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character set to use

P: n/a
For xhtml validatin, which is the right metatag to use for English language
or can one forget about this tag?
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />

Thanks, CMA
Jul 20 '05 #1
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P: n/a
CMAR wrote:
For xhtml validatin, which is the right metatag to use for English
language or can one forget about this tag?
The character set should be whatever you save the file in.
The content type should be application/xhtml+xml, not text/html - see
http://hixie.ch/advocacy/xhtml
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />


<meta> is not recommended:
http://www.htmlhelp.com/tools/validator/charset.html

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
On Sun, 2 May 2004, CMAR wrote:
For xhtml validatin, which is the right metatag to use for English language


You've begged more questions than you realise.

Character coding and language are, in principle, completely
independent of each other in (X)HTML.

Some recommendations for choice of appropriate character coding can be
seen on my page http://ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk/~flavell/charset/checklist

In practice, in the current WWW context, it's not advisable to use
XHTML (as opposed to HTML) unless and until you understand clearly why
you want to use it. HTML.4.01 is more compatible with the deployed
user agents (browsers etc) out there.

Character coding in XHTML has nothing to do with "meta" tags.
They're only relevant for the compatibility requirements of XHTML/1.0
Appendix C.

Specifying the character coding on the real HTTP header, rather than
in this ersatz meta...http-equiv, is best, both from the theoretical
point of view as well as, on balance, practical issues, although some
folks complain that it doesn't carry-through when the document is
saved to file.
Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
There are few advantages to using XHTML if you are sending the content
as text/html, and many disadvantages.

In addition, currently, the majority (over 90% by most counts) of the
UA market is unable to correctly render real XHTML content sent as
text/xml (or other XML MIME types).
This is the main point that I got from reading the two links you provided.
So the moral seems to be that I made a mistake in reworking and validating
my pages as XHTML.

Back to the drawing board. Or perhaps leave it as validated xhtml without
the character set <meta> tag?

Jul 20 '05 #4

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"CMAR" <cm***@yahoo.com> wrote:
There are few advantages to using XHTML if you are sending the content
as text/html, and many disadvantages.

This is the main point that I got from reading the two links you provided.
It should be noted that the advantages referred to simply do not exist
for almost everyone who uses xhtml.
So the moral seems to be that I made a mistake in reworking and validating
my pages as XHTML.


Most probably.

--
Spartanicus
Jul 20 '05 #5

P: n/a
Alan, thanks for the detailed and very useful answer.

When I bought Dreamweaver MX 2004 out of the box, this was the default new
page:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<title>Untitled Document</title>
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>

Should this default page be changed in light of the comments in this
newsgroup about XHTML?
Jul 20 '05 #6

P: n/a
CMAR wrote:
Alan, thanks for the detailed and very useful answer.
What answer? (It's best to include a line or two from the reply to which
you're responding -- but don't include the whole thing, only enough to
provide context for other readers.)
When I bought Dreamweaver MX 2004 out of the box, this was the default new
page:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<title>Untitled Document</title>

Should this default page be changed in light of the comments in this
newsgroup about XHTML?


If you can change the default, then yes. And not just regarding XHTML.
There are numerous problems with that template. (But then I don't expect
much from Dreamweaver.)

A missing title is probably better than "Untitled Document," especially
if you validate your code: A missing <title> element will be flagged as
an error; a useless but valid title will not.

Code in HTML 4.01/strict unless you have a good reason not to.

Lose the meta http-equiv, and use a real http header.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #7

P: n/a
On Tue, 4 May 2004, CMAR wrote:
<title>Untitled Document</title>

Should this default page be changed in light of the comments in this
newsgroup about XHTML?


"Untitled Document" is fine - so many use it:
<http://www.google.com/search?q=intitle%3AUntitled-Document>

SCNR

--
Top-posting.
What's the most irritating thing on Usenet?

Jul 20 '05 #8

P: n/a
"CMAR" <cm***@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:6J*******************@twister.nyroc.rr.com...
Alan, thanks for the detailed and very useful answer.

When I bought Dreamweaver MX 2004 out of the box, this was the default new
page:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
<title>Untitled Document</title>
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>

Should this default page be changed in light of the comments in this
newsgroup about XHTML?


Only if you are prepared to stay out of any debates about whether xHTML
should be used. FWIW, I have used xHTML since its inception, and never had
a problem doing so ... and never argued with anyone about it.

Jul 20 '05 #9

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On Tue, 4 May 2004, Andreas Prilop wrote:
"Untitled Document" is fine - so many use it:
<http://www.google.com/search?q=intitle%3AUntitled-Document>
Just short of 4million.

And the rest are titled "New Page 1". (1.68M of those).
SCNR


oh, quite.
Jul 20 '05 #10

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Hi,
C.A. Thanks for the input. I definitely will stay out of this debate
since I have nowhere near the expertise of the other posters, some of whom
has helped me on various other HTML issues.

But I a certainly confused. With Macromedia offering two choices for a
default New Page,
Transitional HTML 4.01 or Transitional XHTML 1.0 as I posted, I would
naturally prefer to go with the latter. But with all the warnings of dire
problems with XHTML, I am hesitant to do so.

I don't know if this is relevant, but I also use a fair amount of CSS.

I take it that you have a website using XHTML and have not had
problems. So which way to go?

Thanks, CMA
Only if you are prepared to stay out of any debates about whether xHTML
should be used. FWIW, I have used xHTML since its inception, and never had a problem doing so ... and never argued with anyone about it.


