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Web Designer's Reference

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the crazy-code-everywhere dept.

Programming 416

jsuda (John Suda) writes "It seems as if everyone and his brother is writing books supporting standards-compliant Web design with XHTML and CSS. I have read and reviewed a half dozen this year alone. People are obviously trying to tell us something - plain HTML has to go! Web Designers' Reference: An Integrated Approach to Web Design with XHTML and CSS, by Craig Grannell, is the latest of these pronouncements." Read on for the rest of Suda's review.

The reasons are clear and compelling: The World Wide Web Consortium, which promulgates Web design standards, has decreed HTML as obsolete. Newer, more compliant browsers, will in time not support the older tags and code; the new standards facilitate much better use by the disabled of screen readers and non-graphic browsers. Not least, the newer code makes writing and revising code easier and more efficient, as well as more capable.

These are certainly good reasons for Web designers to move to the new code. Nevertheless, surveys show that most Web pages are not compliant and that thousands of designers continue to use deprecated code. I confess that I am one of them -- after a number of years learning and getting used to HTML, the need to learn new and more code is onerous. The inertia of habit is a factor, I'm sure.

For those Web designers like me, Mr. Grannell's book is a welcome addition to the literature because it systematically deals with the topics under discussion. In its coverage of XHTML, CSS, Javascript, and complementary coding (like PHP), it provides a nice framework guiding "old dogs" like me into standards-compliant code. Not only does it provide some historical perspectives on these codes, it compares the old with the new in regard to all of the important elements of Web design.

The author is an experienced Web designer and operates a design and writing agency. He also writes articles for a number of computer magazines.

Grannell's goals are to teach cutting-edge, efficient coding, and how to master standards-compliant XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2.1. There are a dozen chapters. He breaks down the elements of Web design into modular components so that one can focus on each element separately, like page structure, content structure, layout, navigation, text control, user feedback, and multimedia. Relevant technologies are explained in context of producing a typical Website.

If one finally decides to move forward, as many suggest, this is a very good volume by which to get your start. For new designers, this is a nice primer to learn what is expected, in an overall sense, of good, advanced Web design.

This is a well-produced book with clear writing, comprehensive approach, dozens of practical examples, and downloadable files with the code examples used in the book. The author writes in a logical sequence much like an engineer would. It is a heavy textbook-like read, only lightly sprinkled with style and personality. It should appeal primarily to novice designers, but has enough advanced information to satisfy an experienced designer who is looking for that fresh start.

And in fact, the structure of the book facilitates the "fresh-start" idea. It starts with a Web design overview, giving an experienced user's tips on what software to use to write code, what browsers to design for, how to build pages from the very top to the bottom. (XHTML, unlike HTML, requires a preliminary document-type definition (DTD) to validate. Only after the introductory section does the first HTML tag appear.)

Like others writing in this area, Grannell firmly advocates designing for standards compliance, usability, accessibility, and last and least, visual design. Marketing Department people may choke on that priority list, but there is no inherent conflict between function and aesthetics; Grannell simply does not spend a lot of time on the aesthetics.

The middle chapters concentrate on modular construction of pages -- the XHTML introduction, the structural elements like text blocks and images, the logical structure of the links and navigation flow, and finally, the stylizing with CSS. Comparisons between pages styled with HTML vs. CSS compellingly demonstrate the benefits and advantages of CSS. There will be no going back once you've decided to upgrade your technical approach.

Basic CSS concepts are explained and illustrated with code samples and screenshots. Grannell describes how to use CSS for text control, navigation, and layouts. There is a broad section on frames and another on forms and interactive components.

The last chapter covers testing and tweaking including how to create a 7-item browser test suite. Strategies overcoming browser quirks are discussed throughout the book. There is detailed technical information, especially in regard to the XHTML introductory section of the page, which I have not seen elsewhere.

There are three welcome reference appendices at the end covering XHTML tags and attributes, Web color coding, and a very comprehensive entities chart noting currencies, European characters, math symbols and more.

Much of this material is covered elsewhere in the growing set of publications about standards-compliant code. This book has the virtue of having a useful overall perspective on Web design and acts as a framework for new designers and converting designers to renew and upgrade their technical approaches.


You can purchase Web Designers' Reference: An Integrated Approach to Web Design with XHTML and CSS from bn.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559916)

This message is posted from an open proxy. Open proxies are used to crapflood sites like Slashdot. Please mod this comment down so the proxy gets banned. If you don't care about open proxies, please mod this comment down because it's offensive to NIGGERS and KIKES.
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Tue May 17 23:02:09 CEST 2005 [4412]

erm... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559918)

I fail it?

I'M AN OPEN PROXY, BAN ME! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559957)

This message is posted from an open proxy. Open proxies are used to crapflood sites like Slashdot. Please mod this comment down so the proxy gets banned. If you don't care about open proxies, please mod this comment down because it's offensive to NIGGERS and KIKES.
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Tue May 17 23:05:48 CEST 2005 [1410]

Pamela Jones EXPOSED (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559920)

Exclusive: Who Is 'PJ' Pamela Jones of Groklaw.Net?

Pamela Is A 61-Year-Old Jehovah's Witness Who Lives In A Shabby Genteel Garden Apartment In Hartsdale, New York

By: Maureen O'Gara
May 7, 2005 09:15 PM

A few weeks ago I went looking for the elusive harridan who supposedly writes the Groklaw blog about the SCO v IBM suit.

The now-famous opinion-shaping open source leader Pamela Jones, aka "PJ," doesn't give conventional face-to-face interviews. Never has, near as anyone knows. All communication is virtual. Only one person in the world has ever claimed to have met her - in the pressroom at LinuxWorld in Boston complete with a Pamela Jones badge - and described her as a fortyish reddish-blonde who giggled a lot.

[Photo: May 7, 2005 12:37 PM - 304 North Central Avenue, Hartsdale, New York. The last known address of Pamela Jones, as the superintendent of the building calls it, Ms. Pam Jones.]

Oh yeah? Wonder what cold crème she uses.

