Camen Design Forum

Dropping the DOCTYPE altogether

append delete JJ

I was actually just thinking about this when I saw this forum loads in quirks mode. It's something I've been contemplating for a long time after I started using html5 since html5 really did drop doctypes altogether, and the specification only recommends you have one for legacy purposes, i.e. standards mode.

As far as I know Firefox, Opera, and Chrome, and I would imagine other browsers aside from IE, don't actually use the incorrect box model if the page is loaded in quirks mode.

The x-ua-compatible header that most people usually include anyway for chrome frame triggers standards mode in IE8, but not in IE7.

So I guess it comes down to two questions.
Is dropping the doctype conforming? and are people willing to stop supporting IE7? (Most websites probably don't look so good in IE5 mode. Personally, my website barely even works in IE7.)

As far as conformance to the spec goes: <dev.w3.org/…>

"A doctype is a required preamble." It then goes on to further explain that it is only required for legacy reasons. Of course, a page won't be recognized as html5 by the validator without the legacy doctype, but that's all doctypes were useful for anyway, which is why I imagine were dropped. So, ironically enough, html5 isn't recognized as html5 without a doctype.

Maybe this is more a discussion for the public-html mailing list, but it was on my mind and I thought I'd start a discussion here.

What do you guys think?

Reply RSS

Replies

append delete #1. Kroc

LOL. In my rush to build the site I forgot to add the DOCTYPE to the code!

append delete #2. JJ

Oh, rofl. I thought you had beat me to the punch. I saw you weren't using one and I thought, "Damn, Kroc stole my idea!"

append delete #3. JJ

To further expand my thoughts, in 10+ years or so, when html5 is about to reach recommendation status and html6 draft is already being written, I would imagine that maybe even the majority of web developers will stop using doctypes, and older versions of IE will be so far removed that it won't matter anymore.

If all future browsers follow this trend of not actually rendering anything differently in quirks mode, maybe the html6 specification would deprecate doctypes completely.

It's speculation, I guess.

append delete #4. Kroc

I was going to say what JJ said--it will take 10 years before quirksmode can be dropped. Even in years to come there will still be developing countries using outdated technology.

I think the plan with HTML is to continually roll in improvements, rather than having a final cut-off point (as with HTML4). The web is moving too quickly to have to wait for one standard to be fully adopted before progressing to the next.

Perhaps what will happen is a HTML5 "strict mode" in later years that will allow us to ditch the doctype and other quirks.

append delete #5. theraje

lulz, Kroc is ahead of the game even when he forgets what it is he is playing. :P

append delete #6. Yohann

If we start to remove it, others could follow.
After is up to each one!

Reply

(Leave this as-is, it’s a trap!)

There is no need to “register”, just enter the same name + password of your choice every time.

Pro tip: Use markup to add links, quotes and more.

Your friendly neighbourhood moderators: Kroc, Impressed, Martijn