Jul 20 '05 #11

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RR mail wrote:
Hi,
Please read http://www.allmyfaqs.com/faq.pl?How_to_post before responding.
But I a certainly confused. With Macromedia offering two choices for a
default New Page,
Transitional HTML 4.01 or Transitional XHTML 1.0
HTML 4.01 Strict is most suitable for most new pages.
as I posted, I would naturally prefer to go with the latter.
Why 'naturally'?
But with all the warnings of dire problems with XHTML, I am hesitant to do
so.

I don't know if this is relevant, but I also use a fair amount of CSS.
A good reason to choose Strict over Transitional, but not XHTML 1.0 over
HTML 4.01.
I take it that you have a website using XHTML and have not had
problems.


I use XHTML (because I use a number of XML parsing tools in my CMS) but:

1. I plan to offer HTML alternatives (and serve different versions depending
on the browser's Accept header)
2. I've read the XHTML spec a number of times and follow Appendix C as best
I can (hopefully I haven't missed anything, but I am not aware of any tools
which can check for conformance at present).
3. I can live with those few browsers which get /> correct (for HTML)
getting it wrong for XHTML.

(The problems with 2 and 3 will vanish once I deal with 1).

These issues are (for me) outweighed by the advantages of processing with
XML tools in the CMS. Few people would gain these advantages.

I still advise the use of HTML 4.01 unless you have a specific reason to be
using XHTML.

--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Jul 20 '05 #12

P: n/a
RR mail wrote:
I a certainly confused. With Macromedia offering two choices for a
default New Page,
Macromedia is a misleading authoring tool if it offers XHTML without
warning you of the problems. And it is a poor authoring tool if it
provides a template with <title>Untitled Document</title>. You might
want to reconsider using it altogether. But even if you decide to stick
to it, don't assume that its settings are advisable.
Transitional HTML 4.01 or Transitional XHTML 1.0 as I posted, I would
naturally prefer to go with the latter.
Why? What do you hope to gain by using XHTML instead of HTML?
I don't know if this is relevant, but I also use a fair amount of CSS.
XHTML and HTML can be used with CSS equally well.
I take it that you have a website using XHTML and have not had
problems. So which way to go?


HTML 4.01/strict.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #13

P: n/a

"Brian" <us*****@julietremblay.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:10*************@corp.supernews.com...
RR mail wrote:
I a certainly confused. With Macromedia offering two choices for a
default New Page,


Macromedia is a misleading authoring tool if it offers XHTML without
warning you of the problems. And it is a poor authoring tool if it
provides a template with <title>Untitled Document</title>.


?? Isn't a template something that, by definition, the user is supposed to
fill in properly, as opposed to something that comes already complete?
Jul 20 '05 #14

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote ...

Macromedia is...is a poor authoring tool if it provides a template
with <title>Untitled Document</title>.


?? Isn't a template something that, by definition, the user is
supposed to fill in properly, as opposed to something that comes
already complete?


Then shouldn't it be <title></title> instead? Why is there a value for
the title element if the user is supposed to fill it in? And why *that*
value?

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #15

P: n/a
Els
Brian wrote:
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote ...
Macromedia is...is a poor authoring tool if it provides a template
with <title>Untitled Document</title>.


?? Isn't a template something that, by definition, the user is
supposed to fill in properly, as opposed to something that comes
already complete?


Then shouldn't it be <title></title> instead? Why is there a value for
the title element if the user is supposed to fill it in? And why *that*
value?


Might be to remind the user of the fact that the document is
yet untitled... I mean, it does show up in the blue bar, on
top of your window, where everyone can see it clearly ;-)

Maybe a better value would be
<title>* * * * * DON'T FORGET TO FILL IN YOUR OWN PAGETITLE
HERE!!! * * * * *</title>

--
Els
http://locusmeus.com/
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Jul 20 '05 #16

P: n/a
On Tue, 04 May 2004 22:27:03 +0200, Els <el*********@tiscali.nl> wrote:

Maybe a better value would be
<title>* * * * * DON'T FORGET TO FILL IN YOUR OWN PAGETITLE HERE!!! * *
* * *</title>

Or <title>I'm a dumbass</title>
Jul 20 '05 #17

P: n/a
Els
Neal wrote:
On Tue, 04 May 2004 22:27:03 +0200, Els <el*********@tiscali.nl> wrote:
Maybe a better value would be
<title>* * * * * DON'T FORGET TO FILL IN YOUR OWN PAGETITLE HERE!!! *
* * * *</title>


Or <title>I'm a dumbass</title>


:-D

--
Els
http://locusmeus.com/
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Jul 20 '05 #18

P: n/a

"Brian" <us*****@julietremblay.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:10*************@corp.supernews.com...
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote ...

Macromedia is...is a poor authoring tool if it provides a template
with <title>Untitled Document</title>.
?? Isn't a template something that, by definition, the user is
supposed to fill in properly, as opposed to something that comes
already complete?


Then shouldn't it be <title></title> instead? Why is there a value for
the title element if the user is supposed to fill it in?


It's not unusual for a template to include placeholder text.
And why *that*
value?


Perhaps "Enter title here" would be better. In any event, it's hardly the
worst thing a development tool has ever done to a web page, considering that
it's fairly *obvious* that the user should change it.
Jul 20 '05 #19

P: n/a

"Neal" <ne*****@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:op**************@news.individual.net...
On Tue, 04 May 2004 22:27:03 +0200, Els <el*********@tiscali.nl> wrote:

Maybe a better value would be
<title>* * * * * DON'T FORGET TO FILL IN YOUR OWN PAGETITLE HERE!!! * *
* * *</title>

Or <title>I'm a dumbass</title>


Then Google would return a couple million hits for "I'm a dumbass".

