The 'application/xhtml+xml' Media Type
RFC 3236

Document Type RFC - Informational (January 2002; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
Stream Legacy
Formats plain text html pdf htmlized bibtex
Stream Legacy state (None)
Consensus Boilerplate Unknown
RFC Editor Note (None)
IESG IESG state RFC 3236 (Informational)
Telechat date
Responsible AD (None)
Send notices to (None)
Network Working Group                                           M. Baker
Request for Comments: 3236                              Planetfred, Inc.
Category: Informational                                         P. Stark
                                          Ericsson Mobile Communications
                                                            January 2002

                 The 'application/xhtml+xml' Media Type

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document defines the 'application/xhtml+xml' MIME media type for
   XHTML based markup languages; it is not intended to obsolete any
   previous IETF documents, in particular RFC 2854 which registers

1. Introduction

   In 1998, the W3C HTML working group began work on reformulating HTML
   in terms of XML 1.0 [XML] and XML Namespaces [XMLNS].  The first part
   of that work concluded in January 2000 with the publication of the
   XHTML 1.0 Recommendation [XHTML1], the reformulation for HTML 4.01

   Work continues in the Modularization of XHTML Recommendation
   [XHTMLM12N], the decomposition of XHTML 1.0 into modules that can be
   used to compose new XHTML based languages, plus a framework for
   supporting this composition.

   This document only registers a new MIME media type,
   'application/xhtml+xml'.  It does not define anything more than is
   required to perform this registration.

Baker & Stark                Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 3236         The 'application/xhtml+xml' Media Type     January 2002

   This document follows the convention set out in [XMLMIME] for the
   MIME subtype name; attaching the suffix "+xml" to denote that the
   entity being described conforms to the XML syntax as defined in XML
   1.0 [XML].

   This document was prepared by members of the W3C HTML working group
   based on the structure, and some of the content, of RFC 2854, the
   registration of 'text/html'.  Please send comments to www-, a public mailing list (requiring subscription) with
   archives at <>.

2. Registration of MIME media type application/xhtml+xml

    MIME media type name:      application
    MIME subtype name:         xhtml+xml
    Required parameters:       none
    Optional parameters:

         This parameter has identical semantics to the charset parameter
         of the "application/xml" media type as specified in [XMLMIME].

         See Section 8 of this document.

   Encoding considerations:
      See Section 4 of this document.

   Security considerations:
      See Section 7 of this document.

   Interoperability considerations:
      XHTML 1.0 [XHTML10] specifies user agent conformance rules that
      dictate behaviour that must be followed when dealing with, among
      other things, unrecognized elements.

      With respect to XHTML Modularization [XHTMLMOD] and the existence
      of XHTML based languages (referred to as XHTML family members)
      that are not XHTML 1.0 conformant languages, it is possible that
      'application/xhtml+xml' may be used to describe some of these
      documents.  However, it should suffice for now for the purposes of
      interoperability that user agents accepting
      'application/xhtml+xml' content use the user agent conformance
      rules in [XHTML1].

Baker & Stark                Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 3236         The 'application/xhtml+xml' Media Type     January 2002

      Although conformant 'application/xhtml+xml' interpreters can
      expect that content received is well-formed XML (as defined in
      [XML]), it cannot be guaranteed that the content is valid XHTML
      (as defined in [XHTML1]).  This is in large part due to the
      reasons in the preceding paragraph.

   Published specification:
      XHTML 1.0 is now defined by W3C Recommendation; the latest
      published version is [XHTML1].  It provides for the description of
      some types of conformant content as "text/html", but also doesn't
      disallow the use with other content types (effectively allowing
      for the possibility of this new type).

   Applications which use this media type:
      Some content authors have already begun hand and tool authoring on
      the Web with XHTML 1.0.  However that content is currently
      described as "text/html", allowing existing Web browsers to
      process it without reconfiguration for a new media type.

      There is no experimental, vendor specific, or personal tree
      predecessor to 'application/xhtml+xml'.  This new type is being
      registered in order to allow for the expected deployment of XHTML
      on the World Wide Web, as a first class XML application where
Show full document text