This Blog Is Not For Reading

A blog, just like any blog, only more so

  • Subscribe

  • Categories

  • RSS Bob Jonkman’s Microblog

    • New note by bobjonkman 12 June 2019
      Discrimination against atheists goes to BC Human Rights Tribunal: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/byron-wood-nurse-12-step-religious-discrimination-complaint-1.5172488 #Atheism /cc: @indi
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by davehunt 9 June 2019
      RT @davehunt !joke Yesterday, I ate a clock. It was time consuming.
    • Favorite 9 June 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by davehunt: !joke Yesterday, I ate a clock. It was time consuming.
    • New note by bobjonkman 2 June 2019
      Starting up a @LibreOffice Users Group in #Waterloo Region. Launching with the help of the KW #NonProfit #SysAdmin group: https://sobac.com/wiki/LibreOffice_User_Group
    • New note by bobjonkman 2 June 2019
      Those of you with an interest in digital #Privacy and #Irony will appreciate this... https://gs.jonkman.ca/attachment/140813
    • Favorite 26 May 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by hubert: Congratulations and good luck!
    • Favorite 26 May 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by indi: Congratulations! Already leaning Green in 2019.
    • New note by bobjonkman 26 May 2019
      Apparently, #Gardening is the practice of making things that want to die, grow, and taking the things that want to grow, and killing them.
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by fasaandrew1879 21 May 2019
      RT @fasaandrew1879 Money is how people with no talent keep score.
    • Favorite 21 May 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by fasaandrew1879: Money is how people with no talent keep score.

Archive for the 'valid html' Category

Blogging Etiquette – Deletions

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 6th November 2011

The word "Delete" as grafitti

Delete

Primarily Perfect People are Permitted to Perfunctorily Pass this Post .

The rest of us, Prone to Pecadillos, may occasionally write blogposts and then change our minds about the content. When that happens it’s best not to make changes or delete posts without letting your readers know.

Instead of making a wholesale change to a post it’s better to create a new post. Imagine if someone wrote about a similar issue, quoted from your post and provided links to it. Now your post has changed, and the links no longer make sense because the content has changed. Or someone makes a comment on a post, the content of the post is changed, and now the comment has nothing to do with the post.

Instead, create a new post with a new link. It’s a good idea to keep the original post; you could delete it, but then other people’s links would return an error (that’s called “link rot”).

About the only good reason for modifying an existing post is to correct an error. Even then you shouldn’t delete the incorrect material, but indicate it should be deleted by using the <del> tag, and marking the new material with an <ins> tag. For example:

The Javan Rhinoceros <del>has only one survivor </del> <ins> is now extinct</ins> in Vietnam.

This would show with crossed-out text for <del> and highlighted text for <ins>, like this:

The Javan Rhinoceros has only one survivor is now extinct in Vietnam.

(which is a sad development, and may be worthy of a post of its own).

If you really want to delete a post then replace it with text like “This post has been removed by the author”. If you do that then you should delete or hide the comments too.

These are open and transparent ways to indicate deletions. It’s merely an online publishing convention, since there really isn’t a style guide for HTML like Strunk and White’s in the online world. Or, more accurately, there are far too many Strunk and White’s in the online world!

–Bob.


Delete by delete08 is used under a CC-BY-NCCC-BY-NC license

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in blogging, code, valid html | Comments Off on Blogging Etiquette – Deletions

Four things to improve your search result rankings

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 26th December 2010

A bottle of juice with a Google label

Google Juice by Johannes P. Osterhoff

Now there’s a spammy title for you!

 

There are many people who specialize in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They claim to be able to improve your rank on search engines, but here are some common-sense tips you can apply yourself.

1

The best thing to maintain good page rank with ANY search engine is to have good content. This isn’t something an SEO company can do for you — you have to provide that content yourself. Repeating someone else’s content may bring you a few hits, but the search engines will quickly determine that the original site has hosted that content longer, and rank them higher.

