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  1. #1
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    Site validates, but css won't because it says site won't validate

    Why do you even care if it validates?

    Look at successful, market leading websites Yahoo, Amazon, Ebay and Google. What do they have in common?

    1) NONE of them validate with the W3C validator (validator.w3.org).

    2) ALL of them look fine in all browsers down to even Netscape 3.0.

    I think it's better to focus on 99.999% browser compatibility than to try to validate to an idealistic standard. And from my experience, if a webpage looks fine in a current IE, current Mozilla, and Netscape 3.0 (javascript off), it will look fine in virtually any browser.. Opera, Safari, whatever. I have yet to find an exception to that rule.

    If you want a copy of Netscape 3.0, you can get it here:
    http://wp.netscape.com/download/archive.html
    http://browsers.evolt.org/

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard jag5311's Avatar
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    Thanks Normal. However, I have to disagree with you on the validator. Its a method to make sure your sites code is correct and sematic. Yea, some of the sites might look good in all the browsers, but that doesn't mean there code is good, and that doesn't mean that their website will work flawless in the future.

    I have a hard time believing that any site will look good in NS 3.0 unless the whole site is one big image. I mean, if you use any styelsheets at all for anything like NS 3, 4, IE 3, IE 4(somewhat) you are going to get mixed results, unless you use spacer gifs etc.. that are FORCING a site to keep its shape.

    Anyways, this is a topic that just goes in circles. Thanks for the tip and the link though.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jag5311
    Thanks Normal. However, I have to disagree with you on the validator. Its a method to make sure your sites code is correct and sematic. Yea, some of the sites might look good in all the browsers, but that doesn't mean there code is good, and that doesn't mean that their website will work flawless in the future.
    From my experience, if a webpage looks fine in a..
    - Current IE,
    - Current Mozilla, and
    - Netscape 3.0 (javascript off)
    ..then it will look fine in virtually any browser.. Opera, Safari, whatever. I have yet to find an exception to that rule. If you can show me an exception to that rule, then I am wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by jag5311
    I have a hard time believing that any site will look good in NS 3.0 unless the whole site is one big image.
    Successful, market leading websites like Yahoo, Amazon, Ebay, Google, and Expedia all look fine in Netscape 3.0 (javascript off).

    Quote Originally Posted by jag5311
    I mean, if you use any styelsheets at all for anything like NS 3, 4, IE 3, IE 4(somewhat) you are going to get mixed results, unless you use spacer gifs etc.. that are FORCING a site to keep its shape.
    You never actually have to use spacer "gifs". If you want, you can use an <img> tag without even specifying a src, and it will work.

    Vertical Padding (creating space above/below). There are two ways that will work for all browsers.

    Method I: Copy & paste this..

    <!--- vertical spacer ---><table height=10 border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=0><tr><td></td></tr></table>

    Method II: Add another row, and set its height using something like.. <td height="20">. Note: setting the height at the <tr> level doesn't work with all browsers.. better to set that vertical height at the <td> level.

    Horizontal Padding (creating space on the sides).

    Method I: use columns like <td width="1%" nowrap><nobr>&nbsp;&nbsp;</nobr></td>.. and just add more &nbsp; if needed.

    Method II: <img width=120 height=1 border=0>. The blank img tag just serves as an invisible strut. Note: you don't actually need to specify an image src.

    If you design that way, your layouts will look the same in all browsers. Even Netscape 3.0.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    NormalDude, why does it matter to you if a site validates or not? I'm happy that webmasters are finally validating their code, it's means that the webmaster isn't a 12 year geocities user who actually cares about the content they put up on the web. Most internet users simply do not care, they go for content and that is what makes a site popular, not how clean the code is. However, to say that validating pages is stupid because content gets you users is silly, it's just a form of quality insurance and makes transitioning to different designs in the future much easier. Do you know why Ebay, Google, and Yahoo haven't seen a design change for a VERY VERY VERY LONG TIME? It's because the sites are coded like crap and it would cost them millions to change it, whereas if they would've had them coded properly in the first place, it would cost them a few hundred dollars.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard jag5311's Avatar
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    What boggles my mind, is the money that places like Yahoo and Ebay will save on bandwidth alone if they were to convert their sites to be somewhat standards compliant. Hell, just remove the font tags and maybe some nested tables, and I bet you could cut down on the bandwidth by 30%

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    Quote Originally Posted by jag5311
    What boggles my mind, is the money that places like Yahoo and Ebay will save on bandwidth alone if they were to convert their sites to be somewhat standards compliant. Hell, just remove the font tags and maybe some nested tables, and I bet you could cut down on the bandwidth by 30%
    Doesn't boggle the mind. It's the smart thing to do in the real world. Just look at successful, market leading companies like Yahoo, Amazon, Ebay, Google, and Expedia.

