Strives toward XHTML compliance

I was on my way from NYC to Cincinnati in flight when I had what I call a “light bulb” moment. One of the main complain of iBlog generated HTML is that it contains the font tag, which is not XHTML compliant (in strict mode, but OK in transitional mode). This is trivial when compares to the inability for us iBloggers to control our blogs’ appearance via CSS completely.

As a software engineer, I am trained to learn and understand the intricacies and interactions between multiple software sub-systems and the consequences as each sub-system is modified. Thus, it is not unusual for me to connect multiple pieces of seemingly unrelated information into a solution. And this is how the solution of the font tag came to me.

One of the options in iBlog Preference is “Turn Off Font Styling In Preview” and I always have it set to “No”. Of course I want to see how my blog entry looks like when I do a preview in the browser! Not so. If this option is set to “Yes” then iBlog will not emit the font tags along with the font size for the blog entry when it generates the HTML files into the Sites folder for preview.

images/general_pref

Then to extend the reasoning one step further, when iBlog publishes to the web site it simply copies what is in the ~/Sites/iblog/ folder to the web server. Nothing special or magic is done here. Also the upload mechanism (.Mac, FTP, WebDAV) is irrelevant here. Therefore once iBlog is instructed not to emit the font tags for preview, those font tags will also not appear in the blog after the HTML files are uploaded.

Obscure solution but logical once it is understood. This particular option can be better labeled to explain its function. May be labeled it as “Use Custom Font Style and Size” and moves it inside the same area as the font style boxes in the middle of the Preference sheet.

So now I, and other iBloggers, can control the font styles for the blog entry text through the use of stylesheet. About bloody time too!

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