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  1. #1
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    Xhtml 1 or html 5

    After finally reaching the stage where I have accumalted enough programming knowledge ( hopefully ) to re-design my site using CSS3, I am left with only 1 challenge: Xhtml 1 or html 5.
    From all I have read, I think I understand that xhtml gives better options to optimise for Android/Iphone/small screen platforms, but can have some compatibility problems for various browsers/systems.

    Is there a concrete downside to using Xhtml? If so, what is it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by benbob View Post
    Is there a concrete downside to using Xhtml?
    No, there isn't. HTML5 is not really ready for use, either, as it's still in development, so best to stick with what works for now. (Mind you, there's not much advantage using XHTML over HTML4, but it's up to you.)

    By the way, CSS3 is also in development, and the few bits of it that are supported now don't work in older browsers, so use it wisely and with caution.

  3. #3
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Just don't bother with XHTML, it is dead in the water. Has been for the longest time.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    Just don't bother with XHTML, it is dead in the water.
    XHTML2 is dead in the water, but not XHTML, which is perfectly fine to use and will presumably be usable for many years to come. These days, even the latest version of IE upports it (wow!), but it's worth noting that it was never supported by IE8 and under, meaning that it has to be served as text/html, which means you might as well have used HTML4 all along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    No, there isn't. HTML5 is not really ready for use, either, as it's still in development, so best to stick with what works for now. (Mind you, there's not much advantage using XHTML over HTML4, but it's up to you.)
    By the way, CSS3 is also in development, and the few bits of it that are supported now don't work in older browsers, so use it wisely and with caution.
    Thanks Ralph,

    As there is no "real" (if there is such a thing as real) downside, I'll take the plunge and use Xhtml as the platform. I may not really use the difference, but if I do find something useful that is specifically "X", it will save me redoing the site again. This is the second time I have to do a complete overhaul, and I am getting fed up with patching up.

    I know CSS3 is not "finished", but at the speed things are developing in the web world, I doubt any platform will ever be finished and stay unchanged for more than a year.
    With regards to this, I am mainly concerned with avoiding application of coding that creates display incompatibility problems between brosers like [text decoration - blink] not being recognised by IE because people may find it irritating. (No, the irony of MS taking action to avoid people getting irritated, is not lost on me)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by benbob View Post
    I doubt any platform will ever be finished and stay unchanged for more than a year.
    Things seem to last longer than that on the web. Anyhow, I guess the point is to use only what you really need, as you can do pretty much anything you need to with HTML4 and CSS2.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    No, there isn't. HTML5 is not really ready for use, either, as it's still in development, so best to stick with what works for now. (Mind you, there's not much advantage using XHTML over HTML4, but it's up to you.)

    By the way, CSS3 is also in development, and the few bits of it that are supported now don't work in older browsers, so use it wisely and with caution.
    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Things seem to last longer than that on the web. Anyhow, I guess the point is to use only what you really need, as you can do pretty much anything you need to with HTML4 and CSS2.
    That is good to know. As you know, I am far from being able to call myself an expert ( at least without lying ) and I often get the feeling things change faster than I can learn the laterst updates.
    I fully agree with your remark to only use what you need. I subsribe to the theory that "less is more" and aim to keep my site as simple as possible without looking cheap/simplistic. Apart from the actual amount of useful information given, I try to keep it as small as possible. My basic premise being that the less code there is, the lower the chance of faults/problems/poor rendering.

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    Quote Originally Posted by benbob View Post
    I am left with only 1 challenge: Xhtml 1 or html 5.
    Many of us use HTML5 semantics today. I use HTML5 semantics. It's viable, with the same notable exception as with XHTML: legacy IE. I'd go as far as to say XHTML is worse about that.

    The thing is, all of us will use HTML5 semantics tomorrow.

    Even more, HTML5 semantics gives you the opportunity to keep coding XHTML or just plain old HTML. It's your choice.

    But XHTML is an application of XML. And XML is long dead now.

  9. #9
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itmitică View Post
    ...And XML is long dead now.
    I don't know where you got that idea from, but XML is far from being any where near dead.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


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    XML may be kept on life support for now because of the compatibility issues.

    But everybody agrees XML is too verbose and it's on its way out.

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    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Who is everybody? Where is this group of everybody you speak of? I'm going to assume you mis-understand what XML is because like I said. It is far from dead, not on life support and there are no compatibility issues keeping it alive. XML is quite alive on its own.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


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    Quote Originally Posted by itmitică View Post
    XML may be kept on life support for now because of the compatibility issues.
    In your previous post, you said it was dead; now you say it is not.
    Which one is it? Dead or not?
    And who are these "everybody" that know this?

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    Nitpicking are we...

    XML, as technology, is quite dead.

    XML, as use, has a few breaths left. Mostly for backward compatibility in app settings, manifests. Just because some few stubborn cling on it in their newest release, doesn't make XML livelier.

  14. #14
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    Uh huh...so YOU say.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


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    OK.

    For ME, at least, XML is dead. As in no longer a prospect. No longer relevant.

    In database world, I don't want data that can break with a little missing >. In HTML world I don't markup that can break with a little missing >. In app settings world, I don't want settings that can break with a little missing >.

