obscure problem using elementtree to make xhtml website

Lee hogney at gmail.com
Thu Sep 3 15:43:08 CEST 2009

Elementtree (python xml parser) will transform markup like

<tag boo="baa"></tag>


<tag boo="baa" />

which is a reasonable thing to do for xml (called minimization, I

But this caused an obscure problem when I used it to create the xhtml
parts of my website,
causing Internet Explorer to display nearly blank pages. I explain the
details at


and am writing here as a heads-up to anyone who might be using a
workflow similar to mine: writing documents in xml and using python
and elementtree to transform those into xhtml webpages, and using the
standard kludge of serving them as text/html to IE, to get around the
latter's inability to handle xml. I can't be the only one (and I doubt
this problem is confined to elementtree).

Lee Phillips

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