[whatwg] DOCTYPE shouldn't be optional (fwd)

Ian Hickson ian at hixie.ch
Fri Jul 9 08:31:35 PDT 2004

On Fri, 9 Jul 2004, Jim Ley wrote:
>> HTML documents that use the new features described in this specification
>> and that are served over HTTP must be sent as text/html and must use the
> The MUST here is excessive I think (it prevents me adding my own
> personal attributes

Correct. Proprietary attributes must not be sent over the wire.

If you and your readers all agree to a new format that introduces new
attributes, based on WF2 or HTML4 or whatever, you are free to add your
own conformance criteria that says "Documents that use _these_ features
must be sent as text/html with the following DOCTYPE" or whatever.

But if an HTML-based WF2 document is sent as something other than
text/html, or has another DOCTYPE, then it is non-conformant.

> or removing them for improved QA on the web, as I often do on my sites).

Not sure what you mean by this.

> > XML documents using elements from the XHTML namespace that use the new
> > features described in this specification and that are served over HTTP
> > must be sent using an XML MIME type such as application/xml or
> > application/xhtml+xml and must not be served as text/html. [RFC3023]
> An XHTML document would therefore not be able to be served as
> text/html, can you just clarify that this is deliberately meant to
> prevent the XHTML as Appendix C carrying on - and XHTML WF documents
> will be served as text/html would be a violation of the spec.

Yes, that is exactly correct.

> If this is the case, why do we have XHTML version of the spec?

For people who want to use XHTML, as I do on, e.g.:


...or as Tom Pike does, e.g., on:


...or as Allan Clements does, e.g., on:


(The first one is XHTML only, the last two are XHTML if your UA supports
it, and HTML4 otherwise. All three use correct MIME types in all cases.)

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'

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