Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Accessibility, validation, some of my least favorite web themes, but I recognize their importance and like eating spinach (oops! forgot that we're going thru that whole e.coli scare right now), I'm making sure that I do it - at least on occasion. Actually, I'm running a course on website accessibility with State of CT's web accessibility guru in Nov. As such, I felt the push to get our site back into compliance. You may recall that I discovered - shortly after beginning here - some problems with both html validation and website accessibility. As such, I had to remove the little "badges" we had at the bottom of our webpages declaring our code clean.

In addition, Marshall Breeding's The Systems Librarian column, from CIL in May reminded me that despite the need for movement forward with social software, etc., we also needed to get our code fixed up.

As such, I've been using the W3C validator at

It's scary! What I don't understand - though - is the level of importance of this. Officially, it's important to validate your pages - and certainly, by law and by ethics, accessibility for everyone is an overriding concern, BUT I see (as Marshall himself rightly pointed out) that some of the best websites are still not valid, officially speaking.

For example, the award-winning Ann Arbor District Library site, which I love (, has - as of today - 74 errors. (use this link to run the validation yourself). This blog - as of today - has 34 errors. Our Wordpress blog is almost perfect, but still will not validate, having 1 error as of today. But in each case, I'm guessing, we're all constrained by the limitations of our third-party provided systems - e.g., Blogger, Wordpress, and I dunno for AADL). And if those programmers can't get it right, what's to say little 'ol me - just an html coder for all intents & purposes - should be perfect?!
oh well, have to go, I've got a lot of code cleaning ahead of me.

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