As you might have gathered from my post yesterday, I plan to redesign my site shortly. I have been marking up web sites with HTML for as long as I care to remember - 7 years or so and at this point in my life, I would like to say that I am pretty good at it. However, much that once was is now lost and a lot of the things that I learned back in the day have long since disappeared from my tasteful use: center and font tags being some simple examples. Fortunately, I am a man of change and I can take it. The standard now is to separate content from style. This presents the problem of the fact that I don’t really have much content. Actually that isn’t so true anymore, but it does pose some challenges.

XHTML (which is trying to bring HTML closer to XML) is the next standard after HTML 4.01 and apparently casts down all of my bad habits and imposes a new set of rules on me (one of which I really don’t agree with). Some of these rules are: all tags must be closed (which was never a problem for tags that had closes, but single tags like BR and IMG need to be written as <br />. All tag attributes must have the values enclosed in quotes. (ie. border="0" as opposed to BORDER=0) But the one that really burns me is that all tags should be lower case!! I have spent my entire career making a point to use upper case tags because they are easier to distinguish from regular text which is primarily lower case.

The deal with this standard is that by using it, you create content that is accessible to all types of browsers: lynx, PalmOS, even braille readers. However the catch is that it will look pretty crappy on older browsers, even as recent as the 4.0 generation of browsers will likely have trouble. But considering that my primary readership I know has adequate browsers, I trust that we will all have a problem-free transition.

That is my rant on the XHTML standard, but I am excited, I plan to get working on it as soon as I can, which will not be at least until next week some time, if not, the week after. Cheers

Written by Colin Bate