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Chapter 16. XHTML

Chapter 16. XHTML

Despite its name, you don't use Extensible Markup Language (XML) to directly create and mark up web documents. Instead you use XML technology to define a new markup language, which you then use to mark up web documents. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has read the previous chapter in this book. Nor, then, should it surprise you that one of the first languages defined using XML is an XML-ized version of HTML, the most popular markup language ever. HTML is now being disciplined and cleaned up by XML to bring it back into line with the larger family of markup languages. This new standard is XHTML 1.0.[1]

[1] Throughout this chapter, we use "XHTML" to mean the XHTML 1.0 standard. There is a nascent XHTML 1.1 standard which diverges from XHTML 1.0 and HTML 4.01. See http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/ for the details and differences.

Because of HTML's legacy features and oddities, using XML to describe HTML was not an easy job for the W3C. In fact, certain HTML rules, as we'll discuss later, cannot be represented using XML. Nonetheless, if the W3C has its way, XHTML will ultimately replace the HTML we currently know and love. We agree that it should.


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