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DHTML, and Style Sheets, and other stuff.

Do you perhaps have the latest IE browser?
Have you seen web pages containing the latest techo components
Love those scrolling floating menus and whatnot?
Think it's clever
Do you want to do that too


One thing we all want to do when first learning to create web pages is add lots of flashing and moving images, Java whatsits and the like. I did too. It gives one a sense of achievement just learning how to do that after finally remembering what the heck the <html>...</html> tag pair is all about.

But visitors mostly could not care "two hoots". In fact they will often be annoyed and just surf elsewhere. And now many are even turning off "Javascript" in their browser because of recent virus and other security scares only allowing it for trusted sites "requiring" it for pay carts or info pop-ups etc reducing lots of back and forth page jumping.

So it is time I mentioned something about so called HTML 4+ and/or DHTML. Plenty of other sites cover DHTML if it really matters although because of the complexity I strongly suggest using a decent book on the subject - and a decent book will be big and may be expensive.

DHTML (or currently proposed HTML 4+) is a long term almost futuristic thing that can enable some "marvellous looking" affects even today IF THE CORRECT BROWSER IS USED. And remember one of the worst things you can put on your site, especially a commercial site, is "made to be viewed with ????? Browser Name". That IS the first sign of an amateur who just isn't capable of understanding the world around them.

Early 2002 I received a letter from a lady here in Aus via the feedback forms. Similar has been asked from around the world many times so I have included this letter and my answer. There is nothing "silly" about these questions at all. But PLEASE take in what I am saying. You can still do whatever you want to BUT DO understand any possible consequences.

....."good successful design" and "technically clever design" are two VERY different things especially true in regard to the internet where few - phone line efficiencies/ISP servers/viewing browsers/viewing computer components and S/W - are all the same.

Message: Hi Ron

I visited your site a year ago and found it very useful :-) and have just come back to get info on metatags, and colour (like the background changes)

Your tutorial is for html 3.2 .... is that the latest version of html??

Are there any tags that have been 'deprecated' (think that's the right term)

Thanks Ron :-)

E-mail answer...

> Your tutorial is for html 3.2 .... is that the latest version
> of html??

Technically YES.

And anyone designing for anything later just because THEY have the latest IE browser to view it in and want it to "look" clever is at risk of losing a lot of customers!

v 4+ is still to be ratified (if it ever will be?) as are most of the components making up various "extras" like CSS style sheets etc.

In short, even if v4? was ratified tomorrow, all "proper" web sites will still either be produced with 3.2 as the basis for every page with a few cleverly added v4? components for just latest browsers, OR various copies of pages will be created each for the various browsers.

added - one of the silliest things people do these days is use PC so called Firewall programs, with blatant misleading help information just to sell the product; Nortons is one, thinking they are protecting something of importance to their own privacy by switching off basic HTTP network protocol components like "referrers" and "agents".

IF referrers and agents (the browser used) is not available then how the heck can a professionally well designed web site catering for all visitors generate the correct page to suit each individual visitor! There are other issues in that too but these involve the topic at hand to some extent.

Often when on the net I see a heavily "you beaut latest" type page and test in other browsers - result so often; an ugly big mess.

ALWAYS A FACT: A decently designed basic web page WILL sell more than one overloaded with all the latest TECH JUNK.

That's how humans think/react, and the web is just an INFORMATION highway, NOT a DESIGN CONTEST.

Give humans the "information" easily and pleasantly and they will buy/use/look at/whatever. Make it hard, slow, scrambled because their browser does not conform, or full of distractions, and they won't.

There have been many instances of "down the gurgler" failed multi million dollar .coms around the world recently where "technology" HAS been recognised as attributing largely to their failure - one big one here in Melbourne about a year or so ago lasted about 6 months; millions lost plus ALL jobs.

NOTE: there are still NOT ANY TWO browsers that will display all the currently proposed DHTML etc affects, or display many of them the same.

> Are there any tags that have been 'deprecated' (think that's the
> right term)

If you get a book on DHTML (basically v4?) you will see a fair bit of reference to "deprecated" tags. THAT DOES NOT MEAN you cannot use that original or earlier tag - which you should for years yet, only what they (the w3c and powers that be) will prefer in the (VERY) long term (logical as suddenly many hundreds of millions of web pages would become useless!!).


Note: I am not old fashioned, nor am I in need of a reality check. In fact on the latter it's others who need that. By all means show off your skills if your site is not to be of any real importance to others. If an advertising company designer even add all that junk so you can charge heaps more and make it all "appear" worthwhile.

But if for a fairdinkum successful working site, learn to design pleasant web pages using mostly the basics of HTML giving quick obvious access to the matters at hand and drop any idea of overly clever "junk".

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