XHTML was brought in to bring some order to web markup and to attempt to separate information from design.
XHTML was intended to be a helpful combination of HTML and XML, providing a structured codeset for the future of the web, which would make older websites easier to handle as each new development was made. There were also various types of XHTML such as Strict and Transitional which aimed at handling different qualities of code in different ways.
I have used XHTML for around 8 years approximately, and see it as one of the early stages of re-organising the web, which should eventually make all our lives easier, be it maintaining cleaning code or browsing more consistently built websites.
HTML5 is now replacing XHTML over the coming years and although it’s specification is still under development, there is still plenty enough browser support for it to jump in straight away. There are also sufficient plugins and scripts to handle older browsers too.
Despite the fast uptake in HTML5, i strongly expect to continue to be using XHTML for many years yet as larger companies always take time to embrace new development directions and any maintenance tasks which i complete may well be in older XHTML code, without the chance to upgrade it.
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