformed or in an unsupported format, jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

      Otherwise

      The given resource type is not supported. Jump to the last step in the overall set of steps (fallback).

    7. The element's contents are not part of what the object element represents.

    8. Once the resource is completely loaded, fire a load event at the element.

  4. If the data attribute is absent but the type attribute is present, plugins aren't being sandboxed, and the user agent can find a plugin suitable according to the value of the type attribute, then that plugin should be used. If no suitable plugin can be found, or if the plugin reports an error, jump to the next step (fallback).

  5. (Fallback.) The object element represents the element's children, ignoring any leading param element children. This is the element's fallback content.

When the algorithm above instantiates a plugin, the user agent should pass the names and values of all the attributes on the element, and all the names and values of parameters given by param elements that are children of the object element, in tree order, to the plugin used. If the plugin supports a scriptable interface, the HTMLObjectElement object representing the element should expose that interface. The object element represents the plugin. The plugin is not a nested browsing context.

If the sandboxed plugins browsing context flag is set on the browsing context for which the object element's document is the active document, then the steps above must always act as if they had failed to find a plugin, even if one would otherwise have been used.

Due to the algorithm above, the contents of object elements act as fallback content, used only when referenced resources can't be shown (e.g. because it returned a 404 error). This allows multiple object elements to be nested inside each other, targeting multiple user agents with different capabilities, with the user agent picking the first one it supports.

Whenever the name attribute is set, if the object element has a nested browsing context, its name must be changed to the new value. If the attribute is removed, if the object element has a browsing context, the browsing context name must be set to the empty string.

The usemap attribute, if present while the object element represents an image, can indicate that the object has an associated image map. The attribute must be ignored if the object element doesn't represent an image.

The form attribute is used to explicitly associate the object element with its form owner.

Constraint validation: object elements are always barred from constraint validation.

The object element supports dimension attributes.

The DOM attributes data, type, name, and useMap each must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

In the following example, a Java applet is embedded in a page using the object element. (Generally speaking, it is better to avoid using applets like these and instead use native JavaScript and HTML to provide the functionality, since that way the application will work on all Web browsers without requiring a third-party plugin. Many devices, especially embedded devices, do not support third-party technologies like Java.)

<figure>
 <object type="application/x-java-applet">
  <param name="code" value="MyJavaClass">
  <p>You do not have Java available, or it is disabled.</p>
 </object>
 <legend>My Java Clock</legend>
</figure>

In this example, an HTML page is embedded in another using the object element.

<figure>
 <object data="clock.html"></object>
 <legend>My HTML Clock</legend>
</figure>

4.8.6 The param element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
As a child of an object element, before any flow content.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
name
value
DOM interface:
interface HTMLParamElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString name;
           attribute DOMString value;
};

The param element defines parameters for plugins invoked by object elements. It does not represent anything on its own.

The name attribute gives the name of the parameter.

The value attribute gives the value of the parameter.

Both attributes must be present. They may have any value.

If both attributes are present, and if the parent element of the param is an object element, then the element defines a parameter with the given name/value pair.

The DOM attributes name and value must both reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

4.8.7 The video element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Embedded content.
If the element has a controls attribute: Interactive content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where embedded content is expected.
Content model:
If the element has a src attribute: transparent.
If the element does not have a src attribute: one or more source elements, then, transparent.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src
poster
autoplay
loop
controls
width
height
DOM interface:
interface HTMLVideoElement : HTMLMediaElement {
           attribute DOMString width;
           attribute DOMString height;
  readonly attribute unsigned long videoWidth;
  readonly attribute unsigned long videoHeight;
           attribute DOMString poster;
};

A video element represents a video or movie.

Content may be provided inside the video element. User agents should not show this content to the user; it is intended for older Web browsers which do not support video, so that legacy video plugins can be tried, or to show text to the users of these older browser informing them of how to access the video contents.

In particular, this content is not fallback content intended to address accessibility concerns. To make video content accessible to the blind, deaf, and those with other physical or cognitive disabilities, authors are expected to provide alternative media streams and/or to embed accessibility aids (such as caption or subtitle tracks) into their media streams.

The video element is a media element whose media data is ostensibly video data, possibly with associated audio data.

The src, autoplay, loop, and controls attributes are the attributes common to all media elements.

The poster attribute gives the address of an image file that the user agent can show while no video data is available. The attribute, if present, must contain a valid URL. If the specified resource is to be used, then, when the element is created or when the poster attribute is set, its value must be resolved relative to the element, and if that is successful, the resulting absolute URL must be fetched. The poster frame is then the image obtained from that resource, if any.

The image given by the poster attribute, the poster frame, is intended to be a representative frame of the video (typically one of the first non-blank frames) that gives the user an idea of what the video is like.

The poster DOM attribute must reflect the poster content attribute.


When no video data is available (the element's readyState attribute is either HAVE_NOTHING or HAVE_METADATA), the video element represents either the poster frame, or nothing.

When a video element is paused and the current playback position is the first frame of video, the element represents either the frame of video corresponding to the current playback position or the poster frame, at the discretion of the user agent.

Notwithstanding the above, the poster frame should be preferred over nothing, but the poster frame should not be shown again after a frame of video has been shown.

