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For the most part, file extensions have resisted standardization.
Extensions like .xml, .htm(l), .xsd, .shtml, etc. are just unofficial
conventions that happen to be widely used. Operating systems and some
programs can be configured to treat a given extension in a special way,
like launch a particular program when a file is "opened", but extensions
have no intrinsic meaning.
SSI is no exception. As you can see from the tutorial
(http://httpd.apache.org/docs/howto/ssi.html), the extensions of files
that are scanned are entirely configurable. Pretty much every server
that supports SSI also supports the .shtml extension, but that's not
cast in stone.
> This may be a very ignorant question (what questions aren't), but is
> there a reference of some sort that explains what suffixes should be
> used to call certain operations or languages?
> For example, if I was to try to execute a XSSI command, the calling file
> must have the suffix of ".shtml". No problem there, I understand that.
> However, while this may be obvious to everyone here, but I just tried to
> execute a --
> <!--#include virtual="my.txt" -->
> -- from within a ".shtml" file and the XSSI command in the text file
> (my.txt) didn't work. However, when I simply changed the suffix of the
> called text file from "txt" to ".shtml", such as --
> <!--#include virtual="my.shtml" -->
> -- everything worked as I wanted. This was very confusing to me --from
> my perspective, who would have thunk it?
> I can't help but think that when using html (or shtml) to call xlm ,
> xsl, css, and other such suffixes, there should be a list/register that
> says "This is OK to call this operation using this suffix, but you can't
> do that operation with that suffix." -- if that makes any sense.
> Many thanks for any enlightenment.