Or How I Realized to Cease Worrying and Love The W3C. – A Listing Aside

For greater than a 12 months, ominous rumors have been privately circulating amongst high-level company leaders that Mozilla had been at work on what was darkly hinted to be the Final Weapon, a Doomsday machine. Intelligence sources traced the location of the highest secret Mozillan undertaking to the perpetually smog-shrouded wasteland referred to as Mountain View, California.  What they have been constructing, or why it must be situated in such a distant and desolate place, nobody might say.

Article Continues Under

How Basic Ripper was Pushed to the Fringe of Insanity#section2

U.S. Basic Jack D. Ripper was busy coding the Burpleson Air Drive base web site when he started experiencing issues.  His fonts have been serif the place they have been alleged to be sans, and daring the place they have been alleged to be plain.  Worse but, his liquid format gave the impression to be contaminated.

Naturally, Basic Ripper started to suspect a Mozillan conspiracy.

After spending an hour or twelve troubleshooting his personal HTML, Ripper felt the threads of sanity slipping away.  He was banging his head rhythmically towards the monitor when his Government Assistant, Mandrake, a British Officer with Officer Change Programme, entered the room.

“Basic Ripper, sir!” yelled Mandrake,  pulling him again from the monitor.  “Sir, what the satan is occurring?  Are you mad?”

Ripper lined his face together with his palms, weeping, “I don’t know what else to do.  I’ve tried all the pieces.  It’s these rattling Mooskies.  My web page gained’t work of their browser.”

“Mooskies, sir?”

“Mozillans! those I imply.  Those behind that commie plot Mozilla undertaking!”

“You imply to inform me, Sir,” stated Mandrake, “that your net web page gained’t show correctly on Netscape?”

“Rattling proper that’s what I imply!  Rattling Mozillans… contaminating the purity of my liquid format! I oughta clobber ‘em!”  Ripper picked up the cellphone,  “That’s it.  I’m giving Microsoft the ‘go code.’”

“Sir!” shouted Mandrake.


“Earlier than you go and do something drastic!  Now we have a particular weapons – uh, browser and HTML professional – on workers.  He might be able to assist you to.”


“He is named Dr. Strangeglobe.”


“Strangeglobe,” Mandrake went on, “is a genius, he’s.  He’s our Director of Browser Analysis and HTML Growth.  Is aware of these browsers just like the again of his hand, he does.  And his information of HTML is – intimate.”

“Intimate, you say?”  Ripper paused for a second, puffing thoughtfully on his cigar.  “Alright, Mandrake.  Ship him in!”

“Straight away, sir.”  Mandrake scooted out the door.

Quickly Mandrake was again. “Basic Ripper, Sir, meet Dr. Strangeglobe.  I’m going to fetch myself a Coca Cola when you two troubleshoot.”

Strangeglobe and the FONT tag#section3

“Good Day,” stated Dr. Strangeglobe, talking with a German accent. “What appears to be the issue?”

Internet designers are usually an odd lot, however this fellow was even stranger than most.  A small, dark-haired man in a wheel chair, Strangeglobe sat together with his head cocked to 1 facet, grinning a good little grin, his beady eyes obscured behind smokey wire-rimmed spectacles.  His proper arm and hand, which have been fully mechanical, hung stiffly at his facet.

“My web page!” Ripper barked, “It has no vitality!  No fluidity!  It has misplaced it’s manly essence!  It’s a plot, I inform you, a Mozillan plot!”

“Allow us to see.”  After taking a drag from his cigarette, Dr. Strangeglobe wheeled himself as much as the pc,  and together with his mechanical hand, gripped the mouse.  He examined Ripper’s work in Web Explorer.  He then regarded on the website in Netscape Navigator.  “I see,” he muttered.

Subsequent he seen Ripper’s supply code. “Mein Gott!”

“What’s it?” Ripper requested, peering over Strangeglobe’s shoulder.

Strangeglobe spun round so quick, the ash flew off his cigarette.  “What’s it??!  It’s 15 megatons of FONT tags, is what it’s!”

“Sure?  So?”

“FONT tags!” he continued.  “<font> TAGS! – Do you not know the <font> tag has been deprecated since 1996!”

“Doktor, hate to interrupt it to you, however everybody makes use of FONT tags. Webmonkey makes use of FONT tags.  developer.com makes use of FONT tags. CNET’s builder makes use of them.  A Listing Aside has a pair – and even the commie mozilla.org makes use of them!  These are net designer’s web sites.  In the event that they use FONT tags…”

“Everybody?” stated the Doktor,  “EVERYONE makes use of them?  Sir, if EVERYONE have been spending themselves penniless to construct large weapons programs able to destroying all life on earth, would you additionally do the identical? Eh?  Would you?”

Ripper regarded perplexed.  “In fact,” he replied.

The Doktor didn’t reply, maybe as a result of he was busy combating off the mechanical hand which had wrapped itself round his neck in an try at self-strangulation.

Ripper waited patiently.

“Effectively,” stated the Doktor, breathlessly, as soon as the rogue limb had been subdued, “allow us to depart the rhetorical questions for a second, and see how your web page validates,  lets?”

