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Re: Why DOCTYPE Declarations for XHTML?

From: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 09:40:35 +0000 (GMT Standard Time)
To: Arjun Ray <aray@q2.net>
cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.4.10.10001140932490.760-100000@OEMCOMPUTER>
On Fri, 14 Jan 2000, Arjun Ray wrote:

> In the Working Drafts published recently for various flavors of
> XHTML 1.x, the section on conformance requirements seems to
> insist on a doctype declaration with (boilerplate?) text that
> looks like this:
> 
> : There must be a DOCTYPE declaration in the document prior to the root
> : element.  If present, the public identifier included in the DOCTYPE
> : declaration must reference the DTD found in [some appendix] using its
> : Formal Public Identifier.
> 
> Could someone from the WG - or anyone with similarly privileged
> access to discussions held in camera - explain this requirement?

The doctype is the means to bind the document to a DTD, and without
it you can't validate the document without a priori knowledge. For
XHTML 1.0 you aren't required to supply a doctype, but without it
all that can be said is the document is well-formed. In the future
as work on XML schemas matures, you will be able to reference a
schema, but the emphasis on validation will remain.

Regards,

-- Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett
tel/fax: +44 122 578 3011 (or 2521) +44 385 320 444 (mobile)
World Wide Web Consortium (on assignment from HP Labs)
Received on Friday, 14 January 2000 04:40:38 GMT

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