January 21, 2003

The Long Tunnel of XHTML 2.0

In all the hubbub about XHTML 2.0 last week, I somehow missed Hixie’s take on the whole matter. His piece reminded me to be excited about XHTML 2.0, that it’s actually a big step forward in the world of HTML. He runs down all of the new features and their advantages, and dismisses many of the complaints. He even dismisses my chief compalint:

The fact that XHTML2 won’t be widely used before the end of the decade is not a problem.

The main cause of my rant last week was because people (like Mark) seemed to be saying that XHTML2 has to be used right now, you have to ditch everything else you’ve been working on, and if you can’t use it today it’s no good. It’s not going to be like that. There’s still some time before XHTML2 even becomes a Recommendation, and then browser support has to come up to speed, and sites have to adopt it. This will take a while, and older web browsers will have to fall off the map before it can be done. A parallel family of XML/XHTML browsers may eventually spring up, ones that can handle XHTML2 but not HTML4. Evolution will take its course, but it’s not in our hands yet. Right now the power is with the W3, and then it will move to browser makers, and then to us. And then we can start arguing about XHTML2.

Sjoerd Visscher has an XHTML2 weblog. Modern browsers only see it as XML, though, so he uses some fancy XSL to transform it into something they can understand.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

Comments (3)

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  1. Josh says:

    surely if you knew how to code a browser, you could own the whole XHTML2 market by being the only company to make an XHTML2 browser, and then when XHTML2 does become a standard, everyone would use your browser, rather than IE.

    Posted January 21, 2003 @ 5:23 pm
  2. Scott Schrantz says:

    I fully expect Mozilla to be one of the first and best to support XHTML2. I don't think that, in itself, would be enough to get people to switch, though. Most people don't care what brand or version web browser they have, they just use what's on their computer. For most people, that means IE. So ,the paradox is that XHTML2 won't be a "standard" until IE supports it, and then it will be too late for Mozilla to cash in on it. Such is the way with monopolies.

    Posted January 21, 2003 @ 5:57 pm
  3. Emily says:

    XHTML isn't even widely used yet. Why upgrade when it's not even supported on most web hosts that ordinary people use, like Geocities? The main problem I see is that the popular web hosting companies are still using HTML 4.0 and haven't adopted any of the new standards, so few people have bothered to learn XHTML, unless they needed to for their jobs.

    Posted January 23, 2003 @ 8:25 am

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