New phpbb.com website design, etc.

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Synaptic Anarchy
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Re: New phpbb.com website design, etc.

Post by Synaptic Anarchy »

XHTML is genuinely better for all browsers and requires less "if you set this property" or "if you add in all these tags". More to the point, XHTML is intended to be the next version/replacement for HTML. It wasn't created for the purpose of being an alternative, and the only reason HTML has lasted so long is that people are lazy and there's no real way to "enforce" standards.

Ultimately, Transitional or (lol) HTML was obviously not viewed as the best option for this project. That's great for me. If it's not great for you, you can comb through the style when it's released and fill it with unneeded tables because it suits your views on web design. That seems like a waste of time to me, and it probably seems like a waste of time to the developers, so I don't see what you're trying to gain by continuing to argue this.

Have fun with that style after Gold, though.
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JCDenton
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Re: New phpbb.com website design, etc.

Post by JCDenton »

Synaptic Anarchy wrote: XHTML is genuinely better for all browsers and requires less "if you set this property" or "if you add in all these tags". More to the point, XHTML is intended to be the next version/replacement for HTML. It wasn't created for the purpose of being an alternative, and the only reason HTML has lasted so long is that people are lazy and there's no real way to "enforce" standards.

Yup, it certainly is better... especialy for Internet Explorer which can't even parse it (when given a XHTML file it wants to download it...). I'm talking about *real* XHTML (which is sent as application/xml+xhtml), not XHTML like "lets add that cool doctype thingy, change the <br>s to <br/> and be standards compliant!". Serving that kind of XHTML is the same as serving old HTML, the browser just corrects those strange little slashes.
Synaptic Anarchy wrote: Ultimately, Transitional or (lol) HTML was obviously not viewed as the best option for this project. That's great for me. If it's not great for you, you can comb through the style when it's released and fill it with unneeded tables because it suits your views on web design.

Are you implying that tables shouldn't be used in XHTML Strict at all? Because that's what i'm reading here:
"Transitional or (lol) HTML" => unneeded tables
Strict XHTML => go go dls

And getting back to the subject of arranging the forum list with dls: doing it wouldn't be wrong if it was supposed to really be a list of definitions (or something similar). But it's made to look like a table, it has those fake headers (also done with dls).
I could make a bunch of <abbr> tags look like and act like a table, it would look great, the typical user wouldn't notice a thing. But what's the point in that since I got tags that are more suited for the task.
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Synaptic Anarchy
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Re: New phpbb.com website design, etc.

Post by Synaptic Anarchy »

Gee, I wonder what IE does with all those DIV tags it can't parse? I think your problem is that you don't know much about XHTML, a view I feel is supported by your massive overgeneralization of what is and isn't standards-compliant. From even a basic design perspective XHTML is a superior choice, and if you're honesty trying to argue that we should be making styles in HTML 4 or whatever, I would regrettably have to laugh in your face.

XHTML offers a standardized set of markup that is wholly flexible from a design perspective. That flexibility was displayed here. As I already said, you're welcome to rewrite the style to suit your ...pecculiar tastes, but all the whining in the world likely won't change a good design decision. What was done works, and works well - so well that I plan to use this template in my first few styles, at least.
Are you implying that tables shouldn't be used in XHTML Strict at all? Because that's what i'm reading here:
"Transitional or (lol) HTML" => unneeded tables
Strict XHTML => go go dls


No, I'm implying your decision to serve a subjective opinion as a fact because the lack of tables goes against your own personal feelings in the XHTML/HTML debate are laughable, as already stated. If you're done now, I'm sure someone else could put the soapbox to better use.

Someone like this:
NeoThermic wrote:
Afterlife(69) wrote:proSilver may be nice, web 2.0 with all the sexy rounded corners and all, but markup wise it is nowhere near semantic!

Lists such as categories, forums, and topics by nature are tabular data which is exactly what tables are made for, hence the name tables, however phpBB has insulted semantic designers such as myself by using completely improper markup to display content.


Heh. Nice contradiction. "Lists such as...". Lists. The forum index is a list of forums. The viewforum.php page is a list of topics. This is not tabular data. It's a list. You even started out by saying so.
Afterlife(69) wrote: If anything they have made bandwidth usage and page rendering times higher (which is what table-less design is suppose to prevent) by completely destroying the style using markup such as definition lists to try to emulate what tables do.


