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31.5. Try It Out

XHTML is destined to be the future of document markup, but that doesn't mean you need to wait to try it out. By following the previous rules and tips for well-formed documents, you can begin creating XHTML documents that will work on current browsers. The latest batch of standards-compliant browsers know what to do if you declare which XHTML DTD you've used at the opening of your document. The majority of existing browsers know what to do with pages written according to the Transitional DTD.

The downside is that XHTML can be tedious and painful to create since every tag must be in perfect order. Hopefully, the current web authoring tools will catch up and begin making it easy to generate well-formed XHTML in upcoming versions. Until that day, be patient, use a validator, and know that writing standards-compliant code will be worth the added effort in the long term. With the trend toward XML-based information systems, your XML-compliant content will be ready to play along.

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