“Validates?” Ripper requested, “Why, what do you imply?”

Ach. You shall see.”

Basic Ripper peered on the display screen as Strangeglobe fastidiously pecked out the URL: http://validator.w3.org.  An enter field appeared, and in that field, he typed the URI for the Burpleson Airforce website.  After urgent “Validate this web page,” the following display screen returned an extended record of errors.

Strangeglobe turned towards the Basic, and with a wry smile stated,  “The validator tells in case your code is orderly and correct or disorderly and unruly.  As you possibly can see, the HTML is totally uncontrolled. You’ve opened tags which you didn’t shut, and closed tags that you just didn’t open.  And you might be improperly nested.  This might trigger a show drawback in any browser, not simply Netscape.”

Ripper was uncertain.  “You imply it isn’t the Mooskies?”

“Since you aren’t utilizing any CSS, I critically doubt that it’s the Moos – uh – Netscape who’s at fault.  When your HTML is unruly, how are you going to anticipate your web site to show correctly?”

Ripper chewed his cigar.

Strangeglobe continued, “After we don’t have guidelines, chaos reigns.  When chaos reigns, net designers are beating their heads towards the monitor in nervousness and deep frustration.”

“Okay, Doc,” Ripper stated.  “Supposing you’re proper.  The place do I discover the foundations?”

Strangeglobe and the World Broad Internet Consortium#section4

Strangeglobe typed in one other URL: www.w3.org.  “That is the location of the World Broad Internet Consortium.  Right here you will see your validator, and right here you will see the foundations.”

Consortium?   Sounds slightly like ‘Communism’ to me!”

“Relaxation assured,” stated the Doktor, “it has nothing to do with communism,  capitalism, fascism or another political or financial ideology for that matter.  Nevertheless, it has all the pieces to do with the success of your web site,  and of the net itself.  Right here,  learn for your self.”

Ripper peered on the website, whereas Strangeglobe learn aloud:

“The World Broad Internet Consortium was created in October 1994 to steer the World Broad Internet to its full potential by growing frequent protocols that promote its evolution and guarantee its interoperability,”

“Is that this German?” Ripper requested.

“In fact not!  It’s English! Es ist doch ganz klar!”  Strangeglobe caught himself.  “Excuse me, Sir,”  he stated.

Ripper stared on the W3C website as Strangeglobe continued:  “The W3C guides the event of net expertise. The W3C is ‘vendor and market impartial.’  W3C members embody organizations from all around the world, and the W3C Staff of researchers and engineers is worldwide, as properly.

“Look right here, Basic Ripper, you would possibly get pleasure from studying slightly net historical past.  There may be even a screenshot of Tim Berners-Lee’s first browser, with accompanying clarification.  Good, eh?

“The W3C is concerned in lots of tasks together with standardization of expertise by the event of pointers and specs, which it calls ‘Suggestions.’  They’ll all be discovered within the Technical Studies part of the W3C website.

“Listed here are W3C specs, you see.  The foundations.  These have been very fastidiously constructed, for the great of everybody.  They’re guidelines for you, and they’re guidelines for the browsers.  You will need to study the foundations, you will need to perceive the foundations.  In the event you discover it completely essential to interrupt the foundations later, you’ll at the very least know what you might be doing, and you’ll perceive the implications.  Verstehen Sie?”

“Sure,” answered Ripper, “I suppose that is smart.  However most browsers are set to default on a serif font, see.  However say I need to use a sans-serif font in my physique textual content.  What do I do then?”

“Effectively,” stated the Doktor, “It’s best to attempt to ‘separate presentation from content material.’  Consider your doc as a construction with logical components: paragraphs, quotes, lists, and the like.  Your markup displays this construction.  As to the way you need your doc to show, that goes right into a stylesheet declaration.  Now you possibly can change your stylesheet as wanted to assist your doc work in several browsers (or ‘person brokers’), together with text-only browsers, voice browsers, braille readers, and so forth.  Your content material is now extra versatile, extra transportable, and extra accessible.

“Here’s what I counsel: use the right (DTD), and observe the spec.  Right here is XHTML 1.0, the present suggestion.  In your comfort,  you’ll discover that it’s supplied in quite a lot of codecs, together with hypertext, ZIP, and PDF.”

The Doktor went on: “With a purpose to use XHTML, nevertheless, you will need to even be accustomed to HTML4.  So it’s possible you’ll want to use an HTML4 or XHTML transitional DTD paired with CSS1.  One benefit of utilizing the HTML4 transitional DTD is that it’s extra forgiving than both HTML4 strict or XHTML.  And with HTML4, you should use your Macintosh and the iCab browser to validate your code as you’re employed.

“It’s maybe higher for you, presently to keep away from CSS2,” he went on,  “when you might have mastered the primary stage of CSS, it’s possible you’ll strive the second stage.  As you progress DEEPER into the information, it would be best to spend a while studying up on the Doc Object Mannequin as properly.

