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My question was closed. Can someone please explain to me why this is? None of the people who voted to close it left a comment.

The inbuilt message says it was closed because "We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or specific expertise" and in my question I ask specifically for "expert knowledge, including references to the original W3C (or other committee) specification documents or meeting minutes." So essentially, the inbuilt message tells me nothing.

Why was the question closed in the first place? And how can the question be improved for re-opening?

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    for one thing, "I don't want opinions or a discussion on the topic. I'm looking for expert knowledge..." rather indicates you consider wording of your question not sufficient to keep it constructive without this statement (and btw in my experience answerers often ignore stuff like that). I'd remove it and try to re-phrase the question text / title so that this "requirement" would be understood by readers without explicit "wishes". Also it wouldn't hurt to show more effort invested there; eg since you mention W3C specs, show your effort spent on studying these when looking for an answer – gnat Jan 26 '13 at 21:10
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    There are several incorrect assumptions in your question, that point to a lack of prior research. Ids were inherited from SGML, and the answer to your question is exactly what you describe in point #2, if you replace DOM traversal with SGML parsing. – yannis Jan 27 '13 at 2:53

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