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XHTML Means Business

A business case for XHTML, a good review of the arguments for semantic markup in general and XHTML in particular.

6 replies on “XHTML Means Business”

What Porter said. Semantic/structural/whatever-you-want-to-call-it markup brings huge benefits, as discussed in that article. After 16 months of using XHTML, all it’s given me is extra problems. I still like the idea of making sure any content chunks stored in a database are valid XHTML, but I have to admit that I haven’t seen any practical benefits from doing that yet either. I could list dozens of potential benefits but so far I’ve had no reason to actually apply any of them.

Agreed, Simon. Really, I couldn’t find convincing reasons to abandon semantic HTML in favour of XHTML. The extra effort is difficult to justify in terms of quantifiable amounts. Any ideas how we could make a business case to justify the extra effort?

Rakesh: absolutely none, because I’m pretty much convinced there isn’t a business case to justify the extra effort. The only real benefit XHTML provides is that it’s easier to use XML tools to process your own data, which is why I’m so keen on keeping databased content stored as XML. As far as serving content up to clients goes, there really aren’t any benefits. I used to talk about future devices such as mobile phones only understanding XHTML but it’s clear now that that isn’t going to happen – if you released a browsing device that couldn’t parse HTML it would be limited to the fraction of a percentage point of the web which is valic XHTML, and that would be commercial suicide.

I think any business where “Zeldman said so” isn’t a perfectly valid reason for doing something isn’t a business I’d want to work at. 😉

Personally I prefer the strictness of XHTML 1.1 even though I don’t do anything fancy with it. I guess I’m a HTML masochist.

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