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Re: Why specify a DOCTYPE? Why validate?


From: Holly Marie
Date: May 30, 2002 8:46AM

From: "Mark Pilgrim"

| > Are you aware of the different displays in newer browsers that are
| > linked to correct dtd use?
| Yes, I've known about this for a while, and in fact just read the same
thread you read on WebDesign-L and posted the same links on my site.
This is what got me thinking about it in the first place.
| http://diveintomark.org/archives/2002/05/29.html#quirks_mode

Thanks for the link, I will take a look. I know I have been reading
about this quirky stuff a while but there is so much out there I forget
what belongs to who and wish they would all just play nice and display
as indicated. I suppose that the browsers having to display pages that
do not get written quite right, have the browsers going through some
sort of programming acrobatics to put the page up. We can see evidence
of this when we start inflicting pain into the documents with tables,
nesting tables, images in tables etc and so forth and do not give any
dimensions for any or all of the above. Then the browsers take a while
or significant amount of time calculating and placing, holding off or
replacing items, or in some cases not displaying these at all.

Therefore, writing these pages accurately, slimmed down and with less
code, will make a company's big web site load faster and display well
across systems and devices. It will also be much easier to update or
ammend down the road. Inform your client others after you may not be so
cost effective on doing these items? Though I think you were speaking of
the fact you write your pages well, anyway. Which is really good to

Another possibility with the explosion of db and server side use, is the
newer directions in web searching and the tools we use online. I have
been in the background watching a discussion of some interesting ideas
regarding google.com and other possible search engines that may join
suit. I am not sure this would happen, but I would be very glad to see
it happen... and some of these search engines may actually make or set
up some sections or specialized listings for sites that are in
compliance and coded to current guidelines, etc... If this is the case,
and it would be an interesting one at that.... this may influence
clients a bit more if they got some sort of marketing type preferential

What also about the users or visitors to this company site that may use
devices that use XHTML small? or special DTDs or Doctypes or modular for
wirelass, wan, wap, etc... hand held equip etc... people travelling or
using these newer devices to obtain key info etc from a corporate site
may be an important group to NOT overlook? A specialized DTD may be
necessary for delivery to these items?

AFAIK the XHTL sets are basically in place to get people to code with
better syntax, format, in strict lose the deprecated tags or elements,
and enforce even cleaner formatting on the code,... thus getting it
ready for the XML transition. Or making the document easier to

| OCTYPE would have already compensated for these, so neither would have
an adverse impact on accessibility.
| > Newer
| > machines and browsers or devices accessing information will be more
| > able
| > to deliver and render a page if the rules for the document are
| > to
| > the document.
| I would love a specific example of this.

I wonder if there are some key examples or ideas of this over at the
Mosquito factory, which may also have a web editing tool that aids in
writing specialized Doctypes? It has been a while since I visited those
pages, but here is a link....
also found on the XHTML L bookmarks page... [publically available]
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XHTML-L/links [xslt writing, xhtml
modular writing, etc...]

there are also xsl and xml and xhmtl tools listed here...
I noticed there is one that will generate code from a DTD?
"XML Generator - Generates instances of valid XML from a DTD "

Something that occured to me regarding the DTD or Doctype use, I think
these will also be very important in the code and delivery of
SVG[scalable vector graphics] which are much more accessible to many
groups than other ways of putting images online... Text embedded and
images generated via programming so maps and other items can be scaled
or resized with very little if any distortion and have text alternatives

| Again, *I* agree wholeheartedly that all of this stuff is important.
I'm playing devil's advocate here because, frankly, the person I'm
trying to convince is the devil. Sees no point in any of the W3C
standards. Sees no point in lifting a finger to enhance accessibility.
Perked up slightly when I said accessibility was the law now, but glazed
over again when he learned that the law doesn't apply to him (which it

I am glad you do and so do I. Yes, I have seen these types of clients
out there, and sometimes I get very frustrated... If you shift it around
to money it may cost them in the long run, then you may get somewhere

Devil's advocate is fine, though why not put the dreaded DTD Doctype
in... is the client worried about the pixels? of worried about not
having valid content, though I think you are stating you have done
this... I am not getting what advantages there are to not having a DTD
in a document?

| I've been able to convince him that there *are* disabled people in the
world and they *do* use the web.
| <http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/PWD-Use-Web/Overview.html>;
| I've demoed his own site for him in Lynx and JAWS. I've shown how
most WAI guidelines have a *direct* impact on how well disabled users
can use the web... but I'm sorry, specifying a DOCTYPE just doesn't. It
just doesn't.

Here is a really good article geared to the business person on why to
have valid and maybe also accessible web sites. It is a great short
article considered a persuassive type piece...

Benefits to Business [ also found at the w3.org]

The W3C presents:
Auxiliary Benefits of Accessible Web Design
Updated: 24 March, 2002


This document is one of several resources created to assist the
preparation of a business case for the implementation of Web
accessibility. It describes the many business, technical and other
benefits to the organization above and beyond the straightforward
benefits to people with disabilities that can be realized by applying
the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 1.0) to Web sites.

Conformance with the WCAG 1.0 (and other W3C) guidelines will enhance
the market share and audience reach of your Web site by increasing its
general usability.

... /end excerpt

It is a good discussion and now I wonder what DTD benefits - for or
against - that I may have missed?
Though I do include them in my pages


Well, I will keep reading and see what I can come up with or find...

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