Anne van Kesteren

Channel 9 does a markover and restyles a bit

Channel 9 just did a restyling of their site and tried to do a markover. It is great that they did something with it; let's hope someone is going to do something with the Microsoft homepage as well. It is especially nice since one of their goals was to make it work better across various browsers, something you wouldn't really expect from the company that created developers' worst nightmare:

We've just shipped a design refresh to Channel 9. We hope this update makes better use of your screen real estate and also gives a better experience on more browsers.

They are using utf-8 as well, which means they are pretty forward compatible as well as compatible with other languages et cetera.

They did create some accessibility problems by not specifying the required ALT attribute. I think they should have fixed that since are not living in the HTML 2.0 age anymore, where it wasn't required by the specification. Some people like to browse with lynx occasionally. Anyway, they are also using lots of DIV elements and not unique ID attributes. IDs should always be unique. Another thing that almost everybody uses but Microsoft doesn't are descendant combinators. Lots of inline style rules and no doctypes on follow-up pages. However, they will probably get there, eventually.


  1. Anne, why do you insist on calling it markover? I don't see any reason to. It's a neologism, and it's not pretty...

    Posted by Moose at

  2. I can't believe that people still make the mistake of not closing their HTML tags. This can't be a default setting in their .Net solution? Could it?

    Posted by Egor Kloos at

  3. I can't believe this. That site actually breaks in Internet Explorer 6 at 800x600 resolution. However, it looks fine in Opera 7.51 and Firefox 0.9 at that very same resolution.

    Posted by Charl van Niekerk at

  4. Not closing HTML tags is completely valid. This is only required in XHTML and Microsoft has not committed itself to XHTML yet.

    Posted by Randy Charles Morin at

  5. Randy, correct. +1 for Microsoft for using HTML. Non well-formed XHTML sucks a lot. However, Microsoft does mix syntax:

    <link rel="stylesheet" href="/Themes/redesign/style/default.css" type="text/css" />

    Posted by Anne at

  6. Anne, do you think M$FT could ever do well-formed XHTML?

    Posted by Randy Charles Morin at

  7. If they spend some money on it and hire people who known something about it (and by that I don't mean all the people who claim they can write XHTML, those people don't know the full picture I guess) they probably can do that. It isn't hard if you just follow the rules, but you have to make sure you follow them all.

    One of the problem is that their very own browser doesn't support it.

    Posted by Anne at

  8. Sorry, but I really couldn't resist: ASCII is not 8-bit, UTF-8 is

    Posted by Jan! at

  9. I'm not trying to make the point that not closing ones tags in invalid. I just don't remember it ever being good practice to not close HTML tags. It just looks lazy.

    Posted by Egor Kloos at

  10. I just don't remember it ever being good practice to not close HTML tags. It just looks lazy.

    Well, closing all tags are actually invalid in HTML. It is only valid, and required, in XHTML. So unless you are using XHTML, I would rather recommend you to not close your tags.

    However, as it looks to me Microsoft is not currently using HTML nor XHTML on that site. Although they have a HTML 4.0 Transitional doctype, they are still using tag soup.

    I also occasionally use tag soup, but only when I absolutely must. At least I don't add a doctype then. But when you are using tag soup, closing your tags or not closing your tags probably doesn't matter. Everything goes.

    Posted by Charl van Niekerk at