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1. HTML, XHTML, and the World Wide Web > Standards and Extensions

Standards and Extensions

The basic syntax and semantics of HTML are defined in the HTML standard, now in its final version, 4.01. HTML matured quickly, in barely a decade. At one time, a new version would appear before you had a chance to finish reading an earlier edition of this book. Today, HTML has stopped evolving. As far as the W3C is concerned, XHTML has taken over. Now the wait is for browser manufacturers to implement the standards.

The XHTML standard currently is Version 1.0. Fortunately, XHTML Version 1.0 is, for the most part, a reconstitution of HTML Version 4.0.1. There are some differences, which we explore in Chapter 16. The popular browsers continue to support HTML documents, so there is no cause to stampede to XHTML. Do, however, start walking in that direction: a newer XHTML version, 1.1, is under consideration at the W3C, and browser developers are slowly but surely dropping nonstandard HTML features from their products.


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