I really thought sites like this didn’t exist any more. Ads everywhere, animated gif ads at that, narrow content, tacky icons and a mid-sized content spread over 6 pages. Jesus. I clicked the “Print version” icon of an article hoping to be taken to a plain text version all on one page that might actually be useful to me.
Who was I trying to kid? The print version, once you’ve clicked it, appears in a new popup window with the same animated gif ads and tacky colour icons as the normal page. It even retains the article index, which takes up an entire inch and a half column on the left that stretches the length of the page, but get this – because the content is now all on one page, there’s nothing in the index so the space is just completely wasted and the content forced into an even smaller space! The only difference from the normal page is that you lose the main site banner and main navigation and the content is all on one page. Of course, since this window is in a popup so is only half as wide as your main browser window, you don’t really gain anything at all except you don’t have to click “next page”. Absolutely dire.
I think the thing that really tickles me though, is that what lead me to this site was a link to one article in particular, titled “XHTML 2.0 Explained“; the bad experience I’d had so far whilst just trying to read the article didn’t fill me with the greatest confidence. I’ve got to say one thing though, and that’s that if you’re writing about HTML, or XHTML, you really should at least try and validate. There are situations where you can’t, and the validator isn’t perfect, but really – there are limits. At least they remembered to use a DOCTYPE.