For many people who are new to web development, the concept of XHTML can be a bit confusing. After all you also have basic HTML, SHTML, DHTML and much more. Each one is different in its own way and each one serves its own unique use. In the case of the XHTML or Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, conforms to the standards of HTML, while at the same time also allows one to add XML syntax to the code.
Before the release of HTML 5, the HTML language and those of the many subsets of the Standard Generalised Markup Language or SGML, were completely different. However with the release of HTML 5, you also got XHTML which allowed for the combination of both constructs. However it is important to point out that in comparison to SGML and XML, XHTML has to be extremely well formatted or it will otherwise fail to parse and thus error out upon loading. However when formatted correctly, one can allow for a static HTML file to perform automatic processing of the HTML tools.
In simplicity, or rather complexity, XHTML is consistent of the reformulation of 3 out of the 4 separate HTML types. Because it is also fairly new, XHTML 1.0 is even still under development as it is considered by many in the field to be the next evolving step of the World Wide Web.
One of the many benefits though of using XHTML over HTML is the ease of use. Where previously certain tags required both open and closing brackets such as <b> followed by </br>, the use of XHTML allows for a single <br /> at the end of the line to complete the tag. This can also be seen with a number of other tags such as the image and even allows for the addition of attributes. When you think about it, this is very important as it allows for you to assign IDs and Classes to the tag just to name a few possible attribute options.
In the future, more and more developments of the XHTML language will be developed as well as a growing number of persons in the online community who will switch to making use of the language. Upon its release, Tim Berners-Lee who sits at the chair of the World Wide Web Consortium as well as being the main founder of the internet today had hoped that the world wide community would adopt XHTML instantaneously. However this did not happen, but those who have chosen to move to XHTML over HTML are enjoying the many benefits of its well formatted design.
Original Authors: Nick
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 09/02/2009