To Hell With Bad Editors
Posted on 28 Feb 2001
by Adrian Roselli (aardvark)
Rated 4.49 (Ratings: 41)
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SoftwareAnd by software, I primarily mean WYSIWYGs. This also includes those great text editors that offer incorrect HTML syntax guidance. And there are some that are self-described visual editors, or are really page layout applications, or even word processors. But ultimately, if it writes HTML for you, I'm talking about it. I don't want to name any in particular, however, since I know people can be defensive about the tools they use. Some are bad, and some are good, and some are only as good as the user is bad.I am, however, going to offer this statement from a company who makes all sorts of web tools. This statement was reported at a few places, including a review of the Web Standards Project Panel posted by Macromedia (don't worry, there are other sources to verify it):
- The W3C HTML/XHTML validator. This will validate the given page against the DTD listed within the page. The source code is distributed under a GPL-compatible license.
- The W3C CSS validator. Another tool that could be integrated into an editor.
- HTML Tidy. A handy stand-alone utility that searches for, and corrects, tag errors (nesting, unclosed tags, illegal tags, etc.). The source code is there, and they promote integration with other tools.
"You are correct about the sample of code shown, but it was done deliberately. It was meant to show a typical sample of HTML, whether or not that correctly conformed to standards. I agree that, in itself this isn't really an excuse for writing 'bad code', but it wasn't sloppyness. [...] For myself I just hadn't really been aware of XHTML and it's importance - a pretty poor excuse I think you'll agree."To his credit, the author was aware of the importance of standards by the time I had found this book, and had made significant improvements in later books. But certainly this is indicative of an overall lack of strict standards compliance in the very "text books" so many developers use. And since those developers often don't know about, or won't take the time to visit, the W3C site, they are at a significant disadvantage.So I say to the people who code, learn the standards, code to compliance, and always keep the user in mind, regardless of what unfortunate browser he or she might use.