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Making your wiki HTML5 compliant

Ohmyn0 July 5, 2012 User blog:Ohmyn0
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We all know the internet is a series of tubes powered by the dreams and laughter of kittens. But what do those kittens eat?

They eat HTML, which is a coding language that is the building blocks of the internet. First developed by a renegade group of lawless web developers in the 1980s, the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group took initiative in the early 2000's and became the authoritative group on HTML coding practices. Their goal is to get all web developers to use a standardized form of HTML which, in turn, makes HTML all the more powerful and versatile.

What does this mean for you? And the kittens?

Wikia is currently in the process of upgrading all of our wikis to MediaWiki 1.19. Some issues have arisen regarding some HTML code no longer being supported. This is due to MediaWiki 1.19 not supporting certain deprecated and obsolete HTML3 and HTML4 elements. Right now, the kittens are demanding HTML5 -- the most recent and tastiest form of HTML.

This means that some of the HTML you've used to jazz up your wikis' designs may have become outdated and changed without you knowing it. The most common I've seen is alignment of tables. align=center no longer functions. Instead, CSS styling must be used. Here's a handy guide for how to align tables and elements inside of tables:

Align a table
  • left -- style="float:left;"
  • right -- style="float:right;"
  • center -- style="margin:auto;"
Align stuff inside a table
  • left -- style="text-align:left;"
  • right -- style="text-align:right;"
  • center -- style="text-align:center;"

Here's an example:

{| style="width:300px; margin:auto;" border="1"
| style="text-align:center;" | Center
| style="text-align:left;" | Left
| style="text-align:right;" | Right
| None
|}

Should render as:

Center Left Right None


The table creator in our editor will take care of this for you automatically.

What else has been deprecated?

If you're one of our advanced editors who dabbles in HTML you may want to run through this list of obsolete and deprecated HTML elements and update the styles on your wikis. If you're looking for a good resource for HTML compliance and standards, the good folks at w3schools can help you out.

I hope this answers some of your questions about some of the cosmetic changes you're seeing to your content. If you have more questions about how to use HTML on your wiki, try asking in the community forums. It's always best to stay up-to-date on your wiki's HTML so your articles will render correctly on all web browsers on all devices. It's also best for the kitten's tummies.

Trevor Bolliger (User:Ohmyn0) is a Product Manager at Wikia and has been pretending to understand HTML on wikis since 2006.

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