Old site, new look

After several years of reading other peoples blogs, I decided to set up my own.

My goals were to integrate the new blog with my existing webpages (a mix of static and php pages), to create a single website with a common look and feel. I also wanted to do this without changing all of the URLs of my pages (and thereby breaking links to my site).

I played with Pybloxsom a few weeks ago but wasn't happy with it because it seemed like it would be difficult to integrate with the rest of my site. Also, after having developed web apps with Webware for several years, it seemed like a step backwards to migrate to a plain-CGI framework. Ideally, I wanted a Webware-based blog, and thought I'd have to write it myself, until I found Syncato.

One nice thing about Syncato is that it's given me the impetus to finally do some XSLT -- previously I had read a few tutorials, but didn't know how I would use it. Syncato stores the blog entries in XML format, and uses XSLT to transform them into HTML webpages. Once I figured out enough of how it worked, I started using XSLT to serve up my existing web pages to appear within the new site layout. The pages files are stored in HTML in the filesystem, and transformed on-the-fly using XSLT to give them the same header/footer/layout as the rest of the site.

I've read several times that it's important to make sure that new HTML conforms to XHTML standards, i.e. that tags are nested properly and that each tag is closed. Although I didn't understand why this is important, I've tried to follow those rules in websites I've developed over the last yew years. Now I learned the reason why, because when I tried to run the XSLT transform on some relatively old pages (some originally written in 1995) files, I got hundreds of lines of spew as it discovered all of the mismatched and unclosed tags. Now I understand why.

Posted by Jason Hildebrand <jason@opensky.ca> Monday Nov 29, 2004 at 1:30 PM