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W3C officially recommends XHTML bridge to XML

Redefines HTML 4 as XML document type

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The closest thing the Web has to a governing body, the Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) has officially recommended XHTML 1.0 for use by Webmasters everywhere. XHTML (eXtensible Hypertext Mark-up Language) is the latest HTML specification, version 4, redefined as an XML document type. As such it's a bridge between HTML and XML as the language of the Web. AS the W3C puts it, "by migrating to XHTML today, content developers can enter the XML world with all of its attendant benefits, while still remaining confident in their content's backward and future compatibility". XML is widely seen as the future of the Web because it can support an infinite number of mark-up languages, each defined for specific data types, such as musical or mathematical notation. It's also seen as the basis for future e-commerce applications, which can be made far more flexible and better tailored to given commodities than existing systems. The Register's MyNetscape channel is an example of XML. Of course, the snag is that the major browsers don't yet support XML, and neither Netscape nor Microsoft have yet to commit to supporting XHTML in future browsers (though it seems unlikely that they won't). ®

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