Session 1 – Web Technologies


Where We Were

The Web & How It Works

  • What do we know about the origins of the Web?
  • Browser battles and HTML 2, 3.0, 3.2 and 4.x
    • Who had heard of Opera before this reading?
  • Web servers: Apache v IIS
  • The new browser wars: mobile browsers

Alphabet Soup!

Understanding HTML

A Look Under The Hood

XHTML – building a basic page

  • Remember: structure matters!
  • Required
    • XHTML for this course
    • proper file naming convention
  • File name conventions and best practices
    • lower case
    • use “html” as your extension
    • noSpacesInFileNames.html or no_spaces_in_file_names.jpg
    • no special (# ! *) characters
    • put stuff in folders! (nothing “at root” but main home page)
  • Create first page
    • Create a new folder: proseminar_fall07
    • Download this sample “start” page (right-click)
    • Open it in your HTML editor
    • Modify the content
  • Test that first page
    • On your hard drive
    • On your dante account (
  • Lab: Convert an HTML page to an XHTML page

FTP – what it is, how it works (UWICK)

Assignment for Next Session:

  • Chapter 2, Meeting the “HT” in HTML, in Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML. Available via UW Libraries/Safari Online. Offcampus link.
  • Chapter 3, The Trouble With Standards, and Chapter 4, Findability, Syndication…, in Designing With Web Standards, Second Edition.
    • Put on your “I have been made manager of a web project” hat. Post a comment on this page about something that you learned in these readings that you could use if you were managing a web project.
  • Replace or edit the home page on your main dante account – put a link to the index.html page for this course work
  • Create a page (any page!) and link to your dante account index.html


3 replies on “Session 1 – Web Technologies”

After reading these chapters as a manager I would insist that we build our site to web standards. I think a majority of it would all be css and xhtml but I would still consider using flash for special projects. I would direct a balance of high usability with an incredible design that visually communicated with our target audience.

I still left with questions after the reading. I would like to know more. I am still not sure if css/xhtml can do the special things flash does. If it can, I can definitely support not using flash. I’ve just seen a lot of flash special projects that really kicked ass from a storyteller point of view, and if my company’s job is to tell stories we must use the best tools to get the message to our readers.

If I were working with a designer for my web project, I would ask these questions, based on my reading:

Will you be using CSS/XHTML to ensure compatibility between different browsers/future compatibility? Do you follow W3C suggestions? If no, why?

I don’t want Flash on my site: will there still be experienced designers working on my site, or at least a balance of a junior/experienced team?

I do want a more sophisticated interactive experience for parts of my site. Can you accomplish this by using web standards and not Flash?

After reading these chapters in Zeldman, I think it is very important to really understand the needs of your audience and to not be tempted by overly flashy appearance.

I thought this was an important quote:

“News sites, portals, shopping sites, institutional site, community sites, magazines, directories, and others that emphasize text or involve practical interactivity are still best served by XHTML, CSS, and other standards. Yet many developers sell Flash instead, not because it serves the projects’ goals, but because they get off on it, and the resulting work attracts new clients.”

It would be irresponsible to put appearance at the top of a list of objectives and sacrifice usability and the compliance with multiple browser standards.

Not to say that I think appearance is negligible — I value design very highly. I just think a dependable degree of operability should be the basis for web projects.

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