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Re: [Lynx-dev] lynx misrenders many *IN*valid xhtml5 pages on my site

From: Lennart Jablonka
Subject: Re: [Lynx-dev] lynx misrenders many *IN*valid xhtml5 pages on my site
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2023 20:33:43 +0000

Quoth Thorsten Glaser:
Lennart Jablonka dixit:

And here I thought that all of XHTML 1.0, XHTML 1.1, HTML5 XML syntax, and
WHATWG HTML XML syntax defer parsing to the XML processor.

As usual, it depends.

Iff the browser requests XHTML served as XML, that is, if the browser
sends an HTTP Accept header that contains application/xhtml+xml

as is the case for lynx

probably contains that before text/html if both are given), then the
server may send the document as XML, skipping the space before “/>”.

That is what happens here. (Also, I’m under the impression that content negotiation à la Accept is entirely optional—the server is free to ignore Accept; what matters to the client is just the returned Content-Type. Per HTTP, at least: ignoring the strange HTML rules for Media type sniffing.)

I’m not sure whether it may then also self-close all tags but would
assume so (except I know tech is… tricky).

As in an XML document, <asdf/> and <asdf></asdf> are entirely equivalent, yes, the server may then “self-close” all empty elements.

If however the browser does not send that header, the document must be
served in compatibility mode,

It might be smart to do, but is not a requirement, is it? A server sending an XHTML document as application/xhtml+xml, not in any way stating that it is valid HTML syntax, need not restrict the XML syntax, does it?

in particular the self-closing tags thing
(if you self-close <textarea/>, even Firefox croaks and dies), but also
a compatibility space before “/>” for best effect.

(And yes, XHTML, despite later changes to the HTTP docs, may be served
as text/html, but only under these caveats; the XHTML spec supports

This is the one case for which the space and the separate end tag are required.

tl;dr it’s a mess…

It for sure is.

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