Slim Pages

I'm experimenting with a slim page version of this site. Slim Pages are slimmed down versions of standard web pages. The basic rules are:

  1. Slim Pages are a subset of XHTML strict. They cannot contain script/noscript elements, style attributes nor any of the event attributes such as onclick.
  2. The body tag can only contain div tags of class "entry" and an id attribute providing a site-unique identifier for the entry the div contains.
  3. The entry divs contain a h1 heading as the first tag. The heading contains a link to the permalink for the entry. The link text is the title for the entry.
  4. The heading is followed by another div with a class of "content" which contains the content of the entry.

That's it. Here's an example:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
<html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
  <base href="" />
  <title>Internet Alchemy</title>
  <meta name="author" content="Ian Davis" />
  <meta name="copyright" content="Copyright (c) 1999-2004 Ian Davis" />
  <meta name="description" content="Digital explorations and experiments" />
  <div class="entry" id="entry810">
    <a href="">More Comment Spam</a>
   <div class="content">
     I'm still getting comment spam, despite the posting timeslot
     idea. Obviously the assumptions I made there were unsound.
     So, here's the supplement that might raise the bar a little. If
     you want to comment on an entry here, you now have to
     enter a particular word of a well known quotation. If you
     don't or enter the wrong word then you get locked out for 10
     seconds (a standard WordPress feature).

Because it's XHTML it has all kinds of nice properties such as being viewable on smartphones and PDAs. It prints nicely if all you want is the content and it can be styled using CSS. It's readable by ordinary people with a web browser. The tags it uses are pretty well known by every web developer so it's quite easy to write, perhaps even using an off the shelf authoring program. All the meta and link conventions in HTML headers such as geo location work too. It can be transformed using XSLT into any flavour of RSS or Atom although there are less programs that understand those formats than understand Slim Pages.

It has a regular entry structure, which means you could aggregate it and because the id attributes are site-unique, the aggregator can work out when something new is posted.

Slim Pages are just the content without the candy. Some people like candy, some don't. Now you can choose :)


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