All pages copyright © 2003 Thomas Ross Valentine.
All rights reserved.



I have grown tired of trying to implement work-arounds for non-compliant browsers. These pages are designed — and have been tested and verified — to conform to HTML 4.01 and CSS2 standards. These standards have been around for over three years (24 December 1999) and over five years (12 May 1998) respectively — so it isn't like I'm using cutting edge stuff. I think everything here will render without loss of significant content (significant as defined by yours truly!), but some of it might look pretty darn ugly. I'm just not going to worry about it any longer. I'm sticking to standards. I guess that puts me in the To Hell With Bad Browsers camp.

Here's a great example: Go to, enter into the address field, and press the "Validate URI..." button. It will tell you: This Page Is Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional!

Now, try opening in various browsers. In works fine in Opera and Mozilla, but not in Internet Explorer. If you want to save some time, check out this page showing the results in pictures.

Of course, the biggest headache is Internet Explorer both because it is the browser used by the overwhelming majority of surfers and because it fails to comply to standards in so many areas.

If you are an Internet Explorer user, do yourself a favour and get a better browser. Mozilla, Netscape, and Opera are all good choices.




I do my HTML work with a text editor (I like UltraEdit) but would like to find a webpage editor that would simplify the process without adding a ton of junk/garbage whilst providing the control I want. It would have to support UTF-8 character encoding. If you have a good suggestion, please let me know.

I (try to) work with a width of 800 pixels (even though my monitor is set to 1600 x 1200 resolution) for creating web pages.

If you want to see some basic information about your browser, click here.



Quotation Marks

This information has been modified from a page from the dive into mark website.

The Q tag was added in the original version of HTML 4 which was recommended 18 December 1997 — more than five years ago at the time of this writing. The specification mandates that browsers must ensure that the content of the Q element is rendered with delimiting quotation marks. The Q element allows Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to specify the kind of quotation mark to use around quoted text — like typesetter's marks instead of straight quotes such as those used on an old typewriter. (The other thing is language-specific quote marks; most American readers are unaware that other languages use different symbols around quotations.)

The Q tag also simplifies the use of single quotation marks and double quotation marks. (The English standard is for double quotation marks to be used for a quotation within a quotation; the American standard is for single quotation marks to be used for a quotation within a quotation. Frankly, the American standard is illogical, perhaps another manifestation of some of the arbitrary changes introduced by Americans after the American Revolution for the sake of being different such as orthographic changes. The English standard is followed on these pages.) If a second <q> comes before the previous <q> has been properly closed (with a </q>) then the double quotation mark is used.

Well, guess what? All the modern browsers render the Q element properly... except Internet Explorer. The one with 90%+ of market share. In other words, the browser used by almost everyone who visits these and all web pages. Internet Explorer 6 does not display any kind of quotation marks. Nothing. Nada. Zip. The content in a Q tag just looks like everything else on the page. Sigh... Sh__. Why can't Micro$oft do things right???

There is a work-around explained. I tried it. It works — but it prevents compliant browsers from working properly. Initially, I decided not to engage in any work-arounds for non-compliant browsers, to just stick to standards and hope enough others would do the same so there would be a groundswell of complaints to companies that thumb their nose at the standards that would result in compliant browsers. But Internet Explorer's failure to display quotation marks finally got the better of me and I decided to add colour (both background and text) to the <q> tag. Surprisingly, Interent Explorer recognised that. So, that's what I've done. It is rather ugly — blame Micro$oft for the need to be ugly — but at least it means I can use the <q> tag and everyone will be able to see quotations marked out. But, if you insist on using Internet Explorer, forget seeing actual quotation marks until Micro$oft fixes their browser. Write to them — if you can find a Micro$oft address for telling them about their lousy browser.




Quotations: Quotations look like this.

Quotations within a quotation This is a quotation appear thus. (In the previous, the words This is a quotation are a quote within a quote.) If you want to know why I am formatting quotations this way, read the previous section.

Footnotes/Endnotes: Although some pages use footnotes, I am trying to get away from them. It seems easier to read a text when the footnotes This is what a footnote looks like appear within the text instead of bouncing back and forth or having two separate windows open.




To make things easier for me, I code all my pages to use the Unicode character set (UTF-8). Where the text uses the usual alphanumerics as found on a standard (English language) keyboard or in ASCII, this will not make any difference to web browsers. However, a number of pages use Greek Extended characters. This is why the Unicode standard has been developed and I am happy to use it. Sure, I could use plain Greek letters — dropping all the combining diacritical marks: no polytonic Greek. Well, that might be workable, but it isn't correct. And it isn't good enough for this perfectionist.

If you need help configuring your browser to use a Unicode font, here is a good page of instructions. Of course, you will need a Unicode font. Most newer Windows-based PCs have Arial Unicode MS and maybe Palatino Linotype. There are free Unicode fonts that may be downloaded, including Athena, Code 2000, TITUS Cyberbit Basic, and the Aisa Unicode font which is part of MultiKey keyboard enhancement utility. There are Unicode fonts that can be purchased, but I can't recommend any — I'm too cheap to pay money when I can get what I need for free!

If you don't think you can follow the directions for configuring your browser to use a Unicode font or don't want to be bothered, here's a work-around: Copy all the text on the page, paste it into a word processor, and then format the text to use a Unicode font (such as one of those mentioned above).

Perhaps someday all browswers will automatically read Unicode.


T. R. Valentine Home Page



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