Jul 20 '05 #20

P: n/a
Els wrote:
Brian wrote:

Then shouldn't it be <title></title> instead? Why is there a value
for the title element if the user is supposed to fill it in? And
why *that* value?
Might be to remind the user of the fact that the document is yet
untitled...


I don't know what their thinking was.
Maybe a better value would be <title>* * * * * DON'T FORGET TO FILL
IN YOUR OWN PAGETITLE HERE!!! * * * * *</title>


Of course not.[1] A better value would be no value at all.

<title></title>

It would be better to leave the <title> out completely.

Or how about this? Since Macromedia's product is supposed to help
novices unaccustomed to markup languages, how about a dialog box when
you create a new page? It could say, "Enter the title of your document"
and have a text imput box. Whatever the user enters in that box becomes
the text placed inside the title tags. This is, btw, exactly how my
NoteTab Light new document template/script works.
[1] Yes, you were probably being ironic; it answered it as a serious
post just the same.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #21

P: n/a
Els
Harlan Messinger wrote:
"Neal" wrote:
Or <title>I'm a dumbass</title>


Then Google would return a couple million hits for "I'm a dumbass".


That would be good. You could add -dumbass to your search
string, and miss out on all the dumbasses in your results ;-)

--
Els
http://locusmeus.com/
Sonhos vem. Sonhos vo. O resto imperfeito.
- Renato Russo -

Jul 20 '05 #22

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote ...
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote ...

Macromedia is...is a poor authoring tool if it provides a
template with <title>Untitled Document</title>.

?? Isn't a template something that, by definition, the user is
supposed to fill in properly
Then shouldn't it be <title></title> instead? Why is there a value
for the title element if the user is supposed to fill it in?


It's not unusual for a template to include placeholder text.


No, it is not unusual. It *is* silly.
Perhaps "Enter title here" would be better.
No, it would have precisely the same effect, unless you can convince us
that "Enter title here" would have a different effect than "Untitled
Document."

The appropriate text is no text at all. Or just leave out <title>
altogether. Then, those who validate their documents would be notified
of the missing <title>. And for those who don't validate, and don't
realize that they've left it out, a missing title is no worse than
<title>Untitled Document</title>.
it's hardly the worst thing a development tool has ever done to a
web page
I didn't say it was the worst thing Dreamweaver has done. I did say that
it was a bad thing.
considering that it's fairly *obvious* that the user should
change it.


Not obvious enough, as A. Prilop pointed out in this thread.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #23

P: n/a
CMAR wrote:
Alan, thanks for the detailed and very useful answer.

When I bought Dreamweaver MX 2004 out of the box, this was the
default new page: [snip] Should this default page be changed in light of the comments in this
newsgroup about XHTML?


I was also unhappy with the DW default. But it *is* only a default. So I
changed it.

The main document defaults are in (Windows):
Program Files > Macromedia > Dreamweaver MX2004 > Document Types > New
Documents

DW will output whatever the author decides it should output. But it does need
authors to make suitable decisions, and implement them.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #24

P: n/a
On Tue, 04 May 2004 18:10:04 GMT, "RR mail" <cm***@yahoo.com> wrote:
Transitional HTML 4.01 or Transitional XHTML 1.0 as I posted, I would
naturally prefer to go with the latter.


Transitional XHTML 1.0
Strict will lose you <a target="" ...>, which does have its uses
(discussed hereabouts every Tuesday, with a matinee performance on
Saturdays).

XHTML rather than HTML, if you have the slightest interest in or
benefit from being well-formed XML. There are good reasons to do this,
if they're relevant to you - particularly regarding CMS. RSS can be
another good reason for XMl well-formedness being valuable.

--
Smert' spamionam
Jul 20 '05 #25

P: n/a
On Wed, 5 May 2004, Andy Dingley wrote:
XHTML rather than HTML, if you have the slightest interest in or
benefit from being well-formed XML.
I've no objection at all to you wanting to have well-formed XML inside
your server, for whatever reasons you think best. I just don't see
the point of offering it to all those HTML client agents out there.
There are good reasons to do this, if they're relevant to you
No dispute there. -IF- they are relvant to -you- (but what you send
out from your server ought to be relevant to your WWW users, no?)
- particularly regarding CMS.
But why would HTML client agents care in the least that you're using a
CMS? All that they get is a document, of a type described by a MIME
Content-type (that's except for the mass-market browser-like operating
system component, but we already know that disqualifies itself as a
WWW browser, quite apart from its compatibility - or not - with
XHTML).
RSS can be another good reason for XMl well-formedness being
valuable.


Can we have a WWW-relevant client agent example for that?

I can't help re-iterating that XHTML/1.0 can be trivially mapped into
HTML/4.01, and the latter is clearly more compatible with the client
agents out there: not only the bona fide WWW-compatible browsers but
also the browser-like OS component. Whereas any other kind of
XHTML(tm) is required to be served out with a content-type that is
incompatible with the client agents which many users are using.

