Blosxom and application/xhtml+xml

Since this website is written to the XHTML 1.0 Strict Doctype, I thought it would be nice to serve it with the correct MIME type to conforming user-agents. I remembered hearing about a plugin called xhtml that would do this, but after a cursory search came up with nothing I decided that I’d just write my own.

So here’s xhtmlmime. It uses CGI.pm to sniff the Accept: HTTP header from the user-agent and then serves blosxom with the preferred MIME type. There are two variables that need to be set:

  • $flavours needs to be set to a list of flavours upon which to act. This defaults to empty, and the plugin will exit quietly until you set it.
  • $charset should be set to the character encoding used on your weblog. This defaults to utf-8.

You can force the plugin to send the application/xhtml+xml MIME type by specifying a URL parameter of mime=xhtml. Setting mime to anything else will result in the user getting text/html.

Update 2005-07-21

The plugin now exports a variable – $xhtmlmime::meta_http_equiv – for use in your head templates. If you use the http-equiv element, set it as follows:

And the plugin will ensure that it is set correctly.

Warning

As noted by Bill Lovett, serving as application/xhtml+xml raises a couple of issues. The most important one is that this will lead to very strict interpretation of your pages by the web browser, so unless your pages are well-formed – contain no mistakes in the markup – your visitors will just get error messages! Bad plugin!

So, before using this plugin you need to be confident that this is the case, and that you have some method for ensuring that only well-formed, valid markup ends up on your pages.

Feedback

If you have any feedback, either contact me directly or post a message to the blosxom mailing list.