A List Apart


Topic: HTML

  • From Switches to Targets: A Standardista’s Journey

    by Eric Meyer · Issue 251 ·

    Grab your galoshes and walking stick and follow along with A List Apart's Eric Meyer as he considers the vices and virtues of version targeting as a standards toggle.

  • Beyond DOCTYPE: Web Standards, Forward Compatibility, and IE8

    by Aaron Gustafson · Issue 251 ·

    For seven years, the DOCTYPE switch has stood designers and developers in good stead as a toggle between standards mode and quirks mode. But when IE7, with its greatly improved support for standards, "broke the web," it revealed the flaw in our toggle. The quest was on to find a more reliable ensurer of forward compatibility. Is version targeting the answer?

  • The Trouble With EM ’n EN (and Other Shady Characters)

    by Peter K Sheerin · Issue 124 ·

    More than you ever wanted to know about dashes, spaces, curly quotes, and other vagaries of online typography. HTML specs, grammatical rules, browser bugs and character encoding—it’s all here, in this famous and much-bookmarked ALA article.

  • How to Size Text in CSS

    by Richard Rutter · Issue 249 ·

    It's a tug-of-war as old as web design. Designers need to control text size and the vertical grid; readers need to be able to resize text. A better best practice for sizing type and controlling line-height is needed; and in this article, Richard Rutter obligingly supplies one.

  • Conflicting Absolute Positions

    by Rob Swan · Issue 241 ·

    All right, class. Using CSS, produce a liquid layout that contains a fixed-width, scrolling side panel and a flexible, scrolling main panel. Okay, now do it without JavaScript. By chucking an assumption about how CSS works in browsers, Rob Swan provides the way and means.

  • Frameworks for Designers

    by Jeff Croft · Issue 239 ·

    Frameworks like Rails, Django, jQuery, and the Yahoo User Interface library have improved web developers' lives by handling routine tasks. The same idea can work for designers. Learn how to harness the power of tools, libraries, conventions, and best practices to focus creative thought and energy on what is unique about each project.

  • Long Live the Q Tag

    by Stacey Cordoni · Issue 224 ·

    IE/Win's lack of support for the Q tag has stymied fans of semantic markup. Stacey Cordoni offers a CSS-based workaround.

  • Super-Easy Blendy Backgrounds

    by Matthew O'Neill · Issue 227 ·

    Gradients: a nutritious part of your Web 2.0 breakfast. Wouldn't it be swell if you could get all that goodness without opening Photoshop every time you needed a little gradient bliss? Matthew O'Neill explains how you can.

  • Random Image Rotation

    by Dan Benjamin · Issue 160 ·

    Readers return to sites that appear fresh and new on each visit. On a news site, magazine, or blog, stories or headlines will be updated frequently. But how can static sites keep that fresh feeling? Dan Benjamin’s free image randomizer may do the trick, and you needn’t be a programmer to install it.

  • Cross-Browser Variable Opacity with PNG: A Real Solution

    by Michael Lovitt · Issue 156 ·

    Think you’re stuck with wimpy GIFs and their rigid binary transparency? Well, think again, Sunshine. Michael Lovitt shows how to overcome flaky browser support for PNG so you can take advantage of this graphic format’s lossless compression, alpha transparency, and variable opacity.

  • Setting Type on the Web to a Baseline Grid

    by Wilson Miner · Issue 235 ·

    As web designers, we sometimes may feel we're on a relentless journey to bridge the gap between digital and traditional processes. Wilson Miner brings us one step closer by offering up a way to work with typographic baselines on the web.

  • Semantic Flash: Slippery When Wet

    by Dan Mall · Issue 233 ·

    Love it or hate it, Flash has become a fixture of modern web design. Author Dan Mall cuts through the misconceptions to show us how Flash can be used to enhance our standards-based web designs. ("Shiny floor" standards-friendly Flash project included.)

  • Retooling Slashdot with Web Standards

    by Daniel M. Frommelt · Issue 164 ·

    A look at the markup behind Slashdot.org demonstrates how simple and cost-effective the switch to a standards-compliant Slashdot could be. (Part I of a two-part series.)

  • Quick CSS Mockups with Photoshop

    by Casper Voogt · Issue 231 ·

    It may seem like we're trying to party like it's 1999, but rest assured, we're not. Casper Voogt shows us a way to use Photoshop, ImageReady, and slices to produce mockups that utilize clean XHTML and CSS.

  • How to Grok Web Standards

    by Craig Cook · Issue 230 ·

    For designers who find web standards as easy to grasp as a buttered eel, Craig Cook shows how to stop the hurting and turn on the understanding. Learn how web standards work, and why they are more than simply an alternative means of producing a visual design.

  • Switchy McLayout: An Adaptive Layout Technique

    by Marc van den Dobbelsteen · Issue 229 ·

    The introduction of new mobile and computing devices challenges us to look beyond the liquid layout. Marc van den Dobbelsteen offers a way to bring appropriate layouts to a wider range of screens and devices.

  • Invasion of the Body Switchers

    by James Edwards, Andrew Clarke · Issue 189 ·

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could update the classic ALA style switcher to accommodate multiple users and devices, including some that aren’t even traditional browsers, all from a single JavaScript and CSS file? Well, now we can! Enter the Body Switcher.

  • World Grows Small: Open Standards for the Global Web

    by Molly E. Holzschlag · Issue 217 ·

    Molly Holzschlag explains how the practices you already use to create standards-based, accessible websites can serve you in the growing field of internationalization.

  • The Accessibility Hat Trick: Getting Abbreviations Right

    by Colin Lieberman · Issue 210 ·

    The acronym element is missing in XHTML 2.0. Internet Explorer 6 ignores the abbr element. JAWS doesn't like dfn. AAA-level compliance requires you to find a solution. Make it work.

  • Sensible Forms: A Form Usability Checklist

    by Brian Crescimanno · Issue 209 ·

    Sometimes it's the little things that drive you nuts. As many of us have probably noticed during this season of holiday shopping, usability problems in online forms can be infuriating. Brian Crescimanno helps solve the problem with a checklist of form-usability recommendations.