Jul 20 '05 #26

P: n/a
On Wed, 5 May 2004 01:17:45 +0100, Alan J. Flavell <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk>
wrote:

I can't help re-iterating that XHTML/1.0 can be trivially mapped into
HTML/4.01, and the latter is clearly more compatible with the client
agents out there: not only the bona fide WWW-compatible browsers but
also the browser-like OS component. Whereas any other kind of
XHTML(tm) is required to be served out with a content-type that is
incompatible with the client agents which many users are using.


I used to go the XHTML route, but it's clear that for me it doesn't offer
any benefit. So instead I now code HTML 4.01 Strict BUT I make it
well-formed, as XHTML is. I oncorporate all the required aspects of XHTML
that are allowable in HTML - closing all "containing" elements, but not
slashing the empty ones, for example.

Down the road, should I need to update a site to XHTML for some reason, it
will not take a lot of work to change the HTML to XHTML. Slash the empty
elements, change the DTD, a few other minor tweaks perhaps, and done.
Jul 20 '05 #27

P: n/a
In article <c7*******************@news.demon.co.uk>,
David Dorward <do*****@yahoo.com> writes:

(much with which I agree 100% and see no need to repeat)
I use XHTML (because I use a number of XML parsing tools in my CMS) but:

1. I plan to offer HTML alternatives (and serve different versions depending
on the browser's Accept header)
IMO that's OTT. HTML and XHTML are interchangable without you
offering it explicitly.
2. I've read the XHTML spec a number of times and follow Appendix C as best
I can (hopefully I haven't missed anything, but I am not aware of any tools
which can check for conformance at present).


mod_xhtml will ensure outgoing content from Apache is fully Appendix-C
compliant where input may have violations that pass validation.
http://apache.webthing.com/mod_xmlns/

--
Nick Kew

Nick's manifesto: http://www.htmlhelp.com/~nick/
Jul 20 '05 #28

P: n/a
"Brian" <us*****@julietremblay.com.invalid> a crit dans le message de
news:10*************@corp.supernews.com
Since Macromedia's product is supposed to help
novices unaccustomed to markup languages


I really don't think Dreamweaver is a tool that targets novice web authors !

Jul 20 '05 #29

P: n/a
"Alan J. Flavell" <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:Pi*******************************@ppepc56.ph. gla.ac.uk...
On Tue, 4 May 2004, Andreas Prilop wrote:
"Untitled Document" is fine - so many use it:
<http://www.google.com/search?q=intitle%3AUntitled-Document>


Just short of 4million.

And the rest are titled "New Page 1". (1.68M of those).


And only 400000 of
http://www.google.com/search?q=intit...dobe+golive%22

--
Markus
Jul 20 '05 #30

P: n/a
Brian <us*****@julietremblay.com.invalid> wrote:
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote ...
Harlan Messinger wrote:

Brian wrote ...

> Macromedia is...is a poor authoring tool if it provides a
> template with <title>Untitled Document</title>.

?? Isn't a template something that, by definition, the user is
supposed to fill in properly

Then shouldn't it be <title></title> instead? Why is there a value
for the title element if the user is supposed to fill it in?
It's not unusual for a template to include placeholder text.


No, it is not unusual. It *is* silly.


In a WYSIWYG editing application, whether web or word processing or
whatever, how do you propose the user is supposed to know where on a
template the different chunks of text are supposed to go if there
aren't placeholders?
Perhaps "Enter title here" would be better.
No, it would have precisely the same effect, unless you can convince us
that "Enter title here" would have a different effect than "Untitled
Document."


It has the benefit of looking like an instruction to the user. Users
sometimes actually follow instructions that are placed right under
their noses. I don't see how that is debatable.

The appropriate text is no text at all. Or just leave out <title>
altogether. Then, those who validate their documents would be notified
of the missing <title>. And for those who don't validate, and don't
realize that they've left it out, a missing title is no worse than
<title>Untitled Document</title>.
I don't understand what result you're attempting to achieve. Do most
people who don't even know to give a document a meaningful title when
the place for it is right in front of them, know to validate their
documents afterwards? And for the people who don't validate, you say
the result is "no worse", which isn't much of a reason to advocate one
approach over another.
it's hardly the worst thing a development tool has ever done to a
web page


I didn't say it was the worst thing Dreamweaver has done. I did say that
it was a bad thing.


You declared a tool having this "flaw" to be "poor" on that account. I
figured you must consider it a *grave* flaw.
--
Harlan Messinger
Remove the first dot from my e-mail address.
Veuillez ter le premier point de mon adresse de courriel.
Jul 20 '05 #31

P: n/a
"Alan J. Flavell" <fl*****@ph.gla.ac.uk> wrote in message news:<Pi*******************************@ppepc56.ph .gla.ac.uk>...
I've no objection at all to you wanting to have well-formed XML inside
your server, for whatever reasons you think best. I just don't see
the point of offering it to all those HTML client agents out there.


Sheer selfishness.

I must have well-formed XML internally (for all sorts of reasons that
are non of your(sic) business).

I can choose to publish this as either HTML or XHTML. There's little
difference between them; one is an extra processing step (which may be
indistinguishably small), one raises The Spectre of Appendix C.
However from _my_ viewpoint, I have a few much more important issues:

- I don't want to deal with two versions of my output. Every so
often, usually when the phone is ringing, I need to eyeball this stuff
and sort out problems quickly. Last thing I need is to have to
mentally translate in my head.

- My pre-press code is in XHTML (and isn't changing). I have major
commercial pressures along the lines of "Make it look OK in IE and
damn the rest", so publishing a different version from my preview
version is a whole world-o-pain I want to avoid.

