Deprecated HTML Still Taught in High Schools

I was asked for help by my good friend to assist her nephew on his Web page design project. I first asked him what lessons they have discussed in school, so I could match the level of what the teacher taught to what we would be doing. As usual, it included <html>, <head>, and <body> elements, as well as the tables, anchors, images and lists. I was just disappointed when he said they still use <font> tags for changing the size and color of text, and use the <body> attributes background and bgcolor for placing background images and color on the page.

Of course, as a standardista, I hated the fact that I am forced to use deprecated elements and attributes on Web pages. So, I decided to make a statement on this blog hoping to be heard (or read) by computer, web design, and web development teachers in any level of education.

Please, please update yourself on what you know and teach about Web design. HTML 3.2, which you are teaching your depolama students, has been replaced by HTML 4.01 almost 9 years ago. That, in turn, has evden eve nakliyat been reformulated to become XHTML 1.0 in 2000. You should also know that HTML should only be used for structure and CSS be used as its presentational layer.

Web design and development education standardization is one of the things I’d be pushing for in my Web standards advocacy. Education starts in the school. And, if teachers do not know what to teach their students, no advancement would ever happen. In my humble opinion, this principle of educational advancement doesn’t only apply in Web education.

We are still in the process of talking about forming a formal Web standards organization in the Philippines. If you feel the same way as I do in this blog entry, and love to fight for Web standards compliance, join us in our discussions to help save the Web and its users—for interoperability, accessibility, validity, and semantics.

Blue Beanie Day 2007

Today is a day for Web standards. As irrelevant as it may seem, blue beanies are related to Web standards advocacy. This so-called connection could be attributed to Jeffrey Zeldman on his book Designing with Web Standards whose cover features the author wearing a blue beanie. The idea of having a blue beanie day came from Douglas Voz, founder of Facebook’s Designing With Web Standards Group.

According to Doug:

Monday, November 26, 2007 is the day thousands of Standardistas (people who support web standards) will wear a Blue Beanie to show their support for accessible, semantic web content.

… and I just can’t not participate. Now, I'm wearing a blue beanie for Blue Beanie Day. Here’s how you can, too:

  1. Make a personal commitment to fight Web Standards Apathy. Show solidarity with the Standardistas on November 26th, 2007.
  2. Buy, beg, or borrow a Blue Beanie (blue hat or cap, even a black or grey one will do in a pinch.)
  3. Take a photo of yourself wearing the Blue Beanie. Or take a cool group photo of you and your friends wearing Blue Beanies.
  4. Post your photo, or photos to Facebook, Flickr, and other social networks on November 26th, 2007. Remember to switch your Facebook profile photo that day. While you’re at it, switch all your social network profile photos. Flickr, Twitter, Last.fm, iLike, Pownce, you name it.
  5. Promote Blue Beanie Day in your blog or wiki starting today, and tell all your friends to get ready for Blue Beanie Day. Start by inviting all your Facebook and Flickr friends to this event.

I didn’t actually have a blue beanie—I only had a black one. And, though black is permissible according to the guidelines above, I cannot settle onto wearing just it. It’s Blue Beanie Day, anyway. Errhm … So I bought one.

Here are more of my photos, and here’s the bluebeanieday2007 Flickr group photo pool.

I’m Getting Naked

It’s already summertime and most people are stripping down to their trunks and bikinis to get wet with friends or their families on the beach or on a pool. Me? I’m here stuck inside my room stripping … and this is not an April Fool’s joke … stripping my website buck naked off of its stylesheets. *tee-hee* Well, anyway, I’ve done this before and I’m doing it again. Last year was good, and I hope this time is better. Dustin Diaz is finally proving the annual in Annual CSS Naked Day.[1]

To anyone who isn’t familiar, CSS Naked Day was made to promote standards. During the 1990s, HTML has grown to become a more presentational language than what it was really meant to be. With browser implementations varying from each other,[2] and the bulk of maintenance work that HTML has become to present aesthetics, proposals were made to have a presentational language that later became what is now CSS. CSS has already replaced every presentational bit of HTML 3.2 and has even added more, and with the advent of better support to the standard since late last year, it is really worth advocating for better and wider Web designer adoption.

