Programming
Article
By Harry Fuecks

Tidy HTML

By Harry Fuecks

John Coggeshall has posted this slides from the International PHP Conference here.

At first glance Tidy may seem like nothing more than a nice tool for the pedantic. At second glance I start to think Tidy may be the biggest new piece of functionality in PHP for a long time; one we’re going to be thanking John for again and again.

Take a look at this slide for example – Tidy is smart enough to be able to extract legacy HTML “styling” tags and convert them to CSS. Perhaps that should be no surprise, because the underlying C library originally began with Dave Raggett (father of the HTML

tag, among many other things).

There’s also other nice features like the Word 2000 mode which suggest a tool written for the real world.

Where Tidy gets more exciting for PHP, IMO, is it enables conversion of HTML to a format ready for XML parsing. To an extent, that means it’s almost irrelevant what the HTML your PHP scripts spit out looks like – Tidy can convert it (see ob_tidyhandler) to XHTML and from there it can be transformed further with XSLT.

Note there’s also a tutorial on Tidy @ Zend here.

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