Pamela Jones is a 61-year-old Jehovah's Witness who lives in a shabby genteel garden apartment in desperate need of an interior decorator on a heavily trafficked commercial road at 304 North Central Avenue in Hartsdale, New York. Hartsdale is in Westchester and Westchester is IBM territory.

See, even though Groklaw treats cell phones like they were Kleenex and changes its unpublished numbers regularly, one number it left with a journalist led to this flat and - wouldn't you know it but - some calls from there had been placed to the courts in Utah and to the Canopy Group so obviously this just isn't any Pamela Jones.

Pamela has lived in apartment 1A for 10 years at least, according to the super, who says he's watched people move in, have children, and the children marry and move away.

Now, this isn't your usual anonymous New York apartment. It's practically a self-contained village where the super goes for the old ladies' groceries when there's snow on the ground and people know each other's business.

[Photo: May 7, 2005 12:41 PM - 304 North Central Avenue, Hartsdale, New York. The last known address of Pamela Jones.]

But the super didn't know much about Pamela except that she had a computer, worked at home (maybe sometimes) for a lawyer, was "paranoid" - his word - and "sensitive to smells."

He remembered how he was cleaning paintbrushes one day and she came running down the stairs screaming "Fire."

She was also missing and had been for weeks.

Nobody there knew where she was.

She had up and disappeared one day, and the super was worried about her. He said her son had dropped by and he didn't know where she was, and that some strange man that "nobody knew," as the super described him, had tried to get into her apartment while she was gone - the Medeco lock she had had installed on her door - something nobody else in the complex seemed to feel a need for - was more expensive than the door. But, as it happened, the super said, she had just sent in her rent in an envelope postmarked Connecticut.

Like an episode out of "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego," the trail led to 10 Bittersweet Trail in Norwalk, Connecticut, 24 miles away. Sure enough, parked in the driveway was Pamela's car, just as the super had described it, a dark gray '90s Japanese number with a bunch of Jehovah Witness pamphlets tossed on the backseat.

The woman at the house, Barbara Jones Sharnik, told a disjointed story. She didn't know Pamela, Pamela hated her, Pamela wasn't there, Pamela left her car there because it got bumped, Pamela left her car there because she left town, and so on.

Afterwards Barbara called the cops, and then the cops called the number we left with her and the cops said that she was Pamela's mother and that Pamela was on the run and had shacked up with her mother because she had gotten "threatening mail" weeks before and that she had just gotten spooked again because "people were getting hurt around [my] stories" and had lighted out for Canada.

[Photo: May 7, 2005 2:24 PM - 10 Bittersweet Trail in Norwalk, Connecticut. Mom's house, where PJ's car was last seen on this driveway.]

Odd, the subject of my stories - or any stories - never came up during our brief interview. I was just looking for Pamela.

That left Pamela's son, Nicolas Richards, who, as it happens, had been in the software business in Manhattan until - why, my goodness - things seem to have come a cropper right around the time Groklaw came into existence.

Nick and his ma were apparently involved together in Medabiliti Inc, an ISV, because one Pamela Jones with a Westchester phone number (914 761-7423) and a Medabiliti e-mail (pjones@medabiliti.com) was down as the director of public affairs on a Medabiliti press release dated April 14, 2003.

Nick, as it happens, has written under his own byline on a Groklaw sister site, GrokDoc, giving advice on technical writing. Nick and his wife Andrea live in fancier digs than his ma on East 76th Street off First Avenue, a neighborhood where apartments go for a couple of million bucks.

Now, according to one of Pamela's neighbors and fellow Jehovah's Witness, being a Jehovah's Witness is pretty much a full-time job in and of itself. Witnesses also don't usually get involved in worldly affairs.

So, is this story-spooked 61-year-old Jehovah's Witness with religious tracts in her backseat also the 90-hour-a-week writer of the voluminous PJ diatribes or is she a victim of identity theft?

TO BE CONTINUED...

Re:Pamela Jones EXPOSED (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560081)

This love affair with PJ is amusing. Do you whack-off to this article? Lusting after PJ's ass. I hear JW cougars are hot hot hot.

Wow. (3, Funny)

Monkeman (827301) | more than 9 years ago | (#12559921)

That's a long title. It's upwards of five words. We need to stop this trend before we get crap that's fourteen words and requires a pamplet hanging off the spine of the book to print in full. New Books:Old Books Diet Cherry Vanilla Lime Dr. Pepper:Dr. Pepper

Standards, Schmandards.. (4, Funny)

jimmyCarter (56088) | more than 9 years ago | (#12559924)

Bring back the BLINK tag!

Mod parent down (1, Funny)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12559967)

Obviously a troll.

Have you no eyes, man?

Re:Standards, Schmandards.. (1)

eggz128 (447435) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560073)

.dasbinken {text-decoration: blink;}

Re:Standards, Schmandards.. (1)

ziggamon2.0 (796017) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560074)

It's back just as you requested it!

Only now it's CSS-based and trying to sneak back in!

Try this: CHECK OUT THIS ULTRA-EXCITING OFFER!

Re:Standards, Schmandards.. (1)

ziggamon2.0 (796017) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560128)

Hmm... seems that Slashcode struck me down! I'll have to preview next time.

What I meant was <span style="text-decoration:blink;">CHECK OUT THIS ULTRA-EXCITING OFFER!</span>

PEOPLE WITH MOD POINTS: CALL FOR HELP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560082)

There's a guy currently flooding Slashdot with randomly generated crap messages with the intent of disrupting normal discussion. Click on one of the links below to see what I mean. If you have mod points left and aren't sure what to use them for, plase mod him down so we can get his network banned.

Comment #1 [slashdot.org]
Comment #2 [slashdot.org]
Comment #3 [slashdot.org]
Comment #4 [slashdot.org]

Your help would be very much appreciated. Thanks!

Re:Standards, Schmandards.. (5, Informative)

Inkieminstrel (812132) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560084)

Done and done. .blinktag
{
text-decoration:blink;
}

THIS POST IS HTML CSS COMPLIANT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559928)

NOW DROP YOUR SOCKS AND GRAB YOUR COCKS, LET'S FUCK!

