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Open Source Project - Web Based Cms

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FallingTears
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Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Nov. 30th, 2012 @ 11:20 PM Reply

I'm looking to start an open source project. Here are the thoughts that I would like to bring to the table. I want to create a web-based CMS in a different scripting language than PHP. I've used WordPress and Drupal (6 & 7) professionally to build websites for my employer's clients. I'm well versed in JavaScript, W3C's standards for HTML/XHTML/HTML5 and CSS/CSS3.

I'm thinking about using Ruby on Rails to build this CMS framework. I've also considered using Python. I would like the CMS to be able to be connected to MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and MSSQL database servers.

If you're interested, drop me a line.

By the way, I want to create a lightweight CMS. I want it secure, but I don't want it to be bloated like Drupal


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dem0lecule
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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 1st, 2012 @ 12:26 AM Reply

Sounds interesting. I had used Python cms like Plone, Django CMS and LFC. Some other PHP ones too. I think you can start to reference on Plone since it integrates with tons of different DBs and language.

Correction, there is no secure cms, and they will be always bloated. I had come across open source cms that has more web app vulnerabilities than Drupal and Joomla combined together. It's like cms nature itself to be bloated. Things such as code injections exists among all cms, as long as you plug them in 3rd party stuff, but then this would defeat the purpose of cms...

Anyway, it would be fun to be part of the project member.


What comes around goes around...

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FallingTears
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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 1st, 2012 @ 02:07 AM Reply

At 12/1/12 12:26 AM, dem0lecule wrote: Sounds interesting. I had used Python cms like Plone, Django CMS and LFC. Some other PHP ones too. I think you can start to reference on Plone since it integrates with tons of different DBs and language.

Correction, there is no secure cms, and they will be always bloated. I had come across open source cms that has more web app vulnerabilities than Drupal and Joomla combined together. It's like cms nature itself to be bloated. Things such as code injections exists among all cms, as long as you plug them in 3rd party stuff, but then this would defeat the purpose of cms...

Anyway, it would be fun to be part of the project member.

I used Zope. Apparently, it was an amazing Python CMS of its day. I honestly think its terrible now. I agree that most programming projects will have their vulnerabilities. That being said, I still think we can make the CMS lightweight. Less code than Drupal. I'm not sure how it will compare with some of the other smaller CMSs like joomla or WordPress.

We can make it more secure in various ways and make it less likely to be exploited. Allowing third party plugins is an interesting idea, but I'm not over enthusiastic about this idea early on in development. Basically, we should allow core processes to be done like blogging and forums, but have more flexibility on theming than Drupal and WordPress.


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FallingTears
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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 1st, 2012 @ 02:13 AM Reply

While its on my mind, there should be a core purpose for this CMS. WordPress is based on blogging. Drupal is a "one size fits all." I don't think we could be very competitive in the beginning considering these two CMSs hold an impressive share of the CMS market. Also, as long as we don't make something as terrible a DotNetNuke .... we should be good.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 11:39 AM Reply

Make a really decent template structure for it and I'd be interested.

I use WP a lot at the minute but its always a bit of a bodge to get it doing what I want it to and where. Ideally I'd be able to put any content anywhere I want on my page, then have corresponding sections on an edit page that I could just type into.

Most of the people I make themes for don't know any HTML, and keeping them in code view in WP just so it doesn't wreck stuff because I can't have multiple sections for content isn't ideal. (I know there are a few plugins for multiple sections on WP, but they're shit.)


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FallingTears
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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 4th, 2012 @ 12:32 PM Reply

At 12/4/12 11:39 AM, smulse wrote: Make a really decent template structure for it and I'd be interested.

I use WP a lot at the minute but its always a bit of a bodge to get it doing what I want it to and where. Ideally I'd be able to put any content anywhere I want on my page, then have corresponding sections on an edit page that I could just type into.

