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So much for my xHTML recommendation

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I've always told my friend (who runs a New Media firm) to get his designer to create valid xHTML pages instead of using the default standard HTML 4.01 spec for their websites. I've cited a number of reasons to support this. One of the most important being is that xHTML is better served to mobile devices as the xHTML Mobile-Profile spec conforms to the xHTML 1.1 standard. And if a page is a valid xHTML, some device-readers could 'read out' the webpage to blind people.
xHTML 1.1 pages must be served application/xhtml+xml MIME type which IE and some other browsers doesn't support. On the other hand, xHTML 1.0 (whatever DOCTYPE it may be - Strict, Transitional, Frameset) can be served as text/html if it follows the xHTML 1.0 spec guidelines - but even then its not considered to be valid xHTML ! Anyway, that's the summary of a long story.

So much for xHTML that, at the time I created all my pages xHTML 1.1 but never served it from the server as xHTML 1.1 (tag-soup). I even started trying out xHTML 2.0 (which is still in draft mode) only to find out that's its pointless as w3 doesn't really validate 2.0 properly. After realizing that xHTML 1.1 and 2.0 pages need to be served application/xhtml+xml, I fell back to xHTML 1.0 which many web guys do.

A month ago, W3C, after much pressure from an independent body called WHATWG, drew the HTML 5 W3C Editor's Draft 28 June 2007 draft ! Yep, a new version of HTML is on the way. HTML 5 and xHTML 2.0 are under development but which one will successfully take over ? According to HTML 5's new site's timeline, the final Recommendation would be in Q3 of 2010 ! As for xHTML 2.0...I guess they're still trying to mend it.

I guess this is good news for GUI-editor designers who really don't care if its HTML or xHTML - because they depend on DreamWeaver and the like to do all the markup-code work even with inline CSS.

So which one will win the race ? xHTML 2.0 or HTML 5.0 ?

Links :
No to XHTML.
Microsoft's Windows live Writer (WLW) Team Lead at WLW groups' discussion on why he refuses to close the <li> tag.


Joe Cheng said...

Hey, I never refused to close the LI tag! I stated multiple times in the thread you link to that we intend to honor users' wishes to generate well-formed XHTML markup.

What I did object to is the assertion that unclosed LI tags are invalid HTML. It may not be intuitive, but it is to spec!

Anjanesh said...

What I did object to is the assertion that unclosed LI tags are invalid HTML

Agreed, Joe - but its not invalid even if its closed - which is optional in HTML - but closing makes it valid HTML and valid xHTML. So I don't see whats the harm.
Anyway, my main point in this post is that HTML is not dying and going to be more active than before for those who think xHTML is taking over.