A friend who does a lot of selling on eBay asked me to develop a web application for generating HTML templates that could be copied and pasted into his auctions. He wanted to be able to add a title, a description, and some terms and conditions, and also to be able to upload images so the auction template would display thumbnails that could be clicked to display full-sized versions in a new window or tab. The more we talked, the more it sounded like something that would be both useful for a good number of people, and potentially a source of ad revenue for us. And so was born Simple Auction Wizard, an online HTML template generator for auction websites like eBay.
The most difficult part was actually getting the templates to look good in a variety of browsers. Because the template HTML appears inside of a larger page, I couldn’t rely on Doctype switching to place IE into standards mode. This meant the templates would have to be developed so that they would look approximately the same in standards-compliant browsers like Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, as well as horrible browsers like IE6 in quirks-mode. I tried very hard to minimize the use of tables, but they eventually crept in. I was able to use CSS, for the most part, though if any more issues come up, I’m going to throw in the towel and just do inline styles.
The web app is open to the public, but realize that it’s very early in its development and I intend to continue making changes.