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W3C HTML 4.01 Compliance27/01/2005

W3C HTML 4.01 Compliance

Well we have finally taken the plunge to get our site authenticated by W3C to HTML 4.01 compliance.

The problem like many web designers know, is that to get your site to comply without errors you need to remove some of the backward compatible commands used to make sure your design is shown the way you intended.

The "Wrap" tag of a textarea field on a form for instance. Older Netscape browsers used this to wrap the text in the field. without it the box would scroll horizontally, so you couldn't see what you had typed previously.

Fortunately, most browsers in use these days, can work without this tag to show your field the way you intend it to be shown. That is more than what can be said for this message however:

there is no attribute "SRC"

Followed by many other errors, all within the <EMBED> line of the flash code required to show your flash file.

Obviously, the first thing that people think of is "Can I not delete it" the answer being NO you cant! well not if you want your flash files to be shown on Netscape Browsers anyway.

If you delete the line then there will be a large blank area on the screen where your flash design is supposed to be.

Then you start looking for answers, unfortunately, if you have the same luck as ourselves, you won´t find any that solve the issue to everyones satisfaction.

It appears that this is an issue that everyone is stuck with, you either use flash in your web designs and have W3C errors or you remove the error and prevent Netscape users from seeing your work.

We wanted an answer to solve the problem so that we could have our cake and eat it and surprise surprise one of our designers came up with a solution that appears to give us this possibility.

There was a drawback however, the browser must be javascript enabled to show the flash work. Otherwise we are back to where we started, only this time it will effect the browsers that would have worked if we had just removed the line in the first place.

What we need to remember though, is that if we are using javascript to show the flash, then we also have the facility to show something else, if the browser does not have javascript enabled.

This is a bonus, we can therefore show an image or html content in replacement for the flash.

In theory this sounds like a solution that can work successfully so that everyone can either see the flash or a nice alternative.

With this in mind, we have taken the plunge and amended our site accordingly and can say that we are happy with the results so far.
  • The cached image in Google is showing correctly with our flash images showing.

  • W3C confirms our pages to be html 4.01 compliant.

  • We can see the flash designs using both Netscape and IE.

In fact we are so happy with the results, we have decided to make the script available to everyone.

Instructions are given in the "Read Me" file for integration into your pages, in addition the js file can be copied directly to your web server.

Click here for details of downloading the file.
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