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My View of Webdesign

By on February 6, 2004 in Technology

Alright, tonight I finished upgrading Photos and Links to HTML 4.. this site is now, for what it’s worth, HTML 4.01/CSS2 compliant. (Some sections are using Transitional and others Strict). I view webdesign as an art, and not at all like i’m scripting or programing, which are more technical or a science in nature. As a result, I tend not to be particularly standards-oriented, especially the strict standard. There are people who would probably criticize my stance as written in this blog entry, but, to quiet them down, I will state the following, I’m not trying to break the standard, I’m just not using the strict version of it, if time passes and the site gets broken because browsers change, I accept that, and will fix and upgrade it to specification then. I do not in any way ask for browsers to bend-over backward to support me. heh. Part of the way I’m writing this site, is to get my site out of what Mozilla calls “quirks mode” where it’s not really sure what it’s looking at and so it renders it in a common way. By picking some standard, and placing the full doctype at the top, I’ve now moved it into standards compliance mode.
A few examples of why I don’t like the strict doctype is stuff like the following..
(1) I disagree with the W3C that the content and style should be seperate. I use CSS, mostly for it’s powerful cross-page styling features.. but I also use older tags like CENTER and FONT. I’m learning CSS though, and will probably use the style=”” attribute of tags more often.. I tend currently to only use CSS when linking to the stylesheet via class=””
(2) Sometimes it’s a question of simplicity. In CSS2, it appears to center an item such as a image, you must float it as a block, (display : block) then use margin : auto… or in IE, it has to be margin-left: auto and margin-right:auto.. plus a width must be defined, (which for an image has been requirement to define and is done automatically, but for other types of objects, it is new, and not automatic)… Where the hell is something simple? like align : center? why does it have to be so complex? when the old method via HTML to do it was the atrribute ALIGN=CENTER. The closest it gets to something simple like align is a text-align property which doesn’t work on objects.. (As it clearly indicates with it’s name..) It just seems like an oversight to make it harder)..
My other issue with the HTML spec, as valid, is with HTML entiies and there interaction with a common method for using the query string… In a URL like.. http://www.psychoticwolf/fakepage.php?variable1=foo&variable2=bar, there’s an ampersand between foo and variable2, which is used to split two parts of what’s known as the query_string (anything after the ?). the issue is.. in valid html, the & is the starting character for an HTML entity, basically, it’s code that prints a nice character.. like > or < and it ends with any non-alphanumeric character. so.. if strictly parsed.. I used an entity in that URL of &variable2 which isn’t defined. of course, to the browser, it really doesn’t affect anything. unless I called my variable name a name of a real entity, then the resulting behavior would be to replace my &variablename with the character. Makes sense, right? heh.. Only a couple of things.. I’m supposed to change the & to &a-m-p; (the hyphens are to prevent the browser from showing an & ) does this seem redundant to anybody? The stance of the HTML standard is that script authors should use something other than &, such as ; but if you say it, does it make sense with ;… that uri above would really read.. as.. “variable1 equals foo AND variable2 equals bar” makes logical sense.. unlike the latter. Does PHP allow you to change the & to &a-m-p; as it parses the script, to get around the error? nope.. you’re supposed to use the entiy for a perfectly valid character. heh. go figure. I have literally hundreds or even thousands of that error on my pages.. heh.. as a result of no good way to easily convert it, for the output.. bugs # 25901, 15804, and 25248 relate to the topic. all of which have been marked bogus, because PHP says it “isn’t a bug”.. heh..
Anyways, thats all for now.. Maybe my next entry will be about something else, huh? heh..

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