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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot choazart's Avatar
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    To "XHTML" or Not

    Hello all,

    I work for a large software company and am resposible for re/creating HTML templates for our opt-in e-mail/web marketing campaigns. We send thousands a month all over the world.

    I've inherited a large number of old templates that were written in Frontpage and are hideous.

    While going through these templates and getting rid of depricated tags and messed up markup, I pondered the possibility of making them all XHTML 1.0 "Transitional" compliant.

    Any one have any thoughts on this???

    Should I bother??? If so, what are the benefits and the justification for going through the process???

    Any input is appreciated.

    Mike

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard DougBTX's Avatar
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    I code in XHTML 1.0 Strict, but moving from Frontpage tag soup to any sort of standardised coding (even if it is just HTML 4.01 Transitional) will probably help some.

    What is more important is being able to write clear, easy to read code. It could validate as XHTML 1.1 (v. Strict) and still be a mess.

    If the code doesn't make sence, or is hard to read, update it. You'll help yourself out by being able to see your content through the HTML!

    Douglas
    Hello World

  3. #3
    Phil fillup07's Avatar
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    Just so you know, it's relatively easy to modify HTML to XHTML transitional. Minor changes. www.w3schools.com

  4. #4
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    You might as well go straight to xhtml if you are going to be wading through FrontPage nonsense.

  5. #5
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Email campaigns and CSS/XHTML:
    http://alistapart.com/articles/cssemail/

  6. #6
    SitePoint Zealot colinr's Avatar
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    why not use xhtml? if you gonna learn something, might as well learn something that will benefit you longer
    Web Slave

  7. #7
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    Since XHTML is the same as HTML 4.01 except that it is well-formed XML, there is no reason not to use XHTML. Moving HTML 4.01 to the equivalent XHTML is a no-brainer.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard DougBTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmj
    Since XHTML is the same as HTML 4.01 except that it is well-formed XML, there is no reason not to use XHTML. Moving HTML 4.01 to the equivalent XHTML is a no-brainer.
    That's a bit of a simplification for many people; it isn't a case of going from HTML 4.0 to XHTML, it is about going from non-validating to validating. In which case they would probably still haev the same problems moving to validating HTML 4 as they would goint to validating XHTML 1.0.

    That said, if you are going to get something to even sort-of validate, XHTML is a better target than HTML.

    Douglas
    Hello World

  9. #9
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    I had a feeling that Frontpage used HTML 4.01. Actually, upon looking at the Frontpage 2003 homepage, I see that it now does XHTML - if this is the case, it would make conversion to XHTML even easier than I previously mentioned.

    If Frontpage 2003 is not an option for you (or if the product page is lying and it can't actually do XHTML), then you could use a tool such as HTML Tidy, which can at least convert most code to XHTML 1 Transitional.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
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  10. #10
    Starting to-digg-in ********* jamesxv7's Avatar
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    Definitively you would have to use XHTML in your new templates or in the old ones from FP. This way you will be saving several working hours in a future not very distant where the XHTML will replace the HTML completely.
    James: Ecodig - My Blog - My Gallery
    Validate your sites: CSS - HTML/XHTML
    Without faith you are lost.

  11. #11
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    To X or not to X

    There's been a lot of debate about the true value of coding to the XHTML standards since there's no broadly supported way to properly serve XHTML compliant pages with the correct MIME type as is discussed in this article.

    That said, coding to at least one of the recommended HTML 4.01 versions, getting rid of deprecated and proprietary attributes and elements abundantly found in pages churned out by Frontpage and using XHTML 1.0 coding standards like well-formedness, using closing tags on all container elements, quoting attribute values, using lower-case characters for elements and attributes, etc. will already contribute to cleaner, easier-to-render pages and will make to step to one of the XHTML versions much easier should the need rise.

    And, I don't know about the latest version, but as far as I can recall Frontpage may use some form of HTML 4.01 - which I doubt, but it at least applies it in the worst possible way imaginable!
    Regards,
    Ronald.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Just to build on what Ronald mentioned, don't code in XHTML 1.1 unless you can send the application/xhtml+xml MIME type and are willing to shut out all Internet Explorer users. This is pretty unfortunate, and will most likely pose an even greater inconvenience as new XHTML standards requiring that MIME type are released.

    However, there is an interim measure of using XHTML 1.0 Strict, with which the application/xml+xhtml MIME type is recommended, but not required. XHTML 1.0 strict will render "correctly" (with bugs, of course) in even Internet Explorer, presuming that you do not add the XML prolog (<?xml version="1.0"?>) and use the MIME type of previous HTML specifications.

    As far as FrontPage is concerned, I do believe that previous versions supported HTML 4, but happened to load the code with font tags and the like. I don't know what kind of code FrontPage 2003 generates, and while it's purported to be better...

  13. #13
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    Email campaigns and CSS/XHTML:
    http://alistapart.com/articles/cssemail/
    This is a good listing of some of the problems encountered. It's not complete though. Some web-based email browsers won't display any styles at all, some won't render XHTML correctly. I don't have an exhaustive list handy but for the retail sites I help out with, we had lots of people complain when we moved over to xhtml. So, we went back to html 4.01 and font tags. Terrible I know, but a lot of web-based email sites (hotmail, etc.) aren't up to snuff.


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