Travis Beale Travis Beale - 1 month ago 16
HTML Question

Can comments appear before the DOCTYPE declaration?

I would like to place a comment (

<!-- this -->
style) at the very top of my HTML code, preceding the DOCTYPE declaration. Does this conform to the standards? Is it supported by the major browsers? Are there any pitfalls in doing this?

Answer

Writing the DOCTYPE first is certainly best practice.

I remember strange problems a long, long time ago where some browser (probably IE6) ignored a DOCTYPE because there was something seemingly innocent before it - I think just whitespace, but maybe it was a comment. In any case, it was a horrible, horrible bug to have to track down, and there's certainly never any good reason to have comments or whitespace before the DOCTYPE.

Writing the DOCTYPE first is, I'd say, just something experienced web developers do to avoid horrible, elusive bugs.

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