    1) NONE of them validate with the W3C validator (validator.w3.org).

    2) ALL of them look fine in all browsers down to even Netscape 3.0.

    W3C validator = irrelevant.

    CSS = produces inconsistent results across different platforms and browsers. Fact is, your website shouldn't "blow up" if CSS fails for the visitor.

    If you opened a brick & mortar store, would you make the entrance easily accessible to only 97% of the public? Wouldn't it be better to accomodate 99.999% of the public?

    And CSS doesn't make sites faster. When you add up all the CSS definitions and span tags and class attributes, it's about even. If anything, trying to be "standards compliant" would bloat up Yahoo's HTML since they would no longer be able to take shortcuts like <a href=r/tg> or <td nowrap>

    If you think you can reduce Yahoo's home page's file size by 30% by being "standards compliant", then let's see you do it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by megamanXplosion
    Do you know why Ebay, Google, and Yahoo haven't seen a design change for a VERY VERY VERY LONG TIME? It's because the sites are coded like crap and it would cost them millions to change it, whereas if they would've had them coded properly in the first place, it would cost them a few hundred dollars.
    False. They go through major coding & layout changes all the time. You can see for yourself using the wayback machine.
    http://www.archive.org/

    In 2002, Yahoo switched from their own proprietary scripting language over to PHP. And switching from one server side platform to another is 1000x more complex than changing HTML content.
    http://news.com.com/2100-1023-963937.html

    You may think sites like Yahoo, Amazon, Ebay, Google, and Expedia are "coded like" crap. I think they're coded extremely well. I can use an old browser like Netscape 3.0 or a proprietary web terminal at the airport, and I know their websites will render just fine. I can hop on any wacky browser on Linux, or use a PDA with GPRS, and their sites will render just fine.

    What matters is real world results, and sites like Yahoo, Amazon, Ebay, Google, and Expedia have proven track records that speak for themselves. You know why NONE of those sites care about the W3C validator? Because NONE of their paying customers are viewing their websites through a W3C validator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by megamanXplosion
    However, to say that validating pages is stupid because content gets you users is silly, it's just a form of quality insurance and makes transitioning to different designs in the future much easier.
    And as I've posted above, I think a better quality assurance is testing your site in a..
    - Current IE,
    - Current Mozilla, and
    - Netscape 3.0 (javascript off)

    If it looks fine in those browsers, then it will look fine in virtually any browser.. Opera, Safari, whatever. I have yet to find an exception to that rule. If you can show me an exception to that rule, then I am wrong.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard jag5311's Avatar
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    If you opened a brick & mortar store, would you make the entrance easily accessible to only 97% of the public? Wouldn't it be better to accomodate 99.999% of the public?

    And CSS doesn't make sites faster. When you add up all the CSS definitions and span tags and class attributes, it's about even. If anything, trying to be "standards compliant" would bloat up Yahoo's HTML since they would no longer be able to take shortcuts like <a href=r/tg> or <td nowrap>

    If you think you can reduce Yahoo's home page's file size by 30% by being "standards compliant", then let's see you do it.
    1. Many business must install a handicap ramp or some sort of method for people with disabilities to access their store and use their services, correct? Same with websites, all you are doing is separating presentation from structure. If their browser can't view the graphics and stylesheets, they still get the content, just not the visual appearance. Yet, the information is still accessible. I mean, for crying out loud, there are websites on the web that restrict a user from even entering just because they aren't using the latest Internet Explorer. Yes, Yahoo and Ebay are not examples of this, but there is a reason behind using Standards and compliant code. Its to make updates easier, sites faster to download, and allow for future upgrades to be much of a smoother transition.

    2. Yes, stylesheets DO make sites faster, simply because the stylesheet is Cached. Now, unless they don't have CACHING enabled and they choose to download brand new content everytime they hit the refresh button, then yea, it won't do Sh*t for that person, but most peoples computers are setup by default and do cache, hence making the information faster to download, especially images. Images just get recycled.

    3. All I have to say is Douglas Bowman, http://www.stopdesign.com/log/2003/0...o_rebuilt.html

    He recreated yahoos search page to standard code. Obviously there is more into making the page work, but the avg person gets the drift.

