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doctype - why is it important - what happens if you use the wrong doctype

Posted on 2005-03-08
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HTML doctype - Require answers for all questions please:

why is it important?

what happens if you use the wrong doctype?

If I have a page with frames in it, and I use this: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">

instead of this: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/frameset.dtd">

what is going to happen? (please elaborate)

thanks!
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Question by:vanauden
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by:bruno
bruno earned 400 total points
ID: 13487337
there are articles out there you should read before someone hear attempts a blanket answer to all your questions:

http://www.alistapart.com/articles/doctype/
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/doctype/
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by:vanauden
ID: 13487521
Hi Brunobear

I read both articles and now have a better understanding of doctype, but I still do not have a specific undertanding of what would happen if

I have a page with frames in it, and I use this: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">

instead of this: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Frameset//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/frameset.dtd">

Will the browser go into quirks mode?
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by:bruno
ID: 13487631
I have not tested this - but I would assume it would confuse the browser because the doctype specifies what the browser should expect in the document.  The normal HTML 4 doctype tells teh browser that it should expect certain things - body tags, etc.  your frameset won't have them.  i would have to test to see if it goes into quirks mode.....
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by:vanauden
ID: 13488849
does anyone else have an idea of what would happen? Would it ultimately matter?

The reason I need an answer, is that I have a huge site I am modifying, and I would like to avoid a global replace if possible.

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COBOLdinosaur earned 1000 total points
ID: 13488927
1. It let's the browser know how hte page is intended to be rendered.  Allows the page to be validated, and serves as documentation for whomever has to maintain it.

2. Generally nothing, but you may get unexpected results if you are depending on the browser to render to a given version of the standards

3.  Nothing as far as rendering.  The first is incomplete because it does not contain the url of the dtd; so it is infromational only.  There will be differences in validation.  The validator will not like frames in a page not using the framest DTD.

Cd&
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by:vanauden
ID: 13489421
thank you both

I appreciate your help!

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by:COBOLdinosaur
ID: 13490360
Glad we could help.  Thanks for the A. :^)

Cd&
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