Escaped Thoughts

Curse You, W3C

Ok, as the badges on the right suggest, I'm something of a standards nut. I like web standards, and I generally take pride in coding to them.

However, the standards sometimes frustrate me to no end. You would think that something as simple as a reverse-order list would be relatively straightforward. And in older HTML, it more or less is; you simply use the value attribute to override the numbering. However, that attribute is deprecated in XHTML, so I went hunting for an alternative using CSS, and found: nothing. Ok, not nothing, but only a CSS3 method that's widely unsupported. Yippee.

That left me with three options for my last post:

  1. Give up the reverse-ordered list—not really an option
  2. Not actually use a list, but instead make the numbers part of the content and carefully align everything by hand—not only a pain, but also ugly from a semantic standpoint since being a reverse-order list is structural, not just presentational (not that value overrides are exactly structural, but it's a start)
  3. Use value anyway, and throw validation out the window—not my first choice from a moral standpoint
  4. Use value anyway, and convert my whole weblog to Transitional so that I can technically get away with doing so—this option irks me, because in every other respect I strive constantly to conform to the Strict standard, and throwing that all away for one measly post seems overly harsh

I went with option 3. That's right, I've thrown validation to the wind, and am now living a lie by continuing to display the badge. If the W3C wants better, they should have given us a new standard that was complete before taking away functionality we had in the old standard (and this is hardly the first time they have done so). I blame society for my faults.

Thank you for bearing with this brief interruption. Now back to your regularly scheduled, valid XHTML 1.1 weblog.

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