Validation is the process of comparing your code against known standards. Helping you to find and fix errors that may make your site display in unexpected ways in different browsers.
Every day we come across questions on the CSS Forum that are fixed thanks to the magic of validation. An error in your stylesheet may cause the rules after to be avoided. An unclosed tag in your markup can put the page structure out of wack. A simple typo is all it takes.
The best advice that can be given to someone starting out in web development is to validate your site.
At the beginning of the year Friends of Ed sent me a book to review. I'm pretty sure the publishers have forgotten or given up hope of ever getting a review out of me, so it must be time I wiped this off my to do list.
The book is: Getting Started with CSS by David Powers. As the name suggests it is aimed at people getting started with CSS and with only basic HTML knowledge. It's hard to imagine having any knowledge in HTML without at least some CSS knowledge as they go hand in hand these days.
After what seems like many years absence the Browser Support of CSS Properties & Selectors list is back better then ever. Firstly thanks to those members who helped provide the content for the original list. Sorry it took so long to get it back online.
The list now contains the most popular modern browsers and the earliest version of those that support each CSS property or selector. This new format should prove to be more useful and easier to maintain. Usually once a browser supports a property it will continue to do so.
With the ever increasing use of third party calls off site one runs across days when site struggles to finish loading - something I hate.
Case in point today gravatar.com is acting up and two sites I'm currently jumping back and fourth between are failing to finish loading one on a couple of script/content calls. Ok it's not a huge issue as largely the sites do function despite this but at times these unresolving calls can cause dynamic content to fail to load, depending I guess at which stage things start to struggle.
One of the things that has bugged me for a while has been the slow search. It was always quicker to search the site via google then to use the search box. I had looked at external systems and never really got far enough to implement any of them. A few days ago while reading the news page I came across an article on Sphinx by James at Mozilla Got Data? Need Search? Use Sphinx.