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Re: XHTML questions

From: Ian Graham <igraham@smaug.java.utoronto.ca>
Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 15:32:02 -0400
To: Chris Croome <chris@webarchitects.co.uk>
cc: www-html@w3.org, gerald@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SGI.4.05.10006271522250.119126-100000@smaug.java.utoronto.ca>

On Tue, 27 Jun 2000, Chris Croome wrote:

> Hi
> I have a couple of questions on this, should this address in the XHTML
> doctype: 
> http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml
> be changed to this:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1
> seeing as the first address is a page saying that it's moved...

The answer is no -- the first page is simply a special name used,
in namespace declarations, to reference an abstract "XHTML 1.0
namespace".   There is as yet no specification as to what should
be at that URL (if anything) -- the current resource at


simply references the location at which the formal specification
is located. It may in the future refer elsewhere -- or may even
itself correspond to something else entirely (such as a machine-readable
definition of XHTML).
> Also if the web server is set up to serve files as:
> Content-Type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1
> and one doesn't include encoding="UTF-8" in the file (I seem to recall
> something somewhere saying that including it can break backwards
> campatability) then is it basically invalid as XHTML? And if so what is
> the best thing to do -- change the Content-Type header to UTF-8 (in
> httpd.conf or .htaccess files or whatever) and not have it in the files?
> i.e. something like this:

The important thing to recognize is that the charset value in the
content-type heading should have the same value as the 'encoding' value in
the XML declaration. Both state the same thing -- that the bytes in the
data object map onto characters according to the rules defined by the
indicated character set encoding.  Thus it would be an error for a
Content-type header to indicate that the data uses one charcter set
(e.g. iso-8859-1), while the XML declaration says something else.

The XML declaration appears at the start of the document, and has
the form:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="charsetvalue" ?>

However, older HTML browsers (e.g., Navigator 3) don't understand this,
and display this line -- thus you need to omit it if the pages are being
served as HTML to older HTML browsers.

Hope this helps --


> Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
> Chris
> On Thu 22-Jun-2000 at 11:56:45PM +0200, Karl Dubost wrote:
> > 
> > ************************
> > Here is an example of a minimal XHTML document.
> > 
> > <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
> > <!DOCTYPE html
> >       PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
> >      "DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
> > <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
> >    <head>
> >      <title>Virtual Library</title>
> >    </head>
> >    <body>
> >      <p>Moved to <a href="http://vlib.org/">vlib.org</a>.</p>
> >    </body>
> > </html>
> > ************************
> -- 
> Chris Croome <chris@webarchitects.co.uk>
> http://www.webarchitects.co.uk/
> http://chris.croome.net/
Received on Tuesday, 27 June 2000 15:32:07 UTC

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