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Source: short audio clip

Transcript:

As you first start authoring HTML, you're probably gonna notice what seems to be a really curious behavior among browsers regarding your use of whitespace. You see, no matter how much whitespace you put in your content, your browser is gonna for the most part ignore everything after that first space of character. So, I've got the whitespace.htm from 0307 opened up in my browser. And you can see I have the sentence that says, "By default, browsers will ignore any whitespace after the first space."

As far as I know, the only time we use the word character as a mass noun is when we are talking about somebody's personality. But in computer science, I reckon, it should always be characters with an s tagged on the end because there we are dealing with letters and numbers that we can see on screen and actually count. So, I don't really understand why he says character like that as if it were some kind of abstract idea rather than a bunch of things that can be counted. What do you think?

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I can tell you what the meaning behind what he is trying to say is:

He's trying to say that, in HTML, you'll notice that no matter how many spaces you have in a row (white space characters), your browser will only obey the first one (or you can think of it as the last one). The rest of them are ignored. So you could have 10 space characters in a row, but only 1 will be shown, as the rest are ignored.

I have no clue why he decided to stick that "of" in there. I don't think that is a common thing to say among programmers. Though I don't do much work with HTML, I am in the CS field working with Java, and I wouldn't ever use that. This sounds much better to me:

"after that first white space character"

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