I coded many of the pages before I knew about SGML, or that HTML is an SGML application, and that things like <b> and <i> elements are containers, so that a sequence such as:
normal <b>bold only <i>bold+italic</b> italic only</i> normal
is syntactically wrong, because the containers overlap and thus improperly nest. (See example pages which, in my ignorance, I coded sloppily.) Because the most popular web browser, Internet Explorer, displays such material as desired: "normal bold only bold+italic italic only normal", there is often little incentive to make the HTML be structurally correct. This gives HTML a reputation for being "sloppy", "formless", "anything goes", etc.
normal <b>bold only <i>bold+italic</i></b> <i>italic only</i> normal
is syntactically correct, because the italic+bold text is in an italic container inside a bold container, and the italic-only text is in its own distinct container.
In May 1998, I reworked many of my pages to be HTML 3.2 conformant. [Read W3C HTML 3.2 announcement letter (07 May 1996): Click here!] In other pages, however, I wished to retain tagging which is not part of the HTML 3.2 standard: especially, bgcolor attribute in <td> elements, to add color. I was able to validate these remaining pages as "transitional" HTML 4.0. [Note 08Aug01: I have now validated most of the pages on this site with a second HTML validator, from Web Design Group, so that this site is double validated.] I also subject the entire website to my own further standards of normation (see, e.g., Perl script: titles.pl). I think I can with some warrant apply to this website the old Revox tape recorder company advertising slogan:
It's built like a brick shipyard
Please see my web design criteria page, for more thoughts about how to make HTML pages that both conform to standards and also are attractive.
Note: the graphics on this website definitely are not professional quality. I have cobbled them together with primitive means. I ask you to judge them accordingly, and try to see what these pages are trying to be if I could devote my prime time to working on them and bring appropriate resources to bear.
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Copyright © 1998-2002 Brad McCormick, Ed.D.
25 April 2008CE (2008-04-25 ISO 8601)