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Firefox Hacks by Nigel McFarlane

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Hack #50. Quality-Assure Your Web Pages

Make sure your web development work is polished and professional.

Quality assurance (QA) is a vital part of any professional process, and today this must extend to web design. Using Firefox and the Web Developer extension, you can do some basic QA on code validity and page accessibility.

Ensure Code is Valid

Validating markup and CSS isn't an optional extra; it's an integral part of the development process. Only valid HTML and CSS can be guaranteed to work, now and in the future. Once you've installed the Web Developer extension [Hack #44] , validation is also straightforward.

Load the page you would like to validate in Firefox and then validate both the HTML and CSS using the ValidationValidate HTML and ValidationValidate CSS menu items on the Web Development Toolbar. Note that these two menu items can only be used to validate documents that are online. Far handier are two items further down the menu: Validate Local CSS and Validate Local HTML. Use these to validate pages and stylesheets on your local hard drive.

Another handy item in this menu is Validate Links. Use this to check for broken links, but note that you can't do this with local files; they must be online pages.

Check Accessibility

Code validation is a black-and-white process: either something is valid or it isn't. Accessibility, on the other hand, has numerous aspects, some of which have implications for how pages appear in the regular browsers we are accustomed to developing ...

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