MAMA: BODY structure
- BODY element and attributes
- Common and proprietary attributes
BODY ranks as the 4th most popular element overall. Most people would expect
this near-ubiquity, but the opening and closing tags for the
element are actually optional. A natural result of relaxed
specification requirements is decreased usage, and it is interesting to see
the way HTML evolved—some other elements such as
P also have closing tags that were optional, and many
authors omit closers for them. However, the
BODY element has
always been treated with a bit more sanctity than the other elements with optional
components. Every generic HTML authoring template will include the
and every beginner's class in HTML will admonish its students if they forget to
BODY element and attributes
Of the URLs that had a
BODY element, 799,002 of
them (23.14%) did not use any attributes. In the remaining group, two-thirds of
the URLs used the
Marginwidth are attributes that share a similar
purpose and will often be used together. The same can also be said of the
attributes. This explains the proximities of the attributes in the frequency
tables. Strangely, this even holds true for totally invalid attributes such as
have almost identical usage numbers—they are used 4,215 and 4,214 times
respectively, and 4,107 of those times are in the same document.
We can compare the overall attribute frequency results to Hickson's
research and find a high correlation—except for an odd switch.
In Hickson's URL set research, the margin appearance attributes
both have higher frequency than the text and link color appearance attributes
In MAMA's research, the relative popularity of these two groups is reversed;
there doesn't seem to be any obvious explanation for the swap.
Common and proprietary attributes
The attribute list for the
BODY element above
(Fig 2-1) does not include many of the attributes that Hickson's study did,
namely all of the generic attributes
Lang and event handlers); those are discussed in
other sections. Other semi-popular attributes find a place in this usage list,
even though they are not valid by any of the popular markup standards.
Attributes such as
are MSIE-only browser extensions, while others are created by Web page editors
as part of their creation process (such as
Netobjects Fusion and
Stylesrc from Microsoft FrontPage).
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