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Website Modernization - RF Cafe Forums

The original RF Cafe Forums were shut down in late 2012 due to maintenance issues. Below are all of the old forum threads, including all the responses to the original posts.

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 Post subject: Website Modernization
Posted: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:38 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2003 2:02 pm
Posts: 653
Location: Erie, PA

The world, it's-a-changing. At an increasing rate, new browser releases are less and less tolerant of old HTML coding techniques. Most websites - even those that have been recently created - are not compliant with W3C rules and as a result, do not render consistently in all browsers. I've seen some pretty strange behavior with web pages, even on RF Cafe. Therefore, I'm going to do something about it.

Throughout 2009 I will attempt to update all of the pages on RF Cafe to comply with the HTML 4.01 translational DTD (document type declaration). The pages now are loosely in the HTML 1.0 translations format now, but I use the word "loosely" loosely.
As with most bureaucracies, the W3C Consortium has dictated fundamental changes in HTML coding that has totally rendered some very common and oft-used tags as unsupported (aka "deprecated"). For instance, the <font> tag is totally gone. The <b> tab for creating bold text has been changed to <strong>. Some of the properties with the <table> tag no longer respond as they originally did, making rewriting of table tags necessary. It is utterly stupid what has been done.
Not that long ago, you could get away with "sloppy" coding and your web page would look OK anyway. But, as mentioned, it is getting harder and harder to get away with it. Aside from the potential of a faulty rendering there is another penalty to be paid for non-compliance: quirks mode. When a browser rendering engine looks at a web page, the first thing it wants to find is a Document Type Declaration (DTD) to tell it how to decode the HTML code. If it finds no DTD, it immediately enters what is called "quirks mode," which takes longer to process and therefore longer to display the page. If a DTD is declared, the rendering engine speeds along until it encounters a non-compliant instruction. Once it enters quirks mode, it never backs out. So, if your page is faulty near the beginning, you will pay a display time longer than if it had no errors.
A lot of web pages are so simple that the user never notices any difference in display times. RF Cafe pages are not so simple. So, I am attempting to reconstruct all the pages so that the rendering engines are never required to enter quirks mode. It ain't gonna be easy.
So far, the home page and a few others have passed the 100% compliance test as determined by running them through the code checker on the W3C website. My CSS file (Cascading Style Sheet) is 100% as well. That is a good start. As I create new pages or update others, I work on getting them all into compliance as well. It will take some time.
As part of the process, I have been testing the pages in the latest versions of Internet Explorer (MS), Firefox (Mozilla), Chrome (Google), Opera (Sun), and Safari (Apple). The display is very consistent, although some slight differences can be found. That is with 100% compliant pages, so the variations are due entirely to the browser rendering engines. Table borders seem to be the area having the most variation, but that is minor.
I just thought you might like to know why you will be seeing some changes. Thanks, as always, for your patronage.

- Kirt Blattenberger :smt024
RF Cafe Progenitor & Webmaster

Posted  11/12/2012

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Webmaster:  Kirt Blattenberger, BSEE - KB3UON
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