terminology from week 2: HTML overview

Over the semester I will be posting definitions as provided each week from class that will assist in development of assessments. The first definition list is summarised from Week 2, HTML overview by Viveka and Oanh. I have also linked each of the terms to their Wikipedia page for you to use as a starting point and to find links to authoritative sources just in case you require additional information.

terms, people and definitions

  • HMTL – Hyper Text Markup Language, written in tags that started out in capitals, but today is formulated with lower-case letters. We are not up to HTML 5 that is a work in progress
  • HTML 5 – follows all the well formed rules of XHTML, but it is less verbose. HTML 5 supports next generation devices really well, for example location based technology, can rotate etc. HTML 5 can complete a lot of the functionality that flash does/did and rich media types are part of the code – for example video src = etc. HTML 5 is not finished and they are not planned to finish it till 2045 (and some have said that they may never finish it.
  • SGML – output from the publishing world – massive specification that nobody implemented as it was too hard!!! A standards body attempted to regulate it, but did not succeed. It is important in understanding HTML as it is a markup language the publishing world used and HTML is the online version of the mark up
  • Ted Nelson – Coined the term ‘hypertext’ and was an influence on TimBL
  • TimBL – Tim Berners-Lee, invented the World Wide Web and HTML
  • XHTML Transitional – the transition that led towards the separation of design into CSS and HTML. There is also XHTML Strict and this is what is required to pass DMT!!! – it is the same as transitional but it absolutely requires that you separate presentation items with content (i.e. CSS with HTML)
  • XML – extensible mark up language – it is a language for writing languages in…there are no .xml files!!! it is a metalanguage…the way it is written: open bracket tag attribute = “value” close tag some stuff open bracket tag / close bracket

additional notes:

The simple HTML page tagging structure is:

  • open html
  • open head
  • open title / insert title name / close title
  • close head
  • open body
  • open divs (div id=”a section”) / headers / images etc and close them
  • close body
  • close html

Let me know if there were any additional terms and their definitions from class – happy for everyone to add to this list.


accessibility and legislation

My interest in HTML and CSS, while I have an interest in creating web sites, also relates to the necessity for my organisation to meet accessibility legislative requirements that have been set by the Australian government. By December 2012, the organisation I work for must comply with level A accessibility requirements. The webteam have set the challenge to exceed this and meet level AA accessibility requirements.

For more information on conformance, refer to http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/#conformance-reqs

The primary challenge lay with the lack of conformance of marketing micro-sites that have been set up where accessibility was not on the agenda during development. Something worth knowing when developing a bells and whistles site is that if you do have the need to meet a specific level of conformance, you are able to develop a conforming alternate version.

If you are interested in knowing the specific requirements of an alternate conforming version and why WCAG are providing the option for an alternative, refer to http://www.w3.org/TR/UNDERSTANDING-WCAG20/conformance.html#uc-conforming-alt-versions-head

One thing that is important is the need for the alternate conforming site to ‘provide all of the same information and functionality’ – this can be achieved through clean HTML and CSS. It is therefore, this reason that I am looking forward to learning more about HTML and CSS for a better understanding of how to support conformance of accessibility.

Does your organisation require conformance of a specific level of accessibility? Do you need to meet the legislative requirements? Does your team have similar challenges where there may be a number of designs and functionality that is not consistent across the organisation?


I have started brainstorming ideas for DMT final project and have shortlisted three. I will select/amend/edit/grow one that will meet the assessment criteria, expand my current skill level and challenge me!

…the assessment:

  • to create a site that can be described as a “diamond” (OK so there is more to it, but this is the description I am aiming for)

…the ideas:

  1. an interactive website that can bring together information about life at uni – the site can make use of RSS, embedding videos, ratings, and provide a community atmosphere by tapping into already established social networking site. I enjoy creating online social communities and am a current student, hence my interest!
  2. a mobile friendly site that houses links to resources for MIMM students – mobile sites are high on the agenda for a number of organisations and I am interested in learning more about the emerging technology. As a MIMM student I am constantly looking for resources and it would be great to have a loction of tagged resources.
  3. a gift registry for people to share online – while I am a social science person at heart, I am a marketer by day and this is an idea I have had for a while that has potential to grow over time. A gift registry could link in with Facebook API, would require a database and a unique identifier (for example, their own URL?) for people to share the list

…the technology:

  • I have a medium skill level in using HTML
  • I have a very basic skill in using CSS (for example, I edit parse files that have already been developed)
  • I would like to investigate an emerging/new open-source programming lanuage. Alternatively, I would like to investigate more on databases as I have a lot of front-end knowledge and administrative panel knowledge, but not the development of databases which is of interest to me.

…the decision:

coming soon……………to a blog near you.

Blogging 101

Never having blogged before, I went on a hunt to find out what all the fuss was about, see what the pro’s are doing and find some resources that will help me through the unit Digital Media Technologies (DMT).

I hope the three resources below will also help other DMT students in their blogging journey.

1. The fuss!

CommonCraft have assisted me through my career to take what can be quite complex in nature and present it in plain English. Their video blogs In Plain English was my starting point:

The two most important notes from the video are:

  • “blogging is a two way street” and this is achieved through comments and conversations.
  • “…communities of bloggers inspire and motivate each other” – in the DMT context, this is my fellow students.

2. The pro!

Many moons ago I attended a Social Media Conference and Darren Rowse presented on blogging as a tool to promote your business.

Problogger is Darren Rowse’s master piece where he provides information on how to optimise your blog, particularly for the purpose of generating money.

There are also blogs for beginners, for example:

For other intersting blog’s from Darren Rowse, go to http://www.problogger.net/blog/

3. My journey starts here!

I decided on WordPress as my blog host. Navigating through samples, there seems to be a lot of functionality that allows you to create an individual looking blog – some people have even built their business websites using WordPress.

A particularly interesting resource provided by WordPress is Learn WordPress. The stages take you from Zero to Hero, as described by WordPress!

I look forward to becoming a blogging hero!

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