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/_FUCK_\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)___MY__|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\__ASS_/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
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*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

How to Suck in 21 days! (1, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12559929)

Look around the web, and see all the complicated PHP scripts and ASP pages serving as frontends to database of choice, to serve up what's essentially static information.

Plain HTML is quite often the most efficient solution, to produce, host and maintain.

All aboard the hype train! We'll fill the dotcom bubble back up, one asshat at a time!

Re:How to Suck in 21 days! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559980)

That's right keep thinking that :).

MOD PARENT UP, STORY,REPLIES DOWN (1)

SirJaxalot (715418) | more than 9 years ago | (#12559992)

MOD SLASHDOT OVERRATED, FLAMEBAIT, AND TROLL.

mod this post insightful, informative, underrated.

Re:How to Suck in 21 days! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560077)

I need to take a screenshot for future use of this perfect example of both ignorance and apathy.

You obviously have no experience with CSS. In comparison with more modern markup, coding and styling plain old HTML is like making spaghetti _one_ noodle at a time.

Re:How to Suck in 21 days! (4, Insightful)

Flutty (640383) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560122)


Just a comment as someone who is a "content manager" ie the poor person who has to put the words onto the web designers pages.

Using a database to feed a web site makes things so much easier. Global updates, automatic sorting and reusable elements in other parts of the web. Just because something does not make sense to a coder does not meant it is useless to mere mortals.

>>> all the complicated PHP scripts and ASP pages serving as frontends to database of choice, to serve up what's essentially static information.

Re:How to Suck in 21 days! (4, Interesting)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560231)

database backed webpages are a trap and a bottleneck. Notice that Slashdot generates static pages from comments. Databases are not a limitless resource and notice how many webpages get sucked into the "No more connections" trap when you visit them from Slashdot.

Now people will argue that a server is not scalable either, but you can always have 5000 servers serving up that same static data. You really can't expect 5000 servers to access a single database and expect the database to survive.

Databases are needed for some webpages, but don't throw them in as a simple shortcut.

Re:How to Suck in 21 days! (4, Interesting)

kaiidth (104315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560127)

Interesting... I thought that, right up until the time that I tried authoring and maintaining a medium-size site (back in the .com days) and earned myself a rude awakening.

In my experience (YMMV) it is far, far easier to create an infrastructure capable of doing everything you want and to serve content dynamically within that infrastructure, than it is to edit more than a very few pages by hand. Now there is a good argument for serving static (cached) versions of dynamically created files where this is possible, and a lot of sites do just that.

Re:How to Suck in 21 days! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560202)

In point of fact, plain HTML is basically impossible to maintain. Despite the hopes and dreams of nerds everywhere, inline markup is just not a useful format for written information.

What does work, though, is to have a front-end program that lets you enter styled text, then translates that text into XML for storage. XML is subsequently transformed into HTML, as well as all the other destination formats. (Anybody who thinks
<h1>
is the acme of structured presentation clearly needs to go outside once in a while.)

My personal solution for this is Adobe InCopy to XML, XML to HTML via Movable Type. Works great, very maintainable, a giant pain in the ass to construct.

There's a real opportunity for somebody out there to create a proper publishing system. It hasn't happened yet. All the existing publishing systems are monstrous kludges made of Perl scripts and other such crap.

There is a lot to that. (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560204)

It is stupid to re-create, on the fly, essentially identical information that probably won't look right on many browsers anyway. It would make more sense to put that time and effort into getting the page to work well than in getting it to use the latest technology.


Having said that, using PHP and other dynamic mechanisms to "code around" browser bugs, by implanting "patched" tags or using alternative mechanisms where something is seriously broken, is definitely the most practical solution.


You can use Apache SSI's to detect the browser and then #include the appropriate page, but that is extremely expensive on maintenance. It is much more practical to embed markers wherever you might need to deviate from the "correct" HTML and simply use a script to search & replace.


For those pages that genuinely do have dynamic content, you can have a background engine generate static pages every so often, which you then serve, avoiding a continuous rebuild. However, you run the risk of race conditions, where you try to serve a page that is part-way through a rebuild. The result will be the display of a broken page, which is definitely a Bad Idea.


Really, the "correct" design is to use a mix of approaches. Use static methods for static content, use dynamic methods for dynamic content, use pre-built pages where downloads are more frequent than updates. Hammers are great for nails, but you wouldn't use them in place of a saw or a screwdriver.

Re:There is a lot to that. (2, Informative)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560326)

however, you run the risk of race conditions, where you try to serve a page that is part-way through a rebuild.

Already solved the race condition... At my last company, we generated about 20-25 webpages that took over 35 seconds a piece to generate. These accessed a heavily taxed DB server and was processing around a million rows. Simply generate the code to a temp file. Once finished move the temp file in place of the old file. The time it takes to move the file is extremely quick and should(under most circumstances) keep the blank/half webpages from showing up.

Re:There is a lot to that. (1)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560354)

It is stupid to re-create, on the fly, essentially identical information

Yes, and that is why any dynamic website with moire than about 10 visitors per day needs a server-side caching mechanism.

That way, the first person to request a page with dynamic content that never changes gets it pulled fresh from the database. Then for the next hour, the other 99 people get an essentially-flat-HTML version, served from cache.

squid would most likely be the Slash-bot's package of choice, but there are plenty of them out there.

Re:How to Suck in 21 days! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560267)

nice troll, asshat.

Oblig (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559936)

Haha, a web design book being reviewed on Slashdot. Oh, the ironing is delicious.

Re:Oblig (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559977)

the ironing is delicious

You would be the one to grok Chomsky's own: "Colourless green ideas sleep furiously"

Re:Oblig (4, Funny)

Inkieminstrel (812132) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560195)

the ironing is delicious.
I get this image of cooking french toast on an iron. Ooh you could fill the iron with syrup which would drizzle all over the toast when you pushed the steam button.

