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Appendix C. Deprecated Tags

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the organization responsible for setting the HTML standard. The W3C takes HTML advancements into consideration when compiling the new standards. Many once-proprietary tags have been rolled into the standard and eventually find universal browser support. Others fall by the wayside.

As HTML advances and improved methods such as Cascading Style Sheets emerge, older tags are put to rest by the W3C. The HTML 4.01 Recommendation has classified a number of HTML tags and individual attributes as "deprecated." The W3C defines a deprecated element as one . . .

. . . that has been outdated by newer constructs. Deprecated elements are defined in the reference manual in appropriate locations, but are clearly marked as deprecated. Deprecated elements may become obsolete in future versions of HTML.

User agents [browsers] should continue to support deprecated elements for reasons of backward compatibility. Definitions of elements and attributes clearly indicate which are deprecated.

This specification includes examples that illustrate how to avoid using deprecated elements. In most cases these depend on user agent support for style sheets. In general, authors should use style sheets to achieve stylistic and formatting effects rather than HTML presentational attributes. HTML presentational attributes have been deprecated when style sheet alternatives exist.

The tables in this appendix list the elements and attributes that have been deprecated in the HTML 4.01 specification. Substitute tags or methods are listed when provided by the W3C.

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