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Is Dreamweaver 8's validator unreliable? I'm finding so..

 
 
=?windows-1252?Q?G=E9rard_Talbot?=
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      03-19-2006
xyZed wrote :

[snipped]

> I was writing all my markup in XHTML 1.0 strict but was bothered by
> the fact it wouldn't allow me to open affiliate sites in a separate
> window. I know it's potentially contentious, but I really think if
> someone clicks a link which goes to a different site I would prefer
> them to do so in a fresh window. Even as I type it, it sounds a bit
> dictatorial though
>
> Other than the opening of links with target="_blank" my pages
> validated with XHTML strict (apart from the useless affiliate
> javascript links which is another post) Should I seriously consider
> switching to strict?


Any new document should be declared with a strict DTD.
Unless you really know what you're doing, don't use XHTML 1.0; use HTML
4.01 rather.
Like others, I recommend you use the W3C markup validator and not
DreamWeaver's "validator".

If you really need to have some links open documents into a new window,
then, at least, follow usability and accessibility guidelines on this:

http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs...ability_issues

- one of them being to not use target="_blank"
- another one of them being to clearly identify links which will open a
new window or will re-use/recycle an already opened one.

Gérard
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Toby Inkster
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      03-19-2006
Alan J. Flavell wrote:

> HTML/4.01 rather than 4.0, hmmm?


I assumed he was rounding to two sig figs.

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xyZed
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      03-19-2006
There is circumstantial evidence that on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 02:06:25
-0500, Gérard Talbot <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
__________________________________________________ _____

>› Any new document should be declared with a strict DTD.
>› Unless you really know what you're doing, don't use XHTML 1.0; use HTML
>› 4.01 rather.


If I was starting from scratch and I knew what I know now I would
probably have used just HTML, but I really don't have time to go over
all my markup and get rid of all the XHTML stuff. When embarking on
web design I read books which convinced me to use XHTML. Would it be
acceptable to use the Strict XHTML 1.1 DTD?

Is there an accepted problem with XHTML strict, or is it just a
preference by some to stick with HTML.4.1 because they see little
tangible benefit with XHTML?


>› Like others, I recommend you use the W3C markup validator and not
>› DreamWeaver's "validator".


I've learnt that lesson. It's ridiculous that Dreamweaver 8 can't
perform such a simple task though.


>› If you really need to have some links open documents into a new window,
>› then, at least, follow usability and accessibility guidelines on this:
>›
>› http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs...ability_issues


Will do. Thanks for link.



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David Dorward
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      03-19-2006
xyZed wrote:

> If I was starting from scratch and I knew what I know now I would
> probably have used just HTML, but I really don't have time to go over
> all my markup and get rid of all the XHTML stuff.


If it's XHTML then it should be relatively trivial to convert it to HTML -
with an automated process. If your XHTML conforms to Appendix C then all
you should have to do is:

* Strip the xmlns attribute from the <html> element
* Strip the xml:lang attribute from same
* Replace every instance of " />" with ">" (Assuming you never use " />" as
character data - something that isn't all that likely).
* Change the doctype.

A simple multiple file search and replace will so the job.

If you haven't conformed to Appendix C then the specs forbid serving as
text/html anyway - and XSLT can convert to HTML 4.01 without too much pain.

> When embarking on web design I read books which convinced me to use
> XHTML. Would it be acceptable to use the Strict XHTML 1.1 DTD?


There is no such thing.

XHTML 1.1 does not have the clause which allows it to be served as
text/html, so you can pretty much forget about serving it to GoogleBot or
Internet Explorer.

XHTML 1.0 Strict has such a clause, providing you follow the guidelines in
Appendix C. These guidelines depend on bugs in browser support for HTML so
are silly at best. (And those guidelines include, to paraphrase, "Don't do
anything you can't do in HTML anyway).

> Is there an accepted problem with XHTML strict, or is it just a
> preference by some to stick with HTML.4.1 because they see little
> tangible benefit with XHTML?


Again, no such thing as HTML 4.1. I expect you mean HTML 4.01.

The /only/ advantage of serving XHTML to HTML 4.01 clients is that you can
write XHTML and not have any work to do converting it to something sane
before serving it to clients.

If you serve XHTML as XHTML to Mozilla based clients (such as Firefox) then
you lose a some feature (including support for document.write() and
incremental rendering).

Some clients (rare, but not non-existent) don't have the bugs that Appendix
C depends on, so they will display ">" characters in the rendered page when
you have an element using XML style self-closing tag syntax.

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David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
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=?windows-1252?Q?G=E9rard_Talbot?=
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      03-20-2006
xyZed wrote :
> There is circumstantial evidence that on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 02:06:25
> -0500, Gérard Talbot <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
> __________________________________________________ _____
>
>> › Any new document should be declared with a strict DTD.
>> › Unless you really know what you're doing, don't use XHTML 1.0; use HTML
>> › 4.01 rather.

>
> If I was starting from scratch and I knew what I know now I would
> probably have used just HTML, but I really don't have time to go over
> all my markup and get rid of all the XHTML stuff.


