Christian Ziebarth

Posts Tagged ‘html’

Tables and Forms

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2009 at 11:39 pm

In my prior entry entitled Tables vs. Tables I reminded us all, myself included, that the W3C says that web authors are allowed to use HTML tables to lay out forms. This flies in the face of much conventional “wisdom” that says HTML tables are never to be used for anything. But it struck me not too long ago that forms really ARE tables that are simply waiting for some of their data to be filled in.

Allow me to illustrate. Here is a simple table that I don’t think anyone would argue really is a table:

Example #1


First Name: Donald
Last Name: Duck
Address: 1313 Duck Lane
Occupation: Sailor
Girlfriend: Daisy

Example #2


Now, what if we remove half the information, leave half the information, and wait for a user (Donald Duck, presumably) to fill in the remaining half: Read the rest of this entry »

Six Levels of Headers

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Had just started this entry on how I use HTML headers when I came across this site called The H1 Debate. It posits the question, “Should H1’s be used for a company logo or a page title?”

My belief is that the H1 should be the most important bit of information about the whole site, in other words, the string of text that names the entire site, while the H2 is the next most important header (obviously) and in most instances, though not all, would be the page title for any page of a site other than the front page. On this blog here the H1 throughout the entire site is “CMZ Media Developer.” The H2 is the title for each individual entry. When you are only looking at one entry there is only the one H2 on the page (unless you put an H2 within an entry, which you shouldn’t be doing as any header within an entry would be subservient to the H2) but in some cases, such as on the front page, there is going to be multiple H2 instances.

There’s going to be some differences from site to site since every site has different kinds of information but let me go through a couple examples from sites I have worked on to show how I have implemented headers. Read the rest of this entry »

Waiter, there’s a hair in my tag soup

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2009 at 11:26 am

So, I got a new project to work on and it is basically adding one page to an existing site and updating some content throughout the site. This is the first site I’ve worked on in a while with loads of legacy code on it. The site has been laid out using tables and makes liberal use of the FONT tag.

Fortunately, the code is not as bad as it could be. There doesn’t seem to be any unused code or overuse of BR tags or empty P or DIV tags for creating whitespace, and, no, I haven’t found any BLINK tags on it. I’d like to convert the whole thing to a CSS layout and sweep out the legacy code but I’m not sure right now if the project’s budget will allow it.

Okay, so that wasn’t much of a post. More like a vent. So here’s a couple things I have found out about recently that I’ll be looking into more:

Data Tables, Lesson #2

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2009 at 2:27 pm

I’ve talked before about how there are proper uses for HTML tables in addition to the improper use (i.e., page layout) that most web developers seem to be aware of. Now I’m going to show an example of an HTML table put to proper use. On my Los Angeles County Mexican Restaurants blog I have an entry that shows the restaurants that have been covered so far.

Mex Food LA Table

This table has a number of interesting features that I will go through one by one. Read the rest of this entry »

Tables vs. Tables

In Uncategorized on February 3, 2009 at 6:34 pm

You’ve heard of Spy vs. Spy and Kramer vs. Kramer and Godzilla vs. Rodan. But have you ever heard of Tables vs. Tables?

I am surprised that in 2009 there are still people in the web development world who don’t understand the proper use of HTML tables.

With the economy the way it is I have a trickle of freelance web development work but still need to land a full time gig. I contact many companies about jobs they have posted but rarely get any sort of response. A few days ago I actually received a response from one company that may shed some light on what other, non-responding companies could be thinking. After this company checked my resume online they wrote back and said:

We cannot accept you as a developer because we found a TABLE tag in your markup on your page at:

Read the rest of this entry »

A Dash of Progressive Enhancement

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Here’s a little example of spicing up forms a bit with minimal effort. A recent project I did was for a notary company (TCC Notary). Most of the pages on their site had forms that could easily be broken down into logical fieldset groupings.

Each box looked fine on its own but when you stacked them up their “boxiness” really came through. I started by giving the first fieldset on each page a non-repeating background image set to appear in the lower right corner. The image is the gray “TCC.” Any fieldset between the first and the last one is a normal, squared-off box, while the last fieldset on each page has a rounded lower right corner: Read the rest of this entry »

Indentation Sensation

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2009 at 8:36 pm

When I first began learning HTML in 1998 my messy code very easily qualified for the epithet “tag soup.” Quite often I had very little clue what I was doing and very often was copying somebody else’s code and simply changing the content without touching the tags so I wouldn’t “screw anything up.”

As I started to learn more about HTML from online tutorials and books (yes, I learned quite a bit from HTML for Dummies in 1998) I would see it advised that an HTML coder should “indent their code.” But I never saw anywhere an explanation as to what should be indented, what it should be indented in relation to, how much it should be indented, if indentation meant anything more to the logic of the code than just “some lines don’t start at the far left edge,” etc. Still, back then I wasn’t sure if these were even valid or important questions. So I would go through my code and randomly indent some lines then think, “There, my code’s indented. I hope those online tutorials are happy now.” Read the rest of this entry »

Fraction Subtraction

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Here’s a little plea: While the idea of an HTML 5 is now floating around I am wondering if any browser developers would like to support two new special character entities. We already have ¼, ½, and ¾ to represent ¼, ½, and ¾. Couldn’t we add ⅓ and ⅔ to represent one-thirds and two-thirds?

I realize this is a small request but that should make it easy to implement and I’d use it a lot and I think others would too.

Update (April 23, 2013)

⅓ and ⅔ now actually convert to the proper fraction form and result in: ⅓ and ⅔.

Just yell a little

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2008 at 8:11 pm

In the Internet world writing something in all caps is seen as the cyber-equivalent of yelling . . . vocally . . . out loud, basically rude “netiquette” (haven’t seen that term in a while). While I agree with that general sentiment I feel that there are situations where I wish people would just yell a little.

What I’m getting at is when mentioning X/HTML elements in articles and when referring to them within CSS documents I wish web developers would put them in capital letters.

It is true that within an XHTML document itself tags should be in lowercase but outside of an XHTML document there is no such requirement. The only exception is if your XHTML is being served as XML, in which case the elements in your XHTML document and their respective elements in the CSS must be exactly matched, but since XHTML is hardly ever served as XML that is only a rare case. Read the rest of this entry »