Friday, March 30, 2007

HTML 4.0 and 4.01: Concepts

Within HTML 4.0 are specific ideas necessary to study if you’re to have a full understanding of the versions and languages that have followed. Specifically, HTML 4.0 provides these critical concepts as follows:
Deprecation of presentational elements in favor of style sheets. Consider this the heart and soul of contemporary Web design. HTML 4.0 clearly states that the separation of structure and presentation are an imperative goal in order for Web authoring to progress. CSS is the suggested alternative, which in HTML 4.0’s emergence in 1997 was more problematic due to browser support than it is today.

Awareness of Accessibility and Internationalization. HTML 4.0 is very concerned with ensuring that pages are available to those individuals using alternative user agents, whether due to a disability or simply by virtue of circumstance. Internationalization concerns are brought forth in HTML 4.0, and discussions about how to Internationalize and Globalize HTML and XHTML are ongoing.

Improved rendering of Web documents. HTML 4.0 added several elements, specifically in terms of tables, that aid in accelerated interpretation and rendering of markup.

Introduction of three unique DTDs. With HTML 4.0 came the concept of three unique public DTDS: Strict, Transitional, and Frameset. The Strict DTD is HTML 4.0 at its most ideal, with the presentation of a document relying on CSS almost entirely. The Transitional DTD allows for the use of deprecated elements, understanding the transitional need for presentation in HTML. Finally, the Frameset DTD formalizes the use of frames in HTML 4.0 and provides a specific set of rules for their implementation.

HTML 4.0 really upped the ante in terms of offering real options and alternatives to Web developers interested in also writing documents that conformed to W3C goals. However, many authors have missed learning these important concepts, which lay the foundation for XHTML.
With HTML 4.01, a few errors and editorial

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