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!

Blog Poll Result

So the majority of you feel that I should stay with iBlog. The overwhelming result of 28 vs. 7 speaks it all.

images/oct_poll

And since I am saving for the P900 for next year, I think I will stay put for the meanwhile.

Thank you for voting.

iBlog vs. TypePad

As you probably noticed, I’ve added a poll (look to your right) about whether I should stick with iBlog and FTP to my ISP web space, or migrate to TypePad which hosts everything.

Here are the few things I am unhappy with iBlog:

  • Not XHTML compliant
  • FTP not really reliable
  • Need to rely on 3rd party services for things such as polls, comments, etc.
  • Have to blog from my computer

All these things TypePad can provide but of course nothing comes free! TypePad’s fee is pretty reasonable for what it offers, and I can have my own domain name as well as hosting my photo site at the same time. Not to mention the ability to allow me to blog anywhere as long as the computer has a net connection.

The only things that are stopping me right now are costs, both in terms of financial and migration. So vote away or send me comments and let me know which way I should go.

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