W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-qa@w3.org > December 2002

doctype tip lacks motivation

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: 02 Dec 2002 00:01:22 -0600
To: Olivier Thereaux <ot@w3.org>
Cc: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>, www-qa@w3.org
Message-Id: <1038808883.5180.10107.camel@dirk>

I found this draft tip:

  Don't forget to add a doctype - Quality Web Tips

but I don't think it actually motivates
adding a DOCTYPE.

Does anybody have any evidence that
"browsers may not behave correctly if you
don't set a proper Doctype"?

I think HTML documents should begin
like this...

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">

That provides all the information I need
to manage the document (i.e. find markup errors
using automated tools) and all the information readers
need in order to understand it.

I know the HTML 4 and XHTML 1.x specs are
still limited by the fact that DTDs are
much more widely deployed than schemas,
but that doesn't really say why users
should bother with a doctype declaration.

The best motivation I can find is...

  A doctype will allow you to use widely-deployed
  DTD-based tools (such as this validation service)
  to find likely errors in your document.

  See also: 
   <a href="http://www.w3.org/2001/03/webdata/xsv">Validator for XML Schema</a>,
  a beta-test service for validating documents
  based on XML Schemas.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
Received on Monday, 2 December 2002 01:01:17 UTC

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