XHTML, the real IE-killer



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Posted by: stak
Posted on: 2008-10-16 21:28:30

Opera seems to be (again) trying to drag the web, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century. According to their study a ridiculously large proportion of web pages aren't standards compliant. It's good to have a hard number to quote now, rather than just complaining vaguely. Hopefully this will prod web developers into putting a little more effort into validating their web pages. It's been a long-standing pet peeve of mine that websites stick on "W3C Validated" buttons on their pages even though the pages are no longer valid.

Anyway, in order to stay ahead of the curve, I've now moved this website along to the next step: switching to the XHTML content-type. This site has always been valid XHTML, but it was always being served under the text/html content-type. It is now served as application/xhtml+xml which is more accurate and strict, since it forces browsers to parse it using an XML parser rather than an HTML parser. Validity is now enforced; if I introduce any errors in the site it will simply fail to render rather than falling into browser-dependent error handling behavior.

This also means that this site will no longer render in IE, which doesn't support the XHTML content-type. I'm not even going to bother with server-side IE detection in order to display an error message; they've had long enough to get their act together. Anybody who's still using IE needs to move on.

As usual, post a comment or send me a message using the contact form (in the "About" section) if you run into any problems. But not if you're using IE.

Posted by GregT at 2008-10-17 00:23:04
If significant numbers of pages are served under application/xhtml+xml then either:
A) IE will already be supporting it
B) IE will already be dead (or well on its way to dead)

In that sense I disagree with the post.
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Posted by stak at 2008-10-17 00:39:08
By "the post" I assume you mean the title, since I don't think there's anything in the body of the post that contradicts your point (with which I agree, incidentally). The title wasn't supposed to mean that widespread use of the XHTML content-type would kill IE. It was supposed to mean that my using the XHTML content-type on this site would effectively kill use of IE on this site. It was supposed to be a parody/pun sort of thing, failing miserably as usual :)
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Posted by GregT at 2008-10-17 09:38:49
Oh, I see :)
I took the post-body to be illustrative of the title and the title as a serious thesis.
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Posted by Fai at 2008-10-17 02:05:13
what's the fake ie-killer?
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Posted by stak at 2008-10-17 07:59:52
firefox?
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Posted by Fai at 2008-10-17 21:34:34
I *guess*
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Posted by Varun at 2008-10-17 09:35:34
I wonder if I could whip up a simple Greasemonkey script for IE to fix that. Some of us don't have Firefox on our work computers...
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Posted by stak at 2008-10-17 10:53:26
Well then don't read my site from work. I do not condone slacking at work :)

Or use one of your many mobile devices to browse. I think nokia should be able to handle it.
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Posted by Varun at 2008-10-17 11:56:05
*snort* Lunchtime I can do as I please :)

iPhone does okay. That's where this is coming from.
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Posted by rachel at 2008-10-25 22:14:16
:O more to learn from Kats now!
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