- Much of my publishing is "real" XML anyway, not web HTML, to
formats like RSS or PartnerML.
So I concede that there's a theoretical argument that I should be
publishing in HTML instead of XHTML. This worries me far less than art
editors who can't give me an image the right width, or ad editors who
serve up unclosed <script>s. I _can_ pump XHTML out to the great
unwashed without trauma, and it makes life less complex for _me_ to do
so (simply for consistency). So they're getting XHTML, and they can
lump it.
Jul 20 '05 #32

P: n/a
Pierre Goiffon wrote:
"Brian" <us*****@julietremblay.com.invalid> a crit dans le message de
news:10*************@corp.supernews.com
Since Macromedia's product is supposed to help
novices unaccustomed to markup languages


I really don't think Dreamweaver is a tool that targets novice web
authors !


I'm not sure *what* the boundaries of the target market for Dreamweaver are!
It is clearly intended to be a comprehensive professional-class website
development tool for people who may be doing all sorts of server-side &
client-side things. But some aspects of it can only be explained if it is
*also* being aimed at novices. (An example is the infamous "layout mode",
which generates complex fragile layout tables).

And, of course, an author may be competent at some things, and a novice at
others. Someone may have a sound knowledge of HTML & CSS but little knowledge
of JavaScript. Or be making the transition from years of just Transitional
HTML to CSS & Strict HTML. Or be learning how to do tableless-layout. So there
are typically 2 or more ways of doing anything, ranging from built-in
functions, to support for hand-coding with an intelligent editor.

It is perhaps this complexity that places a limit on the sort or person who
can use it. (And the price!) The number of options appears to leave novices
floundering, unless they take the time to go through the tutorials. It gives
them enough rope to hang themselves. But the latest version (MX2004) is better
in this respect than an earlier version I used for years (DW4).

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #33

P: n/a
Brian wrote:
[snip]
Or how about this? Since Macromedia's product is supposed to help
novices unaccustomed to markup languages, how about a dialog box when
you create a new page? It could say, "Enter the title of your
document" and have a text imput box. Whatever the user enters in that
box becomes the text placed inside the title tags. This is, btw,
exactly how my NoteTab Light new document template/script works.

[snip]

The current title appears in a box at the top of the document panel (as well
as in the code, and on the title bar at the top of the DW window). I guess it
is thought that since authors can just type into that box, that is sufficient.
But the suggestion "Enter title here" might be a better default. (I don't
think an empty box would lead novices to type into the box).

But I notice that dialogue boxes have become more comprehensive with MX2004.
For example, the "insert image" dialogue prompts for alt text & longdesc,
while the "insert table" dialogue prompts for a summary & caption. Perhaps it
is only a matter of time. Or perhaps it would be better to wait until the page
was saved, because the title may evolve early on.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #34

P: n/a
CMAR wrote:
In addition, currently, the majority (over 90% by most counts) of the
UA market is unable to correctly render real XHTML content sent as
text/xml (or other XML MIME types).


Two words: symbolic links

Jul 20 '05 #35

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:

[concerning default new document <title> in Dreamweaver]
the suggestion "Enter title here" might be a better default.
Several people have suggested what they think is a "better default." I
can see no reason to believe that a different default text will not lead
to analagous results: instead of millions of pages with the title
"Untitled Document," we'd have millions of pages with the title "Enter
title here." How is that an improvement?

The only suitable text is an empty string. But again, the best solution
is not to insert <title> tags unless the user supplies text to go inside
them.
perhaps it would be better to wait until the page
was saved, because the title may evolve early on.


That is how other applications work, isn't it? MS Word prompts for a
title when a new document is first saved.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #36

P: n/a

"Brian" <us*****@julietremblay.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:10*************@corp.supernews.com...
Barry Pearson wrote:

[concerning default new document <title> in Dreamweaver]
the suggestion "Enter title here" might be a better default.


Several people have suggested what they think is a "better default." I
can see no reason to believe that a different default text will not lead
to analagous results: instead of millions of pages with the title
"Untitled Document," we'd have millions of pages with the title "Enter
title here." How is that an improvement?

The only suitable text is an empty string. But again, the best solution
is not to insert <title> tags unless the user supplies text to go inside
them.


A template is useless if it doesn't, at the least, provide the places where
content *must* be provided. In HTML <title> tags are *required*. And here
you are arguing that they should best be omitted from the page template. I
wonder what you think templates are for.

Jul 20 '05 #37

P: n/a
Nick Kew wrote:
1. I plan to offer HTML alternatives (and serve different versions
depending on the browser's Accept header)
IMO that's OTT. HTML and XHTML are interchangable without you
offering it explicitly.


I've looked at my site in emacs w3 - it isn't pretty :)
2. I've read the XHTML spec a number of times and follow Appendix C as
best I can (hopefully I haven't missed anything, but I am not aware of
any tools which can check for conformance at present).


mod_xhtml will ensure outgoing content from Apache is fully Appendix-C
compliant where input may have violations that pass validation.
http://apache.webthing.com/mod_xmlns/


Do you know of a similar tool that does not need Apache? I generate static
files before uploading and something I could add to the preprocessing stage
would be rather easier to get going then an apache module (on the shared
server I use).
--
David Dorward <http://blog.dorward.me.uk/> <http://dorward.me.uk/>
Jul 20 '05 #38

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote ...
Harlan Messinger wrote:
> Brian wrote ...
>
>> Macromedia is...is a poor authoring tool if it provides a
>> template with <title>Untitled Document</title>.
>
It's not unusual for a template to include placeholder text.
No, it is not unusual. It *is* silly.


