Dreamweaver, PHP and XHTML compliance

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I'm essentially a back-end programmer so I don't know very much about
Dreamweaver.  However, I work with web-designers who are keen for me to
write my pages using Dreamweaver templates.

One problem that has emerged straight away is that of XHTML compliance.  I
understand (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that in order to achieve
this, every document must start with a line like:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>

However, this won't work in PHP, because as soon as it sees the '<?' it
assumes that what follows is php code (and crashes).

It's simple enough to add the line:

<?php echo "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"iso-8859-1\"?>\n"; ?>

at the top of your PHP pages, but then it won't work in plain HTML, so it
can't go in the template.  What we need is version 1 of the line in HTML
docs and version 2 in PHP docs.

Does anyone know the answer to this problem?

Re: Dreamweaver, PHP and XHTML compliance

On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 13:33:47 GMT, "Captain Nemo"

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From what I understand, you only need to use an XML declaration if
you're serving your XHTML page as XML. Since browsers still have a
problem with that, most people serve it as text/html. So you don't
need that opening bit, and will still be standards compliant.
Here's further reading from the W3C:


http://www.sundry.ws /
http://www.bookstacks.org /

Re: Dreamweaver, PHP and XHTML compliance

Captain Nemo wrote:
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You could try "short_open_tag = off"

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Re: Dreamweaver, PHP and XHTML compliance

 .oO(Captain Nemo)

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Nope. While the XML prolog is recommended, it's not always necessary.
It's used to specify the used encoding, but this can/should also be done
in the response header sent by the server (with a charset parameter in
the content-type header). Additionally using such a prolog will kick
Internet Explorer into quirks mode.

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That's because short_open_tags are enabled on the server.

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I would rather turn short_open_tags off (along with register_globals and

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First you should ask the designers why they insist on using XHTML.
HTML 4.01 Strict is more than enough in most cases unless you know
exactly what you're doing. Currently there's little to no reason to use
XHTML. Only the most recent browsers like Opera and Mozilla really
support it, for others like IE you have to deliver it as text/html,
which makes no sense at all and may cause new problems.

Sending XHTML as text/html Considered Harmful


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