Archive for the 'XHTML' Category

XHTML or HTML 4 (Strict)

April 24, 2007

I’m officially entering the redesign phase of my blog. As I’m going to start with a completely blank canvas I thought my first task may as well be to determine the doctype and how the page will be delivered. This came down to a decision of XHTML or HTML 4 and I had no idea what one with be more suited when starting a site from scratch.

The conclusion? I came across a series of posts ‘xhtml vs html 4 strict‘, The W3C XHTML Specification and No to XHTML and the general consensus is to only use xhtml where it will truely be benificial, for a website I can’t seem to find how it would be (generally).

I always correctly nest elements (I have no idea why some people don’t) and I type in lowercase anyway so the well-formedness of the document doesn’t really worry be as it would be with either.

Looks like I’ll be using HTML 4 Strict then!

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NetObjects: Fusion

July 30, 2006

NetObjects Fusion is a WYSIWYG website development package that never seems to get much recognition. After NotePad it (Fusion 6?) was the first package I ever created a website in and although the website never went live I found the site management and editing features were much above what I had tried previously and in general I found it a much more powerful environment than the FrontPage and Netscape Composer’s of the time, the other tools I had tired. Read the rest of this entry »

Get in sync

June 15, 2006

As I move between different computers quite often I have been wanting some form of tool that syncs your browser settings between computers. I started to think of how I could make an application to do something like this using an intermediate server and firefox, but … Google has done it! Another great tool to the large list of quality Google services is Google Browser Sync. As suggested it syncs your bookmarks, history and form passwords as well as remembering what tabs you had open when you closed the browser window (a feature I have found to be extremely useful).  Another highly reccomended download.
I briefly mentioned in my post Hello World a while ago that I have been thinking about exactly what area of programming I'd like to ideally get into at the end of this year when my degree is completed. In contrast to what I wrote in that post (favouring low level programming) I think the area I'd like to get into is more server side applications, using languages/application such as XHTML, CSS, Java, XML, MySQL, C++, PHP, and Apache. These are what I will be focusing on from now. My industry project involves the research, design and implementation of a client server application which is directly related to this so it will be good experience.

I also have collected fair amount of bookmarks for various tech/development related topics which I need to organise (information isn't valuable unless its accessable 😛 . I will start uploading them to my del.icio.us account which I havn't been making much use of.

Holidays in a little over a week so I can begin on the various projects I have lined up, including the hosting of this blog and some friends. As well as getting my NoteThis application working. I'd like to set this up as an open source project if there is interest , to see what can be added as well as to learn from others how my programming can be improved.

XHTML 1.0 W3C standards

March 7, 2006

I really should put my attention to other papers at the moment but I’ve been looking up XHTML 1.0. I’ve been reading the W3C Recommendation at http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1. I found it very interesting and had a good read of the differences with HTML 4.

The differences aren’t great for a basic HTML document; XHTML is case sensitive, all documents must be well formed meaning all elements must have closing tags or must be written in a special form e.g. Elements such as “br” that do not have closing tags are to be written “br/”. These are just a few its well worth reading the article if you are planning on designing/building a new website or are re-implementing one to meet the current standards.

The web application I am developing will be designed to meet these standards. A good tool to check XHTML documents to W3C standards is the W3C Markup Validation Service. I decided to check this site https://elevate.wordpress.com. Only 2 errors were found: An image was missing the required “alt” attribute to provide alternate text and there was an end tag for the “p” element that was never open. Not bad!

Tableless design with CSS

March 7, 2006

As I have been more interested in client based development I haven’t been following the advancements in web design/development as closely as I should have. My next project for class is a web based application so I've been doing a bit of research into XHTML, and the current use of CSS. I must say the future is looking good!

The current trend (and why has it taken so long?) is to separate the mark-up (HTML) and the presentation (CSS). This means your HTML document should only contain the bare elements of page structure, this means the use of tags for headers, tags for paragraphs, tags for block elements, for inline elements and the use of tables only to display tabular data (data that should be presented in table form). Loading this on its own would display a pretty boring page but will include all the content required. Adding an external style sheet to this page allows the presentation to be modified (margins, font colours, faces, types etc) as well as specifying the layout of the page (withought using complex tables). This also means if any presentation changes are required to the website only one document needs to be edited, the style sheet (CCS) file. Without separating the content from the presentation an update would have to be made to every single page, often manual.

This is often referred to as 'Table less design' definitely a new concept as web designers have learnt to live with designing pages based on complex tables and spacer gifs. With the use of style sheets and keeping the content document as simple and structured as possible you can eliminate a great amount of unneeded mark-up, reducing page sizes, load on server, and complexity. Using this technique users can also choose their own preferred styles or create their own … I think my space.com user sites are generally not the best example of this but there it is common to embed your own CSS and HTML to your pages to override default settings.

A perfect example of table less design and the use of different style sheets can be seen here: http://www.csszengarden.com/. This site includes CSS resources and an excellent introduction to table less design.