Change from html to xhtml ?

Good morning from (as always) a rainy Southampton - I have made a few sites (html 4 transitional) which was the setting I put in when I first started, I am now trying to dig deepr into things in Freeway and, having read up in the reference and here in the forum feel that maybe i should have used xhtml I am aware that it’s possible to change at a page level but should I and why (my research hasn’t answered this question) and ‘transitional’ or ‘strict’ - I notice that The Big Erns says “… Me, I’m snobby and prefer XHTML 1.0 Strict. :slight_smile: …” and that sounds a good reason to change and I don’t particularly need to appeal to people using older browsers … advice very welcome - Roger


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On 9 Sep 2008, at 09:35, Roger Burton wrote:

I notice that The Big Erns says “… Me, I’m snobby and prefer
XHTML 1.0 Strict. :slight_smile: …” and that sounds a good reason to change
and I don’t particularly need to appeal to people using older
browsers … advice very welcome

Since no-one else has piped up, here I am!

The history bit: XHTML is HTML with XML added. That probably means
little to most folk, but essentially it means it has some extras that
are quite nice to have about, while still degrading nicely in most
older browsers.

All modern browsers handle XHTML well, so to my mind there’s no real
need to keep using HTML 4 in general use. For the past couple of
years, I’ve adopted XHTML 1.0 Transitional as my standard level.

The difference between Transitional and Strict is just that.
Transitional allows for some code that is a hangover from older HTML
versions. A prime example that occasionally catches people out is the
TARGET tag, where you specify a new window or a new frame for a link.
This is supported in Transitional, but is verboten in Strict. So,
Strict is exactly what it says on the tin.

More information can be gleaned from:

http://www.w3schools.com/
http://www.w3.org/

Hope that helps.

Heather


“Freeway - Web Design for All”


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Just to clarify a little, XHTML is HTML reformulated as a “flavor” of
XML.

HTML is an offshoot of SGML (Structured General Markup Language) and
is full of inconsistencies and lax interpretations.

XML is a much stricter language, introducing the notion of a document
being ‘correctly formed’. That is, if you were to make an XML
document where you closed elements out of order, any software parsing
it would throw a big hissy error and not even try to display any
result beyond that point.

HTML can be (and often is) made almost any way you like and still
display sorta okay in a browser.

On Sep 11, 2008, at 8:58 AM, Heather Kavanagh wrote:

The history bit: XHTML is HTML with XML added. That probably means
little to most folk, but essentially it means it has some extras that
are quite nice to have about, while still degrading nicely in most
older browsers.

And to be completely pedantic, unless you are serving your XHTML as
XML – with a full complement of server configuration changes and a
religious dislike of Internet Explorer, which cannot really read
XHTML that is properly served as XML – your nice XHTML is being
interpreted by the browser as HTML. Google the term “tag soup” for a
nice zillion hits on the subject.

Walter


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Thanks Heather and Walter - just to check, can I change all my pages to XHTML Transitional (so I can be just like Heather) without any potential problems ie viewers of my sites will get as good an experience, if not better, than if I were to leave things as HTML ? Best Roger


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On Sep 11, 2008, at 9:07 AM, Walter Lee Davis wrote:

And to be completely pedantic, unless you are serving your XHTML as
XML – with a full complement of server configuration changes and a
religious dislike of Internet Explorer, which cannot really read
XHTML that is properly served as XML – your nice XHTML is being
interpreted by the browser as HTML.

Continuing this thought – this is not to say that you shouldn’t make
your pages in XHTML Strict. It’s still a nice way to make your pages
because it enforces best practices and discourages things that are
really not in the spirit of the open Web.

Walter


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Sometime around 11/9/08 (at 13:58 +0100) Heather Kavanagh said:

A prime example that occasionally catches people out is the
TARGET tag, where you specify a new window or a new frame for a link.
This is supported in Transitional, but is verboten in Strict.

This is also a prime example of where the standardistas strayed from
technical purity (‘we strive for consistency, elegance, clarity’) to
blinkered fervour (‘we don’t like it so it is out’).

k


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On 11 Sep 2008, at 14:15, Roger Burton wrote:

without any potential problems ie viewers of my sites will get as
good an experience, if not better, than if I were to leave things as
HTML

I can’t think of any major problems. Internet Explorer is a bit of a
dog, even with older HTML versions, so I don’t think you’ll break
anything spectacularly.