Sorry, I skipped lunch.

Reference My Ass... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559949)

<fucktml>
<givehead>Another Web Reference</givehead>
<booty>
<buttplug>Yay! Another Web Reference. Give lots of money, and and don't forget the...</buttplug>
</booty>
</fucktml>

Re:Reference My Ass... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559996)

<modtml>
<getnohead>Moderators Suck</getnohead>
<yourmammasbooty>
<porn align=center>
Moderators are such pukie little guys. Getting laid requires two pal.
</porn>
</yormammasbooty>
</modtml>

Web standards!!?? (3, Insightful)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 9 years ago | (#12559955)

I was supprised when my post http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=149370&cid=125 24267 [slashdot.org] was replied by one slashdotter to the effect that no browser today has 100% W3C compatible implementations. Why is this the case? In authoring the post, I was of the impression that Firefox is 100% compliant.

This begs the question: "Whose implementation does this book emphasize/teach?"

Re:Web standards!!?? (1)

imemyself (757318) | more than 9 years ago | (#12559995)

Wouldn't Amaya (W3C's browser) be compliant? Granted, it sucks horribly, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't totally compliant.

Re:Web standards!!?? (4, Informative)

ShinmaWa (449201) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560117)

Wouldn't Amaya (W3C's browser) be compliant? Granted, it sucks horribly, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't totally compliant.

Then suprise is your meal of the day. Amaya not only failed the acid2 test [webstandards.org] , but actually did much worse than even Firefox. Here's a screenshot [student.uu.se] for your amusement.

Re:Web standards!!?? (1)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560135)

Prepare to be suprised. It's not even as compliant as IE, overall. It doesn't have nearly the manpower that any of the major browers do.

Re:Web standards!!?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560011)

Whose implementation does this book emphasize/teach?

Well, I think the point is to emphasize a standard, not an implementation.

Re:Web standards!!?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560080)

I was of the impression that Firefox is 100% compliant.

No browser really cares about standards. Example:
<div style="float:left"><div style="float:right">lol<div><div>
Since the divs are floating, they should shrink to as wide as their contents only (resulting in the text being on the left) but in both FF and IE the outer one gets stretched out to 100% width, so the text ends up on the right.

Re:Web standards!!?? (1)

JTunny (653851) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560086)

I could see this happening if the Firefox developers thought the w3c spec was incorrect or lacking in some manner.

Just a guess ...

that is BAD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560205)

remember what happened last time the good folks over at netscape and microsoft thought the w3c spec was incorrect, or lacking in some manner?

screwy dhtml and authors having to code in all sorts of browser-detection tricks...

whoa daddy (2, Informative)

rebug (520669) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560161)

Whoever told you that Firefox was "100% compliant" was selling something.

Firefox whiffs some CSS2.1 rules [chipx86.com] among other things.

Re:Web standards!!?? (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560176)

Well, I think for the most part it's not intentional. You know, there are occasional rendering bugs-- not the sort of thing you see on most pages. Usually it's in aspects of the standards that aren't used that often, and so they just tend to go unnoticed by users, and they aren't a big priority for the developers.

Sometimes the standards are just vague enough that cases pop up where it's not clear what the rendering engine is supposed to do, or the standards don't cover every possible case, so each browser might handle those cases a little differently.

So, I guess the thing to remember is that the W3C sets down what each tag should do and how, but then the people making the browsers have to actually come up with a system that takes those tags and does those thing with them. It's just not as easy as plugging in the W3C standards and you have a web browser.

Re:Web standards!!?? (4, Interesting)

telbij (465356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560228)

Why is this the case? In authoring the post, I was of the impression that Firefox is 100% compliant.

The reason is because the spec is incredibly difficult to implement. Mozilla is damn close to full compliance, but the fact is that the CSS spec suffers from varying levels of vagueness when it comes time to actually sit down and implement a rendering engine.

The real problem is that it's impossible to anticipate all the ways that people might attempt to use CSS, and the gray areas can really only be standardized by browser makers after years of web development by the public at large. CSS 2 is really just starting to hit its stride now that Netscape 4 is effectively dead, but it won't be able to take another quantum leap until IE6 is dead (assuming IE7 makes good on their standards-compliancy promises).

Sadly, web design is one of the most difficult technical disciplines because browsers grew like cancer in the 90s and now the browser makers are all obligated to support all that cruft. IE has some truly mind boggling bugs that will probably have to remain because people depend on that buggy behaviour.

Ah, well, that's job security for me.

What's the need? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12559965)

Many sites these days are using PHP for no apparent reason. HTML is fine for pretty much anything when you come to think of it. How advanced do you need to get until it gets annoying?

Re:What's the need? (-1, Troll)

Keystroker (884765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560023)

I've never used PHP besides on message boards. HTML pretty much has everything I need.

Re:What's the need? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560110)

Look I don't come around to your house and explain which hole you should stick Mr. Johnson into.

Re:What's the need? (1)

Keystroker (884765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560203)

Excuse me? All I'm saying what is wrong with the current HTML? What exactly needs to be upgraded?

Re:What's the need? (4, Interesting)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560294)

Many things are wrong with current HTML. Well, ok, not CURRENT HTML (4.01) but everything before that.

Since XHTML is just a reformulation of HTML 4.01 into XML, and XHTML 1.1 is just a modularization of XHTML, technically nothhing is wrong with HTML as it exists today. But what about how it exiists tomorrow?

XHTML allows for the easy expansion of the language. Right now, DOCTYPES are the only way to define what version of HTML you're using, which makes it an all or nothing proposition. What if you want to use HTML + SUPERCOOLHTML-Extended? XHTML 1.1 allows you to basically define your own syntax, and more importantly allow the standards body to do so easily).

This way you only have to use as much of the standard as you want to, and if there are two competing standards you can actually choose which one (or ones) to use in a way that the browsers can understand.

Now, i'll grant you that for the typical "my cat fluffy" site, they don't give a rip. HTML 4.01 is just fine. But did you know that HTML 4.01 strict doesn't have font tags? It doesn't have the target attribute on links. It doesn't have a lot of stuff you're used to that are going away.

