Doctype is closing on the 14th of February

We're sad to say that after almost 4 years we've decided to close Doctype. We will stop accepting new content on the 14th of February.

Our worlds have changed a lot over that time and it's been hard to find the time to keep Doctype as up to date as we'd have liked. In that time, the pace of development on StackOverflow and the StackExchange network has lead to their dominance. There's no way we have the time to keep Doctype up to the standard they are setting.

I want to say thanks to our top moderators who really kept Doctype running all these years, Dan Wellman, Tony Crockford, Oli Studholme and Andrew Hushbeck. The continued activity on the site for these years has mostly been down to you.

There is an awful lot of good information living on Doctype - so the site won't be disappearing. Instead all the questions, answers and comments will be preserved statically and available at the same URLs. We'll just be stopping any new information from being posted.

Thanks, to all members of the Doctype community.

David, Paul, Matt & the whole team at Litmus.

Dan Wellman is our top contributor

dan.jpgCongratulations to Dan Wellman, who is our top contributor this month. A copy of Dan Cederholm's new book, Handcrafted CSS, is now in the mail to him. Great work Dan!

I'd also like to congratulate Tony Crockford and Oli Studholme. Oli, Tony and Dan are now helping us moderate Doctype to keep it spam-free and on-topic. Thanks for all your help guys!

Handcrafted CSS book for our top contributor

Cover of Handcrafted CSS bookDan Cederholm has very kindly donated a copy of his new book, Handcrafted CSS, to be sent to our top Doctype contributor this month! About the book...

Seemingly non-obvious details can often separate good web design from great web design. You might not appreciate the quality of a well-designed website until you start using it, looking under the hood, putting it through tests, etc.

This book will show how craftsmanship can be applied to flexible, bulletproof, highly efficient and adaptable interfaces that make up a solid user experience.

Whoever is top of our users leader board at 10pm EST on September 10 will be selected to receive the book. (Naturally, Doctype staffers are excluded.) At time of writing, Dan Wellman is the front runner.

It's also worth noting that Mr. Cederholm is running a workshop in Salem, Massachusetts on September 14th, where he'll cover the book's content in person. Right now there are still a few places remaining.

Our thanks to Dan and the team at SimpleBits for their support!

OpenID logins now available

So far our most requested Doctype feature has been for OpenID support.

Hot on the heels of comments, we're pleased to announce that today we've added support for OpenID logins.

Screenshot of OpenID login form

If you would like to use OpenID with the site and do not have an account already, just sign up for your free account and select an OpenID instead of a password.

If you already have a Doctype account and wish to switch to an OpenID login it couldn't be simpler. Visit your profile page (by clicking your name in the status bar, then 'Edit my profile'). On your profile page you'll see the option at the bottom to switch between a password or an OpenID.

To make things even easier we've included the openid-selector plugin. This makes choosing your provider as simple as clicking on their logo.

As always we appreciate your feedback.

Get commenting

Since our last post a few days ago, we've been busy implementing the features on Doctype that you have been asking for and we're pleased to announce that today we have launched comments for questions and answers.

Screenshot of comments on Doctype

Sometimes you need to ask little questions to clarify just what the original asker meant - or just drop a note to say thanks for a great answer. This kind of discussion didn't make sense as an "answer", so comments are a perfect fit.

Recently on Doctype

Recently on Doctype will be my semi-regular piece of everything that is new to Doctype. This is the first week since our public launch and it's been a busy one - thanks to everyone who has left us feedback on our dedicated meta discussion site.

Editing questions and answers

In our efforts to make sure only users with a higher reputation score (100) can edit other users' questions and answers, we accidentally made it so that people couldn't edit their own questions and answers. This was quickly patched and now you are free to edit your own stuff - even if you posted the question anonymously.

Negative Reputation

Wow - what a demoralising oversight this was. We went live letting people slip into negative reputation. The cherry on the cake was that people with a score below zero couldn't post a new question or answer. People had no way of escaping their negative reputation! We immediately capped reputation so it wouldn't fall below zero.

HTML in questions & answers

In our overzealousness to protect people from XSS attacks we limited the input fields for questions and answers to Markdown-only and scrubbed all HTML tags. This turned out to be against the Markdown specification and generally a pain for everyone involved, so we re-enabled HTML tags. We decided it was safest to take a tried and tested set of white listed HTML tags and so went with the list Jeff Atwood listed as being allowed on the Stack Overflow family of sites.

Slugs incrementing unnecessarily

We use pretty URLs for our questions e.g. "/test-question" to make it easy to read and easiest to get good keywords into Google. When we have a question with the same URL we append a number e.g. "/test-question-2". Accidentally, the collision algorithm forgot to exclude itself from the check for duplicates meaning that titles incremented even if the title didn't change. This was obviously messy, and unnecessary, so the issue was quickly patched.

Processing Queue

One of the reasons we wanted to create Doctype was to provide a way to share the comprehensive browser and email testing infrastructure we built for Litmus. Users can run browser tests (and email tests) as part of their question and get a pretty screen shot pinned to the question. This required an external call to Litmus. External calls within the request cycle were all fine while we were playing around with Doctype in development - but with the number of users hitting Doctype now we needed to come up with a more robust solution. Now all external HTTP requests are wrapped in a solid timeout library and pushed into an external queue. This lets Doctype be more responsive, whilst carrying on its processing in the background.

We've got lots more features planned for this week. Please keep letting us know your thoughts on the meta discussion site.

Introducing Doctype

Doctype is a new - free - question and answer site for web designers. If you've ever struggled with a CSS problem when designing a website or email template, you'll love Doctype.

We've got a few neat features that make Doctype better than other CSS sites and mailing lists...

• Each question has browser (or email) compatibility screenshots
• All content on Doctype is editable so it's always up-to-date
• You vote on answers so the best ones rise to the top
• All CSS and HTML code is archived, along with the screenshots

Here's a great example of a question, so you can see how it works.

Once you create an account you can begin earning reputation. Your reputation score is the heart of your account on Doctype. To earn a great reputation, just write great answers to other people's questions. As people vote on your answers, you'll get points. A higher reputation means you can do more on Doctype, like editing other people's answers.

At the moment we don't know exactly how Doctype will evolve. Rest assured we'll be watching and participating every step of the way, and will work to make Doctype the single best resource for solving CSS problems on the web.

It's going to be an exciting journey. I hope you'll join us.