[html5] 4.01 vs XHTML

Bjartur Thorlacius svartman95 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 15 15:17:54 PDT 2012

On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 08:52:53AM +0300, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
> >Most importantly, not using elements such as <nav> may make your
> >site less accessible.
> Is there a single piece of evidence of such things actually
> happening? I mean browsers or assistive software really paying
> attention to <nav> markup, and in a useful way at that? There are
> things they could do with some new HTML5 elements to improve
> accessibility, but just saying they could does not make it happen.
Nope, hence the word 'may'. Writing with accessibility in mind is far more important than throwing in a brand new element or switching DOCTYPEs. In fact, moving navigation links to the end of a page from the beginning works better than wrapping them in <nav>. I intended to allude to this in my previous message. My apologies if I failed to make the point.

> >
> > [OP wrote:]
> >>XHTML - what is the difference between it and html 4.01??
> >>
> [Bjartur wrote:]
> >There are slight syntactical and extensibility differences. If you
> >don't need the extensibility of XHTML (which you probably can't
> >quite leverage anyway), you should probably stick with HTML. The
> >WHATWG is essentially deprecating XHTML for most purposes.
> >
> I think that's quite confusing and reflects several
> misunderstandings. But this question itself is not about HTML5 at
> all. XHTML existed before HTML5, and within the HTML5 way of
> thinking, XHTML is just an alternative linearization, to be used if
> you just prefer it, or if you need to have your HTML5 document
> processed using tools that require the content to conform to XML
> rules.
The above explanation seems clearer than mine. Yet it doesn't quite explain XHTML either. The history of XHTML 1, 2 and 5, and their relation to HTML 5 is out of scope of this discussion. Feel free to read it if you're interested. But it's probably not productive to do so. But it boiles down to using HTML unless you yourself are using software that requires XML. User Agents will not complain about getting plain HTML. It's what they've been parsing for decades by now, and what they will be parsing for years to come.

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