When a video element is paused at any other position, the element represents the frame of video corresponding to the current playback position, or, if that is not yet available (e.g. because the video is seeking or buffering), the last frame of the video to have been rendered.

When a video element is potentially playing, it represents the frame of video at the continuously increasing "current" position. When the current playback position changes such that the last frame rendered is no longer the frame corresponding to the current playback position in the video, the new frame must be rendered. Similarly, any audio associated with the video must, if played, be played synchronized with the current playback position, at the specified volume with the specified mute state.

When a video element is neither potentially playing nor paused (e.g. when seeking or stalled), the element represents the last frame of the video to have been rendered.

Which frame in a video stream corresponds to a particular playback position is defined by the video stream's format.

In addition to the above, the user agent may provide messages to the user (such as "buffering", "no video loaded", "error", or more detailed information) by overlaying text or icons on the video or other areas of the element's playback area, or in another appropriate manner.

User agents that cannot render the video may instead make the element represent a link to an external video playback utility or to the video data itself.


The intrinsic width and intrinsic height of the media resource are the dimensions of the resource in CSS pixels after taking into account the resource's dimensions, aspect ratio, clean aperture, resolution, and so forth, as defined for the format used by the resource.

The videoWidth DOM attribute must return the intrinsic width of the video in CSS pixels. The videoHeight DOM attribute must return the intrinsic height of the video in CSS pixels. If the element's readyState attribute is HAVE_NOTHING, then the attributes must return 0.

The video element supports dimension attributes.

Video content should be rendered inside the element's playback area such that the video content is shown centered in the playback area at the largest possible size that fits completely within it, with the video content's aspect ratio being preserved. Thus, if the aspect ratio of the playback area does not match the aspect ratio of the video, the video will be shown letterboxed or pillarboxed. Areas of the element's playback area that do not contain the video represent nothing.

The intrinsic width of a video element's playback area is the intrinsic width of the video resource, if that is available; otherwise it is the intrinsic width of the poster frame, if that is available; otherwise it is 300 CSS pixels.

The intrinsic height of a video element's playback area is the intrinsic height of the video resource, if that is available; otherwise it is the intrinsic height of the poster frame, if that is available; otherwise it is 150 CSS pixels.


User agents should provide controls to enable or disable the display of closed captions associated with the video stream, though such features should, again, not interfere with the page's normal rendering.

User agents may allow users to view the video content in manners more suitable to the user (e.g. full-screen or in an independent resizable window). As for the other user interface features, controls to enable this should not interfere with the page's normal rendering unless the user agent is exposing a user interface. In such an independent context, however, user agents may make full user interfaces visible, with, e.g., play, pause, seeking, and volume controls, even if the controls attribute is absent.

User agents may allow video playback to affect system features that could interfere with the user's experience; for example, user agents could disable screensavers while video playback is in progress.

User agents should not provide a public API to cause videos to be shown full-screen. A script, combined with a carefully crafted video file, could trick the user into thinking a system-modal dialog had been shown, and prompt the user for a password. There is also the danger of "mere" annoyance, with pages launching full-screen videos when links are clicked or pages navigated. Instead, user-agent specific interface features may be provided to easily allow the user to obtain a full-screen playback mode.

The spec does not currently define the interaction of the "controls" attribute with the "height" and "width" attributes. This will likely be defined in the rendering section based on implementation experience. So far, browsers seem to be making the controls overlay-only, thus somewhat sidestepping the issue.

4.8.7.1 Video and audio codecs for video elements

User agents may support any video and audio codecs and container formats.

It would be helpful for interoperability if all browsers could support the same codecs. However, there are no known codecs that satisfy all the current players: we need a codec that is known to not require per-unit or per-distributor licensing, that is compatible with the open source development model, that is of sufficient quality as to be usable, and that is not an additional submarine patent risk for large companies. This is an ongoing issue and this section will be updated once more information is available.

Certain user agents might support no codecs at all, e.g. text browsers running over SSH connections.

4.8.8 The audio element

Categories
Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Embedded content.
If the element has a controls attribute: Interactive content.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
Where embedded content is expected.
Content model:
If the element has a src attribute: transparent.
If the element does not have a src attribute: one or more source elements, then, transparent.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src
autoplay
loop
controls
DOM interface:
[NamedConstructor=Audio(),
 NamedConstructor=Audio(in DOMString src)]
interface HTMLAudioElement : HTMLMediaElement {
  // no members
};

An audio element represents a sound or audio stream.

Content may be provided inside the audio element. User agents should not show this content to the user; it is intended for older Web browsers which do not support audio, so that legacy audio plugins can be tried, or to show text to the users of these older browser informing them of how to access the audio contents.

In particular, this content is not fallback content intended to address accessibility concerns. To make audio content accessible to the deaf or to those with other physical or cognitive disabilities, authors are expected to provide alternative media streams and/or to embed accessibility aids (such as transcriptions) into their media streams.

The audio element is a media element whose media data is ostensibly audio data.

The src, autoplay, loop, and controls attributes are the attributes common to all media elements.

When an audio element is potentially playing, it must have its audio data played synchronized with the current playback position, at the specified volume with the specified mute state.

When an audio element is not potentially playing, audio must not play for the element.