    It's not that I'm not for strict and rigorous, I am. But for substance, not for structure. Much less for a superfluous verbose structure.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Jeff Mott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by logic_earth View Post
    Just don't bother with XHTML, it is dead in the water. Has been for the longest time.
    I agree with this. Even pages that claim to be XHTML are nonetheless served as text/html, which means as far as the browser is concerned, it's just plain old HTML, which means there's zero benefit.
    "First make it work. Then make it better."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by benbob View Post
    [...] use Xhtml as the platform. I may not really use the difference [...] it will save me redoing the site again.
    Downsides
    ---------------

    1. You should use the XHTML syntax only if you're using the XHTML features too, otherwise it just shows a poor understanding of what XHTML stands for

    2. You're just presenting the browser with a wrong syntax each and every time it receives your page, which means extra work for it and it opens the door to potentially odd and buggy behavior from its part


    And this is true for HTML5 semantics also. Even though the DTD is common for both features, you should choose one and stick with it, you shouldn't create hybrids. Clarity on intent, consistency on code.

  18. #18
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    From what I understand so far reading through loads of browser discussions, most browsers contain up to 50% "error-patch-coding" to be able to read sloppy coding. As smart phones are grabbing the web market by storm, it is well advisable to make sure your code is spot on, as phone software is more limited than computer software and thus more prone to display problems.
    Writing clean code is really not that big a chore as long as you pay attention and test it. I handwrite it using wordpad and Notepad++, which makes it easy to spot typos. After that, I run it through a validator on "strict", which will pick up the remaining bit of static.
    To chose a system because it allows for sloppy coding, is a strange way to go about imho.

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    As you stated yourself, a code is only as sloppy (or as clean) as you ... code it. It has nothing to do with a system.

    I'm not sure how you handwrite code in Wordpad though. For hand-coding HTML, you need a plain text editor, which Wordpad is not.

    And HTML has a strict DTD too, not just XHTML.

    Finally, you should use XHTML only if you really use it, not as a catching net for coding errors. That's wrong. And strange. And it has the reverse effect on the browser, since you obviously won't be serving it as application/xhtml+xml or application/xml.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Jeff Mott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benbob View Post
    To chose a system because it allows for sloppy coding, is a strange way to go about imho.
    I don't think anyone here suggested HTML "because it allows for sloppy coding." We suggested HTML because, even if you use an XHTML doctype and the self-closing slashes, browsers are nonetheless parsing your code as if it were plain HTML. The XHTML is just a facade.
    "First make it work. Then make it better."

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mott View Post
    browsers are nonetheless parsing your code as if it were plain HTML
    Not even that. That code would be "HTML in quirks mode" or "HTML with errors".

  22. #22
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mott View Post
    I agree with this. Even pages that claim to be XHTML are nonetheless served as text/html, which means as far as the browser is concerned, it's just plain old HTML, which means there's zero benefit.
    That's just because there are still people using browsers such as Internet Explorer 8 that don't support XHTML. Once those browsers are dead then XHTML will be able to be used - including all of the benefits that it offers that are not available in HTML - it will actually become eXtensible as the X in the name indicates. There is no benefit UNTIL IE8 dies and it can be served as XHTML. The benefit is that it will not need to be rewritten in order to do sithat - just a change of MIME type will do it.

    If XHTML were truly dead then why is XHTML5 currently under development?
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  23. #23
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    For the past 10 years that was the line that "helped" people to serve browsers with HTML content and HTML features in a XHTML syntax and with a HTML mime, which browsers had to correct over and over again, just so that those people feel somewhat better than others.

    Which, obviously, was, and still is wrong in more that just one way.

    If you don't use it than don't serve it. If you can't serve it, than don't build it. What future may bring, that's in the future. And XHTML has been in the future for so many years, it's become a joke.


    The bottom line is, don't use XHTML syntax if you:

    - don't use XHTML features
    - can't serve it with the right mime

    XHTML syntax alone it's really not a good indicator on how well versed one is in web development. At all.


    And let me share something with you. The moment IE8 is gone and we could start building and properly sending XHTML docs, that's the moment when the life has become much harder for browser vendors.

    Because that's the exact moment when they have to implement graceful degradation for badly written XHTML docs. Since this is the moment when HTML started to get a bad name, when they had to account for any malformed web page and still render it, no matter what.

    Or do you believe HTML couldn't have been as strict as XHTML and be able to hold rendering on stupid little errors like a little missing >? Guess what, they learned pretty fast that dumb-stopping the rendering was not the solution.

  24. #24
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    Furthermore, I'm not looking forward to live-debugging my web pages by serving users stopped renderings. That's just wrong, and this type of live debugging is not a feature for XHTML, for any web developer.

    I imagine few people today actually hand-code every bit of their web page. Templating systems, dynamic generation, even blogs use CMSs like these. So it's not so unheard, that no matter how careful the web developer was, that a glitch would occur somewhere and render the web page... renderless.

    And the user certainly won't appreciate this live debugging, the render stop. And neither will you, the developer, no matter how much you took pride in your XHTML badge up to that point.

    So browsers would have to compensate for that, in order to remain in the game.

    Realistically, HTML or XHTML, "The show must go on". Content is king, and it must be delivered at any price to the user, without some fancy slap in the face about some smarty pants XHTML being malformed.

    And that's how, the moment XHTML can be properly sent, it's the moment it loses any upper hand over HTML, regarding the "benefits" in code strictness. Those that wrote bad HTML code will now write bad XHTML code and still get away with it. Those that wrote good HTML code, would write better HTML code, leaving aside any other imaginary XHTML benefits, and will continue to stay out of the browsers way by not sending text/html with XHTML syntax.

  25. #25
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