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Curse You, Html Validator!

Posted by Shadix , Dec 14 2011 · 41 views

(If you don't know HTML, CSS and whatnot, this post may be very foreign to you. If you do know these terms, hopefully you understand my pain)

So I'm designing myself a portfolio website for Web Design 2 class at our college. I've been tedious making it, adding all the <alt> tags, tab index, <title> tags and whatnot. I'm sure to close every open tag and mark the end of each <div>. So when I began the validation process, I expected some small errors but nothing much.

Oh, but guess what the validator does.
"No "TARGET" attribute exists."
"No "ALIGN" attribute exists."
"No "BORDER" attribute exists."
(That's essentially what it said)

I was baffled. Of course align existed. Of course border existed. As I looked into it I found the validator wanted me to add those to the CSS instead of actual HTML code, since I was using a strict format.

The worst is still the <target> attribute.

How does that not exist? There's no way you can CSS a _blank target to open a new tab. As I looked into it, this is a common problem with HTML 4.01 Strict. Other people are surprised by this too. <target> has been around for pretty much ever.

How can't you use it? From what I see, the good ol' people at W3C think it's a fantastic idea to, instead of half a sentence of HTML to do the job, is to attach a gigantic javascript file to it that does the job for you. And that doesn't even mean it's all-browser compatible.

Graahhhh stupid validators >_< I've talked with my teacher and she's looking into the problem too.

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I still code with a mix of CSS and older tags. Going strict with some of these is patently ridiculous, especially considering their limitations. <a href="URL" target="_blank"> is what I still use. CSS can just be such a hassle.

I rarely use JavaScript - I know a few snippets of code, and it can do some pretty cool things - but it's just so tedious - not to mention the browser compatibility issue you touched on in the entry.
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For class we're required to use 4.01 Strict for our final project, but yeah, in my future sites I'll use target. It's sorta pointless not to have it. Sure, use CSS for align and border, but the target thing is annoying.

And I like borrowing other people's javascript to do what I want. Like a refresh-to-change-text piece, Lightbox (actually I'm using PrettyPhoto now, it can do pretty much everything) and stuff like that. You also can't right-click on my site anywhere, trying to deter some people stealing my work. Not that printscreen can't stop them XD

I guess I'll find out today what I need to do with the whole target thing.
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Legolover-361
Dec 15 2011 12:08 PM
I'm still using XHTML, heh. CSS works quite well with it.

That's pretty ridiculous that the align and border attributes are gone. I guess W3C is trying to further separate content from layout by switching appearance options to CSS -- if they are, they shouldn't, because I prefer HTML to have basic design options.

I don't get the reasoning behind removing the target attribute, though. Aren't links part of content?
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Yeah, links are part of content. Inline and all that. There's not exactly another way around target except for some javascript, which I'd hate to do for every external link.

Just curious, what's the difference between HTML 4.01 and XHTML? I don't know much about XHTML.
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Legolover-361
Dec 15 2011 02:24 PM
I don't know, seeing as I've never used HTML 4.01. I believe XHTML was designed to work better with companion programming languages (CSS, JavaScript, etc.) -- I don't know where it fits on the HTML family tree, I just know how to use it. For the most part. I'm a bit out-of-practice. :P
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I want to learn HTML 5, because it has motion built into it. They look like some reeeeally nice perks XD
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