HTML and CSS Reference
In this part of the topic, you learn the theory and fundamental concepts of web standards, along with the
standardization bodies that develop standards and the most influential web sites that announce, promote,
and distribute them. After understanding the importance of web standards, you can differentiate technical
specifications under development from de facto and de jure web standards.
One of the very first steps in developing sites in languages other than English or creating multilingual
sites is to select and declare the right character encoding. In these chapters you become familiar with the
most powerful character encoding capable of representing all characters of the written languages of the world
as well as widely used notations and historic scripts.
The history of HTML and XHTML markup languages is crucial to understanding document types, the
core document structure, and the allowed elements and attributes for the selected document type. You learn
the syntax, the restrictions, and benefits of XHTML, and the extension of web documents through external
vocabularies as mixed-namespace documents. By enumerating the benefits of HTML5 over HTML 4.x and
XHTML, you will have a solid understanding of cutting-edge markup standards. As you will see, HTML5 can
be written not only in HTML, but also in XML serialization, and web designers can create so-called polyglot
documents that generate the same DOM tree regardless of the parser. You learn the role of hand coding in
Web Quality Assurance, and why machine-generated code cannot compete with web designers. You also
learn how to add machine-readable annotations to the markup and improve the accessibility of web sites.
Without proper web server configuration, the correct appearance, operation, and behavior of web sites
cannot be guaranteed. You learn about the most widely adopted application protocol, the Hypertext Transfer
Protocol, and the structure of the HTTP header. The most common Internet Media Types (MIME types), the
file format identifiers of the Web, are described. You see how to create permanent URIs by minimizing the
information provided in them and removing file extensions on the web server.
You learn why and how to separate content from appearance using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and
what the differences are between the major CSS versions. CSS3 offers mechanisms and properties to create
conditional styles depending on the features of the browsing device, create transitions and text effects, and
provide beautiful typography.
The chapters lead you through techniques to build core web site components based on standards. After
reading these chapters, you will have a solid foundation of web standards and will be able to implement the
right standards for your projects.