Wired News Redesigns With Web Standards
Friday October 11th, 2002
Brent Marshall, Anonymous, sacolcor and Doron all wrote in to tell us that Wired News has a new, standards-compliant design. The site, part of Terra Lycos (Condé Nast owns the magazine bit), is now coded in XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS with not a
#17 Go ahead and use text/html
Tuesday October 15th, 2002 4:09 AM
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Come on, serving XHTML as anything other than text/html is NOT an option. 'If you want IE users to see it' - that's not a want or an if, it's an imperative fact that you can't possibly ignore 90%+ of your audience.
I don't think people should be discouraged from using XHTML for this reason. Yes, XHTML should be stricter (and hopefully will be when served as application/xhtml+xml) but fine, people can deal with any problems that causes when they change MIME type. Consider it the 'training wheels' version.
The really critical problem is that common Web servers provide no sensible way of serving different MIME types based on the user agent, without resorting to server-side scripting. You ought to be able to do it in Apache with the rewrite engine, but due to bugs, it doesn't work, and there's no clean solution that doesn't involve multiple copies of the files.
The ability to easily serve XHTML documents as application/xhtml+xml (initially, to known-compliant user agents) and as text/html (initially, to all unknown user agents) is an essential feature for proper XHTML adoption and the use of the correct MIME type. Until Apache has this feature (with a preconfigured list of browsers and an easy switch in .htaccess to enable), the new MIME type will not be used.
It would be nice if sites which obviously use a lot of server-side scripting anyhow were also able to send the correct MIME type as well to those browsers (primarily Gecko) which support it... although realistically, given that their ad banners etc. are likely to break things until they get it settled down, Wired could probably do with the 'mostly compliant' text/html training wheels for now anyhow.