HTML and XHTML
HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is the main markup language for displaying web pages and other information that can be displayed in a web browser.
HTML is written in the form of HTML elements consisting of tags enclosed in angle brackets (like ), within the web page content. HTML tags most commonly come in pairs like
and, although some tags, known as empty elements, are unpaired, for example . The first tag in a pair is the start tag, the second tag is the end tag (they are also called opening tags and closing tags). In between these tags web designers can add text, tags, comments and other types of text-based content.
The purpose of a web browser is to read HTML documents and compose them into visible or audible web pages. The browser does not display the HTML tags, but uses the tags to interpret the content of the page.
XHTML (Extensible HyperText Markup Language) is a family of XML markup languages that mirror or extend versions of the widely-used Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the language in which web pages are written.
While HTML (prior to HTML5) was defined as an application of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML), a very flexible markup language framework, XHTML is an application of XML, a more restrictive subset of SGML. Because XHTML documents need to be well-formed, they can be parsed using standard XML parsers—unlike HTML, which requires a lenient HTML-specific parser.
XHTML 1.0 became a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Recommendation on January 26, 2000. XHTML 1.1 became a W3C Recommendation on May 31, 2001. XHTML5 is undergoing development as of September 2009, as part of the HTML5 specification.