XHTML - What is it and why was it needed?

Published 24/05/2004 18:42   |    Updated 08/05/2008 17:52
XHTML - What is it and why was it needed?

XHTML stands for Extensible Hyper Text Mark-up Language, and it's essentially a cross between HTML and another language called XML  (Extensible Mark-up Language).


XHTML came about to meet two important requirements that emerged as the web and our use of it matured - the need for a more rigid framework for web page coding, and the need for a standard that was readable by a wide variety of devices without the need to make changes.


Because of this, and because XHTML will in all likelihood supersede HTML some time quite soon, it's probably easiest to look at XHTML is as the newest 'generation' of HTML and the future universal language of web design.


OK. But what's XML?


As with the other languages, there are many ways to look at and define XML, but we don't need to get too bogged down in that here.


Instead, it's perhaps most sensible to try to understand the area as a whole, and to do this it's a good idea to look at all three languages in relation to one another. Here, in their simplest terms, XML describes and carries data, and HTML concentrates on displaying it, while XHTML does a combination of both.


Confused? Don't panic, you shouldn't need to know too much about XML while you're in the early stages of web design - so we're just going to focus on the basics of XHTML itself.


Inside Knowledge

You'll eventually need to go into XHTML and maybe a little deeper into XML if you want to move up into more complex web design.



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