Introduction to XHTML
XHTML is a markup language which is written in XML, more of a, XHTML is an application of XML. Its a hybrid technology between HTML and XML which combines the functionalities of both to become powerful and efficient.. In web development, you must have come across or heard of term XHTML. Well, there are a lot of technologies available today, each one has its own importance and use. Similarly, it also has a unique role in front end development or web development. In this article, we will try to understand XHTML from all major aspects. We will try to understand XHTML by answering some interesting questions.
Extensible HyperText Markup Language is the name for which XHTML stands for. In a few words, XHTML is a combination of HTML and XML. HTML is used for the presentation of the data while XML is used for carrying the data. The XHTML was developed by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which is an international organization that sets standards for the World Wide Web (WWW). It was designed to help web developers to make the transition
from HTML to XML. It is specifically designed for net device displays.
Normal HTML works in most browsers even if it has bad markup. But today there are a lot of browsers available in the market including smaller devices, mobiles, etc. They lack the power to interpret the bad HTML. The solution to this was to markup HTML correctly. XML makes restriction to markup documents correctly and make them well-formed i.e. XML is severe than the HTML. That’s why HTML is combined with XML to develop XHTML with
strengths of both. Now the browsers can read and interpret markup with great accuracy. It enhances compatibility with other data formats.
How can you Use XHTML?
It is the follow-on version of HTML, that means we can do everything using XHTML that HTML can do. As XHTML makes viewing website in mobile browsers easy, it is used in mobile website development. We can define and use our own tags and elements in XHTML. We can convert an existing available HTML document into XHTML document with a little bit changes.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using XHTML
To make it easy while making a choice of using XHTML, the following points can be considered.
Below are the advantages:
1. Extensibility: As we can define and use our own tags, we can implement new ideas as web communication and presentation logic emerge. Let’s say there is a new program at receiving end and we want to communicate with it, we can define our markup as per its needs and use it without any compatibility issue. New things can happen on the website as early as they emerge. Specific sets of extensions for XHTML are provided for mathematical
extensions, multimedia applications, and vector graphics.
2. Portability: As it follows the standards of XML, processing becomes easy and effortless for XML parsers. By using it, web pages can be made simpler so that small device can handle them. This is important in terms of mobile devices and small devices which contain small processors with less power. Portable advantage means we can develop a document as per the specific requirement whenever needed.
3. Easy to Maintain: As the rules are clear in XHTML, the margin for errors is less. The structure is more apparent and problem syntax is easier to spot, therefore XHTML is easy to author and maintain.
4. Ready for the future: The documents will be easily upgradable to the new version to allow taking advantages of new features.
There are no such direct disadvantages, but we will say there are few limitations:
- It does not solve all cross-browser combability issues.
- Difficult to begin as it is stricter and sometimes you must think while coming up with new element names.
For learning, you should have some basic knowledge of HTML and XML. At least, it requires knowledge of their use and functionality. Any developer who is starting to learn XHTML might want to know the basics of web page development before proceeding, as XHTML is the after version of HTML, it has the same structure as that of HTML.
Why Should We Use XHTML?
- It is supported by all major browsers available in the market and is compatible. XHTML documents can be written better to operate in existing browsers.
- It is strict than HTML in terms of syntax and case sensitivity which allows developers to write code accurately.
- The documents are well formed & consistent and can be parsed easily by present and future web browsers.
The family is designed to accommodate the extensions provided by XML for developing new XHTML based modules. These modules make it easier to combine new and old features at the time of developing content.
Those who want to choose between HTML and XHTML might want to consider one of both depending upon the specific requirement. As the HTML is the basis of web pages development, XHTML becomes basis too depending on the project-specific need. XHTML can be extended by anyone who uses it. HTML5 is already available in the market as of now, so you should think before especially if development is from scratch.
Why do We Need XHTML?
It is the improved version of HTML. It combines the power of both HTML and XML. It provides a solution to the problem that arises when using these technologies separately.
Who is the Right Audience for Learning XHTML?
Anyone who is enthusiastic to learn web development can learn XHTML. The web developers who are already using HTML4 may want to consider switching to XHTML.
How will this Technology Help you Grow in your Career?
As there are a lot of modern technologies are available including HTML 5, XHTML will be helpful in specific cases. Learning will surely beneficial for Web developers which will help them in their career growth.
This has been a guide to What is XHTML. Here we discussed the skills, career growth, use, scope, working, advantages, and disadvantages. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –