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  1. #51
    SitePoint Zealot x-termin8or's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great FAQ and all the info you provided. It has helped me a lot to understand the difference between html and xhtml... cheers!
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  2. #52
    SitePoint Member Dread_'s Avatar
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    Personally, im a real supporter of xhtml, i use it, i write it semantically and while i could write just as tidy html4 i like how xhtml actually forces easier to read code.

    Now, that aside, what the hell is the point in xhtml then? Personally, i believe we should dump html and just go for xhtml because of its better, stricter, standardised rules.

    But lets face it, as always, its microsoft thats holding us back.

  3. #53
    SitePoint Addict greg76's Avatar
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    Tommy, thanks for great doze of info. I was pretty intrigued by the title, for for some time now I was thinking about changing the way of coding web sites and migrate to 'modern' way of it: xhtml (reluctantly, though).

    After reading your thread it is clear to me that I don't have to
    It's not a modern way, it's a different way which seems (to me) to have lots of little 'buggers' down the road and at the end is nothing else but regular HTML, at least with current use of it, mentioned 99.99% of 'xhtml' websites. Am I right or am I right?

    Thanks again!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyssen
    I'm just pointing out that a lot of people have come to learn about web standards and CSS and tableless coding and doctypes because they first heard about XHTML. It was the catalyst for a lot of people to change their way of thinking about coding their pages.
    I don't know if lots of 'em. I was not one of them for sure. When I designed and published my portfolio site, I sent a query to some forum asking people to criticize my happy designing and coding. Someone pointed out that the site is based on tables. I started learning CSS, firstly with lots of drama (seamen could not probably curse as good as I did while starting with CSS )

    Now, all my websites are coded using tableless design (HTML 4). XHTML looks like a drama to me and, honestly, I do not want to migrate (at least not for a loooong time now)

    Greetings to all members (and guests) of SP!
    Greg

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by greg76
    XHTML looks like a drama to me and, honestly, I do not want to migrate (at least not for a loooong time now)
    XHTML is easier than you think. It is just normal HTML modularized (transformed to XML using HTML tags, if you want it to put it that way).

    The main problem is that, as per today, IE doesn't support it if you serve it as an application, hence that if you want to use XML features, it is the server who needs to do the parsing. This is inconvenient because you need to have access to your server configuration.

    I insist, it is not that IE doesn't understand XML, it's being used since IE 5.5. It is simply that IE doesn't support XHTML served as application which is the good way to do it.

  5. #55
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by molona
    XHTML is easier than you think. It is just normal HTML modularized (transformed to XML using HTML tags, if you want it to put it that way).
    No, it's not normal HTML. Please read the first post in this thread. Carefully.
    XHTML is XML, and is a different beast from HTML despite the superficial similarities.

    I'd rather say that XHTML is more difficult than you think.

    Quote Originally Posted by molona
    The main problem is that, as per today, IE doesn't support it if you serve it as an application
    IE doesn't support XHTML. Period. What it does support is HTML, which is what you use if you serve anything as text/html.

    This is important: IE does not support XHTML served as text/html. It supports HTML with certain syntax errors in it.
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo
    No, it's not normal HTML. Please read the first post in this thread. Carefully.
    XHTML is XML, and is a different beast from HTML despite the superficial similarities.
    I may have not expressed myself properly, my apologies, because I didn't say that XHTML and HTML were the same thing. I said that XHTML is the modularization of HTML and transformed into XML or, if this is easier, XHTML is XML using tags that are named exactly as the HTML tags.

    Sorry if the way I phrase it drives to confusion.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo
    IE doesn't support XHTML. Period. What it does support is HTML, which is what you use if you serve anything as text/html.

    This is important: IE does not support XHTML served as text/html. It supports HTML with certain syntax errors in it.
    Well, depends on how you define support. What you say it is true. But my point of view here was simply that IE treats XHTML served as text/html as normal HTML and hence display the page as usual.

  8. #58
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by molona
    Well, depends on how you define support.
    In this case, I'd define it as 'recognise and treat appropriately'.

    Quote Originally Posted by molona
    What you say it is true. But my point of view here was simply that IE treats XHTML served as text/html as normal HTML and hence display the page as usual.
    Yes, provided that you've followed Appendix C to the letter. If you expect IE to support XHTML, you'd be surprised if you tried something as trivial as this fragment of fully valid and normal XHTML:
    HTML Code:
    <script type="application/javascript" src="foo.js"/>
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo
    HTML Code:
    <script type="application/javascript" src="foo.js"/>
    Very possibly. Never tried that to be honest. I was sent my javascript as plain text.

  10. #60
    CSS & JS/DOM Adept bronze trophy
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    molona, Tommy's point was that IE doesn't support terminated form for empty elements. Using a script element like that makes IE think that everything following the start tag for that element is JavaScript code.

    Apparently IE doesn't support application/javascript as a value for the X/HTML type attribute for script elements either.
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  11. #61
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    The MIME type was not the issue. I only meant to illustrate that IE doesn't recognise the markup as XHTML when it's served as text/html (nor does any other browser). It is HTML, and HTML does not allow self-closing tags. You can get by with self-closing tags on element types that are declared as EMPTY in the HTML DTD (i.e., which do not have an end tag in HTML), because of a common SGML parser bug that most browsers have. But it isn't recognised as a self-closing tag.
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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo
    You can get by with self-closing tags on element types that are declared as EMPTY in the HTML DTD (i.e., which do not have an end tag in HTML), because of a common SGML parser bug that most browsers have. But it isn't recognised as a self-closing tag.
    Actually, browsers don't have SGML parsers at all. It would be more helpful if you referred to the parsers browsers use for text/html as "tag soup parsers" rather than "SGML parsers with some bugs", because they are by their nature not SGML parsers. For starters, SGML parsers read SGML declarations and DTDs to determinate how to parse documents. Tag soup parsers don't use SGML declarations nor DTDs, even internally.

