SharePoint 2010 W3C xHTML Compliance?

Just wanted to make a quick post to clear up some things that I THINK are misconceptions about SharePoint 2010 and XHTML compliance. First a disclaimer: I don’t work for Microsoft so I can’t say for certain what the final product will be like, this is just my own assumption based on current knowledge / the current SharePoint Server 2010 that I have as of November 1st, 2009.

I’ve heard a lot of people inside and outside of the SharePoint Conference talking about WCAG, Cross-Browser, and XHTML in SharePoint 2010. From what I can tell these things are all true for SharePoint 2010:

  • WCAG 2 Compliant for accessibility needs
  • More cross browser friendly than before
  • Mostly table-less layout
  • Out of the box master pages will be based on the XHTML Strict DocType

Now for what I don’t think will be true in SharePoint 2010

  • HTML source of the page will be XHTML compliant

I believe that SharePoint 2010 will be MUCH more W3C compliant than previous versions but from what I can tell, the resulting HTML page will not validate in the W3C XHTML Validator.

I’m not saying this is good nor bad, but I think people should be aware because I think a lot of folks that are reporting on this are getting confused by: A – The WCAG accessibility compliance & B – The use of XHTML DocTypes in the master pages. They are putting the two together to say that the page will be fully XHTML compliant. For example a lot of people are reporting “SharePoint 2010 is targeting standards based browsers (XHTML 1.0 compliant) including Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.x”. Note that this doesn’t say that the page HTML will be XHTML compliant, just that the product team is targeting browsers that are XHTML compliant (as in Not IE6).

Just a heads up, in case you hear more random reports of compliance it usually refers to the WCAG compliance not W3C. Of course, I could be completely wrong, Microsoft could be one build away from shaming me into oblivion.