Learning XHTML

In five easy lessons, this tutorial will cover the basics of the XHTML 1.0 Strict markup language. This version is a strict dialect of HTML written in (or expressed as) XML. It means that the files (usually referred to as documents) can be read by all current web browsers, while still being valid XML. XHTML 1.0 Strict documents may be “served” as standard text/html files (like HTML itself), or as either text/xml or application/xhtml+xml (which is the preferred method).

The goal of this tutorial is to get the beginner up and running creating XHTML as soon as possible. Superfluous information is kept to a minimum, and some concepts are deliberately explained simplistic terms to guarantee that the novice is not overwhelmed. Each lesson is accompanied by links to further reading, if more information is desired. Each lesson builds on the last, so skipping a lesson is unwise.

What do you need?

Very few tools are needed to create, test, and deploy an XHTML document:

  • Text editor - almost any text editor will do (Windows Notepad, for example), but this author prefers to use an editor that supports the Unicode standard.
  • Web browser - since the late 1990s, all web browsers have provided adequate support for XHTML. Some browsers, such as Mozilla's Firefox, offer better support that others.
  • FTP client - software designed to facilitate the transfer of files from a local computer to a remote server. Many operating systems (including Microsoft Windows) come bundled with basic FTP clients. This tool is not required for these lessons.