Google is additionally funny in that they will count the number of sites that link to you, assuming that if you warrant many links, you must have something the Google customers want. If you switch Hosting Providers or change to a different domain name then anyone linking to the old domain name may have (temporarily) dead links. That will drain your Googlejuice right quick. If you have multiple domain names with the same content then the Google page rank is diluted. Better to have one domain with 1000 links than two domains with 500 each. You should ask your Hosting Provider to set up “301 redirected permanently” for any non-primary domains. Google is smart enough to figure out that http://www.example.com is the same as http://example.com, but I prefer no www. Why? See http://no-www.org/.

2

The second best thing you can do is to have valid HTML for all your Web pages. Sadly, many sites fail badly on that account (including this one). Have a look at the W3C HTML validator for this home page. As I write this, this blog’s home page has 29 errors. That will drain my Googlejuice right quick. If a search engine can’t parse HTML it won’t index content, or rank the page up high. That counts for all search engines, not just Google. I’ve written about this in Invalid HTML Considered Harmful. There are consultants that can help you correct invalid HTML; you may know one or two already 🙂

3

The third-best thing is to make sure your pages are accessible. If your site works well on alternative browers (PDAs, game consoles, cell phones) and assistive devices (braille readers, text-to-speech readers) and plain text browsers like Lynx then it’s a pretty sure thing that search engines can index the content too. Avoid Javascript, but if you use Javascript make sure that content delivery isn’t Javascript dependent — make plenty of use of the <noscript> tag. Don’t use non-indexable technologies like Flash, PDFs, Silverlight, or ActiveX. Google is getting pretty good at indexing PDFs and even Flash, but you’ll get better results with plain HTML. I’ve never seen a PDF that wouldn’t work as well-designed HTML. Non-indexable technologies won’t drain your Googlejuice, but they do nothing to boost it either.

4

The fourth best thing you can do is not play jiggery-pokery with hidden text, irrelevant keywords, cloaking, “sneaky” redirects, comment spam on other sites, or fake affiliate sites. If you try to outsmart search engines’ ranking algorithms to artificially boost your ranking, you may succeed for a few days or weeks before you’re banned altogether. That will drain your Googlejuice right quick. Besides, jiggery-pokery is a lot of hard work, better spent creating good content.

Update 1 March 2011: Told you so!

–Bob.

Google Juice by Johannes P. Osterhoff is used under a Creative Commons by-nc-nd license.

Posted in Accessibility, blogging, Internet, Javascript, Search Engine Optimization, search engines, valid html | 5 Comments »

Telephone Number Format Standards

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 20th March 2010

Telephone Dial

Standardized Telephone Number formats work even on old phones!

There are many different address books and directories online, and there are almost just as many different ways they store telephone numbers. I guess most people don’t realize that there are actually standards for representing phone numbers. A little bit of standardization would go a long way towards interoperability.

The standard for phone number formatting is set by the International Telecommunication Union in [E.123] and [E.164] (see the references below). The standards documents are available for a fee from the ITU [available at no charge since 2010 –Bob.] . A summary is available in the Google (UseNet) discussion group, titled Need ITU-T E.123 summary.

In short, a North American telephone number should look like:

+C-AAA-PPP-NNNN;ext=xxxx

  • “+” shows where the dialing prefix goes. This is one of either the International Direct Dialing (IDD) prefix (for Canada this is “011” for overseas dialing) or the National Direct Dialing (NDD) prefix (“1” for calls within North America, omitted for toll-free calls),
  • “C” is the Country Code (North America’s CC is “1”, and it is omitted for dialing within North America),
  • “AAA” is the area code (always required for dialing in Kitchener, Toronto, and other jurisdictions),
  • “PPP” is the Exchange (or Private Branch Exchange “PBX”; look in the phone book to see which exchanges are supported),
  • “NNNN” is the local portion of the number,
  • “;ext=” optionally identifies the next portion as an extension and “xxxx” are the digits for that extension. This syntax is usable in URIs and e-mail.