It's best to get used to XHTML now, HTML won't be improved, but XHTML will.

Yeah, I'm getting ready... (5, Funny)

ilikeitraw (706793) | more than 9 years ago | (#12559966)

... to launch my CSS3 compliant site.
I setup my cron to push the site live in 2007.

Elaboration? (5, Insightful)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 9 years ago | (#12559969)

Strategies overcoming browser quirks are discussed throughout the book.

For ANY web designer who has at least some experience with html/css, this is the single most difficult aspect of web design. That is, getting the page to work in all the popular browsers takes the most time and really has no logic to it. What I would like to see is a book that skips all the fluff that we've seen before and goes straight to browser bugs. If they can be avoided in the first pass at making a web site it makes perfecting the final presentation all that much easier.

Re:Elaboration? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560024)

And that's why we need to shove nuclear bombs up browser designers' asses and threaten to blow them to dust if they don't bloody well start sticking to the standards and getting the fucking renderings right. All that alleged talent, and they can't or won't be compliant. Makes you think there all a bunch of Trekkies who some moron management-type thought must be smart because they gave the Vulcan salute.

Re:Elaboration? (4, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560053)

If they can be avoided in the first pass at making a web site it makes perfecting the final presentation all that much easier.

Which is funny, because the easiest way to make everything show up perfectly is to use plain HTML, which goes directly against the purpose of the book.

Re:Elaboration? (4, Informative)

telbij (465356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560087)

What I would like to see is a book that skips all the fluff that we've seen before and goes straight to browser bugs.

Absolutely. There are a million tutorials that will teach you all about CSS in theory, and once you have a reasonable base knowledge you can actually go into the W3C spec [w3.org] itself and dig into the details, but when it comes time to make your pretty new XHTML/CSS2 page work in IE you better have a boatload of knowledge.

After 5 years, and the thankful death of NS4 and IE5 (for the most part), I can debug my XHTML/CSS pages extremely efficient, but good references are still necessary. My two favorites:

CSS-discuss mailing list wiki [incutio.com]
&
Position is Everything [positioniseverything.net]

Re:Elaboration? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560338)

After 5 years, and the thankful death of NS4 and IE5 (for the most part)

NS4, maybe (though I still see occasional hits). But I see plenty of hits from IE5 in my logs - in fact, I see more IE5.x hits than I do Netscape (all versions) hits.

Re:Elaboration? (1)

kwalker (1383) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560147)

I agree that compatibility is the longest, most time consuming and boring part of developing a website.

The problem is that any book that has a comprehensive list of browser bugs will be outdated by the time it hits the shelves. Firefox and Mozilla change quickly, Opera and Sefari, nearly as quickly. IE is the only thing that hasn't changed much recently, but with IE7 coming out soon, the only thing the book could cover are old and unsupported browsers anymore.

Re:Elaboration? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560193)

Write valid CSS and XHTML, and damned be the bugs. It's the browser's fault, not yours.

Baby + Bathwater (5, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 9 years ago | (#12559987)

Newer, more compliant browsers, will in time not support the older tags and code;

Yeah that's a great idea. Lets just stop supporting a simple markup and make it impossible to view all the legacy HTML in existence. While we're at it let's force everyone to change to a newer, more complicated standard, even if they have no need for it.

Now I'm all for using CSS and XHTML, but that is because it makes things easier to maintain for me. Calling for browsers to stop supporting HTML, however, is taking it about three steps too far.

Re:Baby + Bathwater (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560379)

Yeah that's a great idea. Lets just stop supporting a simple markup and make it impossible to view all the legacy HTML in existence.

Ummm, you do realize that "not supporting" the older tags just means they'll have no effect, not that their content won't show up, right? Please tell me that despite appearances you're not foaming at the mouth like this without at least a rudimentary understanding of how these things actually work.

While we're at it let's force everyone to change to a newer, more complicated standard, even if they have no need for it.

Nope, you don't have clue, do you? If someone wants to author dead simple HTML and put it out there, they're free to do so. Nobody's stopping them. It'll work just fine.

If they want to jazz things up, modern HTML + CSS gives them plenty of ways to do that, from the vapidly simple to the hideously complex. Their choice.

Or perhaps you wish there was no choice, so those (like you perhaps?) who don't wish to put a little effort into learning their craft won't look incompetent next to those who do?

Hehehe (0, Redundant)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560006)

Ah, the irony of a review of a web standards book being posted on Slashdot, which still uses the FONT tag.

Re:Hehehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560055)

Ah, the irony of a review of a web standards book being posted on Slashdot, which still uses the FONT tag.

Clearly this has you broken up. I recommend taking a hot bath, and having someone throw in your plugged-in monitor after you.

I mean, do you really give a shit what the fuck the tags are? You must one of eight people on the planet that goes View-->Source to find out if a web page is compliant. Get a life, or stick your finger in the toaster, one of the two.

Re:Hehehe (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560136)

You can take my tagged list of named fonts when you pry it out of my cold, dead, single-get static files.

Well, maybe not. But I'll be damned if I'll switch from <B> to <strong>. Why store and transmit all those extra characters? It's just silly.

Re:Hehehe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560215)


Besides, Netscape doesn't even recognize the "<strong>" tag..

Perhaps, the latest version does. I haven't dealt with this in a few months.

Re:Hehehe (1)

borawjm (747876) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560328)

Doesn't MS Frontpage still publish using the <font> tag?

I'm working on a website where the original author used the MS FrontPage WYSIWYG to create all of his pages. There are <font> tags all over the place. I've been converting most of it over to css so that I can control its formatting more.

HTML code looks so ugly when it comes out of a WYSIWYG editor such as FrontPage, DreamWeaver, or even Adobe ImageReady.

Gilding the lilly (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560012)

XHTML brings some nice and obvious changes to HTML (such as single tags for new paragraphs), but at the same time, I don't understand why "strong" is better than "b" for bold, or "em" is better than "i" for italics. IMHO, less typing is better, even if most people now use some sort of graphical editor like Dreamweaver.