Two constructors are provided for creating HTMLAudioElement objects (in addition to the factory methods from DOM Core such as createElement()): Audio() and Audio(src). When invoked as constructors, these must return a new HTMLAudioElement object (a new audio element). If the src argument is present, the object created must have its src content attribute set to the provided value, and the user agent must invoke the load() method on the object before returning.

4.8.8.1 Audio codecs for audio elements

User agents may support any audio codecs and container formats.

User agents must support the WAVE container format with audio encoded using the PCM format.

4.8.9 The source element

Categories
None.
Contexts in which this element may be used:
As a child of a media element, before any flow content.
Content model:
Empty.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
src
type
media
DOM interface:
interface HTMLSourceElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute DOMString src;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute DOMString media;
};

The source element allows authors to specify multiple media resources for media elements. It does not represent anything on its own.

The src attribute gives the address of the media resource. The value must be a valid URL. This attribute must be present.

The type attribute gives the type of the media resource, to help the user agent determine if it can play this media resource before fetching it. If specified, its value must be a MIME type. The codecs parameter may be specified and might be necessary to specify exactly how the resource is encoded. [RFC2046] [RFC4281]

The following list shows some examples of how to use the codecs= MIME parameter in the type attribute.

H.264 Simple baseline profile video (main and extended video compatible) level 3 and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src="video.mp4" type="video/mp4; codecs=&quot;avc1.42E01E, mp4a.40.2&quot;">
H.264 Extended profile video (baseline-compatible) level 3 and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src="video.mp4" type="video/mp4; codecs=&quot;avc1.58A01E, mp4a.40.2&quot;">
H.264 Main profile video level 3 and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src="video.mp4" type="video/mp4; codecs=&quot;avc1.4D401E, mp4a.40.2&quot;">
H.264 "High" profile video (incompatible with main, baseline, or extended profiles) level 3 and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src="video.mp4" type="video/mp4; codecs=&quot;avc1.64001E, mp4a.40.2&quot;">
MPEG-4 Visual Simple Profile Level 0 video and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src="video.mp4" type="video/mp4; codecs=&quot;mp4v.20.8, mp4a.40.2&quot;">
MPEG-4 Advanced Simple Profile Level 0 video and Low-Complexity AAC audio in MP4 container
<source src="video.mp4" type="video/mp4; codecs=&quot;mp4v.20.240, mp4a.40.2&quot;">
MPEG-4 Visual Simple Profile Level 0 video and AMR audio in 3GPP container
<source src="video.3gp" type="video/3gpp; codecs=&quot;mp4v.20.8, samr&quot;">
Theora video and Vorbis audio in Ogg container
<source src="video.ogv" type="video/ogg; codecs=&quot;theora, vorbis&quot;">
Theora video and Speex audio in Ogg container
<source src="video.ogv" type="video/ogg; codecs=&quot;theora, speex&quot;">
Vorbis audio alone in Ogg container
<source src="audio.ogg" type="audio/ogg; codecs=vorbis">
Speex audio alone in Ogg container
<source src="audio.spx" type="audio/ogg; codecs=speex">
FLAC audio alone in Ogg container
<source src="audio.oga" type="audio/ogg; codecs=flac">
Dirac video and Vorbis audio in Ogg container
<source src="video.ogv" type="video/ogg; codecs=&quot;dirac, vorbis&quot;">
Theora video and Vorbis audio in Matroska container
<source src="video.mkv" type="video/x-matroska; codecs=&quot;theora, vorbis&quot;">

The media attribute gives the intended media type of the media resource, to help the user agent determine if this media resource is useful to the user before fetching it. Its value must be a valid media query. [MQ]

If a source element is inserted into a media element that is already in a document and whose networkState is in the NETWORK_EMPTY state, the user agent must queue a task that implicitly invokes the load() method on the media element, and ignores any resulting exceptions. The task source for this task is the media element's own media element new resource task source.

The DOM attributes src, type, and media must reflect the respective content attributes of the same name.

4.8.10 Media elements

Media elements implement the following interface:

interface HTMLMediaElement : HTMLElement {

  // error state
  readonly attribute MediaError error;

  // network state
           attribute DOMString src;
  readonly attribute DOMString currentSrc;
  const unsigned short NETWORK_EMPTY = 0;
  const unsigned short NETWORK_IDLE = 1;
  const unsigned short NETWORK_LOADING = 2;
  const unsigned short NETWORK_LOADED = 3;
  readonly attribute unsigned short networkState;
  readonly attribute float bufferingRate;
  readonly attribute boolean bufferingThrottled;
  readonly attribute TimeRanges buffered;
  void load();
  DOMString canPlayType(in DOMString type);

  // ready state
  const unsigned short HAVE_NOTHING = 0;
  const unsigned short HAVE_METADATA = 1;
  const unsigned short HAVE_CURRENT_DATA = 2;
  const unsigned short HAVE_FUTURE_DATA = 3;
  const unsigned short HAVE_ENOUGH_DATA = 4;
  readonly attribute unsigned short readyState;
  readonly attribute boolean seeking;

