As mentioned in a previous post, my site has gone to the HTML 5 doctype. I had come from XHTML 1.0 and wanted to continue with the XML syntax of HTML 5, but my site wouldn’t validate with the XML declaration. I recently remembered that I had been serving my site with the mime-type “text/html”, which is allowed in XHTML 1.0 . HTML 5 got stricter, and if you want to use the XML syntax, it must be served as “application/xhtml+xml” or “application/xml”.
So I modified the doctype switcher I had made (mentioned in that previous post) to change the mime-type to “application/xhtml+xml” when the configuration doctype was set to “xhtml5”. But IE evidently cannot handle that mime-type, so I set up my switcher to output as “html5” for IE, but “xhtml5” for other browsers. I reset the doctype variable (now an attribute of a page object):
I’ve finally joined the bandwagon and moved my site (not this blog) to the HTML 5 doctype. It is much simpler than previous doctypes:
breaking away from the SGML standard of including a reference to the DTD for that doctype. I’m not sure how this will play out as HTML moves beyond 5, but I’m sure it won’t be a problem for a while anyway. And hopefully with all this time they are taking to finalize the specifications, we won’t have problems with backward compatibility, future expansion, validation of old documents, etc.
Anyway, I had considered using the doctype a while back but abandoned it for reasons I don’t remember. The “role” attribute, which I first noticed in WordPress themes, is what got me to consider HTML 5 again. It offers potential accessibility benefits to user agents that know about it by specifying what an elements “role” is in relation to its document: navigation, banner, main, contentinfo, etc. HTML 5 offers elements with similar meanings, but they are not supported well. The attribute is not valid in XHTML 1 (it was proposed for XHTML 2, which never came about), and my attempts at an alternative doctype failed.