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The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) promulgates the HTML standards used on the Web, but it has no authority to enforce the adoption of one standard in favor of another. In this environment, developers have some incentive to ignore up-to-date W3C standards given that the transitional versions of HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0 offer most of the capabilities of the newer ones but are less stringent in their requirements. If most Web sites migrate to these "transitional" standards and remain there, future versions might be mere academic exercises for the W3C.
Date of Publication: March-April 2008