On an HTML index page

I made an index.html page, set it to meta-refresh to the real index.xml page, but then had second thoughts

Creating a site using XML and XSLT was always going to be an uphill battle. Browser support is stuck in 1999, and even then, support is only partial1. Heck, Chrome even tries to excise XSLT support every so often. One of these days they'll do it, and then Firefox will follow suit2, and that will be pretty much that.

So, there is a chance that someone might run across this site and won't be able to see anything, either because their browser doesn't support XSLT for a number of reasons. Some of those users won't see anyting, especially if they're using a text browser or something like that. So, for those people, I made an index.html page that had a little bit of explanation about the tech that I used to make it and why I thought they were seeing it instead of the amazing content they expected. Then I stuffed a meta refresh tag in there that would redirect browsers that were aware to the real index.xml page.

The problem, though, is that I didn't like it. I didn't like the momentary pause when you could see something and then get redirected away3. It looked like I was doing something sneaky, even though I wasn't. The page still exists4, and I'll probably continue trying to figure out where to put it. Putting it in the sea of updates on the main page feels wrong, but since browsers that need to see it don't support the XSLT transformations that I'm using, that complicates things.


  1. See XLink support, for example, which is supported by no browsers
  2. Because Mozilla appears to hate that Firefox is not Chrome and does a lot to try and fix that
  3. This wasn't too bad on Desktop browsers, but mobile browsers tended to render the entire page first before redirecting, which looked awful
  4. It's here, if you were curious, but it just redirects back to the main page unless you take steps to make it not do that

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