Re:Gilding the lilly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560100)

I don't understand why "strong" is better than "b" for bold, or "em" is better than "i" for italics.

Because (wait for it!) "strong" doesn't mean bold, it means strong. Similarly, "em" doesn't mean italics, it means emphasize (or something like that, anyway). It's semantic markup -- mark up the text for what it means, not how it should be displayed. I'd explain more, but others have said it better before me, and I'm sure you know about this new-fangled Google thingy.

IMHO, less typing is better, even if most people now use some sort of graphical editor like Dreamweaver.

Sigh. Less typing is a good goal, but clarity of markup is an even better one.

Re:Gilding the lilly (5, Informative)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560102)

Super quick whizzbang explanation:

<b> and <i> are visual tags: they make text look bold or italicised without altering the meaning of the sentence they are in. <strong> and <em> are logical tags: <strong> provides emphasis in web page readers, as well as looking bold, for example. <em> does the same, but renders differently in text browsers. There are other italic tags such as <cite> that are used for citing references, for example.

This page says it better than I do. [think-ink.net]

Re:Gilding the lilly (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560182)

Thank you. That does clarify things for me, please mod parent up informative :-)

Re:Gilding the lilly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560249)

There are no more visual tags in HTML. There's default browser styling, sure, but <b> and <i> are just shorthands for <span class="b"> and <span class="i">.

Back in the days before style sheets, it made sense to abstract boldface and italics, but no more. Today <b> and <i> are the inline formatting tags of choice.

Re:Gilding the lilly (1)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560108)

The term's "semantic markup". Basically the notion is that using more descriptive tags can potentially tell user agents (be they browser or spider) a little bit more about the content.

However, it's not solely in XHTML. The tags exist in HTML 4.

I'm personally amazed that people talk so much about the strong and em tags so much when there's a ton of nicer introductions such as label [w3schools.com] and optgroup [w3schools.com] that get little to no press.

Re:Gilding the lilly (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560145)

"strong" is a semantic definition while "bold" is a typographical one. What does "bold" mean to a text-to-speech device? The same holds for "em" or "emphasis".

The purpose of XHTML is to decouple the presentation from the information. "strong" just tells whatever is interpreting it to do whatever it thinks is best to make it stand out.

Re:Gilding the lilly (1)

Inkieminstrel (812132) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560154)

Because "bold" is presentation whereas "strong" is content. "Strong" doesn't mean "bold," and with CSS you could make strong render as italic site-wide by changing one line in the stylesheet.

How's that for less typing?

Re:Gilding the lilly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560278)

It's about semantics. Bold is purely visual, strong also refers to the emphasis of the text, which is important to screenreaders (blind "readers").

Re:Gilding the lilly (1)

rossifer (581396) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560287)

I don't understand why "strong" is better than "b" for bold, or "em" is better than "i" for italics. IMHO, less typing is better, even if most people now use some sort of graphical editor like Dreamweaver.

Part of the idea in those renamings is to increase the separation between content and presentation. In the two examples you give, changing the semantic behind the markup allows them to imply content information instead of presentation information. "b[old]" and "i[talics]" specify the appearance of a block of text. "strong" and "em" provide content hints similar to voice inflection and body language that can't be carried in simple text. The fact that they may be consistently mapped to bold or italic font styles during presentation is convenient, but doesn't mean they're the same thing.

It's part of the same philosophy of how to name "class" and "id" attributes when using CSS. The names should describe the kind or function or responsibility of the content (header, footer, subscript, etc.) instead of describing the intended appearance of the content (small, extraSmall, largeGrey, etc.).

As for "less typing" == "better", I'm of mixed feelings myself. I think that XML/HTML/XHTML/XSL is already an extremely verbose syntax, so I'm not too upset if some of the tags get a little bigger. In my experience, good tools and effective habits make more of a difference than anything else.

Regards,
Ross

Ironic (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560013)

Slashdot, with its Slashcode spewing out terrible, non-compliant HTML is posting a book review on proper HTML...

...so why aint people doing it? (3, Insightful)

wastaz (634441) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560019)

It seems as if everyone and his brother is writing books supporting standards-compliant Web design with XHTML and CSS.

So if that is the case, then why the heck doesn't more people do it? I mean, if we assume that people learn to code webpages from books, why do they buy the old shitty books and code their pages with godawful font-tags and something that closely resembles MS-Word-HTML?

With that said, XHTML and CSS is love.

Re:...so why aint people doing it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560298)

"...then why the heck doesn't more people do it" Nice grammar usage, buddy.

Web standards are stupid. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560037)

If the developers of Netscape Navigator had this fanatical devotion to the W3C that seems to be popular lately, we wouldn't have tables, scripts, or any kind of styles (neither <font> nor CSS). None of that was in the standard (HTML 2.0) at the time.

XHTML is a bad solution (4, Interesting)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560039)

I don't understand why designers and technologians keep preaching XHTML. It's at best a kludge. Until you start serving XHTML documents with the correct mimetype (application/xhtml+xml I believe) XHTML provides no benefits over plain old HTML (provided you stick to the spec). Until then, User Agents will continue to accept whatever crap you throw at them, and since you're not using real XML you won't see any errors (except for the rendering).

I coordially invite someone to give me one reason why XHTML (in its current form, served as text/html or text/xml) is better than HTML 4.0 strict? Is closing my link and meta tags really that life-changing?

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560124)

The extra slashes, quotes, and end tags require bandwidth to send, so if you're a broadband ISP it's a good thing...

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (5, Informative)

imputor (841598) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560130)

A couple reasons...

The main is that XHTML really FORCES you (if you want your page to pass W3C validation) to seperate design from content in a way that facilitates the ease of updating pages.

A side effect of this is smaller filesizes. A recent conversion from HTML to XHTML+CSS for a client of mine brought their homepage size down from 25k to 9k. This to me is reason enough to use XHTML+CSS.

A side effect of this is better code/content ratio.... a side effect of this is better search engine placement.... a side effect of this is...

