Code validation is still widely debated as to whether itis required for performance within the search engines. It is only aguess that the search engines don’t utilise it within their algorithm,but nobody is actually 100% sure on that fact. Tests are performed andresults obtained with conflicting information whether code validationis taken into account. What’s new and interesting though, is theoverwhelming popularity of XHTML.
XHTML stands for EXtensible HyperText Markup Language. XMLwas designed specifically to describe data, whereas HTML wasspecifically designed to display data. XHTML is aimed to replace HTMLand is almost identical to HTML 4.01. XHTML is stricter, cleaner and adefinitive of XML and HTML combined. With current HTML standards,whether your webpage code is validated or not has no impact that willstop the information being displayed within your browser. XML is amarkup language and everything has to be marked up correctly.
HTML is great, in that errors don’t sacrifice the page whilstdisplayed on the Internet. Now, however, with the more frequent use ofmobile phones and PDA’s for Internet access, these devices simply donot accept unacceptable codes with errors very well. This will no doubtstart a debate on validation or not. As W3C states, “XHTML pages can beread by all XML enabled devices and while waiting for the rest of theworld to upgrade to XML supported browsers, XHTML gives you theopportunity to write “well-formed” documents now, that work in allbrowsers and that are backward browser compatible”.
XHTML has only minor changes from HTML. So if your pages areHTML 4.01 compliant, then your ahead of the game already. Changing toXHTML has some of the following syntax requirements: attribute namesmust be in lower case, attribute values must be quoted, attributeminimization is forbidden, the id attribute replaces the name attributeand the XHTML DTD defines mandatory elements.
XHTML works hand in hand with CSS2. Both must be used inconjunction which forces the removal of repetitive code such as, fontsand styles. These must be placed within the CSS file. XHTML does notadapt to the use of tables well although they can still be used, theyare just not the most ideal option. The idea is more based around thefact that you can position your pictures, text, even the entire pagethrough CSS keeping the page code very minimal and very fast. Notethough that this can be a time consuming process with either HTML orXHTML.
XHTML’s main advantage compared to HTML is faster streamlinedcode. Who knows what the future may bring with page validation andsearch engines? With XHTML requiring validation for operation, thesearch engines may begin to favour this in the near future. This willensure clean quality pages are being fed to them, error free beforethey commence reading other on and off page techniques.