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I'm thinking it is one or the other. Normaly if it is .html i just change the .htacces file to run .html files through the php engine.
Apache will parse a .shtml file then send it through PHP (or the other way around), as opposed to just using the one parser, so there's a little extra server overhead involved. If your site is not >500,000 hits-per-day busy, you shouldn't worry about the extra overhead.
I haven't tested it, but it's just a mime code added to the html page. Here it is:
<MIME TYPE Extension application/x-httpd-php.html>
<MIME TYPE Extension application/x-httpd-php .html>
The difference in the two is the second one has a space after php. I'm not sure which is correct. Like I said, I haven't tested this out yet.