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What Mark Up Language should I use?

I have been away a long time, and I still like to write code the old fashioned way, line by line, tag by tag. I have taken out the greater than less than symbols and replaced them with parentheisis, ok?
My opening line of (!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
(html xmlns="" lang="en"
is what i am using to link to an external style sheet.
If i am not linking to an external style sheet, I would use transitional in place of strict?

I am also adding the following after the (title) tags
(?xml version="1.0" encoding="EUC-JP"?)
( meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html"; charset="EUC-JP" /)
and before the close of the (head).
Am I doing this correctly? I won't use the adv* word, but any input greatly appreciated.
For future reference you can use [ code ] [ /code ] to enclose code like that. (just take out the spaces)

You should keep the strict, it only changes the formatting not the functionality. It makes browser render things slightly differently. It shouldn't affect the ability to link stylesheets.
a combination of html, php (/w mysql), and css is very powerful for creating good web sites, imo.
If you use strict, keep in mind that old browser that can't read style sheets won't be able to read the css either.

Then there's all those people (the hardcore "I-believe-that-xhtml-HAS-to-be-"well-formed"-or-I-cannot-breathe" type) who believe that xhtml should only be served with MIME type 'application/xhtml+xml' and that if it's served with text/html, it'll just get handled like html by browsers, thus defeating the purpose of using xhtml in the first place. (But IE 6 doesn't understand application/xhtml+xml, lolz@it.)

Of course, if you haven't, you should read up on what the W3C has to say on it.
With either doc-type, (strict or transitionl) XHTML forbids the use of INLINE styles. I think this is what you were asking? If you want to use inline styles (which I don't recommend) you can declare a doctype of HTML 4.0?
Actually, visiting the w3c site is really good advice. They have a tutorial section that covers doctype declarations and the like.
Some people are quite concerned about backwards compatability with external stylesheets. Personally, I think accessibility is the biggest argument FOR using a CSS. Styleheets have been around for less time than malicious code. No-one but no-one (who doesn't know better) is going to be on the internet anymore with a browser that isn't capable of at least rendering a properly formed document wth CSS.
And, furthermore, if your document is well-formed (sorry, I couldn't resist) your page will still be legible and functional, even if the stylesheet isn't rendered at all.
Embarassed (Stepping off soapbox) Embarassed
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