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Re: Doctype

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 12:07:13 -0700
Message-Id: <>
To: "Skill Zone" <sue@skillzone.demon.co.uk>
Cc: "W3C" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 10:36 a.m. 07/19/98 +0100, Skill Zone wrote:
>Is a doctype statement of any importance when considering accessibility? And
>is there a doctype statement appropriate to use for an accessible page of
>HTML, which follows the W3C guidelines?

It's vitally important to follow the HTML standards when designing
for accessibility -- if just because at least that gives the user
agent creators and page authors a 'common target' to shoot for.

Part of following the standards involves including an appropriate
DOCTYPE, so people know which standards you _are_ following.

For accessible web design, it's best to use HTML 4.0.  4.0 Strict
if you can manage it, but Transitional works too, assuming you are
working hard to make sure the page _is_ accessible.  HTML 3.2 is
an alternative, not the preferred one, but with other accessibility
considerations, it works decently enough.

To comply with those standards, you need to include a DOCTYPE
statement.  Beyond that, it's useful because then you can run it
through validators such as the W3C's at http://validator.w3.org/
to check if your document is actually marked up with valid HTML.

As XML becomes used even more, it's important to understand the
concept behind DOCTYPE, as creator-selectable extended languages
come into play.  Understanding SGML, or the concepts behind it,
is also useful.

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@hwg.org>
Vice President, Marketing and Outreach, HTML Writers Guild
Received on Sunday, 19 July 1998 15:49:54 UTC

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