SharePoint 2010 W3C xHTML Compliance? 5

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.

5 thoughts on “SharePoint 2010 W3C xHTML Compliance?

  1. Reply AC Nov 4,2009 9:44 am

    In my post today, I said that SharePoint will be WCAG 2.0 AA compliant, but it will not conform to XHTML 2.0 Strict as many are reporting. This is straight from the product team.

  2. Reply Glenn Haworth Nov 6,2009 4:33 pm

    From what I was told on Wednesday at an accessibility roundtable presented by HiSoftware and hosted by MS. SP 2010 with be WCAG 2 to AA and use XHTML 1.0 strict but only well formed as they are using the ARIA attributes.

  3. Reply Gustavo Degeronimi Fett Mar 15,2010 3:28 pm

    I’ve just tested a sample Sharepoint 2010 site against TotalValidator. The results are:
    * Many xHTML errors
    * Passed US Section 508
    * Passed WCAG v1 A
    * Few errors in WCAG v1 AA and above. Would expect them to be fixed in RTC version.

    Check the full review at:

  4. Reply kgraeme Sep 9,2010 10:06 am

    While I want to give MS credit for moving towards compliance, the painful reality is that after working with the default masterpages, the MS developers don’t even understand the XHTML rules, so advertising SharePoint 2010 as XHTML 1.0 complaint has no basis in reality.

    They’ve definitely done some major improvements for accessibility, which is awesome, but they really need to make their commitement to valid code more than a marketing lie.

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