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The Power of HTML 5 and CSS 3

Web designers can do some pretty cool stuff with HTML 4 and CSS 2.1. We can structure our documents logically and create information-rich sites without relying on archaic, table-based layouts. We can style our web pages with beauty and detail without resorting to inline <font></font> and <br /> tags. Indeed, our current design methods have taken us far beyond the hellish era of browser wars, proprietary protocols, and those hideous flashing, scrolling, and blinking web pages. As far as we’ve come using HTML 4 and CSS 2.1, however, we can do better. We can refine the structure of our documents and increase their semantic […] Read more »

Unobtrusive JavaScript for ‘Print-This’ Links

One of the oldest JavaScript tricks in the book involves providing a “print this!” link for visitors that enables them to summon their operating system’s default print dialogue box to facilitate quick and easy printing of whatever page they happen to be viewing. With the old way of pulling this little stunt, we write this in the markup comprising the target “print this!” link in question: <a href=”javascript:window.print()”>Print This!</a> Big yuck there, of course, due to the obtrusive nature of the JavaScript implementation. Adhering to the principles of proper Web Standards, it is better practice to separate behavior from structure […] Read more »

Does Google Hate Web Standards?

Consider the Google home page — arguably the most popular, highly visited web page in the entire world. Such a simple page, right? You would think that such a simple design would fully embrace Web Standards. I mean, think about it for a moment.. How would you or I throw down a few lists, a search field, and a logo image? Something like this, maybe: Read more »

WordPress Hack: Multiple Email Recipients for Contact Coldform

In the current version of my custom contact-form WordPress plugin, Contact Coldform, there is no built-in method of sending emails to multiple addresses. The thought of adding such functionality had not occurred to me until recently, when a Coldform user asked about enabling it. After a bit of investigation, it turns out that integrating multiple-recipient functionality into Contact Coldform is as easy as it is practical. I will definitely be adding this feature to the next release of the Coldform, however, here is the modification procedure for those who just can’t wait. Read more »

Content Negotiation for XHTML Documents via PHP and htaccess

In this article, I discuss the different MIME types available for XHTML and explain a method for serving your documents with the optimal MIME type, depending on the capacity of the user agent. Using either htaccess or PHP for content negotiation, we can serve complete, standards-compliant markup for our document’s header information. This is especially helpful when dealing with Internet Explorer while serving a DOCTYPE of XHTML 1.1 along with the recommended XML declaration. According to the RFC standards 1 produced by IETF 2, web documents formatted as XHTML 3 may be served as any of the following three MIME types: Read more »

CSS/(X)HTML Tutorial: Hovering Accessibility Jump Menu

Recently, a reader named Don asked about this theme’s accessibility (accesskey) jump menu located at the top of each page. Several people have commented that they like the way the jump menu “lights up” upon gaining focus. Whenever a user hovers their cursor over the region at the top of the page, all links in the jump menu change to a more visible color. Then, as the cursor moves over the various menu items, each jump link is further highlighted with an even brighter color and an underline. This progressive focusing is best seen in browsers that support the CSS […] Read more »

XHMTL/CSS Remix: Creative Commons License

Not too long ago, I played with the idea of releasing article content under a Creative Commons (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0) License. At the time, I wanted to host my own copies of the two associated CC license pages. During the process of uploading the pages to my own server, several minor adjustments (regarding image paths, etc.) needed to be made to the source code. After tweaking a few things in the XHTML code, I began snooping around in the pages’ CSS files. Eventually, I found myself rewriting the entire CSS and XHTML files for both documents. Although this sort of activity […] Read more »

WordPress Plugin: Contact Coldform

Welcome to the homepage for Contact Coldform, a secure, lightweight, flexible contact form with plenty of options and squeaky clean markup. Coldform blocks spam while making it easy for your visitors to contact you from your WordPress-powered website. The comprehensive Settings Page makes it easy to take full control with plenty of options and several built-in themes for styling the form. Coldform delivers everything you need and nothing you don’t — no frills, no gimmicks, just pure contact-form satisfaction. Now available at the WP Plugin Directory! Read more »

Rethinking Structural Design with New Elements in HTML 5

HTML 5, also known as Web Applications 1.0, provides new markup elements that will change the way you design your web pages. The new elements replace commonly used divisions in web documents, facilitating an even greater degree of separation between structure (HTML) and presentation (CSS). Indeed, in many documents, the new elements will structure the document while providing enough hooks to render obsolete previously required divisions, classes, and identifiers. Let’s take a look.. New Structural and Semantic Elements in HTML 5 Structural Elements The new structural elements in HTML 5 consist of the following: header section article nav footer Read more »

Standards-Compliance Throwdown: MS-IE5/6 DNS/404 Error-Page Redesign

Default DNS Error page for Internet Explorer First of all, congratulations if you are geeky enough to understand the title of this article. Many would be like, "CSS, MS.. IE, error ..what..?" Whatever. If you get the title, you will get the point of this utterly pointless exercise. If that is the case, prepare for a delightful romp through geekland. Otherwise, save your precious time and stop reading here (exit strategy). Well, okay, for the seriously unenlightened, let us explain the object of our present focus: The default "DNS Error" page for Internet Explorer unfortunately remains a familiar sight for millions […] Read more »

W3C Validation Services

Here are the validation services currently provided by the W3C 1: W3C Semantic Data Extractor W3C Link Checker W3C WebLight – Illumit W3C Markup Validation Service W3C CSS Validation Service W3C RDF Validation Service W3C Atom and RSS Feed Validation Service W3C P3P Validator W3C XML Schema Checking Service W3C MUTAT Developer Information References 1 As listed at W3C Quality Tips for Webmasters Read more »

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