HTML <!Doctype> tag and Mozilla

I am still in the process of refactoring the HTML for my website. Along this slow and narrow path, I’ve learned some interesting things with the way Mozilla treats the HTML <!Doctype> tag.

I discovered this when Nucleus inserted the following DOCTYPE tag at the top of the HTML file:

   <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN”
      “http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd”>

and I looked at my site with both Internet Explorer and Mozilla.

Internet Explorer rendered my site beautifully, while Mozilla did not. Puzzled, I compared this to my main index.html page which looks fine within Mozilla. The only differences were the DOCTYPE tag and a few XML attributes in the HTML tag. So I commented out the DOCTYPE tag, and Mozilla rendered my site as nice as Internet Explorer.

Now my curiousity got the best of me, so I did some research and discovered that Mozilla (and others) actually use the DOCTYPE tag to determine how to render the HTML page. In order to handle the non-standard use of HTML, the DOCTYPE tag directs the browser how to render the page.

For more information on this topic see this link.

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