[html5] HTML vs. XHTML

Lachlan Hunt lachlan.hunt at lachy.id.au
Sun Nov 25 09:43:42 PST 2007

dustinjohnson at stock-market-investors.com wrote:
> I really don't see why we are releasing a new version of HTML. Wasn't
> XHTML supposed to be the next evolution of HTML?

HTML and XHTML will continue to co-exist in practice, it is not 
realistic to believe that XHTML could ever completely replace HTML in 
the future.  It is therefore important to continue to strive for 
interoperabilty between browsers in the way that they parse and render 
pages regardless of whether they are written in HTML or XHTML.

Also note that HTML and XHTML are optimised for different needs and 
situations, and authors should try to make informed decisions about the 
use of each.

> What are the basic differences between the two?


> I think XHMTL2 and HTML5 should agree on most things that would be 
> identical for each one.  That way we may even have less problems with
> browser developers in the future.

XHTML 2 can and should be ignored by most web developers.  It is 
extremely unlikely to succeed on the public web and it should be noted 
that major browser vendors currently have no interest supporting XHTML 2.

HTML5 and XHTML2 also have different design principles, and so they are 
incompatible by design.  It is therefore not necessary to try to make 
them identical.  However, HTML5 does include many features that are 
present in XHTML2, although some of them are designed differently.

Lachlan Hunt - Opera Software

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