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Topic: HTML

  • CSS Floats 101

    by Noah Stokes · Issue 325 ·

    The float property is a valuable and powerful asset to any web designer/developer working with HTML and CSS. Tragically, it can also cause frustration and confusion if you don't fully understand how it works. Test or refresh your knowledge as Noah Stokes explores float theory and behavior, and guides us through common float-related coding pitfalls.

  • Cross Platform Scalable Vector Graphics with svgweb

    by Jim Ray · Issue 323 ·

    Pity Scalable Vector Graphics. It's been an official standard since before IE6 was released yet has never found much of an audience on the web, certainly not the one it deserves. Just as SVG was starting to establish some browser support, along came the canvas tag, stealing the thunder of dynamically generated client-side images. Yet despite all the attention being paid to canvas, there’s still a place for SVG, particularly for developers looking to replace plug-ins like Flash for data visualization. Unlike canvas or other script-only approaches, SVG can be easily divided into design and code elements, with just a little code to add interactivity. It even works on devices like the iPad and iPhone. And now, thanks to svgweb and a clever use of Flash, it works on older platforms no one could have ever imagined supporting SVG. Jim Ray shows how.

  • CSS Positioning 101

    by Noah Stokes · Issue 318 ·

    If you're a front end developer or a designer who likes to code, CSS-based layouts are at the very core of your work. Designer slash developer Noah Stokes scrutinizes the CSS position property to show how you can use it to create standards-compliant, table-free CSS layouts. Test or refresh your knowledge of static, relative, absolute, fixed, and inherited positioning, and how they work together to create any web layout the mind can conceive.

  • Forward Thinking Form Validation

    by Ryan Seddon · Issue 314 ·

    When users complete a form to buy your product or sign up for your service, you want to reduce mistakes and guide them to success. Now, with HTML5 form input types and attributes, you can set validation constraints to check user input. With CSS3’s new UI pseudo-classes, you can style validation states to make form completion quick and effortless.

  • Apps vs. the Web

    by Craig Hockenberry · Issue 312 ·

    There's an app for that, and you're the folks who are creating it. But should you design a web-based application, or an iPhone app? Each approach has pluses and minuses—not to mention legions of religiously rabid supporters. Apple promotes both approaches (they even gave the web a year-long head start before beginning to sell apps in the store), and the iPhone's Safari browser supports HTML5 and CSS3 and brags a fast JavaScript engine. Yet many companies and individuals with deep web expertise choose to create iPhone apps instead of web apps that can do the same thing. Explore both approaches and learn just about everything you'll need to know if you choose to create an iPhone app, from the lingo, to the development process, to the tricks that can smooth the path of doing business with Apple.

  • Taking Advantage of HTML5 and CSS3 with Modernizr

    by Faruk Ateş · Issue 308 ·

    Years ago, CSS browser support was patchy and buggy, and only daring web designers used CSS for layouts. Today, CSS layouts are commonplace and every browser supports them. But the same can't be said for CSS3 and HTML5. That's where Faruk AteÅŸ’s Modernizr comes in. This open-source JavaScript library makes it easy to support different levels of experiences, based on the capabilities of each visitor’s browser. Learn how to take advantage of everything in HTML5 and CSS3 that is implemented in some browsers, without sacrificing control over the user experience in other browsers.

  • A Brief History of Markup

    by Jeremy Keith · Issue 305 ·

    Hot off the presses! In his brand new, brief book for people who make websites, HTML5 For Web Designers, Jeremy Keith cuts through the confusion surrounding the web's new markup language and presents what every accessibility- and standards-focused web designer and developer needs to know about it—from semantics to strategy. Not only is HTML5 For Web Designers a great, fast read, it is also our first A Book Apart publication. To celebrate, A List Apart proudly presents all of "Chapter One: A Brief History of Markup." Enjoy!

  • Design Patterns: Faceted Navigation

    by Jeffery Callender, Peter Morville · Issue 304 ·

    Faceted navigation may be the most significant search innovation of the past decade. It features an integrated, incremental search and browse experience that lets users begin with a classic keyword search and then scan a list of results. It also serves up a custom map that provides insights into the content and its organization and offers a variety of useful next steps. In keeping with the principles of progressive disclosure and incremental construction, it lets users formulate the equivalent of a sophisticated Boolean query by taking a series of small, simple steps. Learn how it works, why it has become ubiquitous in e-commerce, and why it’s not for every site.

