Introduction to Web Semantics

Style is important. There is no debate around the proposition that people want a website that looks good. This is for a very good reason – an attractive website will draw in your customers, build their confidence in what you can provide for them, and keep them engaged with your website. But a great website can’t just look pretty. You can create a gorgeous website with nothing but a single large image. This can be beautiful graphic design – but […]

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Best Practices in Web Development: Part 4

Part 1 (Contracts, Site Requirements,Information Architecture) Part 2 (Hosting and Security) Part 3 (Navigation, Scent) Part 4 (Semantics, Structure vs. Design, Universal design) Part 5 (Interaction, Errors, and Administration) So, we’re finally getting to the meat of best practice web development. This is what people are usually thinking of when they ask about best practices in web design or web programming: actually building the web site itself. Web design best practices encompass a wide range of needs — everything from […]

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Why use semantic HTML?

This is part 1 of 2. Part 2 is my Guide to the use of Semantic HTML Elements I’ve seen a lot of articles discussing the importance of HTML and XHTML semantics. I’ve seen articles describing what it means for a document to be semantic. Most of these articles, however, don’t provide a serious overview of what HTML elements actually may be considered semantic — and what those semantic elements actually mean. And, even more particularly, why it matters. Semantics […]

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Using standards doesn’t make it right

The Wikipedia article on Standards in software contains a very good definition of standards, particularly as we might need to view them when talking about web standards: Standards (software) Software standards enable software to interoperate. Many things are (somewhat) arbitrary, so the important thing is that everyone agree on what they are. Software standards is one of the Unsolved problems in software engineering On the whole, the article at Wikipedia is a good example of what isn’t so great about […]

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Graph the Semantic HTML Structure of Your Web Page

In October of 2006, I published a brief article about Marcel Salathé’s interesting Java Applet to generate node graphs of web page structure. In that article, I stated: I’d love to be able to produce graphs where I chose the color coding pattern for particular tags. I could set all non-semantic tags to be bright red, to easily spot the condition of a site in that respect. I could focus my attentions on inline versus block elements, or I could […]

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