[whatwg] Configure Apache to send the right MIME type for XHTML

Maciej Stachowiak mjs at apple.com
Wed Mar 7 12:44:38 PST 2007

On Mar 7, 2007, at 8:13 AM, Elliotte Harold wrote:

> Anne van Kesteren wrote:
>> Personally I'd just give everyone HTML unless they specifically  
>> ask for XML and even then those tools should be capable of  
>> handling HTML imo. After all, it's the exchange format of the web.
> Personally I'm happy just sending XHTML as text/html and letting  
> the browsers and other tools do what they like with it. I don't  
> hold to the belief that the MIME type is holy writ from GOD that  
> clients must not modify for their convenience under penalty of  
> hellfire and damnation. Nonetheless, some people do seem to believe  
> that so this article offers them a reasonable alternative.
> If one were conspiratorially minded, one might begin to wonder  
> whether any reasonable alternative will be accepted, or if a lot of  
> the arguments and claims are really designed merely to eliminate  
> XHTML from consideration by making it too inconvenient for  
> practical development. The insistence on sending XHTML as  
> application/xhtml+xml is pretty pedantic, and without a lot of  
> practical benefit. It's strange to see such a picky point being  
> made by the same people who aren't all that interested in the much  
> more useful standard of well-formedness. It's also strange that  
> these are the same folks who are bending over backwards to maintain  
> compatibility with older browsers in every area except this one  
> little HTTP header field.
> Indeed, if one were of a suspicious turn of mind, one might think  
> the insistence on sending XHTML as application/xhtml+xml were  
> nothing but a strategy to make XHTML so practically inconvenient  
> that no one would consider it. But I don't have such a suspicious  
> mind, so I'm sure it's all honest disagreement. :-)

HTML5 will make it easier to make valid HTML/XHTML hybrid documents  
by legalizing certain XML-specific constructs in HTML and defining  
their behavior in a compatible way. You'll be able to avlidate your  
document as both HTML and XHTML, though there still may be some risks  
of different behavior.

So I think it's unfair to accuse this particular group of not wanting  
to solve the problem.


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