XHTML, step by step

Get started working with Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. XHTML is a language based on HTML, but expressed in well-formed XML. However, XHTML has more to offer than just regularizing tags and characters -- XHTML can alter the way you approach Web design. This tutorial gives step-by-step instruction for developers familiar with HTML who want to learn how to use XHTML in practical Web sites.


Table of contents

  • Introducing XHTML
  • Who should take this tutorial?
  • Prerequisites
  • About the examples in this tutorial
  • Anatomy of an XHTML Web page
  • The flavors of XHTML
  • The XML declaration
  • Document type declarations
  • Main elements and namespace
  • A complete example
  • Understand the ground rules
  • Avoid obsolete elements
  • Use an end tag for all elements
  • Incorrect XHTML
  • Correct XHTML
  • Use proper form for all attributes
  • Use the xml:lang attribute
  • Replace common HTML idioms
  • Use stylesheets to set font and text details
  • Use the XML stylesheet processing instruction
  • Use style to align content
  • Align content with an internal stylesheet
  • Use ins and del to express edited content
  • Do not use text/html with XHTML 1.1
  • Use the W3C XHTML validator
  • Use the XML declaration for character encoding
  • Use XSLT to provide standby conversion to HTML
  • Embed XHTML in other vocabularies
  • XSLT document with embedded XHTML

The context surrounding XHTML
A language is always born in a particular context and it is usually the expression of a need that has been felt at a given moment. XHTML is no exception, and I would even add that we can not understand the value of this markup language without knowing the stakes of its existence.

A markup language
Before going further, you must understand a simple but often forgotten notion, even by insiders. XHTML is a markup language.

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Created: 2018-09-26

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