  // playback state
           attribute float currentTime;
  readonly attribute float duration;
  readonly attribute boolean paused;
           attribute float defaultPlaybackRate;
           attribute float playbackRate;
  readonly attribute TimeRanges played;
  readonly attribute TimeRanges seekable;
  readonly attribute boolean ended;
           attribute boolean autoplay;
           attribute boolean loop;
  void play();
  void pause();

  // cue ranges
  void addCueRange(in DOMString className, in DOMString id, in float start, in float end, in boolean pauseOnExit, in CueRangeCallback enterCallback, in CueRangeCallback exitCallback);
  void removeCueRanges(in DOMString className);

  // controls
           attribute boolean controls;
           attribute float volume;
           attribute boolean muted;
};

[Callback=FunctionOnly, NoInterfaceObject]
interface CueRangeCallback {
  void handleEvent(in DOMString id);
};

The media element attributes, src, autoplay, loop, and controls, apply to all media elements. They are defined in this section.

Media elements are used to present audio data, or video and audio data, to the user. This is referred to as media data in this section, since this section applies equally to media elements for audio or for video. The term media resource is used to refer to the complete set of media data, e.g. the complete video file, or complete audio file.

Media elements use two task queues, the media element event task source for asynchronous events and callbacks, and the media element new resource task source for handling implicit loads. Unless otherwise specified, the task source for all the tasks queued in this section and its subsections is the media element event task source.

4.8.10.1 Error codes

All media elements have an associated error status, which records the last error the element encountered since the load() method was last invoked. The error attribute, on getting, must return the MediaError object created for this last error, or null if there has not been an error.

interface MediaError {
  const unsigned short MEDIA_ERR_ABORTED = 1;
  const unsigned short MEDIA_ERR_NETWORK = 2;
  const unsigned short MEDIA_ERR_DECODE = 3;
  const unsigned short MEDIA_ERR_NONE_SUPPORTED = 4;
  readonly attribute unsigned short code;
};

The code attribute of a MediaError object must return the code for the error, which must be one of the following:

MEDIA_ERR_ABORTED (numeric value 1)
The fetching process for the media resource was aborted by the user agent at the user's request.
MEDIA_ERR_NETWORK (numeric value 2)
A network error of some description caused the user agent to stop fetching the media resource, after the resource was established to be usable.
MEDIA_ERR_DECODE (numeric value 3)
An error of some description occurred while decoding the media resource, after the resource was established to be usable.
MEDIA_ERR_NONE_SUPPORTED (numeric value 4)
No suitable media resource could be found.
4.8.10.2 Location of the media resource

The src content attribute on media elements gives the address of the media resource (video, audio) to show. The attribute, if present, must contain a valid URL.

If the src attribute of a media element that is already in a document and whose networkState is in the NETWORK_EMPTY state is added, changed, or removed, the user agent must queue a task that implicitly invokes the load() method on the media element, and ignores any resulting exceptions. The task source for this task is the media element's own media element new resource task source.

If a src attribute is specified, the resource it specifies is the media resource that will be used. Otherwise, the resource specified by the first suitable source element child of the media element is the one used.

The src DOM attribute on media elements must reflect the respective content attribute of the same name.

The currentSrc DOM attribute is initially the empty string. Its value is changed by the algorithm for the load() method defined below.

To generate the list of potential media resources for a media element, a user agent must use the following steps. These steps return a list of absolute URLs giving a resource's address.

  1. If the media element has a src attribute, then run these substeps:

    1. Resolve the URL given in that attribute, relative to the media element.

    2. If that is successful, then return a list consisting of only one entry, the resulting absolute URL as the resource's address.

    3. Otherwise, return the empty list.

    4. Abort the algorithm.

    Otherwise, the source elements will be used.

  2. If the media element has no source element children, then return the empty the list and abort these steps.

  3. Let result be an empty list.

  4. Let candidate be the first source element child in the media element.

  5. Loop: this is the start of the loop that looks at the source elements.

  6. If all the following conditions are true:

    ...then append the absolute URL resulting from resolving the URL given in that candidate element's src attribute relative to candidate to the result list.

  7. Let candidate be the next source element child in the media element, or null if there are no more such children.

  8. If candidate is not null, return to the step labeled loop.

  9. Return result.

4.8.10.3 Media types

A media resource can be described in terms of its type, specifically a MIME type, optionally with a codecs parameter. [RFC2046] [RFC4281].

Types are usually somewhat incomplete descriptions; for example "video/mpeg" doesn't say anything except what the container type is, and even a type like "video/mp4; codecs="avc1.42E01E, mp4a.40.2"" doesn't include information like the actual bitrate (only the maximum bitrate). Thus, given a type, a user agent can often only know whether it might be able to play media of that type (with varying levels of confidence), or whether it definitely cannot play media of that type.

A type that the user agent knows it cannot render is one that describes a resource that the user agent definitely does not support, for example because it doesn't recognise the container type, or it doesn't support the listed codecs.

The canPlayType(type) method must return the string "no" if type is a type that the user agent knows it cannot render; it must return "probably" if the user agent is confident that the type represents a media resource that it can render if used in with this audio or video element; and it must return "maybe" otherwise. Implementors are encouraged to return "maybe" unless the type can be confidently established as being supported or not. Generally, a user agent should never return "probably" if the type doesn't have a codecs parameter.

