We’re not using the web right.
I’m in the midst of gluing together a bunch of tools into a seemingly coherent whole. If you’d like a lesson in why clean HTML / CSS are important, take Wordpress, Trac, mailman, Docutils, and a homegrown Python documentation generating utility and try to make them all feel like a single integrated app. You’ve got 5 template languages, entirely different applications of HTML semantics, and more redundant CSS then should be dealt with by a sane person whose wish is to remain sane.
But is there really a better way? I sometimes wonder, if all of these systems exposed resources in a more pure data format (e.g. “web services”), would things be any easier? Sure, I’d be able to do a lot more and integrate them at a lower level but I don’t need that. Right now I need everyone to use really clean and basic HTML with some basic conventions on
id attributes. I should be able to crank out 50-60 lines of CSS and easily attach it to each app.
XSLT could help here, but then again, it’s XSLT. And that’s the kind of complexity and correctness I’m trying to get away from.
Anyway, I should be launching in the next week or so. I’ve got two utilities cooking right now that just need some polish and then I hope have this thing off the ground.