Netscape DevEdge Redesigns As Standards Showcase
Wednesday February 12th, 2003
#30 To be strict or not to be strict
Thursday February 13th, 2003 10:21 PM
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Well, it is a good question and actually one that I personally didn't spend a lot of time on.
<http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/conform.html#h-4.1> recommends that we all use strict rather than other DOCTYPEs. So, I guess we missed the boat on that one.
I don't think we ever really considered using strict since much of our older content would not validate strict and may not even validate as transitional.
Another consideration is the limitation of our build environment. Although our raw HTML documents have a template applied to them that preserves the DOCTYPE and thus would allow different HTML documents to have different DOCTYPEs, our newer content is actually contained in an XML format that allows us to record meta data along with the HTML markup for the content. This is transformed via XSLT into HTML and by definition uses the same output DOCTYPE for any document of a given type. Given the varied authoring styles in our team, it would have added even more complexity to our project than what we experienced. Considering the broken builds due to not-well-formed XML, and the fact that I can't get them to use Unix line endings, strict DOCTYPEs would have made the process even more painful.
I think that we never really considered strict and were mostly concerned about invoking standards mode and using CSS 2 in our layout.
What are the benefits of strict that we missed out on by going with transitional?