Markup the National Curriculum

The vast majority of my time is not really spent as a web designer, a web builder, small business owner or Free Software enthusiast. The vast majority of my time is spent cleaning up after other people.

The vast majority of my time is not really spent as a web designer, a web builder, small business owner or Free Software enthusiast.

The vast majority of my time is spent cleaning up after other people. More parent than professional.

The markup created by WYSIWYG text editors in a CMS such as Joomla! (as well as WYSIWYG editors like Dreamweaver) can lead to redundant HTML tags, pointless inline CSS, line breaks instead of paragraphs, styled text instead of headings -- basically all that was wrong with web design before the adoption of Web Standards as championed by the Web Standards Project and dear old Jeffrey (amongst many others).

A font of all front-end web development goodness, Roger Johansson, wrote about such things three years ago, and recommended that people use What You See Is What You Mean (WYSIWYM or "wizzywim") text editors rather than What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG or "wizzywig").

JCE text editor

With Joomla! I use and recommend the JCE text editor. But still the temptation for extraneous styling is strong -- I have to edit the configuration of the text editor so that only the barebones HTML options are available, with no styling offered at all.

This has led me to the inevitable conclusion that markup has to be included in the National Curriculum, as part of Information and Computer Technology. The alternative is a generation of badly behaved markup that will end up on the scrap heap. If anyone is interested, I have set up an e-petition at Number 10. No, really, I have. (It hasn't been approved yet, just search for "markup".)

Postscript: the petition has been accepted! So, if you value the value of markup, pop along and add your name to the list.

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