    (Sorry to pick on this, but this one has bugged me for a while now. )
    Simon Pieters

  13. #63
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    You're right. I didn't want to use an expression like 'tag soup parser', though, because that would infer that HTML were in some way inferior to XHTML.

    A better expression would be 'HTML parser', I suppose. It's a specialised SGML parser that presumes that the document uses one of the supported HTML DTDs.
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  14. #64
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    One of the benefits of xhtml over html is that it is much more parser friendly. Modern web browsers are bloated with logic to deal with all types of html mistakes and to figure out how tags are nested when there are no closing delineators. This extra overhead makes no difference for desktop computers but when you are browsing the internet from your cell phone this extra overhead is very costly.

    Xhtml makes the browsers job much easier by guaranteeing that all the syntax is 100% correct. This relieves the browser of having to figure out how to display the page when there is a mistake. The XML format of having all tags be in the same case and having every tag properly closed is less work for browser than the 'anything can go' format of html.

  15. #65
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkr0z
    One of the benefits of xhtml over html is that it is much more parser friendly.
    That has already been mentioned in this thread, along with the fact that it only applies when the XHTML is served as an application of XML. If served as text/html the point is moot, because the user agent must treat it as HTML and thus use its HTML parser.

    Quote Originally Posted by jkr0z
    This extra overhead makes no difference for desktop computers but when you are browsing the internet from your cell phone this extra overhead is very costly.
    It's not like mobiles phones can do without an HTML parser anyway. If they were to support only XHTML, there would be very few pages on the web that they could display (XHTML pages served as XML).

    Simon Pieters has just compiled the results of testing mobile devices for XHTML compliance. They are not what you might have expected.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  16. #66
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    They are what I expected though.

  17. #67
    SitePoint Enthusiast JakeA's Avatar
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    An excellent, informative article

    I have always thought XHTML should be used rather than HTML, but it seems that this is not the case.

  18. #68
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    Thanks for this. Liked the information

  19. #69
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Immerse's Avatar
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    I have a strange little issue going on.

    I send XHTML 1.0 strict pages with a Content-Type of 'application/xhtml+xml'
    In Firefox and Opera - as expected - everything is fine.

    Internet Explorer, however, is displaying the page too! Huh?
    Unless MS just released some kind of update which fixes it's application/xhtml+xml problems, something strange is going on.

    I checked the Content-Type using FF's Page Info thingy, Opera's too, and I even had W3's validator check it out. They all say 'application/xhtml+xml':



    IE, of course, said that this page's type is 'Not Available'. Uh-huh.

    Why is IE displaying this page? It shouldn't!

    Not that I mind, I'd just like to know what's going on...
    Last edited by Immerse; Jul 7, 2006 at 16:22.

  20. #70
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    If it's the site in your signature, it's sent as text/html.

    You can make IE 'accept' application/xhtml+xml by a Registry hack. It doesn't mean it will suddenly support XHTML, of course, but it will recognise the MIME type even if it still treats the document as HTML.

    It's also possible that IE shows you an older, cached page served as text/html if you've visited it before.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  21. #71
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Immerse's Avatar
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    Nah, it's not that site, it was my local copy, which was definately being sent out as application/xhtml+xml.
    For some reason, the issue seems to have fixed itself now, and IE is showing the download prompt.

    I think you're probably right on the caching issue, I can't think what else it could have been...

  22. #72
    SitePoint Addict gl3nnx's Avatar
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    just wanna ask, whats the difference between XHTML strict and XHTML 1.1 ? thanx

  23. #73
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tailslide's Avatar
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    just wanna ask, whats the difference between XHTML strict and XHTML 1.1 ? thanx
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=320391
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  24. #74
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by gl3nnx
    just wanna ask, whats the difference between XHTML strict and XHTML 1.1 ? thanx
    That's explained in the first post of this thread.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  25. #75
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    Tommy,

    Very nice post. I miss your Autistic Cuckoo blog, that was always one of my favorites.


    When you say XHTML served as application/xhtml+xml doesn't work in IE, what do you mean by that?

    Maybe my memory is wrong, certainly I rarely serve up pages as application/xhtml+xml myself, but I seem to recall that a few years back that IE would display pages like that as an XML tree. Useful to me as a programmer, but not exactly what the average viewer wanted to see.

    But, the last time I checked this, I thought IE was displaying those pages just fine. In fact, my notes say that the only difference is that the pages "flash" in IE when you click on a link, rather than a seamless load.

    I just double checked this and verified this. Perhaps I did something wrong and if so, please correct me.


    This set of three pages (links at bottom of the pages) are being served as application/xhtml+xml: http://www.medialab.com/PWMenus/basi...enuitem2.xhtml

    And this same set are being served as text/html: http://www.medialab.com/PWMenus/basi...menuitem3.html

    Both work fine in IE Windows here. And the .xhtml versions are "flashing" when the links are clicked upon. But otherwise they work. Perhaps it's my IE Win installation?

    IE 5 for the Mac, though, is another story. It tries to download the pages.


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