W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webplatform@w3.org > April 2013

Re: Editing for beginners

From: Chris Mills <cmills@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 11:31:55 +0100
Cc: <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-Id: <50E80897-6781-4278-A5F4-6A67CD6307BD@opera.com>
To: "David R. Herz" <mr@theherzes.com>

On 2 Apr 2013, at 23:30, David R. Herz <mr@theherzes.com> wrote:

> Dear Webmeisters:
> I have a few questions/comments, and would like to know where to address them.  One, I have been working my way through some of the CSS materials in parallel with the HTML materials.  There are items for which I am unclear on the explanation could be clearer.  I take for instance the Class, ID and Combining selectors topics on the “Getting Started with CSS” page.   While I think I have the class and ID parts figured out, I have no idea how the combination plays out.

So you are looking at http://docs.webplatform.org/wiki/guides/getting_started_with_css ?

The combining selectors part is showing how to combine element selectors (such as p - will select any <p> element in your HTML) with classes or IDs. So for example p.alert would match any <p> element with a class of "alert". So it would match

<p class="alert">Paragraph</p>

but not 



<p class="some-other-class">Paragraph</p>


<div class="alert">Some other content</div>

It is generally better to just use the class name to select things, as it makes the class more flexible (you could use a class on a number of different elements, and it is faster for the browser to work out). By this , I mean, use just .alert, not p.alert

> Also, I originally tried to apply the class to individual text, but that did not work.  I saw the example where I can redefine strong to be red, but I don’t know if I can create any custom style for selected text (but don’t worry about that, I am sure that will come along the way).  What I’d like to know here is what type of comments would be helpful to advance the project.  For instance, do you want to know about the bonehead things I try to do with the information given like trying to color text with <class=”example”>target text</class>, or do you just want to know about when things are unclear?

Both, really, would be very helpful. It is always interesting to get more of an insight into how beginners think, to see where our explanations are lacking. It is amazing how easy it is to overlook obvious steps when you know it already. I'm assuming you've not still trying to do things with <class=”example”>target text</class> ? ;-)

Although this is not the first time I've seen beginners try to do this - these kinds of fundamentals have to be explained so carefully.

Did you manage to get some styles applied to individual text? That is explained in the "Applying CSS to HTML" section, on the same page. We probably should have put that earlier in the article, really.

> Also, where would you like me to comment on the overall plan?  In this case, I am thinking about the three “Beginning with CSS” subsections.  They seem to be discreet topics, but the introduction “What is CSS?” already has specific instructional material in it, which are built on in the other two and which one might miss if he had more of an idea what CSS is without knowing its particulars.

We do have a plan written down somewhere for the updated beginner's material; I'll have to dig that out as I start digging into revising the beginner's section. That could be a good place to put feedback. Maybe you could just send it to me for now, until we figure out exactly how best to use your feedback.

> Next, I don’t understand why pages do not link to succeeding pages.

Yes! They really should. I will work on a plan for that.

> Am I wrong to think that we can use some kind of tree structure, akin to nested ordered lists, to define the overall scheme of pages and then have the wiki automatically provide links to the following and preceding pages by calling the next or previous document on the same level of the tree and updating all of this every time a page is added or deleted?

We could do something like this, yes. In my original incarnation of the web standards curriculum, I had manual links pointing to the previous and next pages at any point, plus a link to the main menu, so you could always find your way back there.

> Last, is there some reason we don’t have an interactive cheat sheet and/or glossary which gives the basics, but will link to full explanation of each item, with syntax, explanation of same, and list of possible attributes or attribute types that can be applied?

We need to be careful with such things. For a topic as broad as web development, a single cheat sheet could quickly become very large and unusable. We would probably need to have different cheatsheets for different topics, for example a CSS selectors cheatsheet, a css unit values cheat sheet, etc.

> Last last, I figured out what <span> does, yeah!

Super! So we are not doing too badly then ;-)
Received on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 10:32:35 UTC

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