Stumped:: web HTML. Caution, may be OT.

Frank Shute frank at
Thu May 29 22:05:47 UTC 2008

On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 01:05:22PM -0700, Gary Kline wrote:
> On Thu May 29 2008 00:39:06 Christian Zachariasen wrote:
> >
> > On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 8:57 AM, Gary Kline <kline at> wrote:
> > >
> > >        Several weeks ago a friend asked why my page
> > >        was so hard to read.  She said that part of my text was black
> > >        on the deep-blue bg on my RHS.  I stopped and checked with
> > >        firefox; things looked fine.  I've done all markup by hand since
> > >        '94, very carefully, with only browsers in the ports tree--
> > >        mozilla, firefox, a couple others.
> > >
> > >        About a week ago I viewed my homepage with KDE Konq and almost
> > >        flipped out.  One "free" commercial historical calender event
> > >        feature was glued to the bottom of my blue bar (<TABLE></TABLE>)
> > >        on the RHS of the page.   And yep, the new text and other things
> > >        were centered in the middle of the long blue rectangle.
> > >
> > >        Since I have a few weeks now to work on things beside research,
> > >        it's time to update my main web page.   My friend was using IE;
> > >        it may be that Konqueror uses a similar parser to position
> > >        things on a .php or .html page.
> > >
> > >        Other than beginning from Zero and trying to determine exactly
> > >        what causes firefox and konq to diverge, do any of you have any
> > >        other ideas?  I've never learned an HTML editors because of the
> > >        learning curve.  But:: if/when I come up with a better design for
> > >        my home page, I'm willing to try again:: any best (simple) HTML
> > >        editors in ports?
> > >
> > >        I'd be much obliged for any help here.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > I say keep using the technique you're using now. That's what I'd
> > do.  Instead of finding a HTML Editor just find a simple text
> > editor and write all your HTML in a clean manner.
> >
> > I don't know where Ted got his statistics from, but most people I
> > know use simple text editors for writing their HTML, CSS and
> > JavaScript. Personally I stick to vi or diakonos on BSD and
> > Notepad2 on Windows.
> > 

> /*
>  * strange:: the way that mutt queues [ and orders ] its replies and theads is 
>  * different from kmail.  I only use a GUI when there is a URL embedded, but
>  * it must be down-queue.   ....
>  */

Use textproc/urlview with mutt & Firefox.

> I would *rather* use vi and HTML-by-hand.   And produce very simple,
> readable,  uncluttered pages.  I don't use many graphics, e.g., I
> use the strength of HTML, php, blah ** 3.  
> I'm ready to learn this "CMS" that Ted mentioned if I knew what it
> was!  And if its in ports.   AFAIK, the only pages that look bizarre
> are my initial "www" (and one other based on it).   I'll google
> around to find out what CMS is...    

Since you're "a do it by hand" person, I'll give you the benefit of my
experiences doing my pages that way.

My site is on a similar scale to yours and I've just kept it simple
except where I've used server-side (PHP/Perl) and Javascript.


Use Firefox to develop with and install the webdeveloper plug-in:

Use vim not vi, since you get syntax highlighting with vim/gvim.

Add x11/rgb to your system and:

$ showrgb | less 

will show you the websafe colours. Plug in the numbers to your
stylesheet to get your preferred colours. You can view the colours
with e.g:

$ xterm -bg steelblue


I use Gimp for any graphics.


Choose a standard that you are going to code to and validate against.
I use XHTML1.0 Transitional and CSS. Things are going more XML than
HTML and transitional is less restrictive than strict.


Have a look at w3c schools site to learn your chosen language:

There are various tutorials and references there. Best site on the


Steal a simple page that validates:

and use it as a template to hack on. Steal the style sheet too.

Validate your webpage as you go along with the w3c validator.


A few tips:

Use <div>'s for layout, not tables.

Don't use fixed text heights, use relative so it respects the users
preferences for text size.

Keep an eye out for pages that look nice and validate. View source &
then steal chunks of xhtml and css. 


Happy hacking!

You'll find that your validated pages will show fine in most modern
browsers although some have more quirks than others. But when you get
somebody say "Your webpage doesn't look right in Internet Exploder 5"
you can say to them "Get a proper browser that respects web




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