Buzz Archive: December 2003


It's often hard to know what the most appropriate markup is for any given job. Should that small bit of text be wrapped in a <span> or an <h3>? When do you use <ul> and when do you use <dl>? And is there ever a time when it's appropriate to use <i>, anyway?

SimpleQuiz is here to help you through these tough questions and more. Plenty of thought-provoking discussion on methodology awaits, as does advanced debate about (seemingly) simple markup that will make your head spin.

Benefits of XHTML Modularization

Just what is this magic word beginning with 'M' that spans six syllables? What does it mean, and what implications does it have for us? In this issue of “WaSP asks the W3C”, we learn some of the benefits of XHTML Modularization.

Best Practices in Web Page Development

The Apple Developer Connection has published an article on best practices in creating Web pages:

Safari complies with standards, but not all browsers do, so you may need to adjust your site to look right to all readers. Learn how to design, modify and validate your website so that it can be rendered and read properly by all major browsers.

Whizzing through DOCTYPEs, the use of CSS and good markup habits in XHTML, it also briefly discusses validation and accessibility issues. Buckle up for a crash course! (Hat tip: Karl)

Web Standards for Business

In his article “Web Standards for Business”, François Nonnenmacher talks about how the separation of content and presentation falls in line with enforcing corporate brand and image through style guides, and how employing Web standards can benefit a company's Web development process and technical support infrastructure.

Microsoft's Patent Tricks

More patent news to report. On Tuesday, Microsoft was granted a patent on the “method and apparatus for writing a Windows application in HTML.”

Though Microsoft is quoted in the article as “having no plans to enforce it,” one is forced to wonder how this will extend to the recently-uncovered XAML, and what wider implications it will have on web-based applications in general.

Kamus yang memang istimewa

Jikalau kau memerlukan sesuatu perkataan dalam Bahasa Hindu, Bahasa Swahili, Bahasa Cina, ataupun Bahasa Inuit, kunjungilah laman Web ini. C'est une collection de dictionnaires multilingues.

If you need a word in Hindi, Swahili, Chinese or Inuit, visit this Web site, a collection of multilingual dictionaries. Best of all, it's all valid XHTML and CSS.


Most WaSP readers are very familiar with WaSP's good friend Eric Meyer, who has helped the world learn Cascading Style Sheets.

Well today, WaSP would like to publicly celebrate the birth and homecoming of Carolyn Maxwell Meyer, first child to Eric and Kat. By all reports she is very well-formed and valid.

The question remaining on every WaSP's mind is whether any adjacent siblings are in the planning.

WaSP Interviews: Todd Dominey

WaSP Interviews continues today with a look behind the scenes at

Todd Dominey of Dominey Design talks about the heartache of an outdated Content Management System, integrating ugly advertising code with a standards-based site, and the finer points of CSS vs. Flash-based navigation. Read the interview.

Writing Efficient CSS

Worried about keeping your CSS lean and mean? Well, toss your style sheets on the treadmill and check out Writing Efficient CSS, authored by the style gurus behind Position Is Everything. Through the intelligent use of shorthand properties, style inheritance, and a host of other handy tips, you'll learn how to quash redundancies in your code, and keep the kilobyte count down.

Browser Testing

Of course, it's always important to test standards-based work amongst the myriad browsers on the market today. A standard can only be a standard if the software supports it. While we're getting closer, we're not at the point yet where we can build our code and rely on every browser to get it right without double-checking.

So to that end, there are a few services that we should mention that can help you test. Mac users have it the best, since Microsoft's Virtual PC allows a Windows session on top of the Mac OS. Windows and Linux users have the option of running VMWare, but thanks to some recent developments, it may not be necessary.

BrowserCam has been at it for a while, and at a reasonable price. It can show you what your site looks like in a huge list of browser on Windows, Mac, and even Linux. iCapture is a new free service, but only covers Safari. KCapture is also free, but only covers Konqueror.

And now that we know better, it is indeed possible to run multiple versions of Internet Explorer on the same Windows install. Ryan Parman has downloads and instructions available going all the way back to MSIE3.

Bo, Selectors

From the people who brought you the Listamatic, Listutorial and Floatutorial comes a new CSS tutorial called Selectutorial. In this new tutorial, Russ Weaklyorial explains the mysteryorials of CSS selectors and how you can go beyond the simple type selectors to take advantageorial of inheritance, pseudo classes and how to handle conflicts. Erm, ... orial. Seriously, the -tutorial series is excellent, and Selectutorial builds on the great articles already penned by the boys from Max Design. Highly recommended for people with a basic understanding of CSS who want to take things further.

Good Gawds

With the inexcusably cheesy heading taken care of, I can move along to tell you that the Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS for short) is now open for business. The guild is seeking as many enthusiastic, members as possible during the 'soft launch' (with the official launch date early in 2004). Not sure what the guild is? Founder Jim Byrne describes it thus: "A world wide organisation of web designers and developers committed to helping each other, and promoting the message that accessible web design is 'good for business'." Check out the launch statement for more information about the guild (or discuss the future direction of the guild over at Accessifyforum)