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Software-specific encoding

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In addition that browsers support nonstandard CSS or markup up tags, some editing software support nonstandard features. Some of them might be supported by some browsers but at least a part of the encoding is only for the internal usage of the software itself.

I handle two cases. The first is related both with HTML and CSS encoding. The latter concerns just HTML-encoding and at that mean it goes over the topic of this page. In some respects it however resembles the first case. Because of the quite small meaning I don't handle the latter case in a separate extra page. I a little bit compare these two cases.

MSHTML and "FPHTML"

Microsoft writes about MSHTML. MS Office 2000 applications creates it. In addition of ordinary HTML markup MSHTML has also so-called XML data islands (<xml> ... </xml>) and proprietary CSS for Office-applications (in many cases the proprietary CSS use the prefix -mso- like Mozilla Gecko browsers use the -moz- prefix). The aim of the proprietary encoding seems to to maintain better original formatting than using standard HTML when Web-documents has been converted back to the original file formats like Word 2000 and Exel 2000 documents.

The MSHTML of MS Office 2000 was in fact the proposal of Microsoft for the HTML 5.0 specification but it was rejected. It was however discussed with in W3C.

W3C: XML in HTML Meeting Report (W3C Note 11 May 1998).

The way how MS Office 2000 combines HTML and XML is today totally nonstandard. If the document use XML, the whole document must be valid XML, not only data islands. MS Office XP creates the same kind of MSHTML, which doesn't fulfil formally the requirements of XML.

Word for Office 11 supports at some way XHTML through the InfoPath application.

Cover Pages: Microsoft Office 11 and InfoPath [XDocs]; InfoWorld: Exploring XML in Office 11.

MS IE 5.x+ might understand a part of the MSHTML but not everything. The way how Microsoft thinks software designing can be seen in the fact that MS IE doesn't support properly the paged media (paged media handles page margins and page breaks in printing). But when MSHTML has been imported into Word 2000 and printed with Word page breaks work better than in MS IE because of the proprietary CSS for MS Office applications. MSHTML-documents have been intended to print with MS Office applications.

MSHTML has very much encoding which is only for the internal usage MS Office applications. I removed once half of the MSHTML created by Word 2000. If I take account that the code had text approximately about 70-80% of the total quantity of markup codes and CSS definitions was special MSHTML.

MSHTML stress unnecessary Web-servers by feeding unnecessary encoding into the Internet. If with Office application has been created MSHTML and the final product has been sent into Internet, Internet has been used as if an intranet of Microsoft products. In my mind MSHTML doesn't belong into the Internet but only into some intranet solutions. According to an e-mail there are applications, which convert MSHTML into ordinary HTML, at leastMicrosoft Office HTML Filter 2.0.

Microsoft: Microsoft Office HTML Filter 2.0.

Word 97 tries to create almost standard HTML. If special formatting (for example bold or italic text) has been used the result is in most cases invalid but relative easy to fix with some HTML editor, which creates valid HTML and which can HTML-encoding errors.

Because it is not possible to create directly with any Office product valid XHTML instead of using some Office product (X)HTML for the Internet should create with valid (X)HTML editor. FrontPage 2000 is not a proper HTML-editor because it use a Windows character set and doesn't encode special characters at the way how they should be encoded in the Internet usage (for example "ä" should be encoded &auml; etc.), when the text can't be read correctly with Mac browsers. According to an e-main FP 2002 support relative well character entities.

At least some versions of FrontPage work also in some other respects. I found the following encoding from a Web-page:

<style fprolloverstyle>
A:hover {color: red; font-weight: bold}
</style>

That creates an ordinary a:hover effect. The fprolloverstyleattribute is completely unnecessary "FPHTML" encoding. That attribute is not for some browser because the information is relevant only for the editor. That kind of information should be inside comments. The code lacks type="text/css", which should set in valid code for the STYLE element. Mentioning of a certain style could be expressed with a standard way for example at the way below:

<!-- fprolloverstyle -->
<style type="text/css">
A:hover {color: red; font-weight: bold;}
</style>

In general informative encoding is not harmful for any browser but it is just inappropriate encoding. It is worth to remark that fprolloverstyle doesn't use at the sight of HTML 4.01 a valid attribute syntax. Some old HTML-specifications support compact attributes like <DL compact> but starting from HTML 4.x the syntax should be always attribute="value" (quotes are not always necessary). The format <style fpstyle="rolloverstyle"> would me at some level appropriate. In the pages, which had that attribute Mozilla 0.9 rendered the first page incorrectly. Presumably new Mozilla browsers get randomly confused the ending point to the end-tag. The seem to require two part. Indeed when I visited second time in that page I didn't had that problem. The problem might be related with some other issue..

I can't however recommend to use any HTML-editor of Microsoft's, which is older than FrontPage 2002. With the newest FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver can create XHTML and those editors can regard as recommendable WYSIWYG editors. I have used HTML-Kit, which can be created standard HTML 4.0/HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0.

Adobe GoLive

At the same way Adobe GoLive creates editor specific encoding. The main difference is just that only products of Adobe understand the code and no parts of it is for browsers. I mention Adobe's codes[S] in a note page.

I have found some Web-pages created by Adobe GoLive, which had approximately encoding, which was unnecessary for browsers - the quantity of the unnecessary code for the Internet is about as big as in the MSHTML of MS Office applications. It would be smart if product of Adobe would have an option to remove editor-specific encoding before pages has been sent into the Internet. I don't regard editors of Adobe as appropriate editors.

Is there any application, which can remove the unnecessary Adobe GoLive specific encoding and create from nonstandard markup language of Adobe ordinary HTML or XHTML?

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