October 20, 2002

In the spirit of the recent Wired News redesign, I decided to convert this site to a pure, validating, XHTML/CSS layout. It was a bit of work, but the benefits are enormous. It was a good excercise for me to figure out how it all works — and why it works. There’s still a bit more to clean up, but most of the site should keep validating.

After months of reading about how XHTML and CSS presentation is super cool, I still wasn’t 100% convinced — then Wired came out with their redesign. Here is the first major site to dive head first into Web standards, taking a chance that their users and other sites will follow.

So, what’s the big deal? Well, there’s not a single table in the layout now — this cuts the code down by at least half — thus a noticeable added speed. Complicated nested tables do nothing but hog bandwidth. I, along with others, got used to banging out crazy nested tables to achieve virtually any type of template. It worked, but it’s a complete mess to maintain — not to mention unbearably slow on most browsers. And now, changing the look and feel of an entire site can be done extremely fast by updating a few css files. Older browsers can still view XHTML documents, just not styled the same way — more of a stripped down version of the site. This is probably the hardest thing to come to grips with — the fact that not everyone will be seeing the same exact layout. But, this is fine, and there’s even a message at the top telling them to keep technology moving forward — and UPGRADE. People should not be using 4 year-old browsers.

The time is now… the snowball effect has begun. OK I’m done evangelizing.