Sjoerd Visscher, from the XHTML 2.0 compatible w3future.com writes that the new Dutch government sites will be written in XHTML send correctly as
application/xhtml+xml to me and HTML 4.01 to user agents who don't understand it. They have even set up a website with guidelines for the new government sites. The first website that is created with this guidelines in mind is advies.overheid.nl.
They will also be doing overheid.nl if I understand his post correctly, which is excellent, since it sucks on a lot of points. Here is one I've written about ages ago.
I really like it that we have an XML aware company here in Holland, since as Sjoerd points out:
In this case it was not that hard. If your CMS is based on XSL, it's not that hard to always generate valid XHTML 1.1. And a simple last transformation can convert the XHTML to HTML.
For all Dutch people: -1 hour. For all people: have a nice Sunday!
Advies.overheid.nl is planning on converting overheid.nl. If Q42 is going to do it we don't know yet.
Q42 certainly is not the only XML aware company in Holland. I know because some Dutch companies are using Xopus.
PS. I happened to have a spare hour this morning (sigh), in which I changed the wording of the post a little.
Neat, are there any other governments out there that are on the right track?
I noticed that at the Xopus site they advertise with two Dutch compagnies which chose Xopus...
This is again inspiring me to pick up my XML and XSL again. The conversion of the Dutch government sites is a step in the right direction.
Very inspiring! I hope this will set a great example for other governments.
Just call me a 'mierenneuker' (of course, it is a good iniative/start) but...
2. Where are the design guidelines! Of course design is a matter of taste, but the case study site(the department of health) at webrichtlijnen.overheid.nl looks terrible, rounded rectangle chaos and not to mention the drowning logo.
I think that it is possible to set up some design guidelines (just to keep the quality on a high level). This would result in a more consistent e-government on the outside as well.
I'm quite happy about this, though. Any step in the right direction is appreciated by me; the fact that they're taking it pretty serious is just incredible. :-)
It's not just a matter of a decent CMS, but also of some XML/XHTML evangelisation: www.overheid.nl and www.minvws.nl are both made with Tridion R5, and minvws.nl is certainly more standards-based: More info in Dutch.
Just using Tridion as an example (no affiliation): Tridion is XML + XSLT, but you can also use it to produce crap sites: it's just what you do with the tool.
Necessary? I'm not sure. But frankly I just gave up, as each trick I tried wouldn't work in one browser or another. (IE really seems to have a problem with the design as a whole for some reason.)
If you didn't use a liquid layout, you could set a background on the centre column which would include the dividing middle line.
I like your layout - nice colours!
Anne, I hope that one day you will write an article in which you will say out loud that claiming that mathml is the only reason to use xhtml with its mime type, and only sites that use this murderous misconceived markup shold use it - is a total misunderstanding.
Sjoerd, have you tried using floats for the layout?
What's your suggestion then how to get the border in the middle as high as the highest column?
Sjoerd, float both columns, have a
clear:both on an element immediately after that and put a background image of a line repeating on the surrounding parent.