Slightly incorrect. The total size of phpBB.com's main forums page comes to a grand total (including images) of 44,918 bytes. Area51's index comes to a grand total of 52,818 bytes. Lets also break this down a bit more by saying that once the CSS and images are cached, the total amount of data that needs to be downloaded per pageview is minimal compared to a site that has to give new data due to the usage of tables.

Also, tables require more processing power in a browser due to the fact that in order to properly construct a page with tables in it, the whole page must be loaded first (in order to work out stacking depth issues and other size related problems; as soon as the first <table> tag is found, the content-sink is put on hold until it finds </body>). With block level elements styled with CSS, once one has the CSS, they can start rendering the page as soon as it arrives. If the whole page is pure block level elements and no tables, then there's no waiting for the page, giving a much faster render to the user.
Afterlife(69) wrote: there is absolutely nothing wrong with using tables on tabular data, it is justified to use table-less markup on areas such as login, register, viewtopic, and faq. But to take this too far as to take tables out of justified areas is just stupidity at its worst.


I agree, on tabular data, use tables. But forum indexes and topic indexes are lists of data, not tabular data. Let us also not forget that less effort is now required to totally restyle the site; you only need to change the CSS. With tables, even if you changed the CSS, you can't overly break out of the fact that you're stuck with tables still (and hiding table data with CSS doesn't get past the problem that you're still sending the "hidden" data).

Finally, I'll note that to be semantically correct, one must make it so that data can be linked to the content it's supposed to represent. For example, in XHTML, you're able to say that the data in span "foo" is a customer order ID. A semantically correct page has little to do with table usage or not, more as if the XHTML is well-formed enough to allow this kind of data link to be made.

It is also only possible to be semantically correct in XHTML (and XML, RDF and OWL), as HTML lacks the ability to describe objects of data in the correct way (hence half the reason for XHTML). The whole point of a semantic page is a page where these links can be made (that and as a side effect one can transform the data to render it in not only human readable formats, but machine parseable formats without needing to alter the original data in any way.

NeoThermic
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JCDenton
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Re: New phpbb.com website design, etc.

Post by JCDenton »

Synaptic Anarchy wrote: From even a basic design perspective XHTML is a superior choice, and if you're honesty trying to argue that we should be making styles in HTML 4 or whatever, I would regrettably have to laugh in your face. XHTML offers a standardized set of markup that is wholly flexible from a design perspective. That flexibility was displayed here.

This is a moment where I would usualy use the BS word...
But ok, please enlighten me and tell me why is XHTML is a superior choice (details). What makes it better than HTML (of course "from even a basic design perspective"). And could you also tell me the changes in the "set of markup" of XHTML and HTML (Strict versions). Does XHTML have new tags? New attributes? Anything new except the underlying technology? And, of course, which of those "new things of XHTML" have been used in the new phpBB3 template. And no, using CSS and clean markup (without presentational trash) isn't XHTML.

I'm afraid that you are the one who doesn't "know much about XHTML", please read these articles, they might be helpful at clearing things up:
Quick guide to XHTML (I suggest also reading the articles that are mentioned there)
XHTML's Dirty Little Secret
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Synaptic Anarchy
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Re: New phpbb.com website design, etc.

Post by Synaptic Anarchy »

I should think it would be a better idea to read something like this rather than going looking for things that support a flawed arguement. :roll:
XHTML documents can be written to operate as well or better than they did before in existing HTML 4-conforming user agents as well as in new, XHTML 1.0 conforming user agents.


"Clean markup" is actually one of the defining attributes of XHTML technology, and of course old HTML browsers can read it, though some may fail in specific (extended) applications of XHTML technology, such as the inclusion of XML (apparently your idea of "real" XHTML?).
XHTML documents are XML conforming. As such, they are readily viewed, edited, and validated with standard XML tools.


http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/#diffs For further differences from HTML 4. Your concept of "real" XHTML is flawed - a properly validated XHTML 1.0/1.1 webpage is real XHTML.

Next time you choose to argue a subject, I suggest you look at the source rather than getting as far away from it as necessary to find information to support your arguments.

[edit]

Oho! A quick look through your links provided this bit of amusement.

Code: Select all

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
The doctype for phpBB.com's index page.
"HTML compatible" XHTML (as defined in appendix C of the XHTML 1.0 specification) may be served as text/html...


