Total Validation

If you’re interested in validating your web pages, you’ve probably used the W3C’s XHTML and CSS validators. Another option is Total Validator, which not only validates your page’s HTML, but can check it for accessibility and broken links, spelling, as well as provide screenshots of the page in a host of environments.

There’s also an extension for Firefox that can provide one-button click validation.

(Thanks to Joe Clark for pointer to this service.)


In front of one’s face

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

From Planet RDF today, Leo Sauermann points to Zack Rosen who writes of a flawed research/implementation paradigm with regards to RDF. He states that researchers interested in RDF aren’t keeping up with today’s web implementations, such as weblogging software. They’re building ‘widgets’ rather than useful content, and so on.

One specific complaint:

# Researchers are not moving at the pace the web is currently developing, instead they are attempting to leap-frog it. A good example of this is the Structured Blogging and Microformats initiatives. Why are semantic web researchers not collaborating with the teams pursuing these projects?

I don’t know that either of these initiatives are going anywhere. The developers behind WordPress are inserting microformats into WordPress, but doing so without interest or even compliance of most users of the product. That’s the problem: semantic web is not an accidental web and requires some input from the user–not just geek to geek. There’s been little effort to reach beyond the geek with Structured Blogging, and I think that microformats have hit the limit of their reach.

I agree that the inner core of those associated with the semantic web do need to connect with real world implementations. I think, for the most part, they are attempting to do so. Where the failure is happening is that they want to work with Big things, and change starts small.

Just Shelley

Many Moving Parts

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I don’t get the web on my cell phone. Personally I don’t like to take calls on my cell phone when I’m out and about. I carry it with me more for telling me what time it is (I don’t wear a watch) and emergencies, as in:

“Help, I’m trapped in my car and there’s a bear outside who thinks I’m a big marshmallow.”

I know this is going to be traumatic and I’ll try to break the news as gently as possible, but when I’m out and about I don’t want to keep up with what you’re all doing. I’m sorry, I know that you feel cut adrift by this.

I know, though, that there are those of you who check my site 30 times a day on your Blackberries, waiting for the next gem of wit and wisdom. Who am I to stand in the way of your need for such treasures?

I added a mobile stylesheet to all my sites. The page just contains the following:

* {
position: static !important;
float: none !important;
background-image: none !important;

img { display: none }

#sidebar, #header, #footer { display: none }

What this does is remove absolute positioning and floats, the background and other page images, and removes the sidebar, header, and footer from display. What you get is posts, links, and comments. That’s it. I picked up part of this from this older article. I’m not up on mobile phone styling and haven’t downloaded any emulators, so if it tanks in your handheld device, consider it a perk.

Amyloo was blown off in this discussion but her question, and Paul Montgomery’s followup was a good one: what is wrong with providing a handheld stylesheet?

Stylesheets too big? If mobile stylesheets such as the one I just demonstrated are ‘too big’ to download, all of the web is too big to download to a screen that’s typically 2 by 3 inches in size.

Not all handheld devices support a specific handheld stylesheet? In this case I also provide full content feeds. Most mobile browsers can read syndication feeds.

What I won’t do is provide separate content pages just for mobile devices. I also won’t support yet another kludged extension to an already kludgy RSS 2.0 specification. Over-engineering. Can we say, over-engineering?

Put it away. Look at the birds.