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Regarding validation, vkaryl is referring to the W3C Markup Validator [validator.w3.org].
However, there's more to it than that. As you know, is a "no-break space" -- always, no exceptions, no matter where in the world you are.   is what? Charater number 160 in the current character table. What exactly does that mean? Well, that depends on what your character set is. For anyone with a latin based alphabet character number 160 is a no-break space. Luckily, there seems to be no difference between different character sets on this matter. Thus, ==   ==   == no-break space. But, that's only the case for this single character entity. We cannot assume anything about character entities being equal to a numeric character reference. If you wish to use a numeric reference you should always use the unicode numeric reference, or else you may run into unexpected behavior.
character data is not allowed here:
If the character reference begins with "&#x", the digits and letters up to the terminating ; provide a hexadecimal representation of the character's code point in ISO/IEC 10646. If it begins just with "&#", the digits up to the terminating ; provide a decimal representation of the character's code point.
All text that is not markup constitutes the character data of the document.
The ampersand character (&) and the left angle bracket (<) may appear in their literal form only when used as markup delimiters, or within a comment, a processing instruction, or a CDATA section. They are also legal within the literal entity value of an internal entity declaration; see "4.3.2 Well-Formed Parsed Entities". If they are needed elsewhere, they must be escaped using either numeric character references or the strings "&" and "<" respectively.
I did not try escaping the character - you can if you think it is worth it.
[edited by: tedster at 6:53 am (utc) on May 1, 2004]
[edit reason] disable graphic smilies [/edit]