Ordered Lists: Deprecated attributes start and value

Permanent Link: Ordered Lists: Deprecated attributes start and value 24. Februar 2009 Comment Comments (3)

Today I was working on a Top 100 List with pagination. I thought a quite sensible way would be to use ordered lists, so I don't need to take care of displaying the place myself. Working with pagination I was looking for a way to start the values of the ol-items at #51 on page 2, #101 on page 3 and so on. Searching at W3C directly, I came across this page: http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/lists.html#h-10.2. According to it, <ol> has start attribute, and <li> has a value attribute, which would give me the following to possibilities:

<ol start="51">
<li>Product Name</li>

<li value="51">Product Name</li>

But there is one stupid disadvantage these 2 attributes have: The attributes are marked as deprecated (and even on a page for HTML4). Following the link on the word Deprecated I found this W3C-own definition:

A deprecated element or attribute is one that has been outdated by newer constructs. Deprecated elements are defined in the reference manual in appropriate locations, but are clearly marked as deprecated. Deprecated elements may become obsolete in future versions of HTML.

User agents should continue to support deprecated elements for reasons of backward compatibility.

Definitions of elements and attributes clearly indicate which are deprecated.

This specification includes examples that illustrate how to avoid using deprecated elements. In most cases these depend on user agent support for style sheets. In general, authors should use style sheets to achieve stylistic and formatting effects rather than HTML presentational attributes. HTML presentational attributes have been deprecated when style sheet alternatives exist (see, for example, [CSS1]).

Meaning: If start and value are deprecated there HAS to be another way to achieve this. After hours of searching I found out that there seems to be no alternative. The only valuable thing I found was this page about ordered lists that confirmed my apprehension (btw. same goes for the li value attribute):

Compatibility Notes

The start attribute of the ol element was deprecated in HTML 4.01, and is not supported in XHTML 1.0 Strict DTD.

Note: At the moment, there is no CSS alternative for the start attribute.

That was the moment I said: "F*ck it, I'm going to use it anyway" just to find out 5 minutes later, that the Internet Explorer is too dumb to use it correctly. For some microsoftish reason the numbers IE shows are totally wrong, no matter if I used start or value. I encountered missing numbers and when he got to 99 he sometimes commenced at 100, sometimes at 0(!).

This is so great. Thanks to everyone at W3C and Microsoft.

Useful Firefox addons for web developers

Permanent Link: Useful Firefox addons for web developers 9. Februar 2009 Comment No Comment

Here's a short list of useful Firefox addons for web developers:


Probably the most useful addon around. You cannot only change the whole page on the fly (HTML and CSS) but you also have the very useful Javascript console which can even be used by your application for debugging. Furthermore you can see all AJAX activities. Download at https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/1843


FirePHP allows you to send debug messages to Firebug through a PHP Script. Download at https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/6149


Greasemonkey allows you to create JavaScript scripts for specific or all websites (Use of wildcard * possible!). This can be very useful to either test how new scripts would integrate into your website or to change the look and behaviour of any other webseite. Download at https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/748


Same as Greasemonkey only for CSS. This way you can easily test new styles on a website before integrating them. Download at https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/2108

Web Developer

The classic one. Allows you to easily change behaviour of your browser (caching, JavaScript, etc.) and has a whole lot of other useful tools like showing document size, the styles, submitting the page to the W3C Validator, Browserframe resize (to test your application for specific resolutions), viewing response headers, outlining specific elements and so on. Download at https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/60

Search Status

Although it also shows the page rank (not very reliable), I only use this addon to display all the nofollow links on a page, which is really extremely useful. Download at https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/321

DNS Cache

My own Firefox extension that allows you to disable the DNS caching of Firefox, which comes in quite handy when you have to check your webservers quickly. For a more detailed description see here. Download at https://addons.mozilla.org/de/firefox/addon/5914

Reset Stylesheet

Permanent Link: Reset Stylesheet 10. Dezember 2008 Comment No Comment

In case you don't know it yet: Yahoo developed a reset stylesheet that resets all the browser specific defaults (like body padding), which is really useful for developing web pages. You can get it at http://developer.yahoo.com/yui/reset/