  • Web Standards for E-books

    by Joe Clark · Issue 302 ·

    E-books aren't going to replace books. E-books are books, merely with a different form. More and more often, that form is ePub, a format powered by standard XHTML. As such, ePub can benefit from our nearly ten years’ experience building standards-compliant websites. That's great news for publishers and standards-aware web designers. Great news for readers, too. Our favorite genius, Joe Clark, explains the simple why and how.

  • Using SVG for Flexible, Scalable, and Fun Backgrounds, Part II

    by Shelley Powers · Issue 299 ·

    In Part II, dig deeper into the technology behind using SVG for your site design. Explore how to incorporate SVG in a cross-browser friendly manner, including using SVGWeb to ensure that the SVG shows in Internet Explorer. And discover the unique characteristic that makes SVG ideal for page backgrounds: scalability.

  • Using SVG For Flexible, Scalable, and Fun Backgrounds, Part I

    by Shelley Powers · Issue 299 ·

    Many of us think of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) as an also-ran: fine for charts and tables, but not much else. Yet SVG can actually enhance a site’s overall design, and can be made to work in even the most stubborn browser. In Part I of a two-part series, Shelley Powers covers important basics of working with SVG, including browser support and accessibility.

  • Get Ready for HTML 5

    by J. David Eisenberg · Issue 291 ·

    Ready or not, here it comes. Despite the confusion surrounding its evolution, real-world HTML 5 is right around the corner. Longtime ALA contributor J. David Eisenberg returns to get us all up to speed on the markup we’re about to be writing.

  • Unwebbable

    by Joe Clark · Issue 288 ·

    It's time we came to grips with the fact that not every “document” can be a semantic “web page.” Some forms of writing just cannot be expressed in HTML—or they need to be bent and distorted to do so. But for once, XML can help. Joe Clark explains.

  • Introduction to RDFa II

    by Mark Birbeck · Issue 287 ·

    In part I of this series, we looked at how semantic features normally confined to the head of an HTML document can be used to add semantic richness to the elements of the body. Along the way, we defined six rules of RDFa. In part II, we’ll learn how to add properties to an image, and how to add metadata to any item—and we’ll add a few more rules to that list.

  • Introduction to RDFa

    by Mark Birbeck · Issue 286 ·

    In part one of a two-part primer on RDFa, learn how semantic features normally confined to the head of an HTML document can be used to add semantic richness to the elements of the body. Mark Birbeck shows us how.

  • Creating Intrinsic Ratios for Video

    by Thierry Koblentz · Issue 284 ·

    Have you ever wanted to resize a video on the fly, scaling it as you would an image? Using intrinsic ratios for video and some padding property magic, you can. Thierry Koblentz shows us how.

  • Fluid Grids

    by Ethan Marcotte · Issue 279 ·

    How awesome would it be if you could combine the aesthetic rigor and clarity of fixed-width, grid-based layouts with the device- and screen size independence and user-focused flexibility of fluid layouts? Completely awesome, that's how awesome. And with a little cunning and a tad of easy math, ALA's Ethan Marcotte gets it done. We smell a trend in the offing.

  • Semantics in HTML 5

    by John Allsopp · Issue 275 ·

    The BBC's dropping of hCalendar because of accessibility and usability concerns demonstrates that we have pushed the semantic capability of HTML far beyond what it can handle. The need to clearly and unambiguously add rich, meaningful semantics to markup is a driving goal of the HTML 5 project. Yet HTML 5 has two problems: it is not backward compatible because its semantic elements will not work in 75% of our browsers; and it is not forward compatible because its semantics are not extensible. If “making up new elements” isn't the solution, what is?

  • Return of the Mobile Stylesheet

    by Dominique Hazaël-Massieux · Issue 275 ·

    At least 10% of your visitors access your site over a mobile device. They deserve a good experience (and if you provide one, they'll keep coming back). Converting your multi-column layout to a single, linear flow is a good start. But mobile devices are not created equal, and their disparate handling of CSS is like 1998 all over again. Please your users and tame their devices with handheld style sheets, CSS media queries, and (where necessary) JavaScript or server-side techniques.

  • A More Useful 404

    by Dean Frickey · Issue 272 ·

    When broken links frustrate your site's visitors, a typical 404 page explains what went wrong and provides links that may relate to the visitor's quest. That's good, but now you can do better. With Dean Frickey's custom 404, when something's amiss, pertinent information is sent not only to the visitor, but to the developer—so that, in many cases, the problem can be fixed! A better 404 means never having to say you're sorry.

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