    Here it is, http://www.stopdesign.com/experiments/yahoosearch/ (edit, sorry, HIT the search button while on the page, then view the source)

    Yes, they are not the same page, but there is another link SOMEWHERE that someone I think recreated Yahoo with standards code and it was like 50% smaller or something.

    Any help people?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jag5311
    3. All I have to say is Douglas Bowman, http://www.stopdesign.com/log/2003/0...o_rebuilt.html

    He recreated yahoos search page to standard code. Obviously there is more into making the page work, but the avg person gets the drift.
    1) His "recreation" looks nothing like the original Yahoo search.

    2) The original Yahoo search was 13k in html and css. The "recreated" Yahoo search was 13k in html and css. And his css doesn't exactly encompass all of yahoo's pages.

    3) StopDesign.com Alexa Ranking: #66,768
    Yahoo Alexa Ranking: #1

    I'll follow Yahoo.com

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by normaldude
    CSS = produces inconsistent results across different platforms and browsers.
    And I think you're proving my point in this thread that you started yourself..
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171015

    In fact, the whole CSS board is full of you guys endlessly wrestling with CSS cross-browser issues.
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=170960
    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=170771

    Anyway, I'm not going to argue on this thread anymore. I made my points (scroll up), and if you want to wrestle with pure-CSS designs and with the W3C validator, be my guest.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard jag5311's Avatar
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    3) StopDesign.com Alexa Ranking: #66,768
    Yahoo Alexa Ranking: #1

    I'll follow Yahoo.com
    Well Duh, I mean its Yahoo for crying out loud.

    Oh, and so are you gonna tell me that you can create a page 1 time, without making tweaks to it and it will show up perfect in every browser?

    I mean, you have to go back through code and alter things here and there in any website, whether its compliant XHTML and CSS or 150 font tags with nested tables.

    btw - Go to Yahoo.com, enter a search term, then when the page loads, get the source, open it in notepad (mine does it automatically in IE), then save that file.

    Now, go to the Stop Design one. Do the same thing.

    My results

    Yahoo: 59.5 k

    Stop Design Yahoo: 31.6 k

    Avg saving of file size: If my math is correct, 31.6 / 59.5 = 0.53 or 53%, 100 % - 53% = 47 % savings.

    I do agree with you on your last statement. For those who don't want to validate, don't validate. For those who do, go right ahead.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by normaldude
    Anyway, I'm not going to argue on this thread anymore. I made my points (scroll up), and if you want to wrestle with pure-CSS designs and with the W3C validator, be my guest.
    You're forgetting the benifits to CSS/XHTML, people don't adhere to the standards because it's "fun".

    - Lower page sizes (yes, they are )
    - page will be readable on any number of devices
    - cleaner, easier to manage source code
    - more versitile, want to modify an element? just adjust the style sheet

    There's lots of other (maybe smaller) reasons and advantages, but the standards are evolving, so you'd better keep up if you want a job.

    You bring up yahoo a lot, it's a popular site, but I suspect their underlying structure and legacy code from way back would make it difficult to just "switch" over to an xhtml/css layout overnight.

    A lot of large sites have made the switch, and more and more clients are catching on to having their sites made "accessable" (this word goes hand-in-hand with css/xhtml based designs).

    Most people who are against xhtml/css based layouts are usually grizzly old developers who have never bothered to keep their skills updated and are scared they might be pushed aside in the rush.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Zealot scriptfactory's Avatar
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    A few opinions:

    1. XHTML/CSS is the way of the future. Everyone should start getting on the train,... at least partially.
    2. XHTML/CSS lowers page size DRAMATICALLY. I had written a script that was HTML 4.01 compliant and it's templates were full of tables. The average length of each template was around 150 - 200 lines before and 40 to 50 lines after a XHTML/CSS rewrite. The script runs much snappier now.
    3. Tableless design is a pain in the butt, no matter what anyone says. Even though your site "accessibility" is increased a person using an older browser will have a significantly worse experience when dealing with your content.
    4. It wouldn't be all that hard for Yahoo to switch to an XHTML/CSS design. They just don't want to...
    5. Every person can make their own ( XHTML vs. HTML || compliant vs. non-compliant || tables vs. tableless ) choice, however if you are making a large scale, very active or commercial website then you might want to focus more on the user experience and not code compliance. If you want to make money you gotta make the user happy. Even if it means being non-compliant.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard jag5311's Avatar
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    Those are good points Scriptfactory. Nice

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard megamanXplosion's Avatar
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    CSS = produces inconsistent results across different platforms and browsers. Fact is, your website shouldn't "blow up" if CSS fails for the visitor.
    Depending on the point of view and circumstance, that comment is debatable.

