Tuesday, November 29, 2005
No, I'm not kidding
<html xmlns:v="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" xmlns:b="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:publisher" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40"> <head> <meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=windows-1252"> <meta name=ProgId content=Publisher.Document> <meta name=Generator content="Microsoft Publisher 10"> <link rel=File-List href="faq1_files/filelist.xml">
If the above means nothing to you, consider yourself lucky.
The above is but a mere snippit from a page I had to help Smirk modify.
The above is the supposedly HTML output from Microsoft Publisher, which was used by the customer to render the web page. The fact that it only renders correctly (if it could be said to render correctly at all) under Internet Explorer is irrelevant to the customer—everyone uses Internet Explorer, right?
Forget trying to actually modify the Microsoftian HTML by hand—I spent perhaps an hour trying to locate a portion of the file that generated the content for one particular area of the page and couldn't pin it down fully. Add a large red border for this bit, okay, that's a bounding box for this bit of text. Move up a bit and add a large red border to this bit, and that's a bounding box for the bounding box for this bit of text. Move up a bit more, add a large red border and why is the border around that on the other side of the page that has nothing to do with what I'm trying to find.
Stuff like that.
This is the HTML
equivalent of having a
GOTO following every statement in a
Gave up on trying to modify 200,000 bytes of HTML (I'm not kidding—five files, all 40k in
size) and redid the page (the task was to merge the five pages into one) in
1,322 bytes (a very simple
<TABLE> based layout, which is
what it took Microsoft 192,000 bytes to describe).
And as a side affect, it renders correctly in more than just Internet Explorer, and for that, I have to apologize. I just couldn't help myself (even if the design caused Spring to gouge out her eyeballs with a dull grapefruit spoon).