HWG Resources FAQs HWG-Basics List FAQ

HWG-Basics List FAQ

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Cascading Style Sheets, what are they and where can I learn more?
  3. Validation, what is it and why would I want to use it?
  4. Which browser and resoulution should I design for?
  5. What are tables? Where can I learn more?
  6. In a link, how do I "break out" of frames?
  7. For More Information

  1. Introduction

    This document contains answers to commonly asked questions on the HWG-Basics mailing list and will gradually grow with information to help both beginners and advanced writers.

    If you feel that you have a topic that should be added, you may submit it to the list guides at lg-basics@hwg.org. Your submission will be considered on the basisof:

    1. Does it really pertain to a frequently asked question?
    2. Does it indeed provide an answer to the frequently asked question?

    This is not an offer for free advertising of any site, nor will blatant commercial sites be considered. This information is provided for the writers who have come here to learn. Comments about this document should be sent to lg-basics@hwg.org.

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  2. Cascading Style Sheets, what are they and where can I learn more?

    Style sheets describe how documents are presented on screens, in print, or perhaps how they are pronounced. By attaching style sheets to structured documents on the Web (e.g. HTML), authors and readers can influence the presentation of documents without sacrificing device-independence or adding new HTML tags. Cascading Style Sheets were developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Style sheets have been an W3C activity since the consortium was founded and has resulted in the development of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The easiest way to start experimenting with style sheets is to find a browser that supports CSS1.

    W3C Home Page
    List of browsers that support CSS1 and their progress.
    W3C Style Sheet Information Page

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  3. Validation, what is it and why would I want to use it?

    Browsers accept Web pages and try to display them even if they're not legal HTML. Usually this means that the browser will try to make educated guesses about what you probably meant. The problem is that different browsers (or even different versions of the same browser) will make different guesses about the same illegal construct. It is even possible for a browser to crash. That is why you want to make sure your pages are legal HTML. The best way to do that is by running your documents through one or more HTML validators.

    A HTML validator will either parse your HTML markup or scan it and look for errors. To validate an HTML document you need to insert a special <!DOCTYPE...> statement at the beginning of your document. This identifies the file as HTML and states which version you are using. Listing of <!DOCTYPE...> statements.

    Some popular online HTML validators:
    A Kinder, Gentler HTML Validator
    Weblint Home Page
    HTMLChek
    You can also check the HWG Validation Resource Page for both online and offline validators/tools.

    Weblint and HTMLChek do not completely parse your HTML markup, but simply scan it looking for errors. The advantage of this is that they can detect constructs that are legal HTML but considered "bad style", such as an <IMG> tag without an ALT a ttribute; the disadvantage is that they can fail to detect some errors. WebTechs is similar to KGV; both operate directly from the HTML language definition, and both strictly obey the rules of SGML.

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  4. Which browser and resoulution should I design for?

    Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. This is partly based upon who visits your site. Are they professionals, software developers, web site designers, magazine and newspaper editors, writers, children, teens, etc.? In general, professionals and web site designers tend to use newer, nicer browsers. Teens that enjoy working with computers tend to fit into this category as well. Children, however, may use whatever is available or, possibly, what came on their computer. Resolution is just as difficult and also depends on the visitors. In general, people that really enjoy using computers and professionals (graphic designers, etc.) use higher resolutions.

    There have been many companies who have performed surveys to answer this question.
    Internet Surveys and Demographics
    Graphics, Visualization, And Usability Center's WWW User Surveys
    CyberAtlas Demographics
    Internet Demographics Benchmark Series

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  5. What are tables? Where can I learn more?

    Tables are used for layout purposes. Tables can be used to achieve numerous effects. (e.g. navigation bar on side of screen, data layout, etc.) Tables are created using the <TABLE...> tag and its attributes.

    NSCA -- A Beginner's Guide to HTML Home Page - A great starting point for tables and HTML help!

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  6. In a link, how do I "break out" of frames?

    To "break out" of frames you need to insert target="_top" at the end of your tag.
    e.g. <A HREF="http://www.foo.com/" target="_top">
    This will allow the target page to load full screen, not into a frame.

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  7. For More Information
    • For more information, please contact the list guides at lg-basics@hwg.org. We will try to address any comments, questions, or suggestions you may have. Questions will be addressed in the order they were received.

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This page is maintained by faqs@hwg.org. Last updated on 19 February 1999.
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