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Re: Replace HTML4 doctype declaration

From: Patrice Dumas
Subject: Re: Replace HTML4 doctype declaration
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 2021 01:14:53 +0100

On Sat, Dec 18, 2021 at 08:01:50PM -0600, Jacob Bachmeyer wrote:
> I would suggest staying with HTML4; it is upwards compatible in that an
> HTML5 parser should generally be able to read it, and the HTML4 DOCTYPE
> actually declares a version, instead of the "eternal now" HTML5 uses.  That
> may be suitable for shiny Web apps that change day-by-day and are always
> loaded from the cloud, but an actual fixed version is much better for
> documentation, which may be read from an archive years from now.  There will
> be no question as to the correct interpretation of an HTML4 document, ever,
> while HTML5's versionless declaration leaves open future questions of "now
> which version of HTML5 is this?".

Actually, we do not output perfect HTML4, and bad HTML5.  But what we use
as DOCTYPE probably does not matters for use in browsers which is the
main use of the HTML output.  If one wants to use another DOCTYPE, there
is the DOCTYPE customization variable that can be used such that it is
possible to set what the document advertizes as one prefers.

It is probably unrealistic to consider that we could be able to maintain
a customization for HTML 4 as we move on with HTML 5.  If there are
motivated persons, it could be done as an init file.

As a side note, there is an html3.2 init file, but it is not up to date,
and I do not think that it would be interesting to invest much time in
this file.  Nowadays, it is mostly used to check that it is still
possible to do the kind of customizations required for baxward


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