HTML For Modification Creators


Jan 16, 2010
cheat_master30 submitted a new Article:

HTML For Modification Creators

Now, call me a real obsessive for valid code on my site, but just now, I just went and changed practically three people's entire modifications in terms of their coding to fix lazy design practices and to make the site pass validation (or in this case, the logged in view nearly pass validation). But never the less, the reason I'm here and writing this, other than because I like writing articles, is because I'm tired of the 1996 era coding practices of many of the coders and designers here. Now, we all know how greatly important good PHP code is, correct? Well this article will teach you how to not completely try to downplay the importance of the HTML coder the forum and modifications are based on, and how to make the actual code the browser itself sees generally pass validation and to stay clear of decades old crappy coding practices still being used in quite a few released products here.

So What Needs to Change

In my opinion, this is the effort given to the actual HTML and CSS coding in modifications. Way, way too many mods and hacks nowadays seem to go with an idea that 'if it works, it works' without caring less how it's actually coded HTML wise, and meaning those forums that install tons of addons end up with HTML validation errors like crazy and causing all manner of grief to those admins who actually care how their site is coded. Those old web design books teaching about frames and animated gifs are not exactly teaching modern web design or coding in any real sense. We are not in the 90s any more, valid code is important, and Internet Explorer isn't the only browser.

First Things First, ALWAYS Remember the Alt Attribute

Big mistake number one I've seen in a lot of modifications, the alt attribute for images is NOT optional. If the image has no meaning, then you're generally recommended to use alt="" instead of just leaving it out altogether. But in general, try to make sure every single image tag you use in your product or modification has an alt tag with something relevant in said space, both for the blind and screen readers, and various search engine bots and what like.

Way too many mods seem to forget this minor thing, so don't make the same mistake.

Secondly, Encode Special Characters in URLS

You know the drill. Don't just use ampersands in links, like &, use & when using these variables in links. Best of all, don't leave them out AND hard code the links in the PHP files, that's rather...

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