W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-html@w3.org > February 2006

XHTML Print & DTDs

From: David Dorward <david@us-lot.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Feb 2006 09:58:29 +0000
To: katrina maramba <ka3na_423@yahoo.com>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Message-ID: <20060202095829.GA10471@us-lot.org>

On Wed, Feb 01, 2006 at 10:41:23PM -0800, katrina maramba wrote:
>    In XHTML Spec, it had stated to have 3 different "flavors" or DTDs. 
>    Strict, Transitional and Frameset.

That is specific to XHTML 1.0, and I don't believe it applies to
>    1.  DTDs are rulesets that would define how a document must be written,
>    and defines the tags/elements, attributes, attribute values and default
>    values to be accepted and used.  Meaning attribute can have different
>    default values per DTD... There are tags to be ignored in a certain DTD
>    which is accepted in another... Did I get that right?

The DTD defines which elements and attributes may appear in a
document. If an element doesn't appear in a DTD but does appear in a
document that claims to follow that DTD, then the document is in
error. I don't know what, if any, error recovery is mandated or
forbidden by the specs.

>    2.  How would the validation against the specified DTD technically work? 

The source code for the Markup Validation Service is available, but
most clients don't bother with validation.


>    3.  Only a link is given for the different DTDs.  For XHTML-Print,
>    low-cost printers with no network access couldn't retrieve that DTD.  Are
>    DTDs also significant for XHTML-Print documents, or only for XHTML
>    files for the web?

DTDs are as significant off line as they are on line. The public
identifier can be used to retrieve the DTD from a local catalogue
without needing network access.

>    4.  As I stated, it is stated in the XHTML-Print spec that the DTD that
>    should be used is xhtml-print10.dtd.   What happens when the user
>    specifies a different DTD (Strict, Transitional, Frameset)? 

Then it won't be an XHTML-Print document :)

>    5.  Are CSS also affected by the DTD specified?  How is it affected?

It shouldn't be. In practise a number of browsers use the specified
Doctype (or lack there of) to judge the author's intelligence. Certain
Doctypes will trigger closer conformance to standards, others will
introduce deliberate bugs. If you are developing a user agent, then I
suggest you don't repeat this pattern.

>    6.  What I wish to develop is an XHTML-Print PARSER.  Would DTD affect the
>    way I should parse the document?  Should I parse differently for the
>    strict, differently for transitional, differently for frameset and
>    differently for print10?

As mentioned, there is only one version of XHTML-Print proposed at

David Dorward                                      http://dorward.me.uk
Received on Thursday, 2 February 2006 09:58:34 UTC

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