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Chapter Five. Modern Markup > A Reformulation of Say What?

A Reformulation of Say What?

According to the W3C, “XHTML (http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/) is a reformulation of HTML in XML.” In plainer if slightly less precise English, XHTML is an XML-based markup language that works and looks like HTML with a few small but significant differences. To web browsers and other user agents, XHTML works exactly the same way as HTML, although some sophisticated modern browsers might treat it a bit differently, as we'll discuss in Chapter 6, “XHTML: Restructuring the Web.” To designers and developers, writing XHTML is almost the same as writing HTML but with slightly tighter house rules and one or two new elements, to be covered next.

In Chapter 4, “XML Conquers the World (And Other Web Standards Success Stories),” we described XML, a.k.a. Extensible Markup Language (http://www.w3.org/XML/), as a “super” markup language from which programmers can develop other custom markup languages. XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language) is one such markup language. XHTML 1.0 is the first and most backward-compatible version of XHTML, hence the most comfortable version to learn and the least troublesome to browsers and other user agents.


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