Given the quality of some of the other code used it certainly came as no surprise to me to discover that the markup was horrible tag soup, with nested tables, poorly chosen class names and incorrectly nested tags all featuring prominently. This obviously makes adding styling and scripting to the pages a little more tricky. In particular the poor use of class names made it very time consuming to apply the styling and certainly limited what was possible with the layout. IE 7 and it’s support for the CSS 2.1 selectors really can’t come soon enough!
However it was the incorrect nesting of tags that caught me out while I was trying to tidy up a little bit of text in a form. My first attempt at
a quick fix was to grab the
innerHTML of the
form tag, modify it with a regular expression and then
write it back to the document. However I soon discovered that this wouldn’t work because of the quality of the markup being used.
When I tried to inspect the
innerHTML both Opera and Firefox reported it as being empty. Oh dear. Internet Explorer
— bless it’s little heart, it does try so hard ;-) — was able to read the
innerHTML but when it came to
writing it back into the document it caused an “Unknown runtime error”. Not really that useful.
As I mentioned earlier it’s form validation leaves a little to be desired, basically one part of the application validates the user input,
but it doesn’t validate as strictly as is required by another part of the application. So when a user signs up they can enter some information
which is accepted as valid, however this same value could cause an error later in the application. So while we were waiting for updated DLL files to fix
Just like Opera and Mozilla couldn’t read the
innerHTML from an element that wasn’t correctly nested, neither would
good quality markup to work with.
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