W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-evangelist@w3.org > December 2002

Re: Promotion of XHTML

From: Brant Langer Gurganus <brantgurganus2001@cherokeescouting.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Dec 2002 17:17:45 -0500
Message-ID: <3E10C609.5050201@cherokeescouting.org>
To: John Colby <John.colby@btinternet.com>
CC: public-evangelist@w3.org
John Colby wrote:

> At 11:18 30/12/2002 -0500, Brant wrote:
>> Nigel Peck - MIS Web Design wrote:
>>> It's great how XHTML is progressing with version 2 etc. but it 
>>> strikes me
>>> that while the W3C is taking the specs into the future the majority 
>>> of the
>>> Web Development world is lagging miles behind.
>>> For example, a college near to me teaches Web Design. They teach 
>>> HTML not
>>> XHTML. People come out of there happily writing <br> tags and not 
>>> closing
>>> their <p> tags and some will go on to create Web sites.
>>> For my part I've started a series of articles aimed at teaching 
>>> XHTML to
>>> beginners, if anyone is interested it's at:
>>> http://www.miswebdesign.com/resources/articles/web-design-xhtml-1-1.html
>> By the time the textbook is printed, it is probably out-of-date and 
>> if adopted, it takes about five years before new text books are adopted.
>> In the worst cases, Web design education is at least six years behind 
>> the Web specifications.  That is why you still see people writing 
>> presentationally using invalid HTML 3.2 through a Web editor.  Such 
>> is the case with my school.  Despite all my efforts, they fail to 
>> realize that HTML is a markup language that adds meaning, not fancy 
>> colors.
> I have seen all this, agreeing with the sentiments here and by the 
> greatest of good fortune I have been appointed Lecturer in Computing 
> at the University of Central England in Birmingham. I start officially 
> on Wednesday, 1st January. One of my remits it to teach a course on 
> Internet Technologies.
> So it's been a busy Christmas preparing for a complete change in 
> career direction, having spent the last 30 years in industry
> Nigel's tutorial is interesting, and part of the way I plan to go. 
> However my plan is probably more radical (I am after all teaching 
> people who are getting a degree and will probably have some web page 
> writing experience). My plan is to start off with a basic format of a 
> page with "Hello World" as a header or like of text and then develop 
> it no more - but then attach a style sheet and then alter the 
> appearance of the page using the style sheet. I'll also introduce the 
> difference between bold and strong tags with reference to speech 
> browsers as well as visual. All this is in XHTML 1.1. So the initial 
> development is not so much XHTML as the presentation of information 
> across the web to a variety of internet devices.
> Only after the concept of separating content and presentation is fully 
> understood will we elaborate on XHTML and develop CSS along with it.
> Later on we'll have to consider retrofitting table and frame based 
> HTML pages, but I haven't got there yet. Neither have I got to the 
> stage of server side PHP, JSP and Client side Javascript. But the core 
> concept is a parallel development of XHTML and CSS skills with the 
> goal that web pages presented to any browsing device, standard or 
> using adaptive technologies, is both standard and accessible.
> Initially the coding will be performed using a text editor - the 
> organisation's Windows only at the moment but I've already had 
> discussions about Linux and deploying it more widely. - but the one 
> and only tool I've been able to feel comfortable with is TopStyle Pro 
> (http://www.bradsoft.com) and although I've been trying to get to 
> grips with Arachnophilia (http://www.arachnoid.com/arachnophilia/) I 
> haven't yet been satisfied that I can convert it all into XHTML 1.1 
> compliant mode without a load of work (where'd all the time go!?). 
> Although it's free doesn't seem to be approaching the code from the 
> 'right' way IMHO. Dreamweaver is a great tool, but a no-no because of 
> cost. I'm going to get them to process graphics with the GIMP.
> I'd appreciate anyone's views on this and your opinion of this type of 
> approach, both for learning style and toolsets, bearing in mind that 
> this is classroom teaching by lecture and workshop (it may expand 
> later into print and web media) and is intended to be part of a degree 
> course.

Sounds good.  Only problem with Top Style is that it is not monetarily 
free, but it is definitely good.  I do most of my development personally 
with either jEdit or Amaya.  jEdit is also in Java so it is cross-platform.

Brant Langer Gurganus

Received on Monday, 30 December 2002 17:18:25 UTC

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