Invalid "self-closing element not allowed" JavaDoc error

Stephen Colebourne scolebourne at
Thu Jul 25 17:59:58 UTC 2013

Its complicated, see for example:

The key point here is not whether its in the standard or not, but what
people actually *do*.

There is no doubt in my mind that <br /> br space slash is very common
indeed. Its certainly my default. The javadoc validator should be as
lenient as browsers are in this case.


On 25 July 2013 18:41, David M. Lloyd <david.lloyd at> wrote:
> On 07/25/2013 12:27 PM, Nick Williams wrote:
>> My apologies if this is not the right place to address this. If so, please
>> forgive and direct me to the correct list.
>> There are a lot of people/projects complaining about Java 8's new
>> "self-closing element not allowed" error when compiling JavaDoc that has
>> legal <br /> tags in it (just google "self-closing element not allowed" in
>> quotes). Some (including myself) are asking, "Why should we fix this? The
>> problem is not in the JavaDoc, it's in the JavDoc compiler." However, I
>> haven't been able to find anyone who has actually broached the subject on
>> any mailing lists.
>> <br /> is completely legal. While it is not strictly required by the HTML
>> standard (unless you're using XHTML), using self-closing tags is /preferred/
>> because it's more obvious what the intention is. Perhaps most importantly,
>> <br /> is supported on 100% of browsers and is used throughout JavaDoc all
>> over the place. I have a feeling that once more projects start compiling on
>> a released Java 8, this is going to make a fair number of people angry that
>> hey have to "fix" (read: needlessly change) potentially thousands of
>> classes' worth of JavaDoc.
>> What was the motivation behind the new "self-closing element not allowed"
>> check and how can we make it go away?
> Not really having a stake in this, I just want to observe a couple things.
> First, from what I can see, the HTML 4.x specifications make no reference to
> self-closing elements or their syntactical realization.  As far as I can
> tell (not being any kind of SGML expert), self-closing elements are not
> valid or meaningful HTML according to its SGML definition.
> Finally, even if they were allowed, the BR tag is explicitly defined to
> forbid an end tag; self-closing elements imply an end tag (at least they do
> in XML, which appears to be the next-nearest concrete specification that has
> anything to say on the matter).
> See for more info.
> So I'm curious when you say "using self-closing tags is /preferred/", do you
> have any sources to cite?
> --
> - DML

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