coming soon to a next-generation web site near you.
introduction of XHTML 1.0, web masters now have the tools to
ensure that their web sites will have the greatest audience possible
today and tomorrow.
Until now, the main concern
of web masters has been to ensure that web pages could be viewed
in different versions of popular web browsers such as Internet
Explorer and Netscape Navigator. Since the majority of web surfers
access the web using personal computers and laptops, the focus
on browser compliance ensures that a web site can be viewed by
the greatest number of web surfers.
But this is no longer enough as a wide range of browser platforms
are rapidly emerging. In the near future, people will access
the web using a variety of devices such as wireless phones, televisions,
pagers, automobiles, and even appliances. The challenge is that
most browsers on these devices will be XML-based. This simply
means that unless web pages are created following XML standards
they will not be accessible by a growing audience of web surfers.
The answer: XHTML 1.0. Smart web masters are already
preparing their web pages so that they will get the best of both
worlds (XML and HTML compliance). And they use XHTML to do it.
XHTML (or eXtensible Hypertext Markup Language) is the major
change to HTML since the introduction of version 4.0 in 1997.
In effect, it reformulates HTML as an XML application. Hence,
it can be viewed in HTML browsers as well as XML-based systems.
The result: your web pages are accessible by almost anyone regardless
of the browser device utilized to access the Web.
The best part is that XHTML
is easy to implement. Web developers can download HTML
Tidy, a free utility that converts HTML documents into XHTML
1.0 pages. Plus, HTML tidy will also correct any HTML mistakes
it encounters. HTML Tidy is available for MAC OS, Windows 9x,
DOS, UNIXWARE, and AMIGA.
Reviewing XHTML 1.0 in details
in beyond the scope of this article. For more information, web
developers should read Introduction
to XHTML, with eXamples.
does XHTML look like?
To view the differences between HTML and XHTML documents, you
need to analyze their source. XHTML documents are easy to identify
because they start with the following line of code (or similar
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC
"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">. Other differences include mandatory
tags, document type definitions, and attributes. XHTML 1.0 brings
the rigor of XML to HTML documents; hence the source of web pages
must be error-free to be interpreted correctly. This means that
HTML browsers will be less likely to interpret the source differently,
maximizing the chances that web pages will appear the same across
browsers and platforms (Another great advantage of using XHTML).
For many expert web developers,XML
is the future of the Web. XHTML represents the easiest way to
transition to this universal web document format while offering
the best of both of worlds.
The World Wide Web Consortium: www.W3C.org