Chebucto Community Net:
IP FAQs: Checking Your Documents for Errors
Design & Style for Textual & Graphical Browsers
Weblint: An HTML Checker
Ensuring that a document is correctly coded in HTML is one of the prime
concerns of every webmaster. The valuable content that you and others have
developed will all be for naught if users are unable to follow links, the
formatting of documents is mixed-up or browsers are unable to correctly
render a document.
A good habit to cultivate is to carefully check every document you develop
with both a textual browser such as Lynx and also a graphical
browsers (such as MacWeb, Mosaic, Netscape, OmniWeb or Internet
Explorer) to ensure that the coding you have written works correctly
and renders properly with both types of browsers.
It is important that information be accessible to users of both
text-based and graphic-based browsers. The CCN maintains a strong
commitment to both categories of users and we ask our Information
Providers to do the same. This can sometimes be quite a challenge! If you
make use of heavily graphic-intensive devices such as USEMAPs or
Frames please ensure that there are alternative text-based methods
of getting to the information.
Also don't forget that all browsers, and particularly graphical ones, can
have various aspects of their rendering user-defined. Users can customize
background patterns and choose the fonts, sizes and styles that are mapped
by HTML text formatting elements . Thus, your layout and design should
take this into consideration. If you 'hard-code' formatting that works
only with one browser in one configuration you risk having it appear
garbled or poorly rendered with another browser, differently
A valuable tool to assist you in debugging your HTML code is
Weblint, an HTML checker which we have installed as part of the
file management options you have at your disposal in your private home
The version of Weblint we are running is not completely current. It does
not, for instance, recognize a number of tags used in graphical browsers.
Tags such as <center>, <font> and all the tags associated with
HTML tables will be interpreted as unknown elements by Weblint. Also
Weblint will want you to have <link> elements within the
<Head> of the document (as HTML specifications would have it) and
not at the top of the document as our system installs them. Simply ignore
these recommendations until such time as we install a newer version of
Nonetheless many HTML coding problems will correctly be found by Weblint
and it can be of great assistance to you in debugging your coding and
eliminating the small typos that can be hard to spot when reading through
a document by eye.
To use it, select a document in your home directory (or copy it there),
choose F (for Full Menu) and then select HTML check
and Weblint will display the results of its HTML checking, e.g.:
/ccn/home/51/aa051/test.html(2): outer tags should be <HTML> ..
/ccn/home/51/aa051/test.html(2): <LINK> can only appear in the HEAD
/ccn/home/51/aa051/test.html(12): unknown element <center>.
/ccn/home/51/aa051/test.html(14): unknown element </center>.
/ccn/home/51/aa051/test.html(73): unknown element <font>.
/ccn/home/51/aa051/test.html(73): unknown element </font>.
[Hint: Remember that if you make changes to the document and then return
to Weblint to check it again, you need to select ^R to Reload the
page. Otherwise you will still see the previous set of errors &
For further questions on the use of this resource, EMail firstname.lastname@example.org