Most of the people I make themes for don't know any HTML, and keeping them in code view in WP just so it doesn't wreck stuff because I can't have multiple sections for content isn't ideal. (I know there are a few plugins for multiple sections on WP, but they're shit.)

smulse, I agree with you about the HTML templates used by most CMS's. They're bloated and not very flexible. I've thought about this topic quite a bit. Quite frankly, at the current time I'm not sure how I want to approach HTML templates. If I only define a header template and footer template, but allow the main body to be created by the end user ... then it wouldn't be much of a CMS. The point of a CMS is to expedite the creating and publishing of content to the web.

A second problem arises when this is discussed. That's the creation of themes. Should themeing be allowed? If so, how sophisticated should themeing become? These questions aren't so easy to answer.


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FallingTears
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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 5th, 2012 @ 02:29 PM Reply

If you'll take a look at the source code for the index page for my website CodeBeast you'll see an example of how clean I want the HTML markup to be for the CMS's HTML template. I'm using HTML5. I provide a link to the HTML5 shiv for IE versions less than 9. I provide a link straight to the latest version of jQuery. I've thought about adding other JavaScript frameworks, but haven't had the opportunity. I think the code is fairly straight forward.

Tell me what you think.

BTW, the HTML comments were put there to make it easier for some people to understand when certain things begin/end.

Also, my logo is horrible. I downloaded a free PSD from the internet so I could make that "landing" page quickly to replace my old black/white nasty page.

To all graphics designers:

I'm interested in doing an even trade. I'll gladly develop do the programming for your website (frontend & backend HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP) in the CMS of your choosing in exchange for free graphics. Exchange rate one PSD = one completely styled and developed live page. Inbox me if you would like me to provide samples of my work. (Keep in mind the samples of my work are based on the designs provided to me by graphics artists. The art is not my own work. I'm just pointing out my proficiency with HTML, CSS, JavaScript.


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Diki
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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 5th, 2012 @ 03:56 PM Reply

At 12/5/12 02:29 PM, FallingTears wrote: CodeBeast

You're misusing "div" a bit there. Right now you have a "div city" going on.
Why are you enclosing everything in its own div block? What is the point of the page, page_inner, logo, main_container, main, and content_container divs?

I'd also recommend using classes and not IDs for your elements, unless you need to access the element with JS in which case you can apply an ID for that. Could save you a headache down the line.

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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 5th, 2012 @ 04:07 PM Reply

Also this is a bit picky but your type attributes are redundant (used in your script and link elements). The browser can figure that all out on its own.
Not really what I could call a necessary change, but it's nice to know since it involves less typing.

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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 5th, 2012 @ 04:09 PM Reply

At 12/5/12 03:56 PM, Diki wrote:
At 12/5/12 02:29 PM, FallingTears wrote: CodeBeast
You're misusing "div" a bit there. Right now you have a "div city" going on.
Why are you enclosing everything in its own div block? What is the point of the page, page_inner, logo, main_container, main, and content_container divs?

I'd also recommend using classes and not IDs for your elements, unless you need to access the element with JS in which case you can apply an ID for that. Could save you a headache down the line.

Diki, I remember you from before. I left Newgrounds around 2009. I actually sent a request for my username to be deleted (and it was). What I remember you from before is your impeccable ability to give great constructive criticism.

That's just an example of what I would like the markup to look like in comparison to Drupal, WordPress, or other CMS's. I agree with you about the "div city." Sometimes, I do got a little too far with my divs. I also agree with you about the use of classes and IDs. This is just for purposes of demonstration. I like your constructive criticism. It is very helpful. I'm going to clean this up a little more, because like I said before I would like for this CMS to be light weight. I created a static HTML landing page until I can get the rest of my site developed.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 5th, 2012 @ 04:14 PM Reply

At 12/5/12 04:09 PM, FallingTears wrote: Diki, I remember you from before. I left Newgrounds around 2009. I actually sent a request for my username to be deleted (and it was). What I remember you from before is your impeccable ability to give great constructive criticism.

Hah. I've been told I can be kind of a dick on here, but I do what I can. :)

At 12/5/12 04:09 PM, FallingTears wrote: Sometimes, I do got a little too far with my divs.

If you did web development back in the IE6 days where browsers expected no elements to ever exceed their bounding boxes then it makes sense. It took me a while to break that habit and stop enclosing all my elements in DIVs.
Thank god browsers have improved since then.

