Adventures in XHTML and CSS

August 1st, 2004  |  Published in web

For my dad’s 60th birthday, my family and I produced a print book of memories and photographs from his life. I typeset it using OpenOffice 1.1 and sent it to the printers as PDF, which worked just fine. Today I’ve been creating an online version from the original document.

Although the layout was quite simple (two columns of text and images), the automatic HTML export was pretty bad – full of ugly FONT tags and with the images in all the wrong places. I ended up starting again from scratch, hand-producing XHTML and CSS with nothing but a text editor and pasting the text in from the original.

The resulting HTML is valid XHTML 1.1 strict, and degrades nicely in lynx. I’ve not yet been able to check it in many other browsers, but it seems to look OK in IE6 running under win4lin (I don’t have any machines natively running Windows).

I used to shy away from frontend web work, finding it awfully fiddly and dull. Over the last year or two I’ve discovered that making simple semantic HTML and styling it with CSS can be quite a satisfying activity.

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