I may be biased, but I have a feeling this is going to be the must-have web design book of 2007. Each of us picked one innovative, clever, or interesting technique or technology to focus on, and the chapter’s I’ve seen are truly great. We’re hoping it’ll be available by SXSW — it should definitely be out sometime in March. Keep an eye open for it. Authors: Cameron Adams, Mark Boulton, Andy Budd, Andy Clarke, Simon Collison, Jeff Croft, Derek Featherstone, Ian Lloyd, Ethan Marcotte, Dan Rubin, and Rob Weychert.
Eric Skogen and space150 have outlined their techniques for using Flash in ways that augment web standards, and in which every element created in Flash has a (X)HTML counterpart. Seems like they could be onto something here…
Roger says, “The phasing out of Transitional DOCTYPEs is long overdue - they are called Transitional for a reason.” I’m not sure the W3 should really eliminate the trasitional DOCTYPEs, but I am sure that any developer worth his/her salt shouldn’t be using them.
Roger says, “Most of the people we need to reach do not read our blogs.” He’s so right. Anyone who thinks the web standards battle is won should take a look at the website of one of my former employers, Washburn University. It was about four years ago when I worked there and started grumbling at the web team that we needed to adhere to standards. What happened? They fired me, and today their homepage sports some of the most appalling HTML this side of 1997.
David Hyatt asks: “What do you think you are getting out of using XHTML (considering you’re probably not serving your document as XML anyway)?” My answer? An easier upgrade path to actualXHTML (served as XML) when the time comes for me to do that. I think this is a good enough reason, especially when I don’t see a good answer from the opposing camp to the counter question (i.e. “What good reason do you have for me to not use XHTML, other than the fact that you’re a pedant and it bothers your OCD?”)
A reminder that almost all of the oft-named “benefits” of using CSS for layout are actually benefits of using good, clean, semantic (X)HTML. Lighter page weight, better SEO, no kludgy presentation tags making your code hard to read — all actually have to do with (X)HTML, not CSS.
My somwhat-curmudgeonly co-worker James Bennett launches his Django-powered blog and kicks things off with a post explaining why he’s using some of the craziest valid markup you’ll ever see. This, my friends, is what a pedant looks like. As a side note, it’s another example of the fact that even our programmers at World Online can hold their own in web design, which I think goes a long way towards making our sites work and look great. 37signals says everyone on your team should be able to write. I agree. But, I think everyone on your team ought to have a feel for good design, as well.
Looks like a lovely beginner’s HTML and CSS book. This is an important niche, in my mind, because we’re getting to the point where there are people getting into web design that haven’t even done is the wrong way before.
I will never understand why the same people who harp on standards all the time say it’s okay to use invlid markup, as long as you have the DOM insert it for you. That having been said, Roger’s blog rocks, and if you don’t read it, you should.
Lately I have been doing this a lot more in my own process — skipping Photoshop/Illustrator and going straight to HTML/CSS. Everyone’s different, so it may not be for you, but it works well for me in most cases.
This is good to see, and I think it’s awesome that Drew did it. That having been said, what Microformats really needs is some consumption tools. Making production easier is great, but until someone can really consume these things, they’ll never take off.
Very nice overview of web standards philosophy, concepts, and basics. Would like to see a bit on the behavior layer here, but this is a very good starting point for someone wanting to get into standards-based design/development.
The nature of Mr. Nielsen, in my humble opinion, is to be on target, yet sensational and extremist. While his concepts are often well-intentioned, his solutions are very often not practical in the real world. Insofar as I know, Jakob doesn’t consider himself a web designer, so I thought it would be interesting to explore a few of his Top Ten Mistakes from that perspective.
Amen, brother. I have never quite understood why the backlash to nested DIVs. Of course, we should limit ourselves to only the necessary DIVs, but it’s absurd to say that using nested DIVs is “just as bad as using nested tables” for layout.
“Jello” appears to be a new layout technique which is a bit of a hybrid of fixed-width and liquid-layouts. It seems to overcome some of the issues with each and provide a nice, flexible template that still offers a decent degree of control.
Perhaps this is old news and I just missed it, but i’ve just noticed that if you create a text input field of type “search” in your HTML document, Safari (at least in Tiger) gives you a different widget with rounded corners and a little “x” (which seemingly does nothing. Witness (if you’re using Safari, of course):
Anyone have more info on this? Does it work in pre-Tiger Safari, too? I’m not sure how I feel about it. While it’s quite cute, I don’t like the idea of further de-standardizing form controls across browsers and I’m not sure what that damned “x” is all about. I suspect this is related to Dashboard widget development, but I can’t be certain. Anyone have any clues?
Latley I’ve been using a lot of definition lists in my XHTML. They seem useful and appropriate for many situations. For example, I’ve used them for my HREFs and tunes in the sidebar on this site. I’ve maked them up this way:
The whole idea of definition lists, as I understand it, is to association one nugget of info (like a definition, or a description), with another (like a word, or a link title). Beautiful, no?
Okay, so here’s my issue: how do I target a word (dt) and any definition elements (dd) that are “beneath” it? For example, say I wanted to add a gray background with a blue border around each word/definition pair. What sort of CSS selector would handle this for me?
As far as I know, there is none. What a bummer.
The problem seems to be that the dd element doesn’t actually come “beneath” a dt at all — they’re on the same level. Definition lists seem to give you an illusion of heirachical structure without really providing anything resembling it.