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  1. XHTML in the Real World
  2. The Trouble with HTML
  3. Transcending Limitations on Progress
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Transcending Limitations on Progress

If you take all these issues: poor code education and practices from authors, troublesome concerns with browsers, and code problems inherent to editing tools, the end result is sobering. HTML is in a sad state of disrepair.

Just as you wouldn't want to build a home on a faulty foundation, anyone concerned with the structural integrity of what he or she is building must also be concerned with the faulty foundation in HTML. XHTML exists to fix the foundation so we can build our buildings better, higher, and more creatively. What seems rigorous and strict is actually what will bring us the most freedom. Without that structure beneath us, the chances of problem on top of problem becomes manifold.

Returning to the Well-Formed Document

So how does this move from HTML to XHTML translate to the real-world? Here are a few of the primary ways that this can occur:

  • Clean up hand coding approaches using standard markup, which at this time is XHTML. Try to separate document formatting and presentation wherever possible. Write documents that also conform to the basic tenets of the last HTML legacy and current XHTML concerns: accessibility, improved rendering, and internationalization methods.

  • Make requests of Web development software applications to extend capabilities to the current standards. This can be done via feedback to the company from which you purchase your software.

  • Make demands that Web browsers come up to par with the standards. In part, simply writing documents that are standardized will help get the message across. You also might want to become involved with organizations such as the Web Standards Project, mentioned earlier, as well as sending feedback to browser developers requesting their compliance with standard code.

There are perhaps no stronger, more compelling reasons and opportunities to begin looking at XHTML 1.0 as a method by which to empower yourself as an author, and make a statement to browser and editor developers that you want—and demand—better tools with which to do your work.

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