Also, I figure you're going to do this anyways, but just in case, make sure you use Normalize.css or reset5 on your HTML/CSS, otherwise the site will look all wonky on different browsers. Personally I prefer Normalize.css but they're both damn good.

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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 5th, 2012 @ 04:30 PM Reply

At 12/5/12 04:14 PM, Diki wrote: Hah. I've been told I can be kind of a dick on here, but I do what I can. :)

I don't think you're a dick, just blunt and honest. That doesn't make you a dick. A dick does it on purpose, for the sake of being a dick.

I figure you're going to do this anyways, but just in case, make sure you use Normalize.css or reset5 on your HTML/CSS, otherwise the site will look all wonky on different browsers. Personally I prefer Normalize.css but they're both damn good.

Sweet! I definitely will take a close look at Normalize.css. I think some of the CMS's I use at work use normalize.css.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 5th, 2012 @ 04:38 PM Reply

I cleaned up the HTML and added normalize.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 7th, 2012 @ 03:38 PM Reply

At 12/5/12 04:38 PM, FallingTears wrote: I cleaned up the HTML and added normalize.

I like the idea of a well-formed ruby based cms. I'm working on a similar php project that gives developers more flexibility and keeps the code base light. In retrospect I would have rather done it in ruby on rails if I had to start it over again, but I'm already too deep in the project to change directions now without major revisions.


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Diki
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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 7th, 2012 @ 04:58 PM Reply

At 12/5/12 04:38 PM, FallingTears wrote: I cleaned up the HTML and added normalize.

Definitely looks a lot better now.

Though you still have a DIV wrapping everything, and a DIV wrapping your logo (the #page and #logo elements respectively), which I don't see any reason for having. If you need your logo to behave as a block you can just throw a <br> after it, or set its display CSS property to "block", though given that nothing else is on the page I doubt that's necessary.

So I'd say drop get rid of the #page and #logo DIVs and you're good to go.
And possibly rename #main to a section element, and #content to an article element, but that's not really super necessary. :)

P.S.
This is how I'd write that HTML. Though you might not like some of the changes I made, such as the comments being removed, using class and not id for the elements, and removing the redundant type attributes from your <script> and <link> elements.

FallingTears
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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 9th, 2012 @ 01:41 AM Reply

At 12/7/12 04:58 PM, Diki wrote: P.S.
This is how I'd write that HTML. Though you might not like some of the changes I made, such as the comments being removed, using class and not id for the elements, and removing the redundant type attributes from your <script> and <link> elements.

Wow, that is very clean. I like it a lot!


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 9th, 2012 @ 04:48 PM Reply

<header class="page_header">
<nav class="navigation">
<footer class="page_footer">

Purely out of interest, why the classes?


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 9th, 2012 @ 05:44 PM Reply

At 12/9/12 04:48 PM, smulse wrote: Purely out of interest, why the classes?

separate JavaScript and CSS with class and id tags so you know what element has what attached to it simply by looking at the tag.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 9th, 2012 @ 06:21 PM Reply

At 12/9/12 04:48 PM, smulse wrote: Purely out of interest, why the classes?

Using an ID doesn't serve any useful purpose for CSS. The performance of ID/class is nearly identical as the difference is negligible, and classes will never require you to rewrite your HTML if you need to re-use a style that you originally applied as an ID.

In short: using an ID doesn't do anything but potentially make you need to rewrite code later.

If you need to access the element with JavaScript then add an ID for that, but use classes for CSS.

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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 9th, 2012 @ 06:56 PM Reply

At 12/9/12 04:48 PM, smulse wrote:
Purely out of interest, why the classes?

The other day, I wrote this quickly. At the time, I didn't really organize or construct anything. It's just something I threw together in about 5 minutes to get a placeholder up. It really serves no defined purpose. Of course, as I build my personal website that will be different. Part of what has been written can be used. Class names and id's can be redone.

At 12/9/12 05:44 PM, egg82 wrote:
separate JavaScript and CSS with class and id tags so you know what element has what attached to it simply by looking at the tag.

