Re: Document Types (spinoff from stylesheets threads)

by Andrew McFarland <aamcf(at)>

 Date:  Mon, 11 Mar 2002 17:16:32 +0000
 To:  hwg-techniques(at)
 In-Reply-To:  hotmail
  todo: View Thread, Original
At 12:53 11/03/02 +0000, Peter-Paul Koch wrote:
[I wrote]
>>In some browsers (IE5 /Mac, recent Mozillas, IE 6 /PC) the presence or 
>>absence of a DOCTYPE (or XML declaration) can alter the way the page is 
>>rendered. It follows that if you want your pages to appear consistently 
>>across all browsers they should either all have the same DOCTYPE or  none 
>>of the should have one.
>This is theory. I do not believe for a single instant that two different 
>browsers show a page exactly the same when you use the same doctype.

I meant that for a set of pages to appear consistent in a single browser 
you should make sure they all have the same DOCTYPE. In some browsers a set 
may appear consistently regardless of DOCTYPE, in others it won't.

>That is the reason I advise everyone *not* to use doctypes. We can't be 
>sure of the consequences.

A page with a DOCTYPE that declares it to be XHTML 1.0 Strict and is XHTML 
1.0 Strict will display much more consistently and predictably than a page 
without a DOCTYPE at all. Changes in JavaScript behavior are also good. The 
browsers switch from a non-standards based model to a standards based one. 
This makes coding _much_ easier - no more  document.all type sniffing.



HWG hwg-techniques mailing list archives, maintained by Webmasters @ IWA