>>>A minor request to the editors and future ALA authors. How about embedding the style sheet in the HTML page rather than linking to it. This would make it easier for readers to view the source. Yeah, we can still get to the CSS if it’s linked, but not as quickly, and all the code’s not in one file.<<<
I hear you: one file is easier to grab and view than multiple files (a markup file and one or more CSS files).
But we encourage our authors to do what Stuart has done here (separate markup from CSS) ... and most of our authors do it without prompting.
Here’s why we prefer to do it the way we do it:
1. The markup file is uncluttered; you can see how simple and clean it is. If the CSS were embedded, you’d be looking at a more complicated page and it would be less clear what part of that page to focus on.
2. Separation of presentation from structure is a primary advantage of these techniques, and the examples should reflect it. You could take this XHTML file and give it an alternate style sheet (but you couldn’t do that if the CSS was embedded).
3. Also, although our readership includes some of the most sophisticated and technically savvy web designers around, it also includes people who are new to these techniques. Not all of them know how to link to or import a style sheet ... or they may know but not have enough experience to remember how to code the link or the @import directive. The example includes the link and saves these readers the trouble of trying to remember how it’s done.