Shocking NHS HTML

23 March, 2006

I’ve just applied for my European Health Insurance Card (no more E-111s!), and thought “gosh, isn’t this font small? and isn’t the menu highlight poorly written? that’s some bad CSS there I reckon – let’s take a look at the source”.

So I did.

Five minutes later, I came around.

At various points in the source, there are four HTML Doctypes declared, each one followed by opening html and head, one of them even looks like this <html:html locale="true">, which is just plain bizarre given that it’s not an XML document, and locale="true" isn’t even a valid language identifier. I just can’t even imagine the system that outputs such shitty markup – no wonder there’s no “This site written and designed by” stamp on it!

And well, you just have to look at it to see what I mean.

You can see it for yourself here:

See other posts tagged with general and all posts made in March 2006.


24 March, 2006 at 00:19

I think that page just imploded. I tried to validate it and it turned into a 404 🙂

Rob Oxspring
24 March, 2006 at 09:55

And of course you notice that this is the 3rd of 4 attempts at an openning html tag in the file!?

No wonder they’ve tried to disable the right click > view source possibilities! ;o)

Thick Sliced
24 March, 2006 at 10:26

The .do extension hints that they might be using the Java framework Struts and the <html:html> is part of the Struts HTML taglib. I’m guessing they have some templating stuff and have each part of the template as a valid HTML file but didn’t think what might happen when they get put together….

24 March, 2006 at 21:45

It’s alive again! Looks like it was probably converted from a frameset at some point, which is admirable at least.