“Nevertheless,  I need to warn you.  Though CSS1 has been a suggestion since 1996, the browsers are simply now starting to implement it absolutely.  It has taken them 4 years.  As for CSS2 (a suggestion since 1998),  and the Doc Object Mannequin, even new browsers are nonetheless buggy.  As a result of the browsers are problematic, and since you are but a newbie, I don’t advocate you are concerned an excessive amount of about CSS2 or DOM presently.”

“Newbie! What do you imply newbie?!  Why you Kraut…”  Ripper moved towards Strangeglobe, however the Doktor didn’t again away.

“Your code is a large number!” Strangeglobe went on.  “Pay attention.  It requires solely the WILL to make use of correct markup and the DISCIPLINE to study the foundations.  As a army man, it’s best to discover this an easy course of.”

Ripper sat again down in his chair.  He scowled on the W3C Suggestions.

“Don’t fear,” stated the Doktor.  “You’ll not perceive each phrase at first, however when you maintain working at it, it is going to ultimately turn out to be clear.”  He lit one other cigarette, pulled it from his mechanical fingers, and took a drag.

“After validating your markup, you see, you possibly can validate your Cascading Fashion Sheets with the CSS Validator.

“It should be carried out, you realize.  It’s time.  For one factor, as we transfer towards XML, good coding habits turn out to be extra necessary.  And although the massive browser makers have been an unruly bunch, they’re lastly starting to know we’d like requirements to ensure that our pages to show correctly.  We wish them to COMPLY.

“There are good browsers on the market.  The W3C provides Amaya, a browser and HTML editor.  For the worth of a restaurant meal you may get Opera.  For Mac customers there’s iCab, and now Explorer 5 for Macintosh, which is absolutely COMPLIANT with HTML4 and CSS1 specs. Netscape 6, with its new Gecko rendering engine, may even be COMPLIANT.”

“You imply these godless commie open-source Mozillans?”

“No matter.”

Ripper scrutinized W3C specs once more, attempting to grasp.  “I don’t understand how properly I can rise up beneath torture,” he stated.

Simply then, Mandrake burst by the door.

Main Kong Versus Mozilla
“Basic,” Mandrake shouted,  “Sir, one thing dreadful has occurred!  Basic Turgidson simply referred to as from the Struggle Room.  Somebody gave Microsoft’s bombers the ‘go code!’”


“Sure.  He stated that if the planes obtained by, they’d set off the doomsday machine…”

“Doomsday machine?”

“A genetically engineered dinosaur set to launch routinely upon assault. It’s programmed to devour the world by seemingly innocuous company mergers!”

“I knew these Mozillans have been as much as no rattling good!”

Mandrake continued, “Missiles have been despatched after the Microsoft planes.  However one airplane managed to sneak in beneath Mozillan radar.  There have been some electrical issues which prevented the airplane’s bomb doorways from opening, so we thought for a second the world would possibly but be saved.  However then the airplane’s commander, Main Invoice ‘King Kong’ Gates, crawled down the hatch with a wrench,  muttering, ‘I’ll get these bomb doorways open if it hare-lips everybody in Mountain View!’”


“Gates was final seen straddled throughout a 30 megaton browser hurtling towards earth, waving his 10 gallon hat and yelling ‘Hee-haw!  We’ll get them Moo-zillans but!  No one interferes with Microsoft’s potential to innovate!!!’”

“A 30 megaton browser?”

“’WIN IE 5.5 – HI THERE!’ was scrawled throughout the nostril.”

“It exploded?”

“Took out half the Valley.”

“And inform me, Mandrake, the doomsday machine?”

“We anticipate to be merged by tomorrow morning.”


“Sir,” stated Dr. Strangeglobe to the Basic,  “If I could provide a suggestion.”


“I’d not rule out the potential of preserving a nucleus of human specimens.  If we have been to search out one in all our deeper mine-shafts…”


“We might collect up, say, 100 engineers and net designers – we would wish a ratio of 10 females to each male, after all.  We might develop our personal society and keep there fairly comfortably for, oh, 100 years or so.  We might construct farms, procreate, make web sites, and even develop our personal standards-compliant browsers!”

“You say 10 females for each male?  It’s an astoundingly good concept, Doc, however the place are we going to search out that many females?”

“Ah, that’s easy.  You want solely to go to a typical search engine and kind in ‘net diary.’  You can find your females.  In fact,  their web sites should be of a extremely – stimulating nature.  And their code must be each well-formed  and legitimate.”  He was as soon as once more beating down the mechanical arm that gave the impression to be stiffening right into a Nazi salute.


All of the sudden the Doktor rose from his chair.  “Mein Führer!” he exclaimed,  “I can stroll!”

He was in a position to take solely about two steps earlier than there was a superb flash, a roar, and a firey wind which flattened the bottom and turned everybody into ash.

Because the doomsday machine continued to set off mergers throughout the globe, the World Struggle II hit tune “We’ll Meet Once more,” performed as a looping background MIDI:

We’ll meet once more, don’t know the place, don’t know when,

However I do know we’ll meet once more some sunny day!


Leave a Comment