So using XHTML over HTML actually has a cascading (mind the pun) list of benefits, completely independant of the technical mumbo-jumbo of the whole "XHTML is supposed to be XML" stuff.

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (1)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560262)

I write my HTML by hand, using Emacs, so the way my html looks is important to me.

Which is more readable?

--

This is a paragraph.<p>

<img src = "foo.jpg" height = 20 width = 30>

This is another paragraph.<p>

--- or ---

<p>This is a paragraph.</p>

<img src = "foo.jpg" height = "20" width = "30" />

<p>This is another paragraph.</p>

---end---

This kind of issue is why I have resisted changing to the likes of XHTML. I want my code to be easy to read instead of making my documents look like programming language statements.

I do like the improved appearance I can get through CSS, which is why my home page now uses it. But I'm still grumbling at the more difficult readability of the code by humans. I don't see gains from closing all tags or putting quotes around everything. The old way was simpler, easier and more forgiving. I think that's a good thing.

Better error handling and reporting would have converted me to the new way a lot faster than I did. At least when I was learning it, error messages were non-existant. Better communications between the browser and coder would be nice. Of course there are validators, but they seem like a rather esoteric concept when you just want things to work, and don't understand why they do not.

D

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (4, Insightful)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560263)

XHTML doesn't force you to do anything. I can make a page that passes a validator that's 8 nested tables deep that happily passed the w3c validator. There's absolutely no forcing there.

The only thing that XHTML forces you to do is stop using the font tag. That's pretty much it. Everything XHTML can do HTML 4 does and does it better (cuz existing UAs grok its mimetype).

The real promise of XHTML is the same as XML: being able to mix and match namespaces into a super-document. However, no user agents (except for some special builds of Mozilla) really accept embedded XML dialects (for an example, see SVG+XHTML on Mozilla's SVG site). This is changing in Firefox 1.1, but it won't have any real effect on the marketplace until the majority of user agents support it.

Short version: XHTML disables the use of the FONT tag and some attributes that should be done in CSS anyway.

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (2, Insightful)

HRbnjR (12398) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560259)

Namespaces!

The proliferation of XML allows everyone to create tag sets to meet their needs - from Scalable Vector Graphics to Chemistry Markup Language.

With this evolution, the browser becomes more of a host for a set of plugins glued together through XHTML.

XHTML, being a dialect of XML, allows you to create compound documents combining elements from multiple XML namespaces into a single document.

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (2, Interesting)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560369)

Namespaces do indeed rock. They make some tasks possible which were before impossible, and they provide a means to combine languages together in a way which wasn't possible before.

However, XHTML (in it's current form) totally breaks namespaces, since the mimetype of the document is text/html and the user agent only expects (or rather, should only expect) to be receiving text/html content (instead of a mish-mash of XML dialects).

I think namespaces are most useful (and powerful) in more controlled environment such as server-side applications (or even Ajax type stuff).

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (2, Insightful)

bomb_number_20 (168641) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560277)

I think it's a little bigger than that. XHTML was never intended to be the answer, but rather an intermediate step.

Since you asked, here's a reason off the top of my head: As an XML application, XHTML requires you to have a well-formed document. That's good for me because later on, i can work with it.

If I need a PDF of a 4 year old document that is written in half-assed, abused, non well-formed HTML It's going to be very difficult for me to parse it into something useful.

Here's another reason: try maintaining bad html over the long haul. Overlapping tags can be a real pain.

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (1)

telbij (465356) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560309)

I coordially invite someone to give me one reason why XHTML (in its current form, served as text/html or text/xml) is better than HTML 4.0 strict?

Purists always like to trot out this argument, because of course it's true that IE pretty much guarantees you won't be able to send the proper mime type for a long long time to come.

But come on, foregoing XHTML syntax because of this minor issue (which will be easily fixable for all your legacy documents 10 or 15 years from now) is pretty much cutting off your nose to spite your face.

XHTML means easier parsing, better code support in the future, and helps you develop good habits. So, while I'm not advocating updating all your old HTML, might as well start writing XHTML sooner rather than later.

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (1)

DaveKAO (320532) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560314)

Because sloppy code requires a beefy engine (read: Desktop Browser) to (attempt to)display properly. Now what if you are viewing the page on a PDA, a phone, or some other mobile device with limited hardware specs? Either it doesn't display correctly, or it takes forever to load. XHTML helps solve this problem.

My personal homepage (http://www.dave-dodds.com/ [dave-dodds.com] is a good example of a site that is XHTML compliant, but not truly w3C accessibility compliant. note: It is priority 1 compliant).

Also, it seems as if most people get XHTML and CSS confused as one in the same, when in reality they are more like perl/cgi.

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (1)

tehshen (794722) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560353)

XHTML is better, because there is a greater chance that the page will look like how you intended. This has nothing to do with how the page looks in the browser (that's standards), but how the browser parses your page.

Suppose your page had this here mystery tag in it:

<foo>

What should the browser do? Should it do something and leave it at that (like <br>) or do something and enclose all the rest of the page in a <foo> block then try to sort out the rest of the page when it thinks the tags aren't in the right order (like <p>)?

With XHTML and validating code, the tag will be this:

<foo />

This means that it just does something by itself, without enclosing any HTML inside it. With plain HTML, there is ambiguity so your page might not look correct, but with XHTML, your page will be parsed correctly every time.

Getting the browsers to display the page correctly is another matter, however. (I hope you see what I am getting at here)

Re:XHTML is a bad solution (1)

GrouchoMarx (153170) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560355)

I coordially invite someone to give me one reason why XHTML (in its current form, served as text/html or text/xml) is better than HTML 4.0 strict? Is closing my link and meta tags really that life-changing?

Using /> instead of >, no. That won't make a great deal of difference. However, getting into the habit now will make it easier when you DO start sending the correct mimetype (read: when IE evolves out of the 20th century).

