Entries published on June 21, 2008
Things I have learned about XHTML
The following are gleaned from the comments to my recent explanation of why I chose to use HTML 4.01 Strict for my redesign, rather than a flavor of XHTML, an explanation in which I mostly boiled the debate — for my needs, here on this site — down to “XHTML doesn’t offer me any compelling advantage, and it’s more complex to do right than most people know/admit”.
Advance warning: yes, this is snarky and is going to make fun of uninformed comments. Yes, I do think it’s necessary to call people out on this kind of thing. Yes, if you don’t like it you should go read something else. So let’s get started.
Craig says that
I don’t really agree that XHTML is any more complex than HTML. If anything, there are fewer tags/attributes.
Since XHTML 1.0 was a tag-for-tag and attribute-for-attribute identical reformulation of HTML 4.01 into XML, …
Let’s talk about documentation
One of the most active threads on reddit’s programming section right now discusses things people look for when reviewing someone else’s code; the article being discussed treats this as a great interview question and points to things like algorithm choices and object-oriented design as good responses. While these are important considerations, I’ve found I tend to make snap judgments long before I get to that level of analysis, and they’re almost always based on one key factor: documentation.
Of course, I have the luxury of mostly reviewing Python code, and Python makes it ridiculously easy to embed useful documentation. What’s more, automated API-documentation generators don’t seem to be as popular in Python as they are in some other languages, which means the lazy attitude of “a big list of function names and argument signatures should be all the documentation you need” thankfully is not prevalent in Python.
So when I’m looking …