HTML and CSS Reference
If you have some existing pages and you're not up for the challenge of turning them into
valid HTML, there's a program that will not only validate your pages, but also correct
them as best as it can. This program, HTML Tidy, was originally written by a staffer at
the W3C named David Raggett and has since been handed over to the community for
maintenance. You can obtain it at http://tidy.sourceforge.net/ .
Tidy accepts a number of command-line options that enable you to indicate how you
want your page to be validated and modified. For example, if you want to convert your
pages to XHTML, you can call it like this:
tidy -asxhtml myfile.html
Tidy will strip out all the deprecated <font> tags in your document, along with other
tags that can be replaced by CSS properties if you pass it the -clean option, like this:
tidy -clean myfile.html
After you've run Tidy on your files, they may still need some cleaning up, but Tidy will
fix all the obvious errors.
You might also want to look for support for HTML Tidy in your text editor if it has
HTML-specific features. Tidy is also available as a library that can be incorporated into
other tools, and many offer the ability to clean up your files as you edit them.
Writing on the Web is no different from writing in the real world. Although it's not com-
mitted to hard copy, it's still published and is still a reflection of you and your work.
Because your writing is online and your visitors have many other options when it comes
to finding something to read, you'll have to follow the rules of good writing that much
Because of the vast quantities of information available on the Web, your visitors aren't
going to have much patience if your web page is poorly organized or full of spelling
errors. They're likely to give up after the first couple of sentences and move on to some-
one else's page. After all, there are several million pages out there. No one has time to
waste on bad pages.
I don't mean that you have to go out and become a professional writer to create a
good web page, but I give you a few hints for making your web page easier to read and