HTML and CSS Reference
In-Depth Information
Whether users care about such things is debatable, but the aim for correctness is
appropriate. Contrast this to the typical effort of testing a page by viewing it in various
browsers to see what happens. The thought is, if it looks right, then it is right. However, this
does not acknowledge that the set of supported or renderable pages a browser may handle
is a superset of those which are actually conforming to a particular specification:
Supported Malformed Markup
Unsupported Markup
It is an unfortunate reality that browsers support a multitude of incorrect things and
that developers often use a popular browser as an acceptance engine based upon some page
rendering for better or worse. Such an approach to markup testing might seem reasonable
in the short term, but it will ultimately lead to significant developer frustration, particularly
as other technologies are added, such as CSS and JavaScript, and newer browsers are
introduced. Unfortunately, given the browsers' current method of allowing garbage yet
preferring standards, there is little reason for some developers to care until such a price is
The Doctype Switch and Browser Rendering Modes
Modern Web browsers generally have two rendering modes: quirks mode and standards
compliance mode. As their names suggest, quirks mode is more permissive and standards
compliance mode is stricter. The browser typically chooses in which mode to parse a
document by inspecting the <!DOCTYPE> statement, if there is one. This process typically is
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