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understanding xhtml

Over the last few years, a massive transition got underway from the old way of designing and building sites to the new. The old way was improvised and based entirely on the site’s appearance. (HTML tags were used in ways that were never intended...read understanding tables, p. 160, for a good example). The new way is structured and logical. And while it limits some of your immediate design options, it builds your site to last.

XHTML—which will replace its close cousin, HTML—is at the crux of this transition. The purpose of XHTML is to create a web that’s more standardized and more compatible with other systems that might want to display the same content, such as screen readers for the blind, older backend database systems, and new upcoming technologies like handheld computers or web-enabled cell phones.


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