Saturday 27 January 2024

What is the difference between HTML and XHTML?02


What is the difference between HTML and XHTML?

HTML and XHTML, while similar at their core, have some key differences:

Structure and Syntax:

  • HTML: More lenient, allows for loose syntax with optional closing tags and attributes. Tags are not case-sensitive.

  • XHTML: Stricter, adheres to XML rules. All tags must be closed, attributes must be quoted, and the language is case-sensitive.

Underlying Technology:

  • HTML: Based on SGML (Standard Generalized Markup Language).

  • XHTML: Based on XML (Extensible Markup Language). This makes XHTML documents more structured and easier to integrate with other data formats.

Validation and Error Handling:

  • HTML: Browsers are forgiving and attempt to display pages even with errors in the code.

  • XHTML: Follows stricter rules, and errors will prevent the page from being displayed correctly. This makes XHTML code more reliable and consistent.

Other Differences:

  • Doctype declaration: HTML requires a DOCTYPE declaration, while XHTML does not.

  • Empty elements: In HTML, some empty elements like <img> can be self-closing without a closing tag. XHTML requires all elements to have a closing tag.


  • HTML: Is the current standard for web pages, offering easy learning and flexibility.

  • XHTML: Was intended as a stricter version of HTML with better long-term compatibility and integration with other technologies. However, it lost popularity compared to the more flexible HTML5.

Which one to choose?

For most web development today, HTML5 is the preferred choice due to its balance of flexibility and functionality. However, if you need a highly structured and robust document for integration with other data formats, XHTML might still be relevant in specific scenarios.

Hopefully, this explanation clarifies the key differences between HTML and XHTML. Let me know if you have any further questions!

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