Can anyone tell me if it's acceptable or otherwise to use & as an escape character for an ampersand in an href tag.
The coding standards here "encourage" the use of numeric character references, supposedly because they're not so English-language dependent, but the link checking software we use doesn't like them. The software vendors claim that their use is "illegal", citing the RFC1738 standard (which I'm not sure I fully understand). The software can't distinguish between a hash character used as part of a fragment identifier and a hash character used as part of a numeric character reference.
However, online validators provided by W3C and WDG (for example) seem to accept their use. The attached file - designed to be an HTML one - provides examples that can be tested (it has links to the validators).
Thanks in anticipation of the enlightenment to follow.