CSS checker helps developers clean up their code

The CSS Lint online tool does syntax checking and helps developers find bugs by applying pluggable rules

CSS Lint, an online tool for checking Cascading Style Sheets coding, has been made open source and is now readily accessible, a designer of the tool announced on Wednesday.

Available at csslint.net, where the application is billed as hurting developers' feelings but helping them code better, CSS Lint provides automated "linting" of Cascading Style Sheets. "It automatically finds bugs that otherwise would make it into production," said tool designer Nicole Sullivan, president of Stubbornella Consulting, at the O'Reilly Velocity 2011 conference in Santa Clara, Calif. She designed the tool in collaboration with Web software engineer Nicholas Zakas.

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"CSS Lint is a tool to help point out problems with your CSS code," a description of the technology states on the GitHub repository. "It does basic syntax-checking as well as applying a set of rules to the code that look for problematic patterns or signs of inefficiency. The rules are all pluggable, so you can easily write your own or omit ones you don't want."

Sullivan believes CSS Lint is the first tool of its kind for CSS. "There are tools like that for JavaScript," such as JSLint, she said. A World Wide Web consortium specification, CSS provides a mechanism for adding style, such as fonts, colors, and spacing, to Web documents.

Also at the conference Wednesday, Keynote Systems previewed enhancements to the company's Mobile Device Perspective performance-monitoring platform, providing the ability to remotely connect and control live smartphones. Users can remotely observe scripts running on devices to verify normal functioning. Smartphone features can be tracked and users can interact with mobile applications in real time. A self-service scripting feature in the upgrade will allow users to shorten time needed to deploy scripts and test use cases. Also, a dashboard features one-click drill-down for screenshot analysis.

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