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Web Standards Group Endorses XHTML

The Web Standards Project (WaSP) Tuesday endorsed the W3C's Recommendation for XHTML, sending a message to browser makers that standards should remain a priority.

XHTML, Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, combines the best features of HTML with the flexibility and database-oriented functionality of XML, combining text and other data types into a single, extensible standard that embraces the needs of content and commerce.

Simon St. Laurent, a member of the WaSP Steering Committee, stated, "XML's strict rules for conformance give XHTML a backbone that HTML has never had, and promise to open up new possibilities for XHTML processing, storage, and creation as the standard spreads. It's a big step forward." At the same time, WaSP Steering Committee member Tim Bray warned that, "the important benefits of XHTML are unachievable without proper and complete implementations of CSS, XML, and the Document Object Model."

Web developers have increasingly expressed frustration over the lack of consistant support for web standards. Each browser release means that developers must create work arounds for the lack of compliance. "Some of these standards are five years old, and all of them were developed with the cooperation of the browser makers, who pledged to implement the standards they had helped to create. Web builders and Web users need these companies to keep their promise," said Jeffrey Zeldman, group leader of The Web Standards Project.

"The good news is, the browser companies have begun to fully implement some of these standards. We encourage them to continue, and not to become side-tracked by the promise of XHTML...which could end up yet another unfulfilled promise, if the original core standards are not supported first."

For additional information on XHTML, visit the W3C's XHTML Web site.