In a WYSIWYG editing application, whether web or word processing or
whatever, how do you propose the user is supposed to know where on a
template the different chunks of text are supposed to go


Therein lies the weakness of Dreamweaver's approach to html document
authoring.
if there aren't placeholders?
two solutions:

1. Use <title></title>. Placeholders, in the <head>, with no default
that might get left there unchanged.

2. A dialog box on first save, which is exactly how MS Word behaves. The
dialog box prompts user for filename and title, and inserts the latter
inside <title></title>.
Perhaps "Enter title here" would be better.
It has the benefit of looking like an instruction to the user. Users
sometimes actually follow instructions that are placed right under
their noses.


Let me just emphasize one bit there: "Users /sometimes actually/ follow
instructions...." Sometimes they do; sometimes they don't. It's the
sometimes-they-don't that leads to problems.
I don't see how that is debatable.
Because you have given us no reason to accept your argument. According
to you own argument, instructions are not always followed. I find it
hard to believe that users would edit "Enter title here" when they don't
edit "Untitled document." We may have to agree to disagree, since
there's no way to run a test.
The appropriate text is no text at all. Or just leave out <title>
altogether. Then, those who validate their documents would be
notified of the missing <title>. And for those who don't validate,
and don't realize that they've left it out, a missing title is no
worse than <title>Untitled Document</title>.


I don't understand what result you're attempting to achieve.


To avoid meaningless titles, I suppose.
Do most people who don't even know to give a document a meaningful
title when the place for it is right in front of them, know to
validate their documents afterwards?
Some do, sure. It seems reasonable to believe that some professionals
use Dreamweaver, know to validate, and know about <title>, but
occasionally, in the course of a busy day, forget to edit the title of a
new document on a 1000+ page site. Whether such a professional would use
Dreamweaver in wysiswyg mode is perhaps less likely.
And for the people who don't validate, you say the result is "no
worse", which isn't much of a reason to advocate one approach over
another.
It is no worse from the point of view of those searching for the
document to have no <title> than to have <title>Untitled
document</title>. But a missing title doesn't scream "clueless author"
nearly as much as "Untitled document." As for "Enter title here," that
screams "clueless" even louder, and seems the worst of the 3 for another
reason:

True novices to the web -- you know, your 71-year-old Uncle Joe who got
his first computer last month -- might wonder what title he's supposed
to enter when he surfs to a site with "Enter title here" in the title bar.
You declared a tool having this "flaw" to be "poor" on that account.
Yes, and I still maintain that position.
I figured you must consider it a *grave* flaw.


What's the crieria for declaring the flaw grave? I'd say that
Dreamweaver's nested table/spacer gif mode is the worst thing it does.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #39

P: n/a
"Harlan Messinger" <h.*********@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:c7************@ID-114100.news.uni-berlin.de...

Several people have suggested what they think is a "better default." I
can see no reason to believe that a different default text will not lead
to analagous results: instead of millions of pages with the title
"Untitled Document," we'd have millions of pages with the title "Enter
title here." How is that an improvement?

The only suitable text is an empty string. But again, the best solution
is not to insert <title> tags unless the user supplies text to go inside
them.
A template is useless if it doesn't, at the least, provide the places

where content *must* be provided. In HTML <title> tags are *required*. And here
you are arguing that they should best be omitted from the page template. I
wonder what you think templates are for.


Perhaps the areas to be filled in should be in a distinct background colour
or texture? This would make them far harder to miss.


Jul 20 '05 #40

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote ...

Macromedia is...is a poor authoring tool if it provides a
template with <title>Untitled Document</title>.


Perhaps "Enter title here" would be better.


Apparently not:

http://www.google.com/search?q=enter%20title%20here

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #41

P: n/a
Brian wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:

[concerning default new document <title> in Dreamweaver]
the suggestion "Enter title here" might be a better default.


Several people have suggested what they think is a "better default." I
can see no reason to believe that a different default text will not
lead to analagous results: instead of millions of pages with the title
"Untitled Document," we'd have millions of pages with the title "Enter
title here." How is that an improvement?


It might remind the author to enter a title there!

And if it doesn't - so what? All of those default titles demonstrate one vital
matter - the incredible tolerance built into the web! Vast numbers of people
publish to the web, and use the web, every day, with little inconvenience from
those default titles. I am not saying that we should all ignore them - I take
care over my titles - but it is at best a 2nd-order effect. (Like so many
things that people debate at length). Users care about 1st-order matters.
Browsers cater for users, hence try to get the 1st-order matters working. But
the 2nd-order effects keep us occupied.

[snip]
perhaps it would be better to wait until the page
was saved, because the title may evolve early on.


That is how other applications work, isn't it? MS Word prompts for a
title when a new document is first saved.


No. It prompts for a file name. There isn't anything in Word of the same
significance as <title>...</title>. (Yes, I know there is a "document title"
in "properties". But it doesn't have the same effect. It is the file name that
appears in things like tooltips & the Word title bar, not that "document
title". Word defaults the "document title" from the first line of the
document).

Dreamweaver also prompts for a file name, (of course), which becomes part of
the URL. This is a different concept from an HTML document title. (If
Dreamweaver, on save, defaulted the "title" from the "header 1", that may be a
better default. About 80% of my document titles are copies of the header 1s.
Where my header 1s are images, the document titles tend to be copies of the
alt-text).

