XHTML/CSS Redesign of Home Page

Thursday October 2nd, 2003

MozPhile writes: "In an effort to publicize a new CSS design for, a new mozdev project has been created. Based on the current design, this new one features valid XHTML 1.1 and CSS 2, with semantic HTML. First a fully standards-compliant browser, now a fully standards-compliant website to top it off!" Note that has not made any official statement regarding the design or whether they plan to use it.

#11 Actually, the current design validates--sort of

by mikemarco

Thursday October 2nd, 2003 9:12 AM

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If you run the current homepage through the W3C validator (URL below), the page actually validates as HTML 4.01 Transitional, except that in order for the validator to even accept the page for validation, a character encoding must be explicitly defined with a tag such as this one (pretend those square brackets are actually angle brackets):

[meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1"]

Really easy to add (just stick it in the head somewhere), and it shouldn't break compatibility with anything. Want to declare as Unicode instead? Replace "iso-8859-1" with "utf-8".

Just because something can be converted to XHTML+CSS, it doesn't mean it should be. In an ideal world, all our sites would separate presentation from content and would use well-structured semantic markup. (When I code my personal sites, I adhere to this ideal as much as possible.) However, one must be pragmatic when dealing with sites like, where older and more flaky browsers must be considered. Eventually, it'd be nice to phase out support for Netscape 4.x. My current personal sites are already phasing out support for older versions of IE (5.0 and below). But as long as these browsers are in circulation, we'll have to account for them. Sad, but true.

I agree, however, that the homepage could use some usability improvements. In its current state, it's far too cluttered. One idea: place the Mozilla Foundation information in the sidebar and the product download links in the main content area. (I find it funny that product information links--those in the main area below the Foundation/donation blurb, along with the screenshots--are far removed from their respective download links, currently in the sidebar.) After all, shouldn't Mozilla products be put front and center, where they belong?

And I'm still sending my XHTML as text/html. I blame IE 6.

Just my $0.02.