HTML and CSS Reference
Putting It All Together
Being familiar with web technologies and standards is not sufficient for standardizing invalid sites and developing
valid sites from scratch. Web site standardization is always a complex project, and it takes into account a variety of
requirements simultaneously. The list includes, but is not limited to, full standard compliance; optimal code length;
interoperability; meaningful, structured, and accessible content; adequate metadata; and proper settings. Creating
valid code can be learned most efficiently through the collection of step-by-step guidelines provided in this chapter.
After becoming familiar with web standards, it is time to learn how to create fundamental standard-compliant
web site components from scratch in a text editor and extend them for your web pages. Most XHTML code fragments
you will learn can be used as the basis for XHTML projects and HTML5 markup for new HTML projects. You will
see how to use indentations to create clear, easy-to-maintain markup and provide the end tags immediately after
the opening tags to avoid tags to be missed. The presented guidelines also demonstrate the proper, logical use of
structural elements from paragraphs to lists and from tables to forms. Even if web development environments provide
useful templates and functions, it is very useful to understand how to create core web site structures manually. After
mastering the basic structure of lists, tables, objects, and forms, you will be able to extend, modify, and standardize
the corresponding markup elements and never get lost in the details even if the markup is rather long and complex. 1
Choosing the Relevant Standards
When it comes to the implementation of web standards, there is no ultimate choice. The browser support,
the web design trends, and the user expectations are constantly changing. Most web designers consider W3C
Recommendations as de facto standards; however, there are standards released by other standardization bodies
as well, such as ERCIM, IETF, WaSP, or WSG (as discussed in Chapter 1). Even those web designers who know the
mainstream web standards well do not necessarily implement them correctly.
The choice of standards has a serious impact on each phase of web site standardization and future extensibility.
The decision-making has to precede the initial steps of design and coding by considering the features, strengths, and
weaknesses of the various standards and technologies.
Switching Between Standards
It is a common misconception that implementing the latest technologies immediately at all costs is the key to
developing modern web sites. In fact, the latest technologies without finalized specification are not recommended for
use. The latest standards (with the W3C status “Recommendation”) should be applied exclusively, and the Working
1 Each step-by-step guide in this chapter focuses on a particular element or element group and the corresponding markup elements.
The complexity of the markup will increase drastically when adding additional contents and attributes, but the basic structure always
remains the same.