XHTML rendering and media types (Was: Re: [whatwg] Seperation of Content and Interface)

Max Romantschuk max at provico.fi
Thu Aug 19 04:33:04 PDT 2004

Matthew Raymond wrote:
>    As I explained before, it is my understanding that a compliant XHTML 
> renderer will not display a page with invalid markup. IE6 is so "good" 
> at rendering XHTML because it does not parse or render it as XHTML at 
> all. Effectively, you're saying that Mozilla would be so much better if 
> it rendered XHTML as tag soup.

I'm not sure how IE handles this, but a compliant browser should render 
XHTML in one of two ways:

When the XHTML is labeled as text/html a traditional SGML parser should 
be used, and the document should be compliant with Appendix C of the 
XHTML spec: http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/#guidelines

When the XHTML is labeled as application/xhtml+xml as defined by RFC 
3236 ( http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3236.txt ) an XML renderer should be 
used. In this case I would assume that rendering before the entire 
document is recieved is backwards, as an invalid document should not 
render at all.

More details on XHTML media types can be found here:


Max Romantschuk

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