Is XHTML Is a Scripting Language?


Scott Campbell

Is XHTML a Scripting Language?

The question of whether XHTML is a scripting language is a common one among web developers. To answer this question, we must first understand what XHTML is and how it differs from other web technologies.

What is XHTML?

XHTML stands for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. It is a stricter and cleaner version of HTML that follows the rules of XML. XHTML combines the flexibility of HTML with the well-formedness and extensibility of XML.

XHTML was developed to address some of the limitations and inconsistencies in HTML, making it easier for web developers to create well-structured and standardized web pages.


While both XHTML and HTML are markup languages used for creating web pages, there are some key differences between them.

  • Syntax: XHTML follows strict XML syntax rules, requiring all elements to be properly closed and nested correctly. HTML, on the other hand, allows for more flexibility in syntax.
  • Well-formedness: XHTML documents must be well-formed XML documents, meaning they must conform to all XML rules. This ensures that the document structure is valid and can be parsed correctly by browsers.
  • Rigor: Due to its stricter syntax rules, XHTML enforces better coding practices and encourages cleaner code compared to HTML.

XHTML as a Scripting Language

Contrary to popular belief, XHTML itself is not a scripting language. It is primarily a markup language used for defining the structure and presentation of web content.

However, this doesn’t mean that scripting cannot be used alongside XHTML. In fact, XHTML can incorporate various scripting languages such as JavaScript, PHP, or ASP.NET to add interactivity and dynamic functionality to web pages.

By embedding scripting code within XHTML documents, developers can create interactive forms, perform client-side validations, handle user input, and manipulate the DOM (Document Object Model) using scripting languages.


In conclusion, XHTML is not a scripting language in itself. It is a markup language that provides a stricter and cleaner syntax compared to HTML. However, XHTML can be combined with scripting languages to enhance the functionality and interactivity of web pages.

Understanding the difference between markup languages and scripting languages is crucial for web developers looking to create well-structured and dynamic web content. By leveraging the power of XHTML alongside scripting languages, developers can build modern and engaging websites.

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