XHTML Example By Example


Combine HTML's simplicity with XML's power—right now!

  • Learn XHTML hands on, through ready-to-use examples
  • Don't wait! Master XHTML techniques that work with today's browsers
  • Create rich media Web pages for the desktop—and "lean and mean" pages for next-generation wireless devices
  • Covers essential XHTML ...
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Combine HTML's simplicity with XML's power—right now!

  • Learn XHTML hands on, through ready-to-use examples
  • Don't wait! Master XHTML techniques that work with today's browsers
  • Create rich media Web pages for the desktop—and "lean and mean" pages for next-generation wireless devices
  • Covers essential XHTML syntax, style sheets, tables, frames, forms, scripts, and much more
  • Written by International Standards experts who lead World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web3D Consortium (Web3D), and Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) activities

XHTML combines HTML's simplicity and accessibility with XML's unprecedented power and flexibility. With XHTML Example by Example, any Web developer can learn XHTML by example, simply and quickly, using hands-on examples and ready-made scripts and style sheets. Leverage your existing HTML skills to create rich, highly interactive XHTML sites—and learn how to deliver content on any platform, from desktop PCs to wireless phones. Best of all, discover how to gain XHTML's key benefits right now, with today's browsers and tools!

Authored by Aaron E. Walsh—XHTML Liaison to W3C for Web3D—and Dave Raggett—HTML lead architect and former W3C Activity Lead for XHTML—XHTML Example by Example covers XHTML development, from syntax to tables, style sheets to scripts.

Coverage includes:

  • Why you need XHTML, not just XML or HTML
  • Deploying XHTML on today's 4.x (and higher) browsers
  • Converting existing HTML pages to XHTML—painlessly
  • Creating static and interactive XHTML pages fromscratch
  • Integrating forms and scripts to create pages with intelligent input capabilities
  • Enriching XHTML with XML-based languages such as SMIL, SVG, and MathML
  • Saving time and frustration with XHTML authoring, validation, and optimization tools

Filled with insider's insights and real-world solutions, XHTML Example by Example will help you deliver the next-generation Web sooner than you ever imagined.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130400055
  • Publisher: Pearson Education
  • Publication date: 7/20/2001
  • Pages: 768
  • Product dimensions: 7.05 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 2.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Arron E. Walsh is Chairman of Mantis Development Corporation, a Boston-based development firm specializing in advanced media and network technologies. He is XHTML Liaison to W3C for Web3D, chairman of the Web3D and Motion Picture Experts Group (MPEG) convergence group, and he teaches Internet and Web Application Development at Boston College. An internationally best-selling technology author, his books include Java 3D Jump-Start, MPEG-4 Jump-Start, and Core Web3D (Prentice Hall PTR).

Dave Raggett is a primary architect of HTML and has been closely involved with the development of HTML from the early days of the World Wide Web. He is author of the W3C's HTML Tidy, the #1 open source utility for converting HTML pages into XHTML format. While working on this book, Raggett served as the W3C Activity Lead for XHTML and XForms. Today he is W3C Activity Lead for Voice Browsing, working for W3C on assignment from Openwave.

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Read an Excerpt

1: Why Bother?

Topics in this chapter:
  • A quick and dirty introduction to XHTML
  • Why you should care about XHTML
  • Why you should bother reading this book
Extensible Hypertext Markup Language, better known as XHTML, is among the latest and greatest technologies to hit the Web. Developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as the official successor to the tried-and-true but aging Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), XHTML marries the strength of HTML's formatting and presentation capabilities with the red-hot Extensible Markup Language (XML) that is today revolutionizing Internet data representation and information exchange. In short, XHTML is a reformulation of HTML in terms of an XML language that promises to bridge the wide gap between yesterday's HTML-based eye candy Web pages and tomorrow's industrial-strength Web applications. XHTML is the official successor to HTML, which was recently laid to rest when the W3C released XHTML 1.0 in January 2000. Developed through the W3C's HTML Working Group (a formal process group that drives the design and development of HTML, as you'll learn in Chapter 2, "XHTML = HTML + XML"), XHTML 1.0 was designed to bring the rigor of XML to Web pages while accommodating an everchanging end user landscape.

