Expression is Microsoft’s suite of web development tools slated to replace the wonderful application known as Front Page. A quick visit to the site for this tool yields a fairly typical Microsoft webpage.
The “web” edition of this tool makes some hefty claims concerning creating valid xhtml/css based layouts. A normal person would reasonably expect a webpage promoting a tool used for webpage creation would most likely be built with the said tool. This would demonstrate the level of quality, the level of EXCELLENCE made possible by purchasing and using it.
Let’s have a look…
First we use a little browser called Firefox and a plugin called web developer to examine the layout of this page. By turning off CSS rendering we can examine the structure and determine how the creators approached the design process.
We clearly see that the developers of the expression site have chosen to use a table based, transitional approach (tables for the main layout, css to move things around within the columns). Well ok, I would have expected them to show off the “css layout” capabilities of the tool a bit more, but this in and of itself is still an acceptable practice.
With Expression web you can: “Validate your site with Compatibility reporting and use the Accessibility report to verify your site against Section 508 and W3C Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).”
Well ok – let’s do some of that to the Expression Web “features” page and see what we get! (using Firefox’s handy developer tools of course).
WHOA! Did they not even listen to their own marketing garbage? 144 Errors! No DocType? Are you kidding me?
The validation report is littered with opening tags that are never closed, closing tags that were never opened, several tags that are not part of ANY of the w3 HTML specifications, dozens of properties on tags that are also not part of any specification, Don’t believe me – see for yourself
Bravo to our good friends at Microsoft for setting such a great example and leading the masses to a more standards compliant internet! (and for giving web standards geeks something to hate on)