Look familiar?

The fact that certain browsers are not XML-capable was taken into account when the acceptable MIME types were set. Obviously, as newer versions are being developed, the standard becomes more strict. This does not mean that XHTML 1.0 is not "real", just that it's a little out of date. Ready for another shocker? Many programmers are still using PHP 4. Why? Servers running PHP 5 can handle the vast majority, if not all, of PHP 4, and many servers are still running PHP 4. (Also, probably, they're lazy.)

Are you going to argue, now, that PHP 4 is not "real" PHP?
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JCDenton
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Re: New phpbb.com website design, etc.

Post by JCDenton »

You didn't answer my question about those differences between XHTML and HTML (that list you gave are just changes due to the different underlying technology - XML is more strict than SGML).
Synaptic Anarchy wrote: "Clean markup" is actually one of the defining attributes of XHTML technology, and of course old HTML browsers can read it, though some may fail in specific (extended) applications of XHTML technology, such as the inclusion of XML (apparently your idea of "real" XHTML?).

Umm.. no it's not :roll: XHTML doesn't tell that you have to use clean, semantic markup, it's just a more strict version of old HTML (you can't make syntax mistakes and skip closing tags... in theory...). With XHTML you can still use tables for making layout, font tags, presentational attributes (transitional ver.), and all the other stupid tricks that were used in HTML.
I belive you have this misconception that XHTML is about seperating content from presentation, that's what CSS is about.
Synaptic Anarchy wrote: Your concept of "real" XHTML is flawed - a properly validated XHTML 1.0/1.1 webpage is real XHTML.

Validation only checks if there are no syntax errors and that all the rules are being followed (a <li> has to be in a <ul> etc. the same as in HTML). That doesn't mean that it's XHTML. If you paste a bunch of php code into a text file, upload it and open it in a browser - can you say that that's php? No. You have to either put in in a .php file or tell the server that it should look for php code in .txt files. It's the same with XHTML, you have put it in a .xhtml file or set the correct MIME type in order for the code to be parsed as XHTML.
A little example:

Code: Select all

<p style="color: green;"><span style="color: red;" />If this text is red, than this file is parsed as nothing more than a HTML document with some errors. If it's green, it's XHTML</p>
Paste this code into two files (of course add the necessary head, body etc. tags so the doc will validate as XHTML): one named example.html and the other example.xhtml, and open them in any browser except IE.

And here's what the W3C has to say about MIME types. What SHOULD be used and what MAY be used.

And let me say this clearly: I'm not saying that people shouldn't write pages in XHTML (even as text/html), but i'm really tired of hearing "I pasted in a doctype, I'm using XHTML, my site is going to be better because of it". No it's not going to be better. It's going to be the same as if you used HTML. The browser is going to read is as normal html code. And even if it was parsed as XHTML the page won't be any better because of it. But, I repeat, it doesn't mean that we shouldn't use XHTML... of course I'm talking about using Strict rules (be it HTML or XHTML), transitional can go to hell for all I care.

BTW: it's funny that this argument evolved from a little remark about using dls as tables :P
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Synaptic Anarchy
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Re: New phpbb.com website design, etc.

Post by Synaptic Anarchy »

You completely ignored the very clear documentation cited from W3C stating exactly what XHTML is and you're trying to tell me I "didn't answer your question" ?
I belive you have this misconception that XHTML is about seperating content from presentation, that's what CSS is about.


Ah, hello? Nothing of the sort was said? Did you just come back two days later and pull this out of your ass or what? Go back, read the post, read the pages linked, and maybe learn to read English if that's your problem. I don't know how to spell it out any more clearly for you. The W3C says you're wrong. They say it very clearly. Mybe you sat down too hard on a MIME type. I don't know. All I know is that you've become annoying, and are now bordering on stupid with this stubborn insistance in the face of clearly stated facts from the people setting the rules.

That being the case, I'm done arguing with you. As you said, this whole thing spun out of one unintelligent observation of yours. I should have just let it slide.
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JCDenton
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Re: New phpbb.com website design, etc.

Post by JCDenton »

I'm getting tired of this... You ignore 3/4 of my post, insult me and then say that you're done arguing...

