Talk:Meta element

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Error or clarification required[edit]

In summary, the article begins:

Meta elements .. are part of a web page's head section .. to specify .. metadata .. (and) .. to embed metadata within the HTML document.

However this summary, if correct, shows the lede either to not be clearly expressed or to be incorrect, as the tag cannot be part of the head section AND embed metadata in the document's body. These are two distinct positionings and therefore have different high level functionality.

Searching online for clarity on the <meta content></meta> attribute, brought me here, after the entry at the w3schools also failed to cover the subject.

As can readily be seen (e.g here at telegraph.co.uk) the meta attribute is widely used not only in the head of documents, but also in their body, in the example given for instance in the following lines of code:

<meta name="robots" content="noarchive,noodp">

<meta name="GSAArticleType" content="Story">

<meta property="fb:app_id" content="130118794736295">

Would someone please introduce greater clarity into this article? Perhaps only some relatively minor rearrangement of the existing text would accomplish that.

LookingGlass (talk) 11:49, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

  • The head of a document is part of the document, as is the body of the document. The meta tag only belongs in the head, but this is still part of the overall document. This article is (AFAICS) correct in its statements.
  • Don't use w3schools for anything. They're too frequently inaccurate and usually vague at best. These aspects are defined by the W3C and expressed through the DTDs, such as http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/strict.dtd They also vary, according to which version of HTML you are offering, but in general you should use either HTML 4.01 Strict or else something from HTML 5 and ignore all other versions as obsolete.
  • <meta content></meta> is wrong. It's <meta content> or (in a strictly XML context) <meta content />. But <meta content></meta> is wrong under either.
  • The Telegraph is producing invalid HTML if they embed <meta> within the body of the document. This is probably a useless thing to do as well (I don't know - maybe their own client-side JavaScript understands it).
There is never any point in publishing metadata which cannot then be automatically processed by clients which are not specifically built to absorb your content. This is not metadata, even if it is just about usable as opaque, site-specific, embedded data.
If you want to embed metadata within sections of the body, there are more sophisticated ways of doing so than the crude <meta >
Andy Dingley (talk) 12:25, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Hi Andy, I understand that Head and Body are sections of an HTML Document, and that the meta tag can and is used (by seriously large websites) in both the head and the body of documents. This is not made clear in the article. Hence my post here.
Thank you for your comments on best practice in regard to coding but my point concerns the real world aspect of this article. It was not meant as a query regarding "correct" vs. "incorrect" web coding.
Talk pages on wikipedia are expressly not for general discussions on the topic but for agreeing/arriving at an improved article. (see: WP:TPG "This page in a nutshell: Talk pages are for improving the encyclopedia, not for expressing personal opinions on a subject or an editor. ") My post was not geared to any needs I have in regard of coding but to improving a wikipedia article that is currently "unclear" at least in its lede.
Viz your specific points:
  • I find w3schools a useful site, notwithstanding its weaknesses. But it is not the basis of my post.
  • Thank you. I arrived here after realising my error and then saw your reply. But yes. Oops.
  • You wrote "if the DT are using .. etc". The reference I provided shows they are (pls check e.g with FF inspector). They may well not be using "best practice", and "off label" use should be commented upon in the article, HOWEVER so what? the point of the article is not to provide a facsimile of W3C guidance but to factually describe what is. The Daily Telegraph online is a valid example of that whether their web and IT consultants know what they're doing or not.
LookingGlass (talk) 15:37, 12 December 2016 (UTC)