ERIC'S TIPS FOR
Proofreading and HTML Checking
- Look at your pages before you release them to the
public. That seems to be a no-brainer, but you can find examples
where people obviously haven't looked at the HTML output. For
example, links run on forever, the result of an
accidentally omitted closing </a>. You can easily spot omissions
if you take the time to go over your pages when you are finished
- Beta test your pages before a large-scale announcement.
Consider posting to a local Web-related newsgroup before you
send your announcement to
comp.infosystems.www.announce and so forth. Also, subject-specific
mailing lists are a good way of seeing how well your content and design
hold up when examined by subject matter experts.
- Feed your pages through an HTML checker. Just because
it displays correctly doesn't mean that you have clean source. Most
browsers are very forgiving when it comes to missing end tags or quotation
Automated checkers are good for finding
the most nitpicky problems in your HTML which could have adverse
effects on some browsers.
- Test your pages on several browsers. Use as many
Web browsers on as many platforms as you can and see if there are any
glaring formatting problems. For instance, a page that displays
perfectly on Netscape may be completely unreadable on a text browser. Even
among the same product family there may be glitches (like between Netscape
for X and Netscape for Macintosh). You should strive to have readable and
attractive output on as many different browsers as possible.
I try to proof my pages on the following browsers:
(X-Windows, Windows 3.1, Macintosh),
Mosaic (X-Windows, Windows 3.1, Macintosh),
IBM WebExplorer (OS/2),
Arena (X-Windows), and
- Periodically check your links for accuracy.
Webmasters are notorious for moving their pages, often to new servers.
Try to visit all of the links on your page at least twice a month to
make sure they are current. Or use a link-checker, like
Checker (runs on a variety of Unix machines), which automatically
processes your HTML files and checks the links for validity.
- Run your pages through a spelling and grammar checker.
Credit for this tip goes to Robert Whitsitt, who pointed out several
grammatical errors in these pages. Using your browser, save your pages
in text-only format (to get rid of the HTML tags), then load them into your
word processor for checking.
You can also feed your documents through
Dictionary, an online WWW-to-ispell gateway. Thanks to Jack Decker
for letting me know about this helpful page!
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