DTP


 
Lively discussions on the graphic arts and publishing — in print or on the web


Go Back   Desktop Publishing Forum > General Discussions > Web Design

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-11-2006, 03:00 PM   #1
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default Designing with web standards

I have been reading the second edition of Jeffrey Zeldman’s book Designing with Web Standards. (Link is to publisher; the book is heavily discounted at Amazon and others.)

I had been reading his essays on A List Apart on the web over the years, but this book caught my eye because it carries an AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) imprint, and I was curious to see what that might mean. Turned out to be an interesting read.

A lot of space is given to defending the title concept, and he includes a good history of the development of the web, including the browser wars and their consequences. And then he makes recommendations, gives examples, and guides the reader toward web standards and, especially, accessible sites.

There were some surprises, among them recommendations to use XHTML Transitional rather than Strict and to build hybrid (with some structural tables) rather than pure CSS sites. I think that is probably realistic, especially when revising existing sites, but if you are starting a new one, better go directly to XHTML Strict (which is actually easier to grapple with IMHO) and table-less pages. He is also rather enthusiastic about JavaScript and Flash, which may be more controversial in some quarters.

This is not exactly a how-to book. You might feel like making test pages while reading some of the chapters, but it is more a collection of snippets than a coherent plan leading to a site. But there are plenty of golden nuggets dropped along the way, and very good discussions of DOCTYPE, PHP and its ilk, accessibility in general and in particular, developing a print page, and the other nuts and bolds of modern web design.

Even if you visit A List Apart periodically, you might enjoy this book.

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 02:00 PM   #2
annc
Sysop
 
annc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Subtropical Queensland, Australia, between the mountains and the Coral Sea
Posts: 4,436
Default

I've got the original, published in 2003, but have never read much of it because I bought Meyer's book at the same time, and leapt straight into working through its examples, and then, of course, part-way through that, I took the plunge and started doing real pages...

Thanks for the reminder; I've moved it from the bookcase to my bedside table.

   
__________________
annc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2006, 11:17 AM   #3
roaryg
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 176
Default

The latest version of the zencart shopping cart software is pure CSS. I couldn't figure out where all the tables went! After you spend a long time wrapping your head around it, it does work, and it breaks you free of the constraints of tables. Hard to believe but html is slipping into history.
roaryg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2006, 12:10 PM   #4
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by roaryg View Post
After you spend a long time wrapping your head around it, it does work, and it breaks you free of the constraints of tables. Hard to believe but html is slipping into history.
I was lucky — when I started learning how to make web pages, I had lots of trouble with tables and avoided them, even though they were the way to do things at that time. So CSS came as a welcome relief. For me — I know it is hard for those who are used to tables to get into the CSS mind-frame.

Odd — now that I rarely need them, I have no problems making HTML tables. Go figure.

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2006, 12:39 PM   #5
ElyseC
Sysop Emeritus
 
ElyseC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: southeastern Iowa, in the technology corridor
Posts: 2,190
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
I was lucky — when I started learning how to make web pages, I had lots of trouble with tables and avoided them, even though they were the way to do things at that time. So CSS came as a welcome relief. For me — I know it is hard for those who are used to tables to get into the CSS mind-frame.
Would be nice if David Pogue wrote a "Missing manual" or "in a nutshell" book for CSS. He distills tech talk into normal English.

   
__________________
Elyse
ElyseC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2006, 12:50 PM   #6
iamback
Member
 
iamback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Posts: 4,894
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by roaryg View Post
The latest version of the zencart shopping cart software is pure CSS. I couldn't figure out where all the tables went! After you spend a long time wrapping your head around it, it does work, and it breaks you free of the constraints of tables. Hard to believe but html is slipping into history.
A shopping cart without any tables raises a red flag for me. I just cannot imagine a shopping cart without any tabular data! I hope they didn't throw out the baby with the bathwater, misguidedly thinking that "tables are bad" - as many do.

They're not - tables are perfect for tabular data (if done properly) because that's what they're designed for; if you use just divs for the same data you lose a lot of semantics and accessibility.

   
__________________
Marjolein Katsma
Look through my eyes on Cultural Surfaces (soon!), My ArtFlakes shop and Flickr.
Occasionally I am also connecting online dots... and sometimes you can follow me on Marjolein's Travel Blog
iamback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2006, 12:54 PM   #7
Bo Aakerstrom
Member
 
Bo Aakerstrom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Derby,UK
Posts: 1,321
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamback View Post
...tables are perfect for tabular data (if done properly)...
You mean they're not evil!?

   
__________________
www.boaakerstrom.com
Behance Portfolio

Last edited by Bo Aakerstrom; 10-16-2006 at 12:54 PM. Reason: typo
Bo Aakerstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2006, 01:02 PM   #8
roaryg
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 176
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamback View Post
A shopping cart without any tables raises a red flag for me. .
Feel free to check out palestream dot com. It's in maintenance mode at the moment as I build it so not much there, but that entire page has no tables, it is all CSS. If you go to the zencart dot com website there are other examples, and I believe the whole zencart dot com site has no tables.

They just use CSS style sheets to do all the positioning and spacing. Its bringing web design much closer to desktop publishing type design, where you just tag everything with styles and it all falls into place.
roaryg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2006, 01:03 PM   #9
iamback
Member
 
iamback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Amsterdam, NL
Posts: 4,894
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Aakerstrom View Post
You mean they're not evil!?
Absolutely not - quite the contrary! Tables are the markup to be used for tabular data. But you do need to use proper data table markup, which very few people seem to know how to do... Start with the difference between table headers (<th>) and table data (<td>): without that you don't have a proper data table.

Tables for layout are - well, not evil, but definitely to be avoided. If you do use them, they should never have any table headers, only table "data" in <td> cells.

Now... show me a shopping cart without any tabular data.... anyone?

   
__________________
Marjolein Katsma
Look through my eyes on Cultural Surfaces (soon!), My ArtFlakes shop and Flickr.
Occasionally I am also connecting online dots... and sometimes you can follow me on Marjolein's Travel Blog
iamback is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2006, 01:47 PM   #10
ktinkel
Founding Sysop
 
ktinkel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
Posts: 11,189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ElyseC View Post
Would be nice if David Pogue wrote a "Missing manual" or "in a nutshell" book for CSS. He distills tech talk into normal English.
There are several excellent books on CSS, including a “nutshell” book or two. Not by David Pogue — I don’t know if he even numbers CSS among his areas of expertise.

   
__________________
[SIZE=2][COLOR=LemonChiffon]::[/COLOR][/SIZE]
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
ktinkel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
On Web standards, Libertarian candidates win Daudio Web Design 1 10-26-2006 10:28 AM
Designing around substandard photographs tflavin Print Design 12 08-26-2006 01:45 PM
Designing for browser compatibility? jwoolf09 Web Design 3 06-05-2006 04:53 AM
Introducing new Print standards PeterArnel Print Production & Automation 16 04-25-2006 02:17 PM
Sumner Stone on designing type ktinkel Fonts & Typography 8 05-16-2005 06:00 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Contents copyright 2004–2014 Desktop Publishing Forum and its members.