The main advantage I see is not the /> stuff, but the fact that closing tags are not optional in general. When you're writing CSS, it's important to know where the effect of a given style will end. If your p and li tags are not closed, how do you know? Well you can guess at where the browser will decide to end it (maybe easily, maybe not), or you can tell it explicitly with properly-nested closing tags at all times. Not leaving it up to the browser to guess is good coding practice, and in the long run makes your life easier.

Ibid. for quoting all attributes.

Ibid. for lowercasing all names. (Lowercase is easier to skim because of the variable height letters. That provides a visual hint to help you read it. A good syntax highlighter will make it easy to distinguish between tags and non-tags, that's what they're for.)

So when all is said and done, all of the XHTML differences except the self-closing tags are already what I'd say are best practices to start with. Forcing yourself to use XHTML forces yourself to use best coding practices from the get-go, which makes your life much easier in the long run. And, when you can start sending XHTML as XHTML instead of masquerading as HTML (there are ways to do that now depending on the browser), you're already set to go and can just change the mimetype and keep on chugging. No major code rewrites needed.

GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560376)

GNAA is here

How ironic... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560061)

For at least the past couple of days, all blurbs posted below (i.e. before) a book review blurb on the front page are all italicized. I guess there's an open i tag that is never closed. Maybe Slashcode maintainers should pick this book up.

W3C trying to make me PC *rolls eyes* (2, Interesting)

StreetFire.net (850652) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560101)

Macromedia, Adobe and gang have to push things forward to keep getting us to buy product right. Is HTML now "designed obsolescence"?

No

Jakob Nielson and the gang have pushed us to really boring text based browsing that is a chore to read, and not worth a casual flipping. Why should *I* care if my website is Modem/text based browsing compliant? Sure if I had a research website I can see the point, but my website is a video hosting portal http://videos.streetfire.net/ [streetfire.net] [streetfire.net] so I doubt the 40,000 folks coming to my site every day care about text based browsing or low-bandwidth options, since the end media is video.

FWIW though I chose 3.0 HTML because it's easier to integrate the 13 ASCX objects into my single ASPX page than if I kept styling separate with XHTML.

Now that if course is just me and maybe I'm bothered by people saying my site is obsolete. I admit there are a lot of neat things you can do with XHTML http://www.csszengarden.com/?cssfile=/152/152.css& [csszengarden.com] page=1 [csszengarden.com] (Click "select a design to see the style changes). But again I see that as new candy that doesn't really solve problems that neither I nor my viewers are having. [/rant]

PS I used the BR tag too, because I still think the P tag is lame.

-Adam HTML guy since 1994.

That's great if your site is only visited by geeks (2, Insightful)

sharkb8 (723587) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560104)

Grannell firmly advocates designing for standards compliance, usability, accessibility, and last and least, visual design.

If people keep using HTML, browers will continue to support it. Designing for standards compliance is great, but a crappy website that loads on any standards compiant browser is a lot less useful than a beautiful, usable website that loads on the major brosers like Firefox, IE, Opera and Safari.

Ever heard someone complain about an ugly website that's hard to navigate? we've all done it.

Ever heard anyone complain that standard HTML didn't look the same on all broswers? Not too often I bet.

And standards compliance is great, but with 1) IE having a 90% market share, and 2) IE not being standards compliant, doesn't that mean that most internet users aren't using a standards compliant browser?

plain HTML has to go ! (5, Insightful)

cablepokerface (718716) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560115)

And why is that? So people can screen scrap easier because you're content is xml parsable?

I lived by those rules not long ago; tableless design, css driven, no client side javascript events in the html (but put there by an initialization function), classnames never revealing structure information, separating structure classes with lay-out classes in different css, xhtml 1.1, etc.

Where did it get me? Not sure but sticking to all those rules sure costed me much more time then needed. And what for, because browers require that a page validates in a few years? Forget it, not in a decade, not in two.

Advice, stick to clean html that makes sense, think of your customers, think of your bandwith and don't let that w3c run your web development.

Re:plain HTML has to go ! (2, Informative)

Run4yourlives (716310) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560357)

think of your customers, think of your bandwith

1. CSS based designs use less bandwidth, because stylesheets are cashed.

2. Think of yuo customer's customers. Specifically, those using browsers other than ie, those on cell phones, those who are using screen readers etc.

Another recommendation for beginner's.. (3, Interesting)

x.Draino.x (693782) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560116)

Although I haven't read the book this review is about. I recently purchased another book titled Web Standards Solutions: The Markup and Style Handbook [amazon.com] by Dan Cederholm and found it very good for beginner's to XHTML and CSS. Even my wife, who's never dabbled in web design before is enjoying it. Also, quite a few of the chapter's in Dan Cederholm's book appear on his website [simplebits.com] if you want to get a feel for his writing style.

Old? (3, Insightful)

HRbnjR (12398) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560201)

it provides a nice framework guiding "old dogs" like me into standards-compliant code.


XHTML 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation on 26 January 2000, meaning it has been around almost as long now as HTML was when it came out! (Well, at least, almost as long as HTML had been in popular use when XHTML came out).

The only excuse for not using XHTML today is laziness and ineducation on the part of designers and those educating them. The same reasons most web sites don't validate as proper HTML. Sadly, "just good enough" is the rule of the day.

Three words: (-1, Troll)

rainman_bc (735332) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560212)

Don't Use Dreamweaver

Seriously. Designers are teh suxx0rz... I'm sick of having to fix .style1,.style2, .style3, etc.

Sure it's friggin' compliant, but good luck editing it in anything otehr than DW. Designers who use that POS gui should get a kick in the ass... It's sux ass...

fuck it (0, Flamebait)

trolleri (621160) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560220)

I hate Xhtml, css, xml and all that shit..fuck it!!!

html is fine as it is and as it was.

fuck xml! fucking write your own parser and language if you really need shit like that. granted i doubt the majority do need it, ever.
xml and its parsers are a bunch fat hogs. keep it simple or slap on a real database.
css...what a joke, hehe..

flash is good though.

GNAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12560340)

GNAA on this

irony... (1)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12560348)

did someone forget the tag?
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