Aaron Brethorst

Round peg in a square hole, rabid generalist.

8 Steps to Better Markup

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Tantek Çelik of Technorati, Microsoft, and W3C fame published a great article a few weeks back on how to create and serve better XHTML in eight easy steps. I missed this when it first came out, so maybe you haven’t seen it either. It’s all great stuff in any case, and eminently practical, unlike some others out there on the web. Anyway, enough bitterness; Tantek’s thoughts are more interesting:

  1. Validate your web pages.
  2. Eliminate layout tables and spacer gifs.
  3. Get rid of meta tags for keywords.
  4. Use meaningful CSS class names, and don’t tie them directly to your presentation.
  5. Get rid of useless whitespace in your code [aaron: it bugs me when outputted HTML is not pretty-printed with proper spacing and tabbing. I go through a fair amount of pain to make sure that the stuff I create at least looks tolerable (that is, when I’m not using templates ;-)].
  6. Use rel and hreflang for localized content.
  7. Cut out commented markup on the server side.
  8. Add an hcard to your site [aaron: not that Tantek’s biased about this one, or anything ;-)].

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