The reason for stripping CSS off for a day has been acknowledged by the creator of CSS himself, Håkon Wium Liesaving HTML from becoming a presentational language. I’ve seen many sites that produce good aesthetics, but the perceived quality just stops there. As I turn off the styles on my browser,[3] the layout remains the same, but now with garbled images and incomprehensible text. And they say they’re standardistas.[4]

I hope everyone who have read this participates in the upcoming second year of the celebration of semantic markup. It’s very nice to see that two, Shari and Mr. J, out of currently four links from the official page that are talking about the event are of Filipino blogs. If you think your site doesn’t qualify to having semantic markup, you still have four days to this year’s deadline. Registration is now open [and automated] at the Official CSS Naked Day site.

Oh, and for those WordPress users that are too lazy to edit themes, I’ve made a plugin that strips every piece of stylesheet in your pages without a single tweak on your templates—configurable to follow the recommended 48-hour period or just your local 24-hour April 5.

Footnotes:

  1. ^ I really do not know why they call the first time, annual, already.
  2. ^ As a result of the first browser war.
  3. ^ The way everyone, humans and bots alike, are to understand the page.
  4. ^ I would have told them privately that all but one of the sites in their gallery wasn’t compliant, but it seems that their feedback link isn’t operational. So, just consider this as feedback. Oh, I do hope the site submissions be screened better as it would be a good starting point for showcasing great Pinoy designs.

New Way to Get Involved

If you happen to be an advocate of anything—may it be Web-related or not—it really wouldn’t hurt to get out of your lazy sitting position and go out to reach a broader set of people. Web-wise, this has been done successfully on the Spread Firefox Web site with its members, and business-wise, on record companies and bands with street teams. Now, my advocacy followed suit.

The Web Standards Project announced the formation of the WaSP Street Team during the WaSP Annual Meeting held at SxSW—to take the advocacy out to the streets—or possibly everywhere you might be involved with.

There could be a little disadvantage to this, since you aim for the Web user and you take the promotions out anywhere around the real world, you may be shooting at the wrong people. But, of course, the primary advantage with this move by WaSP, in my point of view, is to let the person who uses the Web know what Web standards are even if they do not browse such scary tech or Web standards-related sites just by knowing them in the streets they walk on everyday.

I still do not clearly know what WaSP plans as the first task for its Street Team. But, you could sign up for announcements from its mailing list on the Street Team homepage. Could this be the answer to the standards awareness problem? I really hope so. Let us watch out what it could do for the Web standards community. Be aware. Get involved. Get the message out everywhere, together.

Oh, I remember you could also join us in discussion on Web Standards Philippines. Just send me a message or leave a comment on this entry so I could add you on to the Basecamp. 🙂

Towards a Standards Compliant Web

Several weeks ago, with the discussions on and my involvement with WaSP ILG and recently with PWAG, I was struck by the idea of forming an advocacy group here in the Philippines concerning Web standards. I immediately asked two of my standards-loving friends, Shari and Lexie, if they are also interested. Though we sometimes had conference chats regarding the topic, we still haven’t been able to formally talk about our goals and objectives. All I know is that we sure love to promote standards to every Web-aware Filipino.[1]

We thought about inviting some other standards-aware individuals and professionals, but we could never know them all [though Shari has already mentioned quite a few]. I guess I also like the idea of volunteering as this would constitute better involvement on the possible discussions that will be held regarding the matter. So if anyone would like to join the advocacy wholeheartedly, speak up! We will be very glad to hear from you. We are taking steps little by little towards a standards compliant Web.

On the other side of the story, you may notice Filipino/Tagalog translations[2] on the International Liaison Group pages from the Web Standards Project. Those were translated by yours truly with the help of my mother and my friend Shari. We aren’t very good translators, so if you notice [some] mistakes—given the fact there are virtually no literal translation for every single English word, and most technical Filipino words are just borrowed—and you know you could help us, I am so much willing to receive some assistance. 🙂

By the way, I have written an article for Bite Size Standards about styling inline list items. I would eventually post them here if ever they consider it useful and worthy of being included in their archive. I have considered writing the article for A List Apart, but I feel it seems a bit overreaching. I sent the article to them [BSS] on the 6th of February 2007. I guess am slowly realizing I am running out of luck—there are only two days left before their expected processing duration of one to two weeks comes to an end.

Notes:

  1. ^ though Shari may have been a little bit sarcastic about it
  2. ^ examples include: