W3C looks to modularize XHTML

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on Tuesday boosted its Modularization of XHTML (Extensible HTML) specification, which would enable developers to distribute XHTML information to devices ranging from PCs to handhelds and Web-enabled cell phones, according to Janet Daly, a W3C spokeswoman.

The consortium formally moved the specification to its recommendation phase.

"The modularization recommendation provides developers with a method for using modules, combining modules, and picking modules for any device they need," she added.

The specification includes a set of modules based on XHTML features, including Text, List, Forms, Image, and Table, among others. Developers can pick and choose which modules to deliver to which devices. A user on a PC may receive the full gamut, while a cell phone will get only the relevant content.

In a recent report, Redwood City, Calif.-based Zona Research Inc. stated that XHTML will help content providers distribute their services to multiple platforms, thereby increasing the quality and acceptance of wireless access.

A number of wireless powerhouses, in fact, such as Nokia Corp., L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co., Motorola Inc., and Siemens AG, are backing XHTML as the language for creating all content regardless of whether it is for the fixed Internet or the mobile phone world.

Nokia, for instance, demonstrated an XHTML Web browser on a mobile phone last month at the CTIA and CeBit trade shows.

This is the third recommendation the W3C HTML Working Group has written in the past 15 months. The previous two are XTHML 1.0 in January 2000, and XHTML Basic in December 2000.

A recommendation means that the specification is stable, contributes to Web interoperability, and has been reviewed by member of the Cambridge, Mass.-based W3C.

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