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Chapter 6. Well-Formed XHTML Documents > Symmetry and Well-Formed Documents

Symmetry and Well-Formed Documents

The concept of a well-formed document is critical to validation and conformance within XHTML 1.0. Well-formedness relates to the symmetrical relationship between elements in an XHTML document.

In HTML, this well-formedness does exist in a vague sense. One assumes that rules should be followed despite no formal discussion existing about a well-formed document. But, a self-perpetuating cycle of sloppy code practices leading to forgiving browsers, which in turn lead to even sloppier code practices has existed for far too long. A great place to begin getting rigor back into your authoring approach is to embrace XHTML's well-formedness concepts.


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