18 The XHTML syntax

This section only describes the rules for XML resources. Rules for text/html resources are discussed in the section above entitled "The HTML syntax".

The syntax for using HTML with XML, whether in XHTML documents or embedded in other XML documents, is defined in the XML and Namespaces in XML specifications. [XML] [XMLNS]

This specification does not define any syntax-level requirements beyond those defined for XML proper.

XML documents may contain a DOCTYPE if desired, but this is not required to conform to this specification. This specification does not define a public or system identifier, nor provide a formal DTD.

According to the XML specification, XML processors are not guaranteed to process the external DTD subset referenced in the DOCTYPE. This means, for example, that using entity references for characters in XHTML documents is unsafe if they are defined in an external file (except for <, >, &, " and ').