Validating dotCMS Pages

Validating dotCMS driven sites:

  1. Validate a page for each of your templates (without content). This will ensure all common errors are fixed across the site.
  2. Validate dynamic pages. The most frequent error we encounter is related to the & (ampersand) character since it's used to pass parameters through the URL and specify parameters for the resize_image and thumbnail methods; to fix the error, simply replace the & for the corresponding entity &.
  3. Validate static pages. At this point, since you have isolated all other issues, you can assume any other error is content related.

A few things to keep in mind:

Navigation: When using the \#navigation() macro, depending on how your top and left side navigation are declared, you may find repeated ids. For instance, if a folder called "Academics" is printed on both top and left navigation, the id "academics" will appear twice on the page, to avoid this, use the menu prefix parameter:
\#set($menuIdPrefix = "top") or \#set($menuIdPrefix = "left")

CSS: If validating your CSS, browser specific hacks won't work. An alternative is to use the css-browser-selector.js which inserts a class in the body tag and allows you to specify browser specific rules. Eg. .ie6 p{} or .gecko p{}

Macros: In cases where a macro prints the & character there are two solutions:

  1. Check macro documentation and source code and see if there is a way to specify a custom vtl file. Eg: Photo Gallery code can be overwritten:
    \#set($photoGallerySourceCode = '/application/velocity/photo_gallery.vtl')
  2. If there is no custom vtl file, a backend developer may need to change the macro


Useful Links:

HMTL Validator
CSS Validator
CSS Browser Selector
DotCMS: Thumbnail Images
Resized Images
DotCMS: Navigation Menu

August 31, 2009

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