This script tests to see if the user agent supports a (fictional) new format to dynamically decide whether to use a video element or a plugin:

<section id="video">
 <p><a href="playing-cats.nfv">Download video</a></p>
</section>
<script>
 var videoSection = document.getElementById('video');
 var videoElement = document.createElement('video');
 var support = videoElement.canPlayType('video/x-new-fictional-format;codecs="kittens,bunnies"');
 if (support != "probably" && "New Fictional Video Plug-in" in navigator.plugins) {
   // not confident of browser support
   // but we have a plugin
   // so use plugin instead
   videoElement = document.createElement("embed");
 } else if (support == "no") {
   // no support from browser and no plugin
   // do nothing
   videoElement = null;
 }
 if (videoElement) {
   while (videoSection.hasChildNodes())
     videoSection.removeChild(videoSection.firstChild);
   videoElement.setAttribute("src", "playing-cats.nfv");
   videoSection.appendChild(videoElement);
 }
</script>

To express the type of a media resource to allow the user agent to avoid downloading resources it can't render, authors can use the source element's type attribute.

4.8.10.4 Network states

As media elements interact with the network, their current network activity is represented by the networkState attribute. On getting, it must return the current network state of the element, which must be one of the following values:

NETWORK_EMPTY (numeric value 0)
The element has not yet been initialized. All attributes are in their initial states.
NETWORK_IDLE (numeric value 1)
The element's load() method algorithm is active, but it is not actually using the network at this time.
NETWORK_LOADING (numeric value 2)
The user agent is actively trying to download data.
NETWORK_LOADED (numeric value 3)
The entire media resource has been obtained and is available to the user agent locally. Network connectivity could be lost without affecting the media playback.

The algorithm for the load() method defined below describes exactly when the networkState attribute changes value and what events fire to indicate changes in this state.

Some resources, e.g. streaming Web radio, can never reach the NETWORK_LOADED state.

4.8.10.5 Loading the media resource

All media elements have a begun flag, which must begin in the false state, and an autoplaying flag, which must begin in the true state.

When the load() method on a media element is invoked, the user agent must run the following steps. Note that this algorithm might get aborted, e.g. if the load() method itself is invoked again.

  1. If there are any tasks from the media element's media element new resource task source or its media element event task source in one of the task queues, then remove those tasks.

    Basically, pending events, callbacks, and loads for the media element are discarded when the media element starts loading a new resource.

  2. Abort any already-running instance of this algorithm for this element. If those method calls have not yet returned, they must finish the step they are on, and then immediately return. This is not blocking; this algorithm must not wait for the earlier instances to abort before continuing.

  3. If the element's begun flag is true, then set the begun flag to false, set the error attribute to a new MediaError object whose code attribute is set to MEDIA_ERR_ABORTED, and fire a progress event called abort at the media element.

  4. Set the error attribute to null and the autoplaying flag to true.

  5. Set the playbackRate attribute to the value of the defaultPlaybackRate attribute.

  6. If the media element's networkState is not set to NETWORK_EMPTY, then run these substeps:

    1. If a fetching process is in progress for the media element, the user agent should stop it.

    2. Set the networkState attribute to NETWORK_EMPTY.
    3. If readyState is not set to HAVE_NOTHING, then set it to that state.
    4. If the paused attribute is false, then set to true.
    5. If seeking is true, set it to false.
    6. Set the current playback position to 0.
    7. Fire a simple event called emptied at the media element.
  7. Generate the list of potential media resources and let the resulting list be candidates.

  8. Set the networkState to NETWORK_LOADING.

  9. Set the begun flag to true and queue a task to fire a progress event called loadstart at the media element.

  10. The method must return, but these steps must continue.

    Playback of any previously playing media resource for this element stops.

  11. Candidate loop: For each item in candidates, if any, and in the same order as they were added to the list, run the following steps:

    1. Let the current media resource be the resource given by the absolute URL for the current item in candidates. This is now the element's media resource.

    2. Set the currentSrc attribute to the absolute URL of the current media resource.

    3. Begin to fetch the current media resource.

      Every 350ms (±200ms) or for every byte received, whichever is least frequent, queue a task to fire a progress event called progress at the element.

      If at any point the user agent has received no data for more than about three seconds, then queue a task to fire a progress event called stalled at the element.

      User agents may allow users to selectively block or slow media data downloads. When a media element's download has been blocked altogether, the user agent must act as if it was stalled (as opposed to acting as if the connection was closed). The rate of the download may also be throttled automatically by the user agent, e.g. to balance the download with other connections sharing the same bandwidth.

      User agents may decide to not download more content at any time, e.g. after buffering five minutes of a one hour media resource, while waiting for the user to decide whether to play the resource or not, or while waiting for user input in an interactive resource. When a media element's download has been suspended, the user agent must set the networkState to NETWORK_IDLE and queue a task to fire a progress event called suspend at the element. If and when downloading of the resource resumes, the user agent must set the networkState to NETWORK_LOADING.

      The user agent may use whatever means necessary to fetch the resource (within the constraints put forward by this and other specifications); for example, reconnecting to the server in the face of network errors, using HTTP partial range requests, or switching to a streaming protocol. The user agent must consider a resource erroneous only if it has given up trying to fetch it.

