What's (really) new in XHTML
21:39, 14 Jan 2003 UTC | Micah Dubinko

XHTML 2.0 has been a topic of much discussion lately, including two recent Working Drafts. This article collects the recent changes in one convenient place.

The second and third Working Drafts were released on December 11 and shortly thereafter on December 18, 2002 "because of production errors". Each document included a diff-marked version relative to the immediately preceding document. The overall summary that follows takes into account both of these revisions.

These drafts contain a large amount of editorial improvemnts in the text and tightening of the description of processing, in particular for tables, scripts, accessibility, and the object element.

Several former "Modules" have been recast as "Attribute Collections":

  • Bi-directional Text Collection (replacing the bdo element)
  • Editing Collection (replacing ins and del elements)
  • Image Map Attribute Collection
  • Embedding Collection

The Embedding Collection expands on the idea found in the initial Working Draft that nearly any element can be a hyperlink by adding a 'href' attribute. In the more recent drafts, now nearly any element can contain embedded display content by adding a 'src' attribute.

In fact, many more elements now accept the full range of Common Attributes, including the elements html, title, meta, and style. Further, the meta element now allows textual content instead of an attribute named 'content'.

Another notable addition is that xml:base is now consistently supported. In particular, the 'codebase' attribute has been replaced with xml:base.

A few elements were removed from the Text Module:

  • acronym (subsumed by abbr)
  • br (replaced by l)
  • cite (later reported as an editorial error that will be fixed in the next publication)

The nl element now contains a child element named label (formerly name), bringing it in closer alignment with XForms.

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Re: What's (really) new in XHTML (Guy Macon - 05:14, 8 May 2003)
Re: acronym (subsumed by abbr):

In my opinion, it would be nice to be able to specify that a part ...
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