The elements of meaningful XHTML

This content is 17 years old. I don't routinely update old blog posts as they are only intended to represent a view at a particular point in time. Please be warned that the information here may be out of date.

I’m really trying to use good, semantic, XHTML and CSS on this website but sometimes it’s hard work. Even so, the validation tools that I’ve used have helped me to increase my XHTML knowledge and most things can be tweaked – I’m really pleased that this page current validates as both valid XHTML 1.1 and CSS2.

Last night I came across an interesting presentation by Tantek Çelik (of box model hack fame) that dates back to the 2005 South by SouthWest (SxSW) interactive festival and discusses the elements of meaningful XHTML. Even though the slidedeck is no substitute for hearing the original presentation, I think it’s worth a look for a few reasons:

  • It taught me about some XHTML elements that I wasn’t familiar with (e.g. <address>) and others I’m just getting to grips with (e.g. <cite>).
  • It highlighted some techniques which abuse the intended meaning for XHTML elements and how the same result should be achieved using semantically correct XHTML.
  • It introduced me to extending XHTML with microformats for linked licenses, social relationships, people, events, outlines and even presentations (thanks to the links provided by Creative Commons and the XHTML Friends Network, I already use linked licenses and social relationships on this site but now I understand the code a little better).
  • It reinforced that I’m doing the right thing!

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