As described, HTML5
is better than HTML4, and compatible with it. Meanwhile, I have
changed and simplified the
doctype headers of nearly
all my HTML pages accordingly. 1779 of them. Not by hand, of course.
They also all have
time tags now. And
I changed the needlessly complicated
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<meta charset="UTF-8">. Neat and clean. That’s
how I like it.
Many of the obsolete
have been replaced by an
id=…> attribute of the
previous tag, or of a new
pair where that was easier.
Still quite some remain though. Automated, fault-free conversion isn’t
easy. Sometimes the time required for checking everything outweighs the
alternative of just typing or copy-pasting what is needed.
Of course I left my earliest experiments
name anchors unchanged,
for historic purposes.
There were many changes, so the validator came to good use. Only occasionally though, checking everything one at a time just isn’t feasible, because of the sheer number of web pages I now have on my site. As said, almost two thousand. So for a few days, I did some checks randomly a few times a day. Obviously that doesn’t make a dent.
Then one morning, while taking a shower, often a creative and fruitful moment of the day, I wondered: can’t I call the validator from a script, maybe pausing one minute between each URL, so as not to overload the site? Then after a day or two I’d have a complete list of syntax errors to fix. I googled that, but found something else: the program behind the validator is also available as stand-alone, open-source, free software!
It was written in Java, and works on a variety of platforms. I use
the stand-alone executable under Linux Mint. Less than a minute of
CPU time (half that in throughput time, because the Intel i3-10110U
processor has two physical cores) was enough to check everything.
Then followed a number of days to fix lots of real
errors (computers are dumb and fast, people are slow), and ignore some
errors or warnings that I just don’t agree with (e.g. invalid characters
in URLs; I say: just copy what is between " and ", and that’s what
browsers do), and postpone others, like more of those obsolete
The messages were an accumulation of over 20 years of hand-coding, during which I did sometimes do syntax checks, but not consistently. And some of what used to be cool and right, is now old-fashioned, wrong or stupid – like frames, all but gone on my site.
OK, so I didn’t fix all errors, but many. Still quite some remain!