This discussion reveals one thing. 130 megabytes of Dreamweaver can't stop
unaware-authors doing unwise things. Nothing can.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #42

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote...
Barry Pearson wrote:

[concerning default new document <title> in Dreamweaver]
the suggestion "Enter title here" might be a better default.
The only suitable text is an empty string. But again, the best
solution is not to insert <title> tags unless the user supplies
text to go inside them.


A template is useless if it doesn't, at the least, provide the places
where content *must* be provided.


<head>
<title></title>
</head>

I've presented this alternative several times. You have yet to comment
on it.
In HTML <title> tags are *required*.
Yes. Now, *why* is the <title> element required? Merely to stick some
text in there, regardless of how meaningless such text is? Or is to
provide a meaningful short title for the document?
here you are arguing that they should best be omitted from the page
template.
Of course, since no <title> element is better than <title>untitled
document</title>, as I've stated several times. Perhaps you could
explain how <title>untitled document</title> is better?
I wonder what you think templates are for.


To facilitate web authoring. A misleading template does not facilite
authoring, natch.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #43

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:
Brian wrote:
Barry Pearson wrote:

[concerning default new document <title> in Dreamweaver]
the suggestion "Enter title here" might be a better default.
no reason to believe that a different default text will not lead to
analagous results: instead of millions of pages with the title
"Untitled Document," we'd have millions of pages with the title
"Enter title here." How is that an improvement?


It might remind the author to enter a title there!


There's no "might" about it. It *does not* remind authors to enter text
there.

http://www.google.com/search?q=enter%20title%20here
And if it doesn't - so what?
If you forgot to change the text, which would you rather on your web
site? An empty title, or "Enter title here?"
All of those default titles demonstrate one vital matter - the
incredible tolerance built into the web!
Your enthusiasm for the www adds nothing to our understanding of the
topic at-hand.
Vast numbers of people...use the web, every day, with little
inconvenience from those default titles.
Except for the difficulty of searching.

[rest of boilerplate snipped]
perhaps it would be better to wait until the page was saved,
because the title may evolve early on.


That is how other applications work, isn't it? MS Word prompts for
a title when a new document is first saved.


No. It prompts for a file name. There isn't anything in Word of the
same significance as <title>...</title>.


Yes, let me correct that. The dialog could provide a place to put a
filename and a title on first save.
This discussion reveals one thing. 130 megabytes of Dreamweaver can't
stop unaware-authors doing unwise things. Nothing can.


That's why no <title> is the best solution. Let authors who know better
insert one.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #44

P: n/a

"Brian" <us*****@julietremblay.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:10*************@corp.supernews.com...
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote...
Barry Pearson wrote:

[concerning default new document <title> in Dreamweaver]

the suggestion "Enter title here" might be a better default.

The only suitable text is an empty string. But again, the best
solution is not to insert <title> tags unless the user supplies
text to go inside them.
A template is useless if it doesn't, at the least, provide the places
where content *must* be provided.


<head>
<title></title>
</head>

I've presented this alternative several times. You have yet to comment
on it.


I already commented on the empty title tag. You still haven't indicated how
the person editing in WYSIWYG mode is supposed to see where any of his
content is supposed to go.
In HTML <title> tags are *required*.
Yes. Now, *why* is the <title> element required? Merely to stick some
text in there, regardless of how meaningless such text is? Or is to
provide a meaningful short title for the document?


You are gravely conflating the issue of what a template should contain with
the issue of what someone designing a web page should know. The template
should be self-explanatory; whether the developer is bothering to follow its
guidance is a separate issue. You are acting like the developer's failure to
add a meaningful title is all Macromedia's fault and a terrible infraction
against humanity, rather than what it is: a failure to complete a web page.
here you are arguing that they should best be omitted from the page
template.
Of course, since no <title> element is better than <title>untitled
document</title>, as I've stated several times.


If I say "the sky is really pink" several times, will it become clear why it
is true?
Perhaps you could
explain how <title>untitled document</title> is better?
One more time: Placeholder. WYSIWYG. Purpose of templates.
I wonder what you think templates are for.


To facilitate web authoring. A misleading template does not facilite
authoring, natch.


There's nothing misleading about a template saying, correctly, that unless
the user replaces the placeholder, the placeholder is what will appear in
the browser. It's dead on. On the other hand, a template that doesn't let
the user *know* that some kind of text should go in such-and-such a place is
useless and isn't facilitating anything.

Jul 20 '05 #45

P: n/a

"Brian" <us*****@julietremblay.com.invalid> wrote in message
news:10*************@corp.supernews.com...
Harlan Messinger wrote:
Brian wrote ...
Harlan Messinger wrote:

>> Brian wrote ...
>>
>>> Macromedia is...is a poor authoring tool if it provides a
>>> template with <title>Untitled Document</title>.
>>
It's not unusual for a template to include placeholder text.

No, it is not unusual. It *is* silly.


In a WYSIWYG editing application, whether web or word processing or
whatever, how do you propose the user is supposed to know where on a
template the different chunks of text are supposed to go


Therein lies the weakness of Dreamweaver's approach to html document
authoring.
if there aren't placeholders?


two solutions:

1. Use <title></title>. Placeholders, in the <head>, with no default
that might get left there unchanged.

2. A dialog box on first save, which is exactly how MS Word behaves. The
dialog box prompts user for filename and title, and inserts the latter
inside <title></title>.
Perhaps "Enter title here" would be better.