And thanks to Walter for correcting my non-techie perspective on the
historical aspects. I tend to go along with a view that “if it works,
and is better than what I used before, let’s do it”.

Cheers

Heather


“Freeway - Web Design for All”


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Sometime around 11/9/08 (at 09:16 -0400) Walter Lee Davis said:

It’s still a nice way to make your pages
because it enforces best practices and discourages things that are
really not in the spirit of the open Web.

A serious open question:

As we’re using tools that are designed to take care of the coding and
do it in at least reasonably standards-based ways - specifically so
that we don’t have to worry about those details ourselves… Is the
‘discourages’ concept actually important here? Who is actually
discouraged and from what?
(…discuss.)

:slight_smile:

k


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Well, I was thinking about the Target thing when I wrote that. It’s
not so much that the [insert polite term for zealots here] at the W3C
said “we don’t like targets or frames” it was more to do with the
fact that on the Web, the balance of power must needs be tipped
toward the end user. If Content is King, then Visitor is Emperor For
Life.

That said, I can think of quite a few good uses for Target off the
top of my head, so I don’t necessarily agree with the wholesale
removal of a useful feature. And with the emphasis of HTML5 being the
creation of Web Applications, you’ll be happy to know that targets
are ba-aaack! in the next version.

But that’s what I meant by the spirit of the open Web. The idea that
information needs to be find-able and that the visitor needs to be in
charge of his or her own browsing history were the prime movers
behind the removal of frames and targets, as far as I know.

Walter

On Sep 11, 2008, at 9:26 AM, Keith Martin wrote:

Is the
‘discourages’ concept actually important here? Who is actually
discouraged and from what?


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Yes, you can move your pages freely between HTML 4 Transitional, HTML
4, XHTML Transitional and XHTML Strict without seeing any difference
in the rendered layout in a browser. You will not be able to use
Targets and Frames in XHTML Strict, so if your design relies on
either of those, you will need to use a Transitional DOCTYPE.
Frankly, nobody at all (except a few zealots) will care or even know
the difference. On a modern browser, there is absolutely no way to
tell them apart without viewing the source code.

Walter

On Sep 11, 2008, at 9:15 AM, Roger Burton wrote:

Thanks Heather and Walter - just to check, can I change all my
pages to XHTML Transitional (so I can be just like Heather) without
any potential problems ie viewers of my sites will get as good an
experience, if not better, than if I were to leave things as HTML ?
Best Roger


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Sometime around 11/9/08 (at 09:44 -0400) Walter Lee Davis said:

If Content is King, then Visitor is Emperor For Life.

Sure.
But without proper organisation, information is just data.

With insufficiently flexible tools for handling and presenting
content appropriately, the content provider can’t always present the
user with what they need, where they need it, when they need it.
Balance of power is one thing, but this was a swing too far. Great to
hear the next major standards rev will reintroduce it.

(Just musing BTW. I’m more or less in the same position as you on this. :slight_smile:

k


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I’m trying to read up on HTML 4 and XHTML strict and transitional and my mind keeps going dumb!

Can anyone say which one I should use for a simple website, with a form and there will be a WebYep CMS used with it.

I gather HTML 3.2 is now defunct and I don’t need to worry about this option.

Thanks

Mark


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If you stick to XHTML transitional then your more or less safe.
Things like mootools prefers XHTML rather than HTML 4 and items like iframes are accepted in XHTML transitional.
WebYep will work with all of them and yes you can more oor less forget about 3.2 apart from some specific reasons

max


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thanks


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Yes, you can move your pages freely between HTML 4 Transitional, HTML 4, XHTML Transitional and XHTML Strict without seeing any difference in the rendered layout in a browser.>

But you will see different results when you run the site through a validator. I have just built a new site with a simple shopping cart and it validates fine as HTML 4 but the Mal’s Cart Review action throws an error when it’s XHTML Transitional. There is no visual difference in the way the site appears in the browser. It’s more a question of how pedantic you are in having absolute perfect code.

Cheers, Marcel


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