XHTML validation and more CSS notes

I’ve been fixing up some teething problems with my new CSS design and I’m quite pleased to report that my homepage is now 100% valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional! I checked this at the W3C Validator. A couple of days ago I had about 360 errors on my test page, but I whittled it down in two main ways. Firstly, I ran all my homepage posts through a nice online HTML Tidy tool I found. This cleaned up most of the gunk that the Radio Userland WYSIWYG editor produces (the main culprit is upper case HTML tags, which is a no-no in XHTML). Then I had to clean up some other HTML that the W3C Validator objected to, such as ampersands and similar characters. This meant I had to remove all my Amazon links, as they have question marks and so forth in their URLs (due to being database query strings). The Validator didn’t like links to comments on the Radio Userland servers either.

The Validator is a tough task master, but I did as it bid me. The end result is I am now XHTML validated. I feel both cleansed and exhausted. As for the reasons why I felt I had to validate, it’s partly because I want to give my tableless CSS the best chance of success (fly little bird, fly!). It’s also partly because I am trying to ingratiate myself into the world of Web Standards – and why I am doing this is something I will write about soon. Lastly, I am interested in the Semantic Blog concept that Jon Udell is currently experimenting with. That is, doing XML analysis with an XHTML-enhanced weblog.

There are now only two remaining CSS issues that I need to sort out:

1. The formatting of the bottom horizontal bar goes out of whack when the menu list is longer than the main text. This is why I’ve temporarily taken off my blogroll and topicroll – but they’ll return once I figure out how to fix this issue. I haven’t fully got my head around CSS positioning yet, which judging from this article may take some time to sink in.

2. The second issue relates to the bottom vertical bar, which has a little glitch (at least in my IE6 browser). This seems to be related to some Radio Userland code, which I’ll need to look more closely at.

There may be one or two other issues, depending on what browser you are using. I’d be grateful if readers would let me know of any problems, via the comments or by email.

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