Next-Generation HTML on Its Way

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2002-09-09 Print this article Print

Last month, the W3C published the first public working draft of the next generation of HTML, XHTML 2.0.

Last month, the W3C published the first public working draft of the next generation of HTML, XHTML 2.0. (Never mind that XHTML 1.0 hasnt caught on yet.)

XHTML 2.0 uses the same modular structure defined in XHTML Modularization 1.0, so small devices can support just a subset of XHTML, but it introduces big changes in tag syntax. It deprecates the ubiquitous <br> and <img> tags in favor of a new <line> element and a generalization of <object>. It includes a new <nl> element for building hierarchical navigation lists, a generic header tag <h> that allows for nested document sections (the writing is on the wall for <h1> to <h6>) and allows any element to have a link attribute (so the practice of using anchor tags will gradually disappear).

XHTML 2.0 adds a Document Object Model binding for XML documents (XML Events), a method for annotating text in East Asian characters and a new XML-based forms model. The new forms module (XForm 1.0) provides strong data typing of entered data, submission of data in XML format and separation of a forms input elements from its visual appearance. These changes in XHTML 2.0 will be a big step forward for businesses maintaining Web-based applications.

Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

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