It's my understanding that elements can be accessed via their class attribute as well as their id attribute, specifically, as long as you use the proper hierarchy calling and sometimes using the "nth" element psuedo-class. jQuery makes this process so easy.

At 12/9/12 06:21 PM, Diki wrote:
Using an ID doesn't serve any useful purpose for CSS. The performance of ID/class is nearly identical as the difference is negligible, and classes will never require you to rewrite your HTML if you need to re-use a style that you originally applied as an ID.

In short: using an ID doesn't do anything but potentially make you need to rewrite code later.

If you need to access the element with JavaScript then add an ID for that, but use classes for CSS.

Diki and egg82, you both have valid points. I agree 100%. You have no disagreement from me. I just threw this together in about 5 minutes (or less). When I write the code for my personal website, I will spend time organizing what items will have class attributes, which items have id's, which items have both (because, in some situations you might want to use both). Either way, I think for something that was thrown together in a small amount of time without using much thought for organization ... it is pretty awesome. Lol.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 9th, 2012 @ 11:51 PM Reply

At 12/9/12 06:56 PM, FallingTears wrote: It's my understanding that elements can be accessed via their class attribute as well as their id attribute, specifically, as long as you use the proper hierarchy calling and sometimes using the "nth" element psuedo-class. jQuery makes this process so easy.

they can be accessed by whatever you want to access them by, but it's bad practice to do so.

example:

<div id="myId"></div>
<span id="myId2"></span>
<table id="myId3"></table>

I have no idea what the hell is going on.

vs

<div id="myId" class="colorMe"></div>
<span class="moveMe"></span>
<table id="myId3"></table>

I now know that the div uses javascript and CSS, the span uses CSS only, and the table uses javascript only.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 10th, 2012 @ 08:02 AM Reply

At 12/9/12 11:51 PM, egg82 wrote:
I now know that the div uses javascript and CSS, the span uses CSS only, and the table uses javascript only.

You have some extremely good points.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 11th, 2012 @ 04:36 AM Reply

I'm not a fan of Ruby. I just do not like the simplified syntax. I'm not a fan of using tabs or indentations instead of curly braces, either, but to each their own.

As far CMS woes go, I think these are the shortcomings of most systems currently available:
1. They usually have over-complicated admin areas (Drupal, ModX). Wordpress is the rare exception.
2. Additional modules or plugins become obsolete quickly and sometimes simply break as the system gets updated (Drupal, Wordpress).
3. Bugfixes do not automatically install and frequently break themes (Wordpress). Core updates require manual upload (Drupal). Module updates are not uniform and some auto-update while others do not.
4. Core upgrades are unstable and most users prefer a complete reinstall to an upgrade (ModX, Drupal).
5. The backend relies way too much on database calls rather than simple configuration files (everything).
6. Themes are often confusing (ModX) and sometimes add too much CSS (Drupal).

As for #5, my reasoning is I rather not use the database for configuration. Flat files for such variables seems to work much better for many reasons. First, the database calls unnecessarily reduce performance. Second, many developers find it easier to just edit a text file than load a page and input values into text boxes. Perhaps you could appeal to both worlds and have a Boolean that toggles between flat file configuration and database calls. I think most devs would choose the flat files to keep things as efficient as possible.

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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 11th, 2012 @ 08:30 AM Reply

At 12/11/12 04:36 AM, TapSkill wrote: 1. They usually have over-complicated admin areas (Drupal, ModX). Wordpress is the rare exception.

While I haven't worked with ModX, I have worked quite extensively with Drupal. At first, I felt the same way. I guess with time the admin area's become second nature. Drupal is bloated, in my opinion, as a CMS in that it has one of the biggest installation sizes of CMS's. It has a lot of room for improvement.

2. Additional modules or plugins become obsolete quickly and sometimes simply break as the system gets updated (Drupal, Wordpress).

True. This is especially true for Drupal. Each new upgrade (not minor upgrades) requires module rewrites. This has pros and cons. Pros would be having the opportunity to continuously develop something. Cons, the continuous development always starts with an entire brand new rewrite because of core API changes.

3. Bugfixes do not automatically install and frequently break themes (Wordpress). Core updates require manual upload (Drupal). Module updates are not uniform and some auto-update while others do not.

