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XHTML Modularization

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The XHTML modularization-model defines the modules of XHTML.


Why XHTML Modularization?

XHTML contains most of the functionality a web developer will need.

For some purposes XHTML is too large and complex, and for other purposes it's too simple.

By splitting XHTML into modules, the W3C (World Wide web Consortium) has created small and well-defined sets of XHTML elements that can be used separately for small devices, or combined with other XML standards in more complex applications.

With modular XHTML, designers can:

  • Choose the elements to be supported by a device
  • Simplify XHTML for small devices
  • Extend XHTML for complex applications by adding new XML functionality (like MathML, SVG, Voice and Multimedia)
  • Define XHTML profiles like XHTML Basic (a subset of XHTML for mobile devices)

XHTML Modules

W3C has split the definition of XHTML into 28 modules:

Module name Description
Applet Module Defines the deprecated* applet element
Base Module Defines the base element
Basic Forms Module Defines the basic forms elements
Basic Tables Module Defines the basic table elements
Bi-directional Text Module Defines the bdo element
Client Image Map Module Defines browser side image map elements
Edit Module Defines the editing elements del and ins
Forms Module Defines all elements used in forms
Frames Module Defines the frameset elements
Hypertext Module Defines the a element
Iframe Module Defines the iframe element
Image Module Defines the img element
Intrinsic Events Module Defines event attributes like onblur and onchange
Legacy Module Defines deprecated* elements and attributes
Link Module Defines the link element
List Module Defines the list elements ol, li, ul, dd, dt, and dl
Metainformation Module Defines the meta element
Name Identification Module Defines the deprecated* name attribute
Object Module Defines the object and param elements
Presentation Module Defines presentation elements like b and i
Scripting Module Defines the script and noscript elements
Server Image Map Module Defines server side image map elements
Structure Module Defines the elements html, head, title and body
Style Attribute Module Defines the style attribute
Style Sheet Module Defines the style element
Tables Module Defines the elements used in tables
Target Module Defines the target attribute
Text Module Defines text container elements like p and h1

* Deprecated elements should not be used in XHTML.


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