Just enumerate 3 reasons why XHTML (sent as text/html) is "genuinely better for all browsers" and what makes it more "flexible from a design perspective" than old HTML. I'm sure that, being such an authority on XHTML, you'll have no problem with that. Don't give me links, don't give me general statements, give me facts.
Those benefits mentioned in the XHTML documentation - sure, they are benefits, but they require XHTML to be parsed as XML.

Oh, and I'll make another "unintelligent observation": if dls are used in the forum list, than why aren't they being used in the member list or bug tracker? I guess those places are just not ready for the awsome power of XHTML.
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Synaptic Anarchy
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Re: New phpbb.com website design, etc.

Post by Synaptic Anarchy »

Synaptic Anarchy wrote: I don't know how to spell it out any more clearly for you. The W3C says you're wrong. They say it very clearly. Maybe you sat down too hard on a MIME type. I don't know. All I know is that you've become annoying, and are now bordering on stupid with this stubborn insistance in the face of clearly stated facts from the people setting the rules.

That being the case, I'm done arguing with you. As you said, this whole thing spun out of one unintelligent observation of yours. I should have just let it slide.
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Re: New phpbb.com website design, etc.

Post by Highway of Life »

Hmm... I don’t think I’ll touch the argument of the last page or so... moving on to, the thought process behind prosilver.
[color=#333333]dhn[/color] wrote: 1) Lists vs. tables
Why did we do forum- and topic-lists as lists instead of tables? Semantics and flexibility. "Wait", you say, "semantics? But topic and forum-lists are tabular data, this is not semantically correct!". Well, this is a valid argument. And one could debate this issue to death with both sides having valid arguments for it being a list, and for it being tabular data. It can be both. It is a "list" of forums, and a "list" of topics that contains some meta data that is displayed and needs to be properly formated. That is our side of the argument.

Now, how does that give us more flexibility than tables? "You are just styling lists to look like tables!", you say. Well, in a way we are doing this. Though the CSS is way more simple than you would expect. So what makes this more flexible? First off, it is easier to handle than tables, believe it or not. I worked on all of the >100 template files on prosilver and the syntax is so much more logical than a table equivalent:

Code: Select all

<li>
     <dl>
         <dt>Topic of forum title and poster information</dt>
         <dd>Meta</dd>
         ...
     </dl>
</li>
But yes, making something easier to manage for the template coders is of course no valid argument for proper semantics.

So here is where our main argument appears: one aim of prosilver is, to make it accessible to all devices you can use to browse the internet. May it be a screenreader, or a handheld device. Imagine a topic- or forum-list marked up as a table on your cellphone display. The cellphone browser or proxy will do its best to scale it properly, sometimes it works better, sometimes not. The beauty of our approach is, that we are able to offer the handheld its own stylesheet (media="handheld"), that makes our topic- and forum-lists look nice and accessible. You can simply hide information that is not needed, take away number of replies, views, and so forth. Something which is not possible with tables.

So why do we not do everything like this? Well, sometimes tabular data is just that, tabular data. Look at the memberlist on prosilver, it is a table like it is supposed to be. How do we define the difference? Well, it depends on the data that is displayed. If we need something to be displayed in different ways in different situations and one of the situations may be a list, we use the defintion list approach. If, on the other hand, there is no need to display data as anything but a table (like the memberlist for instance), we use a table.

2) Poster profiles on the right side
Yes, as pointed out in this very topic, we believe that there should be put more importance on the content of the post than the poster. For some reason people like to call it blog-like. I have no idea why. All blogs I know are poster oriented. We of course realise that for some communities, if not for most, the poster <-> poster interaction is more important than the content itself (Chat forum).

So why did we do it? One reason is to show how flexible the layout is. It takes no more than two lines of CSS to get the poster profile on the left side. If we had kept it on the left side, people would not have realised the flexibility you have without ever changing the template. But I already mentioned the main reason: we think that content needs more emphasis than your avatar or postcount.


Anyway, this is our side of the story, and I hope you understand that we had a lot of reasons for how prosilver turned out. :)

Edit, before I forget: prosilver itself is a "fluid" design, we chose a fixed width design for the website because we wanted some more creative control over it this time around.

Edit2, almost forgot another argument for using lists instead of tables for topic- and forum-lists. Browsers render lists faster and cleaner than tables because they do not have to take global column width into consideration. But this is less of an argument for semantics. No one should shove tabular data into lists just because of that. For proper tables you actually need proper column width. :)
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