Standards Compliant Yet Again

Album Cover: Kid A

"We got heads on sticks. You got ventriloquists."
Radiohead / Kid A

Posted on March 03, 2004 11:50 AM in Web Development
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Somehow, very untrue to form, I let my website's standards compliance slide by the wayside. I've been so worried about making sure my new Atom feed validates that I lost all concern for the validity of the XHTML that holds my website together. As it turns out, the only things I needed to do to bring the compliance back were rather trivial and easy to fix, so I suppose I shouldn't complain.

For a while there, I think I accepted a non-valid layout because I thought I had no choice. I have been using the onClick method for some of the links in my sidebar that allow users to switch the style of the site. I really like this feature, so there was no way I was going to sacrifice it just to ensure my XHTML was valid. However, today I learned that the only problem with using onClick in XHTML is that XHTML expects its lowercase variant. So, changing onClick to onclick in my code quickly improved my validity. Then, I had to remove a border from my site's page counter (which was stupid...I should have seen that a long time ago). Those were the only main validity problems with the static portion of my blog.

However, when you get into the dynamic portion, the problems become more frequent, and harder to alleviate. One thing I like to do from time to time is include links in my posts to Google searches. However, these can be very troublesome when you're trying to keep valid XHTML code. Google searches contain a lot of ampersands which, as anybody who knows anything about XML knows, lead to choking. Luckily, updating a few of my recent entries brought back the validity of my blog (at least the main index...who knows about all the archives), and allowed me to make the XHTML 1.1 button in the sidebar an actual link to the W3C's validator without any shame.

On a related note, I think I may work on a new extension for Firefox that allows you to right-click on a URI and copy it as an X(HT)ML-safe string. Not only would that give me more experience with creating extensions, but it would also save me a lot of stress when copying and pasting Google-like URIs into my blog links.


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