      The networking task source tasks to process the data as it is being fetched must, when appropriate, include the relevant substeps from the following list:

      If the media data cannot be fetched at all, due to network errors, causing the user agent to give up trying to fetch the resource
      If the media data can be fetched but is in an unsupported format, or can otherwise not be rendered at all

      DNS errors, HTTP 4xx and 5xx errors (and equivalents in other protocols), and other fatal network errors that occur before the user agent has established whether the current media resource is usable, as well as the file using an unsupported container format, or using unsupported codecs for all the data, must cause the user agent to execute the following steps:

      1. The user agent should cancel the fetching process.

      2. If there are more items in the candidates list, then move on to the next one, jumping back to the top of the candidate loop; otherwise, jump to the final step in the overall algorithm (the failure step).

      Once enough of the media data has been fetched to determine the duration of the media resource, its dimensions, and other metadata

      This indicates that the resource is usable. The user agent must follow these substeps:

      1. Set the current playback position to the earliest possible position.

      2. Set the readyState attribute to HAVE_METADATA.

      3. For video elements, set the videoWidth and videoHeight attributes.

      4. Set the duration attribute to the duration of the resource.

        The user agent will queue a task to fire a simple event called durationchange at the element at this point.

      5. Queue a task to fire a simple event called loadedmetadata at the element.

      6. If either the media resource or the address of the current media resource indicate a particular start time, then seek to that time. Ignore any resulting exceptions (if the position is out of range, it is effectively ignored).

        For example, a fragment identifier could be used to indicate a start position.

      The user agent is required to determine the duration of the media resource and go through this step before playing.

      If the connection is interrupted, causing the user agent to give up trying to fetch the resource

      Fatal network errors that occur after the user agent has established whether the current media resource is usable must cause the user agent to execute the following steps:

      1. The user agent should cancel the fetching process.
      2. Set the error attribute to a new MediaError object whose code attribute is set to MEDIA_ERR_NETWORK.
      3. Set the begun flag to false and queue a task to fire a progress event called error at the media element.
      4. Set the element's networkState attribute to the NETWORK_EMPTY value and queue a task to fire a simple event called emptied at the element.
      5. Abort the overall load() method algorithm.
      If the media data is corrupted

      Fatal errors in decoding the media data that occur after the user agent has established whether the current media resource is usable must cause the user agent to execute the following steps:

      1. The user agent should cancel the fetching process.
      2. Set the error attribute to a new MediaError object whose code attribute is set to MEDIA_ERR_DECODE.
      3. Set the begun flag to false and queue a task to fire a progress event called error at the media element.
      4. Set the element's networkState attribute to the NETWORK_EMPTY value and queue a task to fire a simple event called emptied at the element.
      5. Abort the overall load() method algorithm.
      If the media data fetching process is aborted by the user

      The fetching process is aborted by the user, e.g. because the user navigated the browsing context to another page, the user agent must execute the following steps. These steps are not followed if the load() method itself is reinvoked, as the steps above handle that particular kind of abort.

      1. The user agent should cancel the fetching process.
      2. Set the error attribute to a new MediaError object whose code attribute is set to MEDIA_ERR_ABORT.
      3. Set the begun flag to false and queue a task to fire a progress event called abort at the media element.
      4. If the media element's readyState attribute has a value equal to HAVE_NOTHING, set the element's networkState attribute to the NETWORK_EMPTY value and queue a task to fire a simple event called emptied at the element. (If the readyState attribute has a value greater than HAVE_NOTHING, then this doesn't happen; the available data, if any, will be playable.)
      5. Abort the overall load() method algorithm.
      If the media data can be fetched but has non-fatal errors or uses, in part, codecs that are unsupported, preventing the user agent from rendering the content completely correctly but not preventing playback altogether

      The server returning data that is partially usable but cannot be optimally rendered must cause the user agent to execute the following steps.

      1. Should we fire a 'warning' event? Set the 'error' flag to 'MEDIA_ERR_SUBOPTIMAL' or something?

      When the user agent has completely fetched of the entire media resource, it must move on to the next step. This might never happen, e.g. when streaming an infinite resource such as Web radio.

    4. If the fetching process completes without errors, then set the begun flag to false, set the networkState attribute to NETWORK_LOADED, and queue a task to fire a progress event called load at the element.

    5. Then, abort the overall load() method algorithm.
  12. Failure step: No usable resource was found. Run the following steps:

    1. Set the error attribute to a new MediaError object whose code attribute is set to MEDIA_ERR_NONE_SUPPORTED.
    2. Set the begun flag to false and queue a task to fire a progress event called error at the media element.
    3. Set the element's networkState attribute to the NETWORK_EMPTY value and queue a task to fire a simple event called emptied at the element.

If a media element whose networkState has the value NETWORK_EMPTY is inserted into a document, the user agent must queue a task that implicitly invokes the load() method on the media element, and ignores any resulting exceptions. The task source for this task is the media element's own media element new resource task source.

The bufferingRate attribute must return the average number of bits received per second for the current download over the past few seconds. If there is no download in progress, the attribute must return 0.

The bufferingThrottled attribute must return true if the user agent is intentionally throttling the bandwidth used by the download (including when throttling to zero to pause the download altogether), and false otherwise.

