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Re: Web site accessibility-layers

From: James Craig <work@cookiecrook.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2003 09:56:10 -0500
Message-ID: <3E9EC08A.4070708@cookiecrook.com>
To: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org, Lauke PH <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>

David Woolley wrote:

>The basic argument is that you cannot
>serve XHTML 1.0 properly to IE, which means that you largely lose its
>advantage as you will get away with serving not well-formed XHTML,
>therefore making it essentially the same as HTML 4.01.

As far as I know, a mime type of "text/html" is valid for XHTML 1.0, 
however, XHTML 1.1 requires the mime type of "application/xhtml+xml" 
which Internet Explorer doesn't recognize.

>Most people using XHTML these days are doing it for fashion reasons, 
>rather than because it gives them any advantage.

True, but at the same time, a lot of them are learning and getting used 
to full separation of content from display (and from scripts). Fully 
semantic, unstyled markup is easiest to learn if you have to abide by 
the rules that have deprecated all those display elements and 
attributes. It becomes readily apparent when you try to validate an 
XHTML Transitional file with an XHTML Strict DTD.

> Basically, if you serve XHTML any time in the next 10 or so years, you
> will be breaking the "any browser" principle, and encouraging the propagation
> of bad HTML habits to XHTML.

Do you have examples of this? One thing I've noticed is that older 
browsers will break if you don't include a space before the closing 
slash, but given the space (and the text/html content type), I've never 
had a problem.

Ex. <br/> is ignored by some older browsers but <br /> is not.

An mime type example for Patrick: I currently serve my site as valid 
XHTML 1.1 but with the incorrect mime type of "text/html" for 
compatibility reasons. However, if you view it with a variable, I can 
serve it with the correct mime type and Internet Explorer tries to 
download it instead of displaying it.

text/html
http://www.cookiecrook.com/weblog.php

application/xhtml+xml
http://www.cookiecrook.com/weblog.php?xhtml=true

The file is exactly the same except for the mime type in the HTTP 
header. Technically, I should change one of the meta tags too, but this 
is just an example. Mozilla and Opera will both display the page but 
will not execute the inline scripts (document.write on the comments 
links). IE displays a download prompt.

James Craig
Received on Thursday, 17 April 2003 11:07:56 GMT

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