With an advanced text editor, I can convert any XHTML 1.x document into
a HTML 4.01 document in less than 1 min. 2 years ago, this is what I
did: I converted my website from XHTML 1.0 strict into HTML 4.01 strict.
With a macro, I could convert any batch of XHTML 1.x documents in less
than 1 min.

When embarking on
> web design I read books which convinced me to use XHTML. Would it be
> acceptable to use the Strict XHTML 1.1 DTD?
>


There is no such thing as a Strict XHTML 1.1 DTD

> Is there an accepted problem with XHTML strict, or is it just a
> preference by some to stick with HTML.4.1 because they see little
> tangible benefit with XHTML?
>


David Dorward, many others and I gave you the quick answer: use a strict
DTD and use HTML 4.01. The long answers are given at these URLs:

Say No to XHTML (excellent article summing up the issues involved):
http://www.spartanicus.utvinternet.ie/no-xhtml.htm

XHTML is dead
http://www.autisticcuckoo.net/archiv.../xhtml-is-dead

Sending XHTML as text/html Considered Harmful
http://www.hixie.ch/advocacy/xhtml

XHTML—What’s the Point? (Draft, incomplete)
http://hsivonen.iki.fi/xhtml-the-point/

Gérard
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xyZed
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      03-20-2006
There is circumstantial evidence that on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 21:56:24
-0500, Gérard Talbot <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
__________________________________________________ _____

>› With an advanced text editor, I can convert any XHTML 1.x document into
>› a HTML 4.01 document in less than 1 min. 2 years ago, this is what I
>› did: I converted my website from XHTML 1.0 strict into HTML 4.01 strict.
>› With a macro, I could convert any batch of XHTML 1.x documents in less
>› than 1 min.


I have now reverted my home page to HTML 4.01 and it validates. It
took me just 3 or 4 mins including uploading and validating. I agree
with you, and Dave, that it's no where near as big a job as I thought.

Thanks for the links.

The only problem I have is in not being able to open affiliate links
in another window. Although I agree we shouldn't open new windows for
people, I believe a substantial majority of people just don't know how
to open a link in a new window. I'm sure many (like me) do prefer to
use a new window so that the original site remains where I left it if
and when I've finished looking at the new site . I do agree it should
be a user choice, I just wish everyone new how to open in a new window
themselves.

--

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www.washerhelp.co.uk

www.xyzed.co.uk/newsgroups/top-posting.html
 
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=?windows-1252?Q?G=E9rard_Talbot?=
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      03-20-2006
xyZed wrote :
> There is circumstantial evidence that on Sun, 19 Mar 2006 21:56:24
> -0500, Gérard Talbot <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
> __________________________________________________ _____
>
>> › With an advanced text editor, I can convert any XHTML 1.x document into
>> › a HTML 4.01 document in less than 1 min. 2 years ago, this is what I
>> › did: I converted my website from XHTML 1.0 strict into HTML 4.01 strict.
>> › With a macro, I could convert any batch of XHTML 1.x documents in less
>> › than 1 min.

>
> I have now reverted my home page to HTML 4.01 and it validates. It
> took me just 3 or 4 mins including uploading and validating. I agree
> with you, and Dave, that it's no where near as big a job as I thought.
>
> Thanks for the links.
>
> The only problem I have is in not being able to open affiliate links
> in another window. Although I agree we shouldn't open new windows for
> people, I believe a substantial majority of people just don't know how
> to open a link in a new window.



2 questions.

1- What makes you *so sure* that a substantial majority of people just
don't know how to open a link in a new window?

2- Let's say 12% of people do not know how to open a link in a new
window. Now, if your links open new windows, do you expect them to be
able to manage the taskbar?
Allow me to provide you some quotes:

"Research shows that most users don't like to run more than one
application at a time. In fact, many users are confused by multiple
applications."
Windows User Experience team,
Microsoft Windows User Experience Frequently Asked Questions: Why is the
taskbar at the bottom of the screen?,
March 2001
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/de...l/winuifaq.asp


"(...) some people can use Windows applications for years without
understanding the concept of task switching. (When I point to the task
bar and ask them what it's for, they can't tell me.) (...) spawning
second browser windows can completely throw users off track because it
removes the one thing they are sure how to use: the 'Back' button.(...)
In another recent study, six out of 17 users had difficulty with
multiple windows, and three of them required assistance to get back to
the first window and continue the task.
Carolyn Snyder, Seven tricks that Web users don't know: 7. Second
browser windows, June 2001
http://www.snyderconsulting.net/article_7tricks.htm#7

(...) Users often don't notice that a new window has opened, especially
if they are using a small monitor where the windows are maximized to
fill up the screen. So a user who tries to return to the origin will be
confused by a grayed out Back button. Jakob Nielsen, The Top Ten New
Mistakes of Web Design: 2. Opening New Browser Windows, May 30, 1999
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/990530.html


