[thelist] <!DOCTYPE >

Tom Dell'Aringa pixelmech at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 18 08:48:04 CDT 2003

--- RUST Randal <RRust at COVANSYS.com> wrote:
> David Turner said:
> > currently in the technical overview it says that "html code 
> > is produced following W3C's guidelines"
> The most current recommendation for markup is XHTML 1.0, which has
> been extended in XHTML Basic and XHTML 1.1 [1].

Having said that HTML 4.01 *still is* a perfectly valid standard.
Coded properly, you should have *zero* problems in any browser.

> > is html 4.01 the standard i should be using? or will using 
> > 4.01 limit the number of browsers that users can use? should 
> > i be using a earlier standard? HTML 3.2 perhaps?
> While you /could/ do this, I don't think that many people will
> recommend
> it. It's taking a step backwards. Instead, move forward to XHTML,
> which when written properly, can be read and parsed by all 
> browsers. Understand that this does not mean that you site 
> will /look/ the same in
> all browsers, just that the browser can render the markup.

While I agree you could take a step to XHTML 1.0 transitional, you
don't *have* to. Again, HTML 4 is a perfectly acceptable standard.

The KEY thing you want to do is separate your style from your
content. That means keeping MARKUP (HTML, XHTML) for structural
elements, and using CSS for PRESENTATION. No FONT tags, no inline
styles, no BGCOLOR, etc. 

Secondly, the DOCTYPE you pasted in is NOT a full doctype - its a
partial. That doctype will cause modern browsers to go into "quirks"
mode so they can render "tag-soup" better. This is a less than
consistent way to code.

The full HTML 4.0 DOCTYPE includes the url:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"

This will allow you to *correctly* validate your document for errors.
This will put modern browsers (IE6, gecko) in "standards" mode, a
more predictable consistent environment.

Highly recommended reading on the DOCTYPE:


Lastly, you are the perfect person who should be reading Zeldman's
new book "Designing With Web Standards" which explains *everything*
you need to know about this. I highly recommend that as well. (No,
I'm not Zeldman's secretary!)


> > is this a good thing that i am trying to implement?

It's the absolute BEST thing you can do for yourself, the
environment, the whales, and even - your code.

More good links:
DevEdge at Netscape: 


To name a few.



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