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Old 01-07-2010, 09:18 AM   #1
LoisWakeman
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Default It's enough to make you slit your throat...

Ages ago I designed a plain but functional and XHTML/CSS web site for a client. He has now decided to have it redesigned with new photos and a more modern design - and I had hoped perhaps less verbiage, since he insisted on very lengthy and obtuse copy as written, despite my explanation of why that wasn't a good idea for people or search engines. The new design looks good on a big screen if you have excellent colour vision, but the copy is as lengthy as ever, so not quite the overhaul I imagined.

I've just had an email "I can't edit the new site in Contribute" - and I imagine the designer may have no idea how to build a compatible site and set it up. I recoiled in amazement when I looked at the source to see if editable regions were set up: cop this sample!
Code:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<html>
<head><title>blah</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<meta name="Keywords" content="blah (about 30 of them)" />
</head>

<body bgcolor="#909879" text="#3E1000" link="#EDEEE8" vlink="#EDEEE8" 
alink="#EDEEE8" leftmargin="0" topmargin="0">
<table width="100%" border="0" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
  <tr>
    <td align="right" valign="top"> 
      <table width="900" height="20" border="0" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
        <tr>
          <td align="right"><strong></strong></td>
        </tr>
      </table> 
      <table width="900" border="0" align="center" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="0" bgcolor="#B4B9A4">
        <tr align="center"> 
          <td width="150" bgcolor="#624027"><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">
<a href="NEWS_2009.htm"><strong>News</strong></a></font></td>
          <td width="225" bgcolor="#B4B9A4"><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">
<a href="MMC_01.htm"><strong>Courses</strong></a></font></td>
Old school or what?

So, I wonder how long before the new designer can work out how to fix things?

The other frustrating thing is that athough I know it is a mess 'under the hood', there is no point in saying anything at all. Oh well, onwards and upwards!
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:40 AM   #2
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That is amazing.

But we run into a lot of sites like that on the web. Maybe they are not all old sites at all, but brand new ones!

I hear from some who learned HTML a decade ago that they see no reason to start over with a big learning project (XHTML, CSS, etc.). They can make sites that “work” (on their setup, anyway) and figure that’s good enough for anyone.

Sigh.

   
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
don Arnoldy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoisWakeman View Post
Old school or what?
That has the look of software-generated code. Somebody was savy-enough to edit out the creator meta tag, but I'd bet that it was done on an old version of Dreamweaver.

A human (even a low-skilled one) wouldn't create code like:
HTML Code:
<table width="900" height="20" border="0" align="center" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
    <tr>
        <td align="right"><strong></strong></td>
    </tr>
</table>

   
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:55 AM   #4
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I am sure you are right - there were lots of tools that turned out crap code last century! (or even last decade). That's why I used to like HoTMetaL as it used the DTD to control what you could enter at a point - but this fell down when you were programmatically adding content whichcaused the nesting to fail validation, so I gave up on it eventually.

I have to admit to still using an old Dreamweaver myself - but I have it under control so it doesn't spew out rubbish.
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Old 01-07-2010, 12:01 PM   #5
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That is truly amazing for a site built in the here and now.

No chance that the client will come back to you, tail between his legs, when the new designer can't make it work?

   
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:46 AM   #6
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I hope not actually - I have spent far more than the usually budgeted hours in support for his hosting!
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoisWakeman View Post
I hope not actually - I have spent far more than the usually budgeted hours in support for his hosting!
In that case, as Bo says, maybe they deserve each other.

   
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Old 01-07-2010, 04:09 PM   #8
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Perhaps they deserve each other...

   
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:50 AM   #9
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"You might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment!" in the words of the legendary Francis Urquhart.
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