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by Jay Fienberg

XHTML the way mom used to make it

posted: Jul 31, 2003 8:34:26 PM

Don Park is commenting on the techno-too-complicatedness of XHTML in his XHTML: Technical Masturbation. I would definitely agree with a lot of what Don is saying when it comes to XHTML 2.0. (See my comments earlier this month on XHTML 2.0 in Mark's dips into XHTML.)

But, I hand code my blog entries in old fashioned transitional XHTML 1.0, and I think it is just dandy.

First of all, the main XHTML thing that I do is make sure my HTML is well-formed and valid, as well as use the XML style for empty elements, like <br /> rather than <br>.

Having done this by hand for a couple months (I first started specifically using XHTML when I started this blog), I actually find it harder to hand-code HTML 4 than XHTML 1.0. I find it is somewhat more efficient to be more strictly consistent (XHTML 1.0) than less so (a lot of pages in HTML 4.0).

The other thing that seems like it will be nice with my pages being XHTML is that I will be able to parse them with an XML parser. I have some ideas for why I might want to do this (i.e., with automated features for iCites), and it seems like a nice feature to have for the expense of not much more than closing my P tags.

Anyway, I think there could be positive value realized if general HTML usage shifted more into XHTML 1.0. I am not so sure where the positive value is (at least at this point) in XHTML 2.0.

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Comment by: MikeyC ·
posted: Aug 2, 2003 8:30:54 PM

"and it seems like a nice feature to have for the expense of not much more than closing my P tags."

XHTML advocates always say this... I don't get can just as easily close your P tags in for "automated features" like parsing a document: if you are closing your P tags and generally writing clean, valid HTML as it is, there should not be a problem.

I've tried several RSS-programs that have "auto-discover" features which parse documents looking for an XML feed to download...not one has failed me yet even though my site is written in HTML 4.01 Strict...

The coming "Age of XHTML" is a fairytale...a solution looking for a problem...there will never be a mainstream web browser released that strictly reads valid XHTML and spits out anything less for two reasons: #1: most sane people won't use a piece of software that doesn't work most of the time and #2: the additional overhead required for building in "loose" rendering (like the lack of closing P tags) is insignificant for desktop applications now that HDs are up to about 120 GB...

There may be a slight benefit for low-resource handheld devices, but by the time valid XHTML is everywhere the handheld devices will have more than enough onboard resources anyways...

trackback from: the iCite net development blog
posted: Aug 3, 2003 4:50:31 PM
title: To X or not to X HTML, that could always be a fine question

MikeyC left some good comments on my posts about XHTML. What follows are my responses to his comments.

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