Content Negotiation for XHTML 1.0, XHTML Basic, and XHTML Mobile Profile, Part 1

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I’ve researched the recomended practice for each of the document types I’d like to have my server and user agents negotiate among (desktop, pda, and mobile phone).


This one is easy, since we already know what the recomendation for a generic XHTML document is:



Assuming we don’t serve XHTML 1.x documents as text/html, we need to differentiate the above media type slightly in order to (hopefully) differentiate it enough to support content negotiation. The recommended answer comes from RFC 3236:


XHTML Mobile Profile

The WAP Forum is the orginization that defined XHTML MP, so here we reference Page 11 of the XHTML Mobile Profile specification (PDF document):


Yes, I know that document says both that and application/xhtml+xml; profile= are required, but that doesn’t make any sense to require both, although choosing this media type instead would get around the problem of the other one not being registered with the IANA.

Author: Peter Sheerin

Peter Sheerin is best known for the decade he spent as the Technical Editor of CADENCE magazine, where he was the acknowledged expert in Computer-Aided Design hardware and software. He has a long-standing passion for improving usability of software, hardware, and everyday objects that is always interwoven in his articles. Peter is available for freelance technical writing and product reviews, and is exploring career opportunities in interaction design. His pet personal project is exploring the best ways to harmonize visual, tactile, and audible symbols for improving the effectiveness of alerting systems.

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