    If you're referring to just slight inconsistancies, sure, that can be a problem every now and then. However, tables have this problem as well. It's nothing more than learning how to ditch old problems and solve new ones. While many may not want to learn a completely new approach to design webpages and learn the specific differences between browser renderings, it is the best thing to do because it solves a LOT of problems which will be very common in the near future.

    If you're referring to when CSS is disabled, then I'd have to completely disagree with you. When a visitor comes to a site with CSS disabled, I WANT the site to breakdown into a different layout. Why? Because they might be viewing the site from their PDA and a giant table-based design will not allow them to browse the site easily. PDA users would have to scroll right, left, right, left, right, left, right, for every line on your site. You should already be informed that horizontal scrollbars on websites is a big no-no, the same holds true for other devices like PDAs.

    PDAs and other devices also have much less memory, processor speed, and bandwidth than desktop computers. CSS-based designs work miracles because there isn't 150 font rendering requests, 5+ table column and row AND cell calculations going on, AND the CSS will not be loaded which saves memory, allowing them to do other tasks on their PDA as well. For PDAs, CSS-based design is a complete miracle because it 'blows up' the design to make it appear correctly, it saves memory, cpu resources, and bandwidth. Every PDA user would be happy if the internet was all css-based. I know I would be. The table-based designs render internet-capable PDAs useless, which is a very bad thing in a business environment.

    Not to mention that CSS isn't only a screen-display mechanism. Try making a site that can be a full interactive site for desktop users, slide-show (quite possibly like a book with pages) for presentations, printer-friendly for offline reading, work on PDAs and cellphones, and be capable to allow the user to browse the site in the fashion that they wish to surf it, wether it is in their main browser window or in the small side-bar of their browser (do not tell me that nobody does it, they do). You simply cannot do this with table-based designs. CSS is the only method that developers have for those situations without creating enormous content-management-systems which use tons of server resources to pull content from a database, or working day in and day out for each individual page which poses problems for search engines because that could be seen as duplicate content (spam) and the site could be removed from the search engine, which can cause a dramatic decrease (around 80-90% for those without tv-advertisement access, unlike Yahoo, Ebay, Amazon, Expedia, etc) in sales.

    CSS allows the webmaster to craft the content however they please on multiple devices without working their butts off, using only 1 content page. This saves quite a bit of money in development, lowers the cost for hosting plans because of bandwidth savings, and also allows webmasters and users the ultimate freedom they want without worrying about third-party search engines to demolish all of their hard work. Newer browsers allow the user to craft their own stylesheets to view certain webpages with, which is a serious downfall for table-based designs. I have a custom stylesheet for the SitePoint forums which rearranges alot of the items on the page into a fashion that I feel is most comfortable, removed all ads, and given it a different color scheme. Table-based designs do not allow such comforts to the end user. Not to mention that when I'm downloading something big which will take a very long time (like Windows XP SP2 Beta), I can turn off stylesheets and images and browse the site like it's pure text so that I do not have to quit browsing websites just because I'm downloading. CSS-based designs, without the CSS, can be as little as 1kb worth of HTML and the rest is content, meaning that I do not have to wait for 2 minutes before I see something appear. There is more to websites than their design, it's all about content. I should be able to get the content how I prefer to get it, not how the webmaster prefers me to get it when they are completely clueless of HOW I'm getting it.

    Sorry for the long rant, I just had a lot to say

  17. #17
    SitePoint Addict will_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by normaldude
    Anyway, I'm not going to argue on this thread anymore. I made my points (scroll up), and if you want to wrestle with pure-CSS designs and with the W3C validator, be my guest.
    Awww...you can't quit now!

    That attitude may well reflect the reason you are not comprehending the total benefits of a standard-compliant web site. It's a different way of doing things, and change is not always easy.

    Keep in mind that a site can be made with tables and still validate. In fact, it would be unwise NOT to validate such a site, as the errors may well lessen the 99.999% you speak of, whether you know it or not.

    I was once a die-hard table fanatic, subscribing to the same logic about sites being more browser compatible when structured with tables. However, once I actually started reading about the benefits (of which there are so many) of converting to CSS layouts and validating my code, I soon became converted.

