Supersonic Man

September 10, 2013

strict doctypes and old markup

Filed under: Hobbyism and Nerdry — Supersonic Man @ 9:49 am

I thought strict doctypes, like XMTML Strict, were just for eliminating all the deprecated HTML tags that were used for stuff that now uses CSS, such as <font> and <center>.  But there are a couple of gotchas with it.  For instance, strict [X]HTML does not allow you to put a target= attribute on a link.  Apparently this is considered a matter of presentation and styling, though only cutting-edge implementations of CSS support setting it in a stylesheet.  But the one that really makes me scratch my head is that <blockquote> is only allowed to contain block-level elements.  What?  The obvious semantics of a block quote are that it should contain text.  But no, now it’s only supposed to contain paragraphs and divs, not act as a paragraph in itself.

(I’m posting this partly just as a sort of note to myself.)

I do try to use modern standards, but my website has content dating back as far as 1996, so no way am I going to clean out all the old <font> tags.

Maybe I should at least validate capejeer.com, since the content there is all fairly new, and generated from a single master page that I can easily modernize.

[update] I did: capejeer.com is now fully XHTML Strict compliant, though paulkienitz.net still has tons of content that’s stuck at a Netscape 4 level of markup, using no CSS at all.  The front landing page is the only part that uses any modern browser technology, and even that dates mainly from about 2005.

[update 2] I made a spreadsheet of all the HTML pages on paulkienitz.net assessing their state of modernity in terms of styling.  The current status is:

  • root level: almost everything is archaic except the index page and the one page that draws the most search traffic.
  • the old film-era photo gallery folder (which frankly, has been an embarrassment for some time, and really needs updating, or even just some severe culling) is also completely archaic.
  • the Enron & Friends material is 90% bad, with a light sprinkling of modern style tweaks, but the current events movie reviews in the same folder are 90% good.
  • the B movie folder is good, and the boids folder, plus bits in the Amiga folder and the Reagan folder.
  • two of the biggest folders are good, but they’re both unfinished projects which are not yet exposed to the public.

The question is, which of these archaic areas is even worth updating?  The answer would be, almost none.  They’re all dated, essentially of historical interest only, except for the gallery, where markup is the least of its problems.

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2 Comments »

  1. Now it’s time to update Cape Jeer to HTML 5. With <article> tags around the individual reviews, and “structured data” for Google on the cape ratings.

    After checking the latest stats, I think we’ll still have to support html4 for a while. I could have two content folders and use browser-sniffing url rewriting (which my host supports in .htacces) to select which gets served. This would totally fit Cape Jeer’s existing (admittedly dumb) pattern of producing static html for stuff that would normally need a web app.

    Or I could get over that and redo it in php, but that would be a lot of work for which there’s no real need.

    But on the other hand, it could let me have a comments section. Or instead of reimplementing in php, I could redo it all in WordPress, and have that built in.

    Maybe I’ll add links to WordPress pages to act as a comment area.

    Comment by Supersonic Man — December 13, 2014 @ 12:04 pm | Reply

  2. Cape Jeer is now HTML5.

    Comment by Supersonic Man — January 6, 2015 @ 7:36 pm | Reply


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