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Old 04-03-2009, 03:52 AM   #11
iamback's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Amsterdam, NL
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Originally Posted by dacoyle View Post
<span> without an attribute is empty. Some validators flag that, so it's part of our requirements.
Sorry, but that's bullshit. An element is empty when it doesn't have content - by definition. That's how HTML works. Some elements are allowed to be empty, others are not. Also, an element that does not have content but does have attributes, is still empty.

But in this case the span would not be empty since it would have content! And you can style it the same way as you style the corresponding a tag: by using a contextual selector (starting off the menu ul element). Adding an attribute is just code bloat since it isn't needed.

Sorry I can't cite specifics, but we don't allow <div> or <span> without attributes.
Please tell your bosses that a) they misunderstand the HTML specs; b) their rules cause unnecessary code bloat and c) any validator that flags a span with content and without an attribute is wrong: that's a bug that should be reported - until that bug is fixed, don't trust the validator. By all means, don't allow empty (really empty) elements that are not allowed by the standard to be empty (no matter how many attributes they have). But redefining "empty" is just silly and counter-productive.

And if you really need to conform to these silly rules, why not just add a class attribute to the span?

FYI, both div and span elements are allowed to be empty, and neither requires any attribute at all: 7.5.4 Grouping elements: the DIV and SPAN elements

Marjolein Katsma
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