Archæology

The assorted finds of Artefact Publishing

HTML authoring

My brother Michael has commented that I’m an author who really knows how to lay out a web-page. It’s nice to see that either he or someone else later checked the validity of the HTML used on the main page. Of course, there’s far, far more to good HTML than simple validity, as valid markup is not necessarily meaningful markup. I spent a long while last week changing all of the Movable Type templates to use fewer divs and spans and more headings and paragraphs and lists. The stylesheet also got made over, mostly by removing large amounts of fairly redundant stuff and not using pixel units for anything.

Does that mean this site might look weird in browsers with really buggy CSS support? Well, yes, but then those browsers have really buggy CSS support and that’s not my problem. Unlike the Web Standards Project, however, I don’t intend to hand out upgrade advice to users who are probably all too familiar with the shortcomings of their browser. And while they may point out that it can be a good idea to hide these messages from good browsers such as Lynx, a lot of sites don’t (and their suggested method of achieving this uses the IFRAME element, which is not part of the X/HTML strict DTD). This irritates me as a user, and so I don’t do it as an author.

As a side gripe, the W3C is not a standards body, and HTML4 and CSS2 are not standards. While the Web Standards Project are aware of this, they’re happy to go with de facto standards, whatever objections others may raise.

Posted by jamie on October 15, 2002 09:42+13:00

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