The buffered attribute must return a new static normalized TimeRanges object that represents the ranges of the media resource, if any, that the user agent has buffered, at the time the attribute is evaluated. Users agents must accurately determine the ranges available, even for media streams where this can only be determined by tedious inspection.

Typically this will be a single range anchored at the zero point, but if, e.g. the user agent uses HTTP range requests in response to seeking, then there could be multiple ranges.

User agents may discard previously buffered data.

Thus, a time position included within a range of the objects return by the buffered attribute at one time can end up being not included in the range(s) of objects returned by the same attribute at later times.

4.8.10.6 Offsets into the media resource

The duration attribute must return the length of the media resource, in seconds. If no media data is available, then the attributes must return the Not-a-Number (NaN) value. If the media resource is known to be unbounded (e.g. a streaming radio), then the attribute must return the positive Infinity value.

The user agent must determine the duration of the media resource before playing any part of the media data and before setting readyState to a value equal to or greater than HAVE_METADATA, even if doing so requires seeking to multiple parts of the resource.

When the length of the media resource changes (e.g. from being unknown to known, or from a previously established length to a new length) the user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called durationchange at the media element.

If an "infinite" stream ends for some reason, then the duration would change from positive Infinity to the time of the last frame or sample in the stream, and the durationchange event would be fired. Similarly, if the user agent initially estimated the media resource's duration instead of determining it precisely, and later revises the estimate based on new information, then the duration would change and the durationchange event would be fired.

Media elements have a current playback position, which must initially be zero. The current position is a time.

The currentTime attribute must, on getting, return the current playback position, expressed in seconds. On setting, the user agent must seek to the new value (which might raise an exception).

If the media resource is a streaming resource, then the user agent might be unable to obtain certain parts of the resource after it has expired from its buffer. The earliest possible position is the earliest position in the stream that the user agent can ever obtain again.

When the earliest possible position changes, if the the current playback position is before the earliest possible position, the user agent must seek to the earliest possible position.

The loop attribute is a boolean attribute that, if specified, indicates that the media element is to seek back to the start of the media resource upon reaching the end.

The loop DOM attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name.

4.8.10.7 The ready states

Media elements have a ready state, which describes to what degree they are ready to be rendered at the current playback position. The possible values are as follows; the ready state of a media element at any particular time is the greatest value describing the state of the element:

HAVE_NOTHING (numeric value 0)
No information regardig the media resource is available. No data for the current playback position is available. Media elements whose networkState attribute is NETWORK_EMPTY are always in the HAVE_NOTHING state.
HAVE_METADATA (numeric value 1)
Enough of the resource has been obtained that the duration of the resource is available. In the case of a video element, the dimensions of the video are also available. The API will no longer raise an exception when seeking. No media data is available for the immediate current playback position.
HAVE_CURRENT_DATA (numeric value 2)
Data for the immediate current playback position is available, but not enough data is available that the user agent could successfully advance the current playback position at all without immediately reverting to the HAVE_METADATA state. For example, in video this corresponds to the user agent having data from the current frame, but not the next frame.
HAVE_FUTURE_DATA (numeric value 3)
Data for the immediate current playback position is available, as well as enough data for the user agent to advance the current playback position at least a little without immediately reverting to the HAVE_METADATA state. For example, In video this corresponds to the user agent having data for at least the current frame and the next frame.
HAVE_ENOUGH_DATA (numeric value 4)
Data for the immediate current playback position is available, as well as enough data for the user agent to advance the current playback position at least a little without immediately reverting to the HAVE_METADATA state, and, in addition, the user agent estimates that data is being fetched at a rate where the current playback position, if it were to advance at the rate given by the defaultPlaybackRate attribute, would not overtake the available data before playback reaches the end of the media resource.

When the ready state of a media element whose networkState is not NETWORK_EMPTY changes, the user agent must follow the steps given below:

If the prevous ready state was HAVE_NOTHING, and the new ready state is HAVE_METADATA

A loadedmetadata DOM event will be fired as part of the load() algorithm.

If the prevous ready state was HAVE_METADATA and the new ready state is HAVE_CURRENT_DATA

If this is the first time this occurs for this media element since the load() algorithm was last invoked, the user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called loadeddata at the element.

If the prevous ready state was HAVE_FUTURE_DATA or more, and the new ready state is HAVE_CURRENT_DATA or less

A waiting DOM event can be fired, depending on the current state of playback.

If the prevous ready state was HAVE_CURRENT_DATA or less, and the new ready state is HAVE_FUTURE_DATA

The user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called canplay.

If the element is potentially playing, the user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called playing.

If the new ready state is HAVE_ENOUGH_DATA

The user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called canplay, and then queue a task to fire a simple event called canplaythrough.

If the autoplaying flag is true, and the paused attribute is true, and the media element has an autoplay attribute specified, then the user agent may also set the paused attribute to false and queue a task to fire a simple event called play.

User agents are not required to autoplay, and it is suggested that user agents honor user preferences on the matter. Authors are urged to use the autoplay attribute rather than using script to force the video to play, so as to allow the user to override the behavior if so desired.

If the element is now potentially playing, and the previous ready state was not HAVE_FUTURE_DATA, the user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called playing.

