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1. HTML, XHTML, and the World Wide Web > HTML and XHTML: What They Aren’t

HTML and XHTML: What They Aren’t

Despite all their new, multimedia-enabling page-layout features, and the hot technologies that give life to HTML/XHTML documents over the Internet, it is also important to understand the languages’ limitations. They are not word-processing tools, desktop-publishing solutions, or even programming languages. Their fundamental purpose is to define the structure and appearance of documents and document families so that they may be delivered quickly and easily to a user over a network for rendering on a variety of display devices. Jack of all trades, but master of none, so to speak.

Content Versus Appearance

HTML and its progeny, XHTML, provide many different ways to let you define the appearance of your documents: font specifications, line breaks, and multicolumn text are all features of the language. Of course, appearance is important, since it can have either detrimental or beneficial effects on how users access and use the information in your documents.


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