W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > June 2007

Re: Allow other doctypes

From: Michael A. Puls II <shadow2531@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 19:09:36 -0400
Message-ID: <6b9c91b20706171609o54af2ecfucac5a9ac9b4c920c@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-html@w3.org

On 6/17/07, Sean Fraser <sean@elementary-group.com> wrote:
>  On Sat Jun 16 18:47 , Ian Hickson  sent:
>
>
> >Conforming HTML4 and XHTML1 docs will not become non-conforming HTML4 and
>   >XHTML1 docs. They'll remain conforming HTML4 and XHTML1 docs. They won't
>   >be conforming HTML5 docs because they aren't HTML5 docs in the first
>   >place. I don't see this as a problem.
>
>
>  If a document is conforming  HTML 4 (with the appropriate doctype used) but
> the doctype were changed to an HTML5 doctype and passed HTML5 conformance
> checking, that document would be both HTML4 and HTML5 conforming.
>
>  I'm curious. What makes an HTML5 document an HTML5 document?

The markup below the doctype *may* conform to both HTML4 and HTML5,
but the document itself would only conform to one or the other
depending on the doctype used.

I would define an HTML5 document as a document that:

1. Uses the HTML5 doctype of <!DOCTYPE html> on the first line of the document.
2. Uses HTML markup that conforms to the HTML5 specification.
3. Is sent with the mime type text/html ( or, for local files, the
usual .htm and .html extensions)

Whatever the doctype, the browser uses its HTML parser and renderer to
handle the document. It's up to the author to choose which HTML
specification (s)he wants to try and conform to.

If you want to use some element that's in HTML5, but not in HTML4 and
you care about conforming, you'll obviously want to develop an HTML5
document and try to conform to the HTML5 specification. If you don't
care about conforming, you could theoretically use HTML5 elements with
any HTML doctype as the browser just handles HTML period. (However
this might not be true for all browsers.)

Also, since browsers are (or will be) aligning their HTML handling to
the HTML5 specifcation (in spots where their handling is not already
aligned), it will adventually be in your best interest to try and
conform to it.

And, the added bonus is that older browsers will handle HTML5 fine.
They just won't support any of the new HTML5-specific elements, but
they won't choke on them either, so it's all good.

When an author uses an HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0  doctype, we should
assume they're saying that they're trying to conform to the relevent
DTD. We should not assume that they're saying anything about HTML5.

Those wanting to switch to HTML5 should change to an HTML5 doctype to
declare what they're trying to conform to and ultimately conform to
HTML5.

That's how I see it FWIW.

-- 
Michael
Received on Sunday, 17 June 2007 23:16:22 UTC

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