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Modify the forum templates to separate presentation from content

 3:25 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

The forums use a LOT of tables for layout purposes. We should set a good example and reduce the dependency on tables for layout, relying more on CSS to handle the presentation. I'm not saying we *need* to get rid of all tables, but we could probably eliminate most of them.

Also, there is are a lot of <center>, <font>, and <br> tags being used. Again, that's presentational and would be better managed in CSS.

It would be quite an undertaking to ensure compatibility, but would set a good example, *should* reduce the HTML page size, and would hopefully be easier to maintain/modify in the future.



 3:34 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Argh, you beat me to it! I was just getting ready to post a similar topic. :)

I'd like to see WebmasterWorld bring everything up to snuff and validate to an HTML5 DOCTYPE. Google is doing it, others are doing it too. I've already got a handful of HTML5 sites in the wild and they do just fine. The HTML5 DOCTYPE allows quite a bit of flexibility for a case like WebmasterWorld.

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I'm a firm believer that we, WebmasterWorld, should practice what we preach. Get rid of the old school brackets and provide a feature rich editor using common HTML markup. Allow WebmasterWorld members the choice of feature rich or plain vanilla editing environments. I'd prefer a more semantically rich editing environment.

I'd like to view source and see nothing but virgin HTML back there. You know, nothing but opening and closing elements with their appropriate attributes assigned, that's it! Time to pick up all the dirty socks and underwear that you've been hoarding over the years. ;)


 3:42 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I was just coming back to add validation. :) Currently the site fails validation.

I also like the idea of moving to an HTML5 Doctype.


 3:56 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

i've got to jump on this bus, too.
best practices should be, um, "practiced" here.
lead by example and all that.


 4:08 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

You guys really don't care how many legacy browsers you leave in the dust do you?

In another thread someone said it still worked on his IE 5.5 but it won't for long with those changes.

The tables aren't an issue unless you're just an HTML code snob, it displays, it's universal and usually easier to control cross platform than CSS hence the flood of issues about positioning in the CSS thread.


 4:23 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

IE 5.5 supports CSS. I'm not suggesting we do anything drastic that would cause the site to stop working for 5.5. So saying that it won't work for long in IE 5.5 with those changes is a bit drastic. There are plenty of sites (and have been for YEARS) that don't use tables for layout and get along just fine.

With that said, and no offense to the 1 guy still using IE 5.5, I *don't* think we should be supporting that browser still. It literally has 0.01% market share. Again, I'm not suggesting we set out to break the site for IE 5.5, but I really think that worrying about IE 5.5 will just hold this site back from moving forward and, as stated, using best practices.


 4:27 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd also vote for a more "up to date" and lean code (maybe not html 5 though) and may be a lower limit of backward compatibility to ie5.5 or 6 with conditional CSS. HTML 4 strict should make it work for 98% of people (any figures available on the browser usage for WebmasterWorld?)


 4:33 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

With regards to HTML5 vs. 4, I would *like* to see HTML5, but not using any of the new elements that would be problematic for older browsers. In other words, essentially HTML4.01 but with the HTML5 doctype (at least for now). Should be backwards compatible.


 4:39 pm on May 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I like the CSS and HTML 5 idea personally, and if it's really not backward compatible for 3 people's browsers and they want it to be displayed correctly they always have the opportunity to upgrade.

Sometimes I think people go a bit far with the 'gotta be compatible with everything' idea, when the people it's not compatible for are still using a browser from the dark ages, even though the last time I checked browsers and upgrades are still free...

Stream line the code and make it CSS based:
+1 Definitely


 9:55 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

The tables aren't an issue unless you're just an HTML code snob, it displays, it's universal and usually easier to control cross platform than CSS hence the flood of issues about positioning in the CSS thread.

Yes, the <table>s are an issue and it has nothing to do with being an HTML code snob and everything to do with semantics. While I agree that <table>s have their place, I don't think this environment is best for their use. The layout here could be easily achieved using <div>s, lists and all of the other semantically correct elements.

Too many folks over-complicate CSS layouts, I see it in day in and day out. They'll use all sorts of CSS hackery to make things work. It usually comes down to the knowledge of the person designing the layout. There are many different ways to skin this cat. I'm sure one of those is the ultimate layout for WebmasterWorld and I don't think it would contain <table>s for presentation.

The folks at WebmasterWorld are one of a handful I know that use an HTML 3.2 DOCTYPE over at PubCon. Talk about old school, geez! :)

HTML5 is about as backwards compatible as it gets. Why do you think Google have now switched to the HTML5 DOCTYPE? And, Google are starting to validate their documents. Don't believe me? See for yourself! ;)


^ That just went valid in the month of 2010 May.


 10:00 am on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

thats just a lot of extra work for next to no benefit. its all invisible to the users. its not going to bring in any more money or visitors.

look at google's homepage. their coding is even worse with <center> and <font> and lots of other things and it doesn't do them any harm.


 1:46 pm on May 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

londrom, *THIS* site uses <center> and <font> all over the place as well. Yes, it would be a lot of work, but not for no benefit. The benefits would be more semantic markup, lighter HTML (possible performance benefits), easier to maintain presentation layer (with added opportunities for giving more control to the user), and possibly SEO improvements.

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