    "Don't knock it 'til you try it"


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    If you opened a brick & mortar store, would you make the entrance easily accessible to only 97% of the public? Wouldn't it be better to accomodate 99.999% of the publ
    I love people that make this statement. It's so wrong. Because brick & mortar stores don't cater to 99.999% of the public either. It's probably closer to 97% of the public. How many stores do you know of that have braille descriptions of products alongside the product for the blind? Not many. How many stores do you know of that place items only on shelves 5ft high and lower to help cater to short people. Not many. I can't tell you how many times some short woman has asked me to reach something for her in the grocery store.

    All these sites that the original poster mentioned are all huge sites that have underlying code engines. The standards push has only garnered steam in the last 6 months or so. This would force these sites to re-write large portions of their underlying engines. To do that purely for code validation reasons is a waste of time/money.

    Now, if they're upgrading their code engine for some of the things others posted about: to reduce bandwidth, to increase ease of maintenance, etc... then it would make sense to move over to standards compliance.

    But, the original poster can keep his ignorance on this issue. Because ultimately it will mean more jobs for my company and less for his.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard DougBTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by normaldude
    Vertical Padding (creating space above/below). There are two ways that will work for all browsers.
    I don't get it.

    You post a thread asking why people try and get pages to validate, and then you go on to post examples which validate?

    Douglas
    Hello World

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot scriptfactory's Avatar
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    I don't think his point was to write bad code and not care how your site works... I think his point was that even if your site uses tables and perhaps contains a few tricks that are invalid when validating with the W3C, it doesn't matter because the great majority of the top websites on the internet have sites that heavily rely on tables and spacer images. These sites are profitable without having validating code so it makes sense to make sites that focus on accessibility and not on W3C compliance or whatever.

    I think that's what he means.

    Something like that.

    Maybe?

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard DougBTX's Avatar
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    True true, but I didn't read the whole thread, did I?

    Actually, I did, and I still posted anyway,but that isn;t the point either

    This is really a cut and dried thing.

    It doesn't really matter if the end product is the same how you code your pages - but it sure as hell feels better when you can write CSS in 5 seconds. I think I've genuilny fogotten how to do table layouts - I wanted to replace some images on a web page, but they were put in via a table and I just couldn't understand it. It was a menu, so I just rewrote the thing in an unordered list - now, not only does it look better, but it works better as well.

    Did I manage to get back on topic yet?

    Guess so - I'm putting the guy down as a troll, simplybecause he said things to get a reaction and then ran off when people didn't start to cry that someone could write a site without CSS and say that it was good.

    Later,
    Douglas
    Hello World

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougBTX
    Guess so - I'm putting the guy down as a troll,
    No, I actually never created this "thread". What happened was someone posted a thread about their website not validating with the W3C validator. And I posted some responses on THAT thread.

    If you notice at the very top of this thread, it says "Site validates, but css won't because it says site won't validate. I responded by saying "Why do you even care if it validates?". I was responding on another thread.

    Later, some sitepoint.com moderator must have collected my responses from that thread, and created this new thread called "Why do you even care of {sic} a site validates?".

    So now my responses look like an "over-the-top" "in-your-face" troll that came out of nowhere. But what you're seeing is my replies from another thread, and some sitepoint.com moderator must have collected my posts, and created this new thread. I was a bit shocked to see this thread myself, because I never created it.

    To put it simply: my statements are now completely out of context since they were originally replies collected from another thread. I never created a thread called "Why do you even care of a site validates?"

  23. #23
    SitePoint Zealot scriptfactory's Avatar
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    Haha, normaldude! The mods did you wrong. A lot of people were taking shots at you because they thought you were being arrogant and all this time you were a victim! :P Funny.

  24. #24
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scriptfactory
    Haha, normaldude! The mods did you wrong. A lot of people were taking shots at you because they thought you were being arrogant and all this time you were a victim! :P Funny.
    Actually it's true, but his replies to that thread were off-topic. The thoughts given in normaldude's reply were enough to warrant its own thread though, so that's what happened.

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    SitePoint Zealot scriptfactory's Avatar
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    Actually it's true, but his replies to that thread were off-topic. The thoughts given in normaldude's reply were enough to warrant its own thread though, so that's what happened.
    I have no doubt that what he said is true! I was merely laughing at the irony of the situation because if this was part of another thread it wouldn't have seemed so... bold.


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