I took a look at some pages today that Wired News generates for our AvantGo channel. The AvantGo reader only supports a limited subset of html 3.2 tags, according to their style guide for developers. After reading though their guidelines, I tackled rewriting and applying a simple redesign of these pages.
What an awkward shift to go from writing pure xhtml, backward to this technology from ’96. It’s not as though I’m overburdening the markup with lots of deprecated tags, because they weren’t yet supported in 3.2. In fact, this version represented the W3C’s first recommendation for html, and entered into our world before the browser wars between Microsoft and Netscape. Not only are many of the html elements we originally used to design pages prior to CSS not usable under version 3.2, but I also don’t have the luxury of adding in a style rule here and there via CSS to achieve simple formatting details. It kind of feels like I’m pulling out an old calligraphy set to design a brochure. While 3.2 is still simple and clean, I’m constantly reminded of how dependent I’ve gotten on more modern and advanced techologies — at least the one that make our life simpler.