Reveal your old school web development hacks

The recent talk about hand coding, web professionalism, and general best practices in web development got me thinking about the methods I used to use back before I abandoned table based layouts and started validating my markup.

Yes, I used to create a mess consisting of invalid markup, multiple levels of nested tables, and tons of spacer images. When Netscape 3 and 4 ruled the browser world there really was no other way of creating a decent looking website. And I didn't know any better.

This does feel a little embarrassing, but I think it's important not to hide the fact that many of the standardistas that keep talking about web standards and accessibility have once been guilty of many of the mistakes we now want to see abolished. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the ugly old-skool hacks were invented by the same people who are now trying to make people stop using them.

I've been looking through some documents on coding conventions and recommendations that I wrote years ago. Here are just a few of the hacks I found:

And that's just scratching the surface. I've been guilty of many more markup-horrors through the years, as I'm sure many of you have.

So, care to share your worst crimes against HTML and best practices in web design and development? Come on, don't be ashamed. Bring them all out!

Posted on November 21, 2005 in Web Standards