XHTML and DIVs

It’s hard working on something most people will never see. Here’s a perfect example – this week we’ve been working really hard to recode the site. Everything used to be set up in HTML 4.01 Transitional. We decided to use XHTML for the new features we’re working on, so we finally made the move to switch everything from HTML to XHTML.

Normally this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but we also took the opportunity to reprogram all the tables. Over four years ago, when the site was still being built, CSS was making its way into the mainstream. Programmers were starting to throw out old bulky tables in exchange for clean new div containers. While AwesomeStart has always used CSS, figuring out how to program everything using divs was not a project our programming lead wanted to undertake. After all, getting this monster off the ground was already going to be a pretty major challenge.

The new code we’re using has a lot of advantages. Divs create a lot less code, which makes it a lot easier to understand what you’re looking at when you come back to the code later down the line. The previous clutter is part of the reason new features have always taken so long.

We’ve also programmed the sever side to pull everything from one source. This means a hand full of files essentially controls the entire main site layout. Think of it like having a template that we can edit. As we add new feature, we only have to write code for one page.

We know, we know – boring code stuff! Don’t worry, the next post will be about something exciting!