I've never been a good
programmer, in ANY language, and HTML isn't an exception and I've
been doing this for a while. I didn't really want to learn much
about HTML, I mostly just wanted to play with software and hardware
and if I found something interesting I'd cobble some words together
and put it online.
Putting it online was the least fun part so I
levered some templates (I won't embarrass myself by admitting how)
and for better or worse they became my standard.
Which wasn't the end of the world, it's pretty simple stuff,
nothing fancy for sure and every once in a while I'd run random web
pages through the current versions of IE and Netscape (things were
much more simple back in the old days) and make sure that it didn't
blow anything up.
How the world has changed. Firstly there is more than
one "standard" for HTML as the W3C
continually moves the web ahead with new standards. Secondly there
are more than a handful of browsers these days and then multiple
versions of those browsers some of which handle web sites
differently than others.
What's someone to do who just wants to simply
put their words out there get it indexed and hopefully have some people read it and
take away something from it?
And without spending the rest of
their life learning
HTML? Don't think that if you use some sort of HTML WYSIWYG code
generator many of them are notorious for creating really BAD web
They've gotten better but they're not perfect by any means. Even
some of the newer ones I've tried with built in validation tools fall short
of the mark.
Of course validating your web pages won't ensure that your web
page will be viewable in all browsers but it will give you a great
head start that your site is viewable
regardless of the browser.
There are any number of ways to validate your code. The aforementioned W3C has an online validator and there's no question about it, it is a great tool and one that I've tried to use in the past. I say try to use because frankly the output is mostly way over my head. Let me belabor the obvious; I'm not a good coder and I don't have a desire to know all the details of HTML even if I was capable; I'd rather spend my time creating content (aka playing with fun stuff). Fortunately, CSE HTML Validator also has an online validator that is easier to use and produces output that is easier to understand.
That leads me to
HTML Validator. Finally
a HTML validation tool that creates output that I can (mostly)
understand. It validates not only HTML, XHTML and CSS but it also
includes a PHP, Java Script, link, accessibility and SEO checker as
well as an integrated editor.
It's as easy to use as just
about anything, either load a local file or enter the URL to an
online file and mash the F6 (validate) key or select it from a menu:
Click on image to enlarge
The above screenshot is for
the HTML Validator web site. No way am I going to show you the sins I've
committed on PCNet, it's ugly.
Using CSE HTML Validator is way
cool. If you have any problems they are highlighted in the results
window as well as being highlighted in the editor windows. Clicking
on an entry in the results window takes you directly to the
offending code in the editor. In addition the "message window" on
the bottom right gives you clear and detailed information on what
the issue is and how to address it. It doesn't fix it for you but it
does everything but and allows you to fix up the problem without
becoming a full time HTML genius.
I have some HTML fix up work ahead of me
that I've been putting off literally for years and HTML Validator has given me the
tool that will allow me to tackle it without spending the rest of
my life becoming totally fluent in HTML.
CSE HTML Validator comes in two versions, a standard and a
professional and you'll find a comparison chart
here. The local versions of the programs will set you back $69
and $129 respectively. Like any good product the publisher has enough
confidence in it to all you to try it before you buy it and a
Or if you want to run it online just fill out
Now how cool is that?
So regardless of your skill level if you
have pages online and care about people reading them make sure that
they're in a form that any visitors can view.
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