Supporting Document Automation

There are two additional header tags that have the primary functions of supporting document automation and interacting with the web server itself and document-generation tools.

The <meta> Header Element

Given the rich set of header tags for defining a document and its relationship with others that go unused by most authors, you’d think we’d all be satisfied. But no, there’s always someone with special needs. These authors want to be able to give even more information about their precious documents — information that might be used by browsers, readers of the source, or document-indexing tools. The <meta> tag is for those of you who need to go beyond the beyond.

The <meta> tag belongs in the document header and has no content. Instead, attributes of the tag define name/value pairs that associate the document. In certain cases, these values are used by the web server serving the document to further define the document content type to the browser.

The name attribute

The name attribute supplies the name of the name/value pair defined by the <meta> tag. Neither the HTML nor the XHTML standard specifies any predefined <meta> names. In general, ...

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