True.

4. Core upgrades are unstable and most users prefer a complete reinstall to an upgrade (ModX, Drupal).

I have been able to upgrade Drupal successfully from each major edition (5 to 6 and 6 to 7) without problems. Then again, I've patiently waited for stable releases for the core and for the modules to support the new core and spent the time required to plan the upgrade. You can't upgrade something like Drupal without doing the required research.

5. The backend relies way too much on database calls rather than simple configuration files (everything).

Debatable. This is good and bad. However, one thing I do want to point out to you is that a LOT of Drupal's configuration is found in flat files. Not everything. Quite a bit is. This is a situation where part of it is in the database and the other part is not.

6. Themes are often confusing (ModX) and sometimes add too much CSS (Drupal).

No argument here.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 11th, 2012 @ 11:38 AM Reply

At 12/11/12 04:36 AM, TapSkill wrote: I'm not a fan of using tabs or indentations instead of curly braces, either, but to each their own.

Spaces/tabs aren't syntactically important in Ruby like they are in Python.

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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 12th, 2012 @ 07:38 AM Reply

At 12/9/12 06:21 PM, Diki wrote: Using an ID doesn't serve any useful purpose for CSS. The performance of ID/class is nearly identical as the difference is negligible, and classes will never require you to rewrite your HTML if you need to re-use a style that you originally applied as an ID.

I understand your opinion on that. But isn't <nav class="navigation"> a little obvious..?
The whole point of <nav> is that it's the navigation. As with the others.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 12th, 2012 @ 07:47 AM Reply

At 12/12/12 07:38 AM, smulse wrote: I understand your opinion on that. But isn't <nav class="navigation"> a little obvious..?
The whole point of <nav> is that it's the navigation. As with the others.

nav's weren't introduced until HTML5, which is taking (at least me) some getting used-to
I still write the occasional <div class="nav">

HTML5 is one of those "forget everything you ever learned" languages.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 12th, 2012 @ 10:39 AM Reply

At 12/12/12 07:47 AM, egg82 wrote:
At 12/12/12 07:38 AM, smulse wrote: I understand your opinion on that. But isn't <nav class="navigation"> a little obvious..?
The whole point of <nav> is that it's the navigation. As with the others.
nav's weren't introduced until HTML5, which is taking (at least me) some getting used-to
I still write the occasional <div class="nav">

HTML5 is one of those "forget everything you ever learned" languages.

I'm still having difficulty moving from "make this work in IE6" mindset, you know adding all the extra divs with "clearfix" divs. Also, having the XHTML 1.0 Strict standards drilled into you .... I keep adding / at the end of my single tag elements like br or img. When I parse my HTML5 for errors, I get errors for those little practices.

I heard a rumor that there's going to be a version of XHTML standards for HTML5.


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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 12th, 2012 @ 05:34 PM Reply

At 12/12/12 07:38 AM, smulse wrote: I understand your opinion on that. But isn't <nav class="navigation"> a little obvious..?
The whole point of <nav> is that it's the navigation. As with the others.

I didn't give it that name (I left the names that FallingTears gave); I'd name it something more as to what it represents rather than what it is (such as what type of navigation it is, such as "mainNavigation" or "downloadLinks").
But using just <nav> would mean that you cannot specify a style specifically to that element. If you were to do something like this in CSS:

nav {
  color: #444444;
  border: 1px dashed #A0A0A0;
  background-color: #DDDDDD;
}

Then it would apply to every single <nav> element, which is probably not desirable. You could use psuedo-classes to prevent that but that would just be convoluted and not something I'd recommend doing.

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Response to Open Source Project - Web Based Cms Dec. 12th, 2012 @ 05:39 PM Reply

At 12/12/12 10:39 AM, FallingTears wrote: I heard a rumor that there's going to be a version of XHTML standards for HTML5.

I haven't heard that, nor would I say there would be much point in using it even if it were made.
Here's a quote that I read on a guy's blog that I think perfectly describes XHTML:

It's incompatible to what it tries to replace but does not offer much besides being more âEUoecorrectâEU.

In my opinion there just isn't any point to writing XHTML.