According to the W3C HTML Working Group, "XHTML 1.0 is the keystone in W3C's work to create standards that provide richer Web pages on an everincreasing range of browser platforms including cell phones, televisions, cars, wallet-sized wireless communicators, kiosks, and desktops. XHTML is modular, making it easy to combine with markup tags for things like vector graphics, multimedia, math, electronic commerce, and more. Content providers will find it easier to produce content for a wide range of platforms, with better assurances as to how the content is rendered. The modular design reflects the realization that a one-size-fits-all approach will no longer work in a world where browsers vary enormously in their capabilities."

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the Web and W3C founder and Director, adds, "XHTML 1.0 connects the present Web to the future Web. It provides the bridge to page and site authors for entering the structured data XML world, while still being able to maintain operability with user agents that support HTML 4."

Although XHTML is new, it holds great promise for the future of the Web. Internet experts from around the world agree that XHTML is the bridge that brings us to the next generation Web without burning our bridges to the past (see "XHTML Testimonials," later in this chapter, for details).

But really, why bother? Wasn't XML itself supposed to be the killer technology that enables our next generation Web sites? XML, after all, is a panacea for the Web's ills, isn't it? When it first arrived on the scene a few years ago, XML promised to usher in the age of the semantic Web, an age where well-formed, "validated" content enables automated data exchange and next generation Web sites. XML, according to many industry pundits, promises to obviate the need for HTML altogether in the near future. So why bother with a middleman like XHTML when you can go straight to XML?

Why not construct your current and future Web applications around XML lock, stock, and barrel, leaving HTML (and its newly anointed successor, XHTML) in the dust? If XHTML bridges the gap between HTML and XML, why not leap over that gap altogether and jump directly into XML today? In doing so, wouldn't you save yourself the hassle of learning yet another markup language, spare yourself the pain and suffering of developing, testing, and deploying Web content in yet another new and relatively unproven cutting-edge technology, and save yourself a few bucks on the cost of this book? The answer is no.

XML, in and of itself, is simply a metalanguage that lets you define other languages, of which XHTML is just one example. XHTML is an application of XML designed specifically for building Web pages. As the next evolution of HTML, XHTML is the language we'll use to construct cutting-edge Web sites now and in the foreseeable future. When you use XHTML you are, in fact, using XML. Because the two are inseparable, you can't skip over XHTML and go directly to XML, no matter how hard you might try.

Furthermore, you can't ignore HTML altogether when you use XHTML because the latter is based on the former. Whereas XHTML is an application of XML, XHTML gets its meaning from HTML. In other words, XHTML is HTML ex-pressed as an XML application. Or, as the W3C puts it, XHTML "is a reformulation of HTML 4.01 in XML, bringing the rigor of XML to HTML, and can be put to immediate use with existing browsers by following a few simple guidelines."

Take your pick. Either way both definitions boil down to the same thing: XHTML extends the life of HTML using XML. And it's ready to be used in your Web site now. You can convert your existing HTML pages into XHTML this very moment because XHTML is backward compatible with HTML and future compatible with other XML languages. In short, XHTML is the best of both worlds.

XML is not an application language. It is the set of rules by which one designs an application language such as XHTML. XHTML is an application of XML that gets its meaning from HTML. XHTML is the next major evolution of HTML, and as such will dominate as a Web development markup language for the foreseeable future.

Because XHTML is backward compatible with HTML, properly constructed XHTML pages can be delivered to standard Web browsers today. You can tap into many of the advantages that XML offers by way of XHTML. This book shows you how.

As you'll soon see, XML is just one piece of a very large puzzle, a puzzle in which HTML and XHTML fit tongue-and-groove, as illustrated in Figure 1–1. In this book we'll piece together the sometimes mysterious and complicated Web development puzzle, with a strong emphasis on XHTML Web page development. We'll see how critical technologies such as HTML, XHTML, and XML come together—along with several other W3C technologies—to create sophisticated Web content that we could only dream about a few years ago.