Note that the sequence “AAA-PPP-NNNN” is called a “local number” and “+C-AAA-PPP-NNNN” is called a “global number”. The “-” (hyphen) is a visual separator, as are “.” (period) , “(” (left bracket) and “)” (right bracket), which dialing applications should ignore.

I’m mostly interested in making phone number formats in e-mail addressbooks compliant with e-mail standards. The document that covers this is the IETF’s [RFC3191], "Minimal GSTN address format in Internet Mail" . The requirement is that GSTN (Global Switched Telephone Network) numbers use the global-number syntax (“+C-AAA-PPP-NNNN”).

Global-number GSTN numbers can be used for other purposes as well, such as Web page URIs. See [RFC3966], "The tel URI for Telephone Numbers". This document re-iterates that:

5.1.4.
Global Numbers Globally unique numbers are identified by the leading “+” character. Global numbers MUST be composed with the country (CC) and national (NSN) numbers as specified in E.123 [E.123] and E.164 [E.164]. Globally unique numbers are unambiguous everywhere in the world and SHOULD be used.
5.1.5.

Local Numbers Local numbers are unique only within a certain geographical area or a certain part of the telephone network, e.g., a private branch exchange (PBX), a state or province, a particular local exchange carrier, or a particular country. URIs with local phone numbers should only appear in environments where all local entities can successfully set up the call by passing the number to the dialling software. Digits needed for accessing an outside line, for example, are not included in local numbers. Local numbers SHOULD NOT be used unless there is no way to represent the number as a global number.

Local numbers SHOULD NOT be used for several reasons. Local numbers require that the originator and recipient are configured appropriately so that they can insert and recognize the correct context descriptors. Since there is no algorithm to pick the same descriptor independently, labelling numbers with their context increases the chances of misconfiguration so that valid identifiers are rejected by mistake. The algorithm to select descriptors was chosen so that accidental collisions would be rare, but they cannot be ruled out.

If you work at a company that does work with organizations and staff members outside of the context of your area code (ie. internationally) be sure to standardize your directory on global-number syntax.

–Bob.

Need a consultant? Bob Jonkman can be reached by telephone at +1-519-635-9413

References:

Image: Telephone Dial by Leo Reynolds, used under Creative Commons v2.0 BY-NC-SA.

Posted in code, smtp, telephone, valid html | 4 Comments »

Invalid HTML considered harmful

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 28th April 2009

Screenshop of HTML Dog Web SiteValid HTML is not just useful for browsers. One of the big benefits of having valid HTML is that search engines can properly index your site. If the HTML is invalid, then the search engines may index you incorrectly, or not at all. Google isn’t the only search engine out there, and you want to drive as much traffic to your site as possible.

There appears to be some contention whether valid HTML makes a difference to search engines or not. Some say it doesn’t; or that it depends on the search engine; others have evidence it matters a lot.

Even if you’re not coding by hand, I urge you to have a look at HTML Dog, a set of tutorials on creating valid HTML. When things don’t work as expected you can turn here for examples in XHTML.

Favicon - HTML Doghttp://htmldog.com/

If you’re going to be using an editor for your Web pages, pick an editor that creates proper HTML code. Abandon FrontPage. I suggest using KompoZer, which is based on the same rendering engine as Firefox (Gecko).

Favicon - Kompozer.nethttp://www.kompozer.net/

You should also be checking your pages in Opera, which is a browser that is even better for standards-compliance than FireFox. The Chief Technology Officer for Opera is the same guy that wrote the Cascading Style Sheets specification, so it has a good pedigree.

Favicon - Opera.comhttp://opera.com

If you’re using Firefox then be sure to check your pages with the HTML Validator addon:

Favicon - Skynet.behttp://users.skynet.be/mgueury/mozilla/

Screenshot - HTML ValidatorAnd when you think your site is done, check each page with the full-strength validator:

Favicon - W3C HTML Validatorhttp://validator.w3.org/

Favicon - CSS Validation Servicehttp://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/

<heavy sigh… />

–Bob.

Posted in considered harmful, valid html | 5 Comments »

 
Better Tag Cloud