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No DOCTYPE != HTML 2.0 (was Re: Table Validation)

From: Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 03:57:18 +0900
To: www-validator@w3.org
Message-Id: <20010310035718P.mimasa@w3.mag.keio.ac.jp>
Terje Bless <link@tss.no> wrote:

> *sigh* Could those that had some sort of conclusive proof that HTML 2.0
> made the DOCTYPE optional ("should" or "may"?) please holler? AFAICT,
> Liam's citation [1] specifically states, in prose, that a DOCTYPE is
> required for a conforming HTMl 2.0 document. Even if it later says that
> User Agents are allowed to guess in the absense of a DOCTYPE and still be a
> conforming _UA_, this does not negate the requirement that a DOCTYPE be
> present to actually be a conforming _document_.

Right.  Also note that "B.1 Notes on invalid documents" [2] of
the HTML 4 Specification says, though informative,

    The HTML 2.0 specification ([RFC1866]) observes that many HTML 2.0
    user agents assume that a document that does not begin with a document
    type declaration refers to the HTML 2.0 specification. As experience
    shows that this is a poor assumption, the current specification does
    not recommend this behavior.

so it is no longer a recommended user agent behaviour.  This part hasn't
been changed since the first release of the HTML 4.0 Specification [3],
back to December 1997.

People should also aware that RFC 1866 has been obsoleted by RFC 2854 [4],
and its current status is "HISTORIC" [5].  It is no longer a Standards
Track document.

> [1] - <URL:http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/html-spec/html-spec_3.html#SEC3.3>

[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/appendix/notes.html#h-B.1
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40-971218/appendix/notes.html#h-B.1
[4] http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2854.txt
[5] http://www.ietf.org/iesg/1rfc_index.txt

Masayasu Ishikawa / mimasa@w3.org
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium
Received on Friday, 9 March 2001 13:55:47 UTC

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