HTML or XHTML: Does It Really Matter?

The technology world is all about choices. J2EE or .NET? AJAX or Flash? iPhone or everything else? In some cases, the technical distinction between one choice or another affects internal processes while having little bearing on the end user. For example, choosing to build a major new web site using the open source LAMP technology stack (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) versus one built using Ruby On Rails will have little-to-no impact on the end users visiting your site. Instead, the impact of this decision will be felt in terms of pricing, in the choice of a webhost provider, and in the hiring of developers to help construct and maintain the site. Choosing to build the site’s user interface, however, using a proprietary technology such as Microsoft Silverlight or Adobe Flash will most definitely affect how end users experience your site. Users on an OS with no Flash or Silverlight support will be shut out from site access, as well as most mobile users and users without the appropriate plug-in installed. As we’ll learn in this article, deciding to build online content in HTML or XHTML is one of these critical technology decisions fraught with tradeoffs. Read more