[whatwg] Using the HTML5 DOCTYPE as a new quirksmode switch

Robert Brodrecht whatwg at robertdot.org
Sat Mar 10 20:20:50 PST 2007

On Mar 10, 2007, at 4:37 PM, Matthew Ratzloff wrote:

> The seem to serve the purpose.  If there are two HTML 5  
> specifications,
> browser makers can come together to decide which one to support by  
> default
> when no DOCTYPE is present.  Developers who would prefer the alternate
> standard could use the appropriate DOCTYPE.

Browsers render in quirksmode by default.  That's been established.   
At this point WHATWG has already rejected DTDs in DOCTYPE and seems  
pretty set on not including it.  I myself would rather have some type  
of versioning (DTD or otherwise) in the DOCTYPE.  All I've heard from  
WHATWG is that they don't really even like the DOCTYPE.  If browsers  
didn't use DOCTYPE as the standards mode switch, DOCTYPE probably  
wouldn't even be in WHATWG's HTML 5.

If there is no versioning system, there is no way to specify an  
"alternate standard."

I'm sure most people have heard the saying "Choose your battles."   
Fighting for DTDs or some other type of versioning in the DOCTYPE in  
WHATWG's spec is not a fight that can be won as far as I can tell.   
Having some method to tell people what spec an author is using can be  

Robert <http://robertdot.org>

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