It is possible for the ready state of a media element to jump between these states discontinuously. For example, the state of a media element can jump straight from HAVE_METADATA to HAVE_ENOUGH_DATA without passing through the HAVE_CURRENT_DATA and HAVE_FUTURE_DATA states.

The readyState DOM attribute must, on getting, return the value described above that describes the current ready state of the media element.

The autoplay attribute is a boolean attribute. When present, the algorithm described herein will cause the user agent to automatically begin playback of the media resource as soon as it can do so without stopping.

The autoplay DOM attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name.

4.8.10.8 Cue ranges

Media elements have a set of cue ranges. Each cue range is made up of the following information:

A class name
A group of related ranges can be given the same class name so that they can all be removed at the same time.
An identifier
A string can be assigned to each cue range for identification by script. The string need not be unique and can contain any value.
A start time
An end time
The actual time range, using the same timeline as the media resource itself.
A "pause" boolean
A flag indicating whether to pause playback on exit.
An "enter" callback
A callback that is called when the current playback position enters the range.
An "exit" callback
A callback that is called when the current playback position exits the range.
An "active" boolean
A flag indicating whether the range is active or not.

The addCueRange(className, id, start, end, pauseOnExit, enterCallback, exitCallback) method must, when called, add a cue range to the media element, that cue range having the class name className, the identifier id, the start time start (in seconds), the end time end (in seconds), the "pause" boolean with the same value as pauseOnExit, the "enter" callback enterCallback, the "exit" callback exitCallback, and an "active" boolean that is true if the current playback position is equal to or greater than the start time and less than the end time, and false otherwise.

The removeCueRanges(className) method must, when called, remove all the cue ranges of the media element which have the class name className.

4.8.10.9 Playing the media resource

The paused attribute represents whether the media element is paused or not. The attribute must initially be true.

A media element is said to be potentially playing when its paused attribute is false, the readyState attribute is either HAVE_FUTURE_DATA or HAVE_ENOUGH_DATA, the element has not ended playback, playback has not stopped due to errors, and the element has not paused for user interaction.

A media element is said to have ended playback when the element's readyState attribute is HAVE_METADATA or greater, and the current playback position is the end of the media resource, and the media element does not have a loop attribute specified.

The ended attribute must return true if the media element has ended playback, and false otherwise.

A media element is said to have stopped due to errors when the element's readyState attribute is HAVE_METADATA or greater, and the user agent encounters a non-fatal error during the processing of the media data, and due to that error, is not able to play the content at the current playback position.

A media element is said to have paused for user interaction when its paused attribute is false, the readyState attribute is either HAVE_FUTURE_DATA or HAVE_ENOUGH_DATA and the user agent has reached a point in the media resource where the user has to make a selection for the resource to continue.

It is possible for a media element to have both ended playback and paused for user interaction at the same time.

When a media element that is potentially playing stops playing because it has paused for user interaction, the user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called timeupdate at the element.

When a media element that is potentially playing stops playing because its readyState attribute changes to a value lower than HAVE_FUTURE_DATA, without the element having ended playback, or playback having stopped due to errors, or playback having paused for user interaction, or the seeking algorithm being invoked, the user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called timeupdate at the element, and queue a task to fire a simple event called waiting at the element.

When the current playback position reaches the end of the media resource, then the user agent must follow these steps:

  1. If the media element has a loop attribute specified, then seek to the earliest possible position of the media resource and abort these steps.

  2. Stop playback.

    The ended attribute becomes true.

  3. The user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called timeupdate at the element.

  4. The user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called ended at the element.

The defaultPlaybackRate attribute gives the desired speed at which the media resource is to play, as a multiple of its intrinsic speed. The attribute is mutable: on getting it must return the last value it was set to, or 1.0 if it hasn't yet been set; on setting the attribute must be set to the new value.

The playbackRate attribute gives the speed at which the media resource plays, as a multiple of its intrinsic speed. If it is not equal to the defaultPlaybackRate, then the implication is that the user is using a feature such as fast forward or slow motion playback. The attribute is mutable: on getting it must return the last value it was set to, or 1.0 if it hasn't yet been set; on setting the attribute must be set to the new value, and the playback must change speed (if the element is potentially playing).

The "play" function in a user agent's interface must set the playbackRate attribute to the value of the defaultPlaybackRate attribute before invoking the play() method's steps. Features such as fast-forward or rewind must be implemented by only changing the playbackRate attribute.

When the defaultPlaybackRate or playbackRate attributes change value (either by being set by script or by being changed directly by the user agent, e.g. in response to user control) the user agent must queue a task to fire a simple event called ratechange at the media element.

The played attribute must return a new static normalized TimeRanges object that represents the ranges of the media resource, if any, that the user agent has so far rendered, at the time the attribute is evaluated.


When the play() method on a media element is invoked, the user agent must run the following steps.

  1. If the media element's networkState attribute has the value NETWORK_EMPTY, then the user agent must invoke the load() method and wait for it to return. If that raises an exception, that exception must be reraised by the play() method.

  2. If the playback has ended, then the user agent must seek to the earliest possible position of the media resource.

    This will cause the user agent to queue a task to fire a simple event called