CMXtraneous: Designing for the Web

Right on the edge of useful

Does Code Validation Matter?

Posted Thursday, January 13, 2005 1:10:18 PM by Stephanie

Stephanie

For a long time I've been the kind of web developer that enjoys writing clean, valid code. I have some web friends that think I'm a little too hard core, but it makes me happy. When I complete a site (or when I run into a problem while developing the XHTML/CSS), I use the Web Developer's Toolbar in Firefox to quickly run the page through HTML and CSS validation. No, I don't put the little button on my sites -- who really cares? But I do make sure it validates.

This week, I had a really odd phenomenon happen. I found myself using proprietary CSS, causing my page not to validate, and then told someone, "Who cares if it validates!" Shocking coming from my mouth... or fingers.

That said, what's validation really for? Is it the end, or the means to an end? Is the goal to create pages that work in the validator? Or pages that work in all major browsers and sell whatever your client is selling?

I've come to believe that if I have to use proprietary code to force a certain browser which shall remain nameless to render code the way it would be rendered if that browser were standards-compliant, and it doesn't harm any other browser's rendering of the page, then I've done my job. If rest of the CSS validates and is written correctly, then I've used my tools wisely and created a site my client can make money from and I can be proud of.

Category tags: CSS, Designing for the Web, Dreamweaver

Stalking the wild Firefox

Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2005 1:45:43 AM by Big John

Big John

I have been into Opera for some time now, and it's an excellent browser, particularly the "zoom" feature. Unfortunately I am sometimes prevented from operating certain sites, and I have found that Firefox reliably handles them, so I know it's not just IE-specific code at fault.

So, I have been toying around with FF1.0 a little, and I didn't care for a few of the ways it behaves, so I was reluctant to switch over. Well no more.

Today I went for it, and started gleaning thru the hundreds of new FF extensions to be had, and suffice to say, my mind HAS BEEN BLOWN. Right now an explosion is happening in the FF extension field, and the sky is the limit.

I'm literally chortling with glee (and I don't do that too often) over all the cool functionality now at my beck and call. Irritating Flash ads? Zap 'em. Don't like a particular image or text block? Kaboom. Ads in general giving you hives? Blacklist them, complete with wildcards. Woohoo! Blog tools galore, RSS stuff, developer tools, you name it.

And that's not all. There's a popup counter, showing just how many popups FF blocked for you on a page, along with the "all time high" # of popups ever blocked at one time. "Madge, I THINK I'm going to be sick!" You can select a plain unlinked url on a page, right click and off you go. Does it irritate you to have to register at every Podunk paper just to see some linked story, only to never visit again? Arrrr, ye be covered, Matey. >;-D One extension employs algorythms to make the mouse wheel scrolling butter smooth. Ahhhh.

This only scratches the surface of what's available, and the fun is just getting started. Consider "Fangs", which gives a text representation of what a screen reader would speak. Awesome. One extension even replicates my beloved "restore closed tab" feature from Opera. Happy happy happy! Joy Joy Joy!

Yes, I now feel a true master of my domain (no pun intended). It's good to be King.

Category tags: Accessibility, Blogs and Blogging, Community MX, Designing for the Web, Extensibility, This and That, Using the Web