In particular, you'll learn why you should convert your existing HTML pages to XHTMLtoday, and how to go about it once you've made the commitment to do so. You'll also learn how to create static and interactive XHTML Web pages from scratch, and how to enrich them with various XML-based languages such as Synchronized Multimedia Integration Layer (SMIL), Scaleable Vector Graphics (SVG), Math Markup Language (MathML), and the Extensible 3D (X3D) language.

Finally, you'll learn how to prepare your Web site for the rapidly emerging mobile invasion by creating XHTML content that can be deployed across a variety of mobile devices, including Web-enabled cellular phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). Along the way you'll learn how to code XHTML by hand, as...

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Why Bother? 1
Ch. 2 XHTML = HTML + XML 15
Ch. 3 Wading into XHTML 57
Ch. 4 Making XHTML Sing 115
Ch. 5 Making XHTML Dance 161
Ch. 6 Using Style Sheets to Format and Present Your Pages 239
Ch. 7 Using Scripts to Bring Your XHTML Pages to Life 295
Ch. 8 Using Forms and Scripts to Create Pages with Smart Input Capabilities 347
Ch. 9 Using Tables to Organize Web Page Data 427
Ch. 10 Gearing Up for the Rich Media Web 473
Ch. 11 Where Do We Go From Here? 555
App. A XHTML Development Tools 559
App. B XHTML Quick Reference 595
App. C Character Encodings 655
App. D Detailed Code Listing 659
App. E XHTML Basic and the Wireless Web 691
Index 721
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Welcome to XHTML Example by Example. Written by professional Web developers, this book shows you how to get the most out of the Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) without getting bogged down in rhetoric or code. This book focuses on what you really need to know to start using XHTML today. Using a variety of simple, practical, and real-world examples, it leads you step-by-step down the road of Web page development using XHTML and on your way to mastering this powerful and exciting foundation technology that enables the next generation of content for the World Wide Web.

About This Book

XHTML Example by Example was written by professional Web developers, specifically people new to XHTML. Whether you're a seasoned Web developer or a budding "newbie," this book will show you the essentials you need to know to get up and running with XHTML in no time flat.

Because we assume that you're already comfortable using basic Web development tools (such as text editors, FTP utilities, and Web browsers), this book walks you through many of the most important and useful aspects of XHTML irrespective of the tools that you use today. In other words, we focus primarily on how to write XHTML code, and we also introduce you to a few new XHTML-savvy tools, with an emphasis on creating high-quality Web pages.

Examples drive this book, as the title XHTML Example by Example implies, and the printed pages that follow are brimming with them. We provide you with several hundred examples, ranging from XHTML source code examples to "visuals" (stand-alone images, such as the one shown on page xvii), organized into the following 11 chapters:

  • Chapter 1, "Why Bother?"
  • Chapter 2, "XHTML = HTML + XML"
  • Chapter 3, "Wading Into XHTML"
  • Chapter 4, "Making XHTML Sing"
  • Chapter 5, "Making XHTML Dance"
  • Chapter 6, "Using Style Sheets to Format and Present Your Pages"
  • Chapter 7, "Using Scripts to Bring Your XHTML Pages to Life"
  • Chapter 8, "Using Forms and Scripts to Create Pages with Smart Input Capabilities"
  • Chapter 9, "Using Tables to Organize Web Page Data"
  • Chapter 10, "Gearing Up for the Rich Media Web"
  • Chapter 11, "Where Do We Go From Here?"

You can read these chapters in any order that you'd like, although we'd suggest that you start with Chapter 1 and progress through each subsequent chapter in a linear fashion if you're not already experienced with HTML. If you're already comfortable with HTML, however, you'll probably want to jump around from chapter to chapter as you chase down specific topics and examples that interest you.

Online Reader's Area

XHTML Example by Example represents a new dimension of technology books dedicated to advanced and cutting-edge Internet and Web topics. To get your hands on additional resources related to XHTML Example by Example, or to learn more about related technologies, visit the Web3DBooks.com online site (http://web3dbooks.com/).

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