Coding Practices

Table of Contents


The evolution of web coding standards is directed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In keeping with the shift of web page design away from HTML to XML via XHTML in combination with CSS, I abide by the recommendations of the W3C in designing these web pages. I have chosen to implement this web site using the XHTML 1.0 Strict and CSS 2.1 standards.

Older browsers do not correctly render pages created using XHTML and CSS. I recommend that you use Mozilla FireFox, a standards-compliant browser that is available for most operating systems.

At this time (April, 2006), no production version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer presents these pages correctly. This is Microsoft’s fault, not mine. Internet Explorer version 7, which is available as beta software, may comply with the standards recommended by the W3C.


I hand-code these web pages in XHTML 1.0 Strict using BBEdit 8. I use BBEdit to check the document syntax and document links. FireFox can also detect basic errors in XML format, although it is not a validating parser of XHTML.

Despite the fact that these pages are coded in XHTML 1.0 strict, they are served as text/html rather than as application/xhtml+xml. This is is permitted for XHTML 1.0. At the time of this writing, no standard version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer would recognize these pages if they were served as application/xhtml+xml.

A version of this page, coded in XHTML 1.1 and served as application/xhtml+xml, is located here. To serve XHTML as application/xhtml+xml, change the extension of the file name from .html to .xhtml. You may also need to configure your web server to serve XHTML documents correctly. The latest versions of Apache appear to be configured to do this by default.

Sparticanicus (Dublin, Ireland) has many arguments for not using XHTML. See No to XHTML. Obviously, I disagree.

CSS 2.1

I use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to create on overall style for the site. You can view the CSS file here.


I use the UTF-8 character set for encoding these pages.

Page Size

These pages are designed to be viewed on a monitor with resolution 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels tall or larger.


I test the pages on this site using these operating systems and web browsers:

I make no effort to test using obsolete browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or earlier, Netscape Navigator 6 or earlier, etc. For the best viewing experience, you should use a modern, standards-compliant browser; I recommend Firefox.