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 HTML 3.2, which you are teaching your depolama students, has been replaced by HTML 4.01 almost 9 years ago.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.

UST Web Site Redesign

I was trying to check the University calendar on the UST Web site for the preliminary examinations schedule when I noticed the redesign and restructure planned for it has already been implemented. Excitedly, I saw some of the things I’ve dreamt of doing for it[1] accomplished on the reboot.[2]

These include:

  • Porting the site from ASP to PHP; and,
  • Complying with the XHTML 1.0 and the CSS 2 recommendations.

A very clean design added to its beauty and usability. And, scripting features that makes the layout fluid or fixed, as well as changing the font size according to the users’ preferences, made it more accessible. Two very good steps to have been taken, IMO.

I remember checking it a day after the said reboot, the news roller was a bit misaligned in Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari,[3] but was rendered as desired in Internet Explorer 7. Now, four days later, after browsing it again to continue writing this post, I see they’ve already fixed the alignment problem for the major browsers with the exception of Safari/Win—now I have nothing to rant about the site being made with only IE anymore. Heh.

The new design also features compliance badges from W3C, which results to only a single markup error that is, IMO, fairly forgivable for an elaborate design and a complex site structure. That error may even be caused by the CMS[4] itself for one of its modules automatically placing a <link /> to a style sheet wherever it was inserted.

I haven’t seen much improvement in a single reboot for the site as far as I could remember.[5] The move to open source software, Web standards compliance, and accessibility with usability is, IMO, the best direction any Web site could have taken. Kudos to the Webmasters of the new UST Web site!

Footnotes:

  1. ^ when I volunteered to be a TomasinoWeb member
  2. ^ another term for redesign; from CSS Reboot
  3. ^ all on the Windows platform
  4. ^ namely, Joomla!
  5. ^ with three designs, as of now

Redesign At Long Last

I have announced a redesign more than a month ago, but since WP 2.2 has been delayed, I decided to delay it as well. It’s finished now … well, almost. The upgrading process and the redesign exhausted me. So this post will just be a placeholder. Place your comments here, but I will surely edit this entry later.

I was just worried about some things the upgrade did to my database, it seems that some non-Latin characters was converted to something else. I will investigate on this matter after I wake up later this morning.

*after waking up this afternoon*

After years of having single color accents, I’ve decided to take on dual-color accents to be used on this new design. I just love having complementary orange and blue on almost anything, now they’re on my Web site as well.

Some pages still wouldn’t work, and some are still being rewritten. The new Projects page will be used to organize all my work including Web development and WordPress plugin development pages.

This design has been tested on Firefox 2.0.0.x, Opera 9.x and Internet Explorer 7. I may include some bug fixes for Internet Explorer 6 as I discover it, but don’t count on it.

Credits go to Feed Icons for the standard feed icon, and to FamFamFam for the cute little Silk icons I’ve used throughout the whole site.

Thanks to Arvin for pointing out that my comment form didn’t work. I’ve only used id attributes on the form elements that browsers handling HTML-compatible XHTML wouldn’t process as query string variable names like what they do on name attributes.

Criticisms are welcome. 🙂

Now Showing: Naked <body>

As you may notice, this site has been stripped off of its stylesheets. Don’t worry, nothing is broken—and it will last only until the end of the 5th of April 2007 in the whole world.[1] I’m just participating in this year’s CSS Naked Day like what I did last year. Cheers to Dustin Diaz—More than 1200 sites are currently signed up! I never actually thought it’d pass the 763 sites signed up last year as it was only 500+ or so when I last checked the list before my site got naked.

Now, onto the topic …

I’m somehow surprised to have been getting a lot more visitors this April compared to any other month since this site has started tracking hits. The first and obvious reason is that my CSS Naked Day WordPress plugin has been featured on the Official event page—that I’m not surprised about. The second, more surprising reason? Keywords. Dustin sure has a knack for naming something—in his case, the event he founded—as he’s also famous for the Topless Cameron Diaz photo. 😛

SERPs referring to this site indicate more searches with the keywords naked and some about stripping getting to my site lately. No wonder Shari‘s been getting thousands of unique visitors a month![2] All she talks about is sex, and even more of it—oh, and sex toys [she dubs them acsexsories], as well—even if the blog awards[3] was the topic.

Another thing more surprising is that, according to Pinoy Money Talk, Filipinos are more interested in sex than money.[4] Now I really think poverty and overpopulation are not because of lack of good governance—but that would be better for another entry.

Oh—just so you guys know—I will never, and I mean never, be turning this blog to be about sex just as Shari did to hers. 😆

Footnotes:

  1. ^ 6 April 2007, 00:00 GMT-12 or 20:00 PhT
  2. ^ As disclosed in her recent article.
  3. ^ Or anything else unrelated.
  4. ^ As reported by Google Trends.

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.