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[Bug 9287] New: DOCTYPE "mostly useless"

From: <bugzilla@wiggum.w3.org>
Date: Sun, 21 Mar 2010 13:50:29 +0000
To: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
Message-ID: <bug-9287-2486@http.www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/>

           Summary: DOCTYPE "mostly useless"
           Product: HTML WG
           Version: unspecified
          Platform: PC
               URL: http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/syntax.html#the-doctype
        OS/Version: Windows XP
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: HTML5 spec bugs
        AssignedTo: dave.null@w3.org
        ReportedBy: tj@crowdersoftware.com
         QAContact: public-html-bugzilla@w3.org
                CC: ian@hixie.ch, mike@w3.org, public-html@w3.org

In Section 8.1.1[1], the current published specification says:

> A DOCTYPE is a mostly useless, but required, header.

It then goes on to say:

> DOCTYPEs are required for legacy reasons. When omitted, browsers tend to use a different rendering mode that is incompatible with some specifications.

So, not useless then, or even mostly useless, as it's required to ensure that
the most common UAs in the world (web browsers) behave something close to

Perhaps consider dropping the "mostly useless" comment to avoid encouraging
skimmers to drop it. Perhaps "A DOCTYPE is a required header that primarily
serves a legacy, but significant, purpose."

(Separately: It's a header? That seems an odd term for it.)

[1] http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/syntax.html#the-doctype

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Received on Sunday, 21 March 2010 13:50:30 UTC

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