"(...) The biggest fault with pop-ups is that it takes the focus away
from the main browser window, and this can be disconcerting. It presents
general usability issues aside from accessibility. How often have you
seen someone launch a pop-up and then inadvertently click back on the
launcher window and thinking that nothing's happened, click the link
again with nothing happening? Of course the window has opened but is now
under the launcher window, and only moving down to the task-bar and
selecting the window from there will solve this. (...) To address the
issue of a window losing focus, you can use JavaScript to re-set the focus."
Ian Lloyd, tutorial at Accessify.com, November 20th 2002


"In all dominant browsers, using the <a target="_blank"> tag to force a
link to open in a new window breaks the Back button. The new window does
not retain the browser history of the previous window, so the "Back"
button is disabled. This is incredibly confusing, even for me, and I've
been using the web for 10 years. In 2002, it's amazing that people still
do this."
Mark Pilgrim,
Dive Into Accessibility: not opening new windows, 2002
http://diveintoaccessibility.org/day...w_windows.html

You can find more interesting quotes related to this topic at

http://www.gtalbot.org/Netscape7Sect...Netscape7.html

I'm sure many (like me) do prefer to
> use a new window so that the original site remains where I left it if
> and when I've finished looking at the new site .


The trend is not to open a new window but to open a new tab for this
sort of surfing... and to let the user do that all by himself. The
growing popularity of tab-capable browsers gives such choice,
flexibility and capability. There is an UI icon for opening a new tab in
tab-capable browsers, which is not the case for non-tab-capable browsers
for opening a new window.

Another reason why people using a tab-capable browser will prefer to
open a tab is that javascript-initiated new windows often are created
with the script author trying deliberately to remove chrome
functionalities and toolbar presences... which will not be possible with
tab-capable browsers. The user is assured of using the same UI that he
prefers when viewing a page. User prefer UI consistency
http://developer.mozilla.org/en/docs...dow.open.28.29

Just a few days ago, Microsoft confirmed that script authors will not be
able to force the opening of resources into tab.


I do agree it should
> be a user choice, I just wish everyone new how to open in a new window
> themselves.


Well, then explain it to those who don't: that way, you empower the
users, you give them control, you won't alienate them.
E.g.: some sites (e.g. w3schools.com:
http://www.w3schools.com/largetext.htm ) rightly explain to their users
how to increase text size if they feel the need to increase the font
size. That's a lot better than to create a script and put an icon in the
webpage to do so. Show them how to use their browsers and empower them;
don't alienate them and don't misuse javascript.

Gérard
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xyZed
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      03-21-2006
There is circumstantial evidence that on Mon, 20 Mar 2006 06:51:47
-0500, Gérard Talbot <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote
__________________________________________________ _____

>› 2 questions.
>›
>› 1- What makes you *so sure* that a substantial majority of people just
>› don't know how to open a link in a new window?


Sorry, I meant to say a substantial percentage. I started saying the
majority then realised it was a sweeping statement and changed it to
substantial percentage but didn't delete "majority". Even so it's
still a sweeping statement. What I mean is there are enough people to
matter.

Thanks for your lengthy thoughts on the matter. I'm convinced. Of
course I was convinced before, but hung on to the easy way out. I will
get rid of all the target="_blank" and instead place several
instructions on how to open in a new window (or tab) if required
around my site.

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Andy Dingley
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      03-21-2006

xyZed wrote:

> Other than the opening of links with target="_blank" my pages
> validated with XHTML strict (apart from the useless affiliate
> javascript links which is another post) Should I seriously consider
> switching to strict?


There are two benefits to Strict.

- It triggers standards modes in browser CSS rendering.

- It compels you not to use certain bad features left behind in
transitional (e.g. <font>)

Now the first one is important. You really do need to trigger this, but
you can also do it with transitional (if you use exactly the right
doctype).

The second one is also important. But if you know what you're doing,
then you can avoid these elements anyway, even if labelled under a
Transitional doctype. The doctype alone does not make your code any
better! It's not writing rubbish into your code that stops it being
rubbish, not voodoo doctypes.

As you've also noticed, then target disappears too. This is a bad thing
- target was removed in favour of its future replacement, not because
it's obsolete. The _use_ of target is also a usability question, not an
implementation question. If you want to use target for your pages, then
go ahead and do so. Do it either by switching to Trans (as noted above)
or by writing invalid code under Strict. A known invalidity isn't the
worst thing in the world.

Most of all though, ditch the <font> bogosities. What you do is more
important than how you label it.

XHTML 1.1 is still unusable (forces you into XML, which the web just
doesn't support yet)

 
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Alan J. Flavell
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      03-21-2006
On Tue, 21 Mar 2006, Andy Dingley wrote:

> There are two benefits to Strict.
>
> - It triggers standards modes in browser CSS rendering.


While I agree with the general advice to use Strict, I wouldn't want
to over-state the case.

According to http://hsivonen.iki.fi/doctype/
it would appear that Konq is the only listed browser which
cannot be kept out of quirks mode when using a transitional DOCTYPE.

All others will use either standards or almost-standards mode in
the face of a 4.01 DOCTYPE with the URL, even Transitional.

[other good points snipped]
 
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