"Presence or absence of an XML declaration does not affect
interoperability. Certain implementations might always precede their XML
serialization with the XML declaration."
So no, it's not required.
>Now, just as an experiment, I did take the test out. Your server did
>beautifully, except for this search, which blew it up:
Fixed. I fixed that bug on a different server, but forgot to put the
change into my 'production' version. Ooops.