It has the benefit of looking like an instruction to the user. Users
sometimes actually follow instructions that are placed right under
their noses.


Let me just emphasize one bit there: "Users /sometimes actually/ follow
instructions...." Sometimes they do; sometimes they don't. It's the
sometimes-they-don't that leads to problems.
I don't see how that is debatable.


Because you have given us no reason to accept your argument. According
to you own argument, instructions are not always followed. I find it
hard to believe that users would edit "Enter title here" when they don't
edit "Untitled document." We may have to agree to disagree, since
there's no way to run a test.


Fine, I'll continue to disagree with someone who firmly believes that people
who don't follow a non-instruction will *automatically* also not follow an
instruction. When I say it's not debatable, I mean in the sense that "2 + 2
= 4" is not debatable. I don't mean that someone out there won't try to
argue that 2 + 2 = 5, I mean there's nothing to be gained by pursuing it
with him or hearing him out.

Jul 20 '05 #46

P: n/a
Brian wrote:
[snip]
Therein lies the weakness of Dreamweaver's approach to html document
authoring.
I wonder how many of the people here who talk about Dreamweaver have spent a
significant amount of time actually using it! I find it bizarre to read about
a product I have been using for years, and be told that it isn't like I have
experienced it.

How much time have you spent using MX2004? If it is less than a week or two,
then surely you are not qualified to talk about "Dreamweaver's approach to
html document authoring"? And the same applies to others if they haven't
bothered to use the product before commenting on it. And for those people who
have *never* used MX2004 - Dreamweaver is probably not the product you have
been (mis)led to believe it is. Without at least a 30-day trial, you probably
haven't got a clue!

Dreamweaver includes a fully-functional intelligent (X)HTML code editor. It is
highly user-configurable. It has indenting based on the document tree. Colour
coding according to the aspects of the HTML syntax. Line-wrapping at the
boundaries of the document pane. Auto-completion, if required. Intelligent
tooltips with tag-completion, if required. The O'Reilly HTML reference
immediately available. Reports against WAI guidelines. And so on.

Obviously it *also* includes a WYSIWYG-like CSS2-aware HTML-editor that is
synchronised with the above editor. (Indeed, they can be viewed simultaneously
in a split-screen option). Both views obviously provide drop-down/up selection
of CSS styles, by menu or right-click. And easy HTML editing via Control & T.
And push-button insertion of all the basic HTML elements, with suitable
dialogue boxes. (And lots more that I will never need to know).

And, it should go without saying, for anything resembling a WYSIWYG-like
editing mode, it also has a fully-functional intelligent CSS editor too. Also
with tooltips, a colour-picker, colour-coding, etc. Much better than notepad!
(Some say, not nearly as good as TopStyle. But good enough for me).

Those are just a subset of the options, chosen by any author according to
workflow requirements. There simply *isn't* "Dreamweaver's approach to html
document authoring"! There are *authors'* approaches to HTML document
authoring, supported by Dreamweaver. It will do whatever you want.

[snip] Some do, sure. It seems reasonable to believe that some professionals
use Dreamweaver, know to validate, and know about <title>, but
occasionally, in the course of a busy day, forget to edit the title
of a new document on a 1000+ page site. Whether such a professional
would use Dreamweaver in wysiswyg mode is perhaps less likely.
They do. Go lurk "macromedia.dreamweaver", on the "forums.macromedia.com"
server. There are many professionals there who spend their lives using
Dreamweaver, earning their living, in all of its modes.

Or - download the 3-day trial! Free, for 30 days. Plenty of time to see what
Dreamweaver is *really* like, instead of what rumour & urban legend claims it
is like. It isn't like you think it is!

[snip] What's the crieria for declaring the flaw grave? I'd say that
Dreamweaver's nested table/spacer gif mode is the worst thing it does.


Yes. That is "layout mode". No experienced author would use it. It is a small,
and unrepresentative, part of Dreamweaver. Forget it - examine the *real*
Dreamweaver.

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #47

P: n/a
Brian wrote:
[snip]
Yes. Now, *why* is the <title> element required? Merely to stick some
text in there, regardless of how meaningless such text is? Or is to
provide a meaningful short title for the document?

[snip]

To be ideal to 100% of your audience, it should be "a meaningful short title
for the document".

To be acceptable to perhaps 95% of your audience, it could be "some text in
there, regardless of how meaningless such text is".

How much do you believe Walmart or Tesco would lose from their bottom-line if
their web-page-titles were inadequate?

--
Barry Pearson
http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
Jul 20 '05 #48

P: n/a
Harlan Messinger wrote:
When I say it's not debatable,
You stating "it's not debatable" is not a substitute for presenting a
convincing argument.
I mean in the sense that "2 + 2 = 4" is not debatable.


You are not presenting a simple fact, but rather, an argument that does
not bear the weight.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #49

P: n/a
Barry Pearson wrote:
I wonder how many of the people here who talk about Dreamweaver have
spent a significant amount of time actually using it!
I judge it by the product that its users turn out.
How much time have you spent using MX2004?
None.
If it is less than a week or two, then surely you are not qualified
to talk about "Dreamweaver's approach to html document authoring"?
I'm perfectly qualified to comment on a badly thought-out template,
since that template was presented in a thread in ciwah, and I'm a
participant of ciwah.
Or - download the 3-day trial


What for? I'm quite happy with the authoring software I have.

--
Brian (remove "invalid" from my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/
Jul 20 '05 #50

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