XHTML - D-Zine Volume 11 :
XHTML Conclusion

Even in HTML 4.01 it is good to follow XHTML standards for two big reasons:

Clean, well-formed mark-up is easier to read. Always close non-empty tags and insert a Doctype.

If you decide to make the switch in the future, most of the work would already be done.

Expect problems when you first start out with XHTML
In HTML <img> tags must have an "alt" attribute. When validating your pages for the first time, most likely, the most common error would be missing "alt" attributes.

Invalid Valid
<img src="foo.png" /> <img src="foo.png" alt="foo" />

The "alt" attribute was not meant for use for displaying tool-tips, but Microsoft Internet Explorer does anyway. The correct way to display tool-tips is with the "title" attribute. Thus, a good tip on getting rid of the tool-tip that is generated from the "alt" tag is to use the "title" attribute like so:

<img src="foo.png" alt="text seen while loading" title="text seen in tool-tip" />

Remember that anything that is invalid in HTML 4.01, will also be invalid in XHTML as XHTML builds on HTML.

Good luck in your future XHTML coding!

A note for PHP users

The <?xml ... ?> tag will cause problems for users of PHP with short_open_tags enabled as the PHP engine will pick up the <? and ?> and misinterpret them as the beginning and end of a PHP script. To fix this problem, disable short_open_tags and use <?php and ?> for scripts instead, or use this quick fix:

<?php print "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"iso-8859-1\"?>\n"; ?>

Tell me more!

Further information covering (X)HTML is available from: http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/
Official documentation on XHTML 1.0 is available from: http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/
Official documentation on XHTML 1.1 is available from: http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/
Official documentation on XHTML 2.0 is available from: http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml2/

This article was authored by Damien Bezborodow
of Palomino Web Design and LearnWebPages.Com.

Thanks for invaluable input and proofreading from J. King.

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