With browsers paying more attention to web standards, and W3C working towards more mature ones, now is a great time for developers to embrace these standards, and make their lives easier.
So to make this journey of the everyday web developer easier, here’s a linkfest of references scattered across the web that will (should =p) help in getting up to speed with the latest web standard compliant coding techniques.
To get in the mood, it’ll help to read 12 Lessons for Those Afraid of CSS and Standards first.
Separation of Content and Presentation
- What’s that??? (hint: you’re already doing that if you’re not using the <font>, <strike> and other presentational HTML tags)
- An interesting read.
- W3Schools – the home of web standards.
- Differences between HTML and XHTML – there are very few differences when it comes to everyday development. Something good to know.
- Get the proper DOCTYPE for your XHTML page.
- Check which tags are deprecated.
Layout (Floating & Positioning, CSS Columns and Tableless Forms)
Basically you’ll be using <div> for layout and positioning of content, <span> for formatting different looking text, <ul>, <ol> & <li> for ordered items (lists) and <fieldset>, <label> & <input> for your form elements.
- CSS FAQ – nice but slightly boring
- Practical CSS Layout Tips, Tricks & Techniques – good to read before converting your tables to divs.
- 20 CSS Tips and Tricks – be sure to have a look before Googling your problem.
- Code Conventions and best practices
- Ajax Patterns – Ajax is already pretty messed up, doesn’t hurt if we follow these patterns and stay away from the pitfalls.
Sites to follow
Before turning to Google for your searching needs, consult these sites.
When coding for the web, it is important to strike a balance between standards and practicality. It may take you twice as long to code something which is standards compliant, then something you can cook together while bending the standards. Differences in the 4 major browsers (IE, FF, Safari & Opera) also won’t make you life any easier.
Be sure to comment any links that you think are useful!!