CoOL uses META elements for building indices and other
system tasks. If your editor adds META elements, the webmaster may
remove them. If CoOL adds META elements to your documents, do not
remove them or modify them.
The META element is used within the HEAD element to embed document meta-information not defined by other HTML elements. Such information can be extracted by servers/clients for use in identifying, indexing, and cataloging specialized document meta-information.
Although it is generally preferable to use named elements which have well-defined semantics for each type of meta-information (e.g. title), this element is provided for situations where strict SGML parsing is necessary and the local DTD is not extensible.
In addition, HTTP servers can read the content of the document HEAD to generate response headers corresponding to any elements defining a value for the attribute HTTP-EQUIV. This provides document authors a mechanism (not necessarily the preferred one) for identifying information which should be included in the response headers for an HTTP request.
If the document contains:
<META HTTP-EQUIV="Expires" CONTENT="Tue, 04 Dec 1993 21:29:02 GMT"> <META HTTP-EQUIV="Keywords" CONTENT="Fred, Barney"> <META HTTP-EQUIV="Reply-to" CONTENT="firstname.lastname@example.org (Roy Fielding)"> Expires: Tue, 04 Dec 1993 21:29:02 GMT Keywords: Fred, Barney Reply-to: email@example.com (Roy Fielding)
When the HTTP-EQUIV attribute is not present, the server should not generate an HTTP response header for this meta-information; e.g.,
<META NAME="IndexType" content="Service">
Do not use the META element to define information that should be associated with an existing HTML element. Example of an inappropriate use of the META element:
<meta name="Title" content="The Etymology of Dunsel">
Do not name an HTTP-EQUIV equal to a response header that should normally only be generated by the HTTP server. Example names that are inappropriate include "Server", "Date", and "Last-modified"--the exact list of inappropriate names is dependent on the particular server implementation. It is recommended that servers ignore any META elements which specify HTTP-equivalents which are equal (case-insensitively) to their own reserved response headers.
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