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Author Topic: Guidelines  (Read 1090 times)


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« on: 22 Oct 2019, 05:13:36 pm »
The following are guidelines, designed to help get HTML and CSS questions answered.

  • Text editor

    Use a plain text editor set to UTF-8 for your code. Word etc. contain their own formatting markup in binary format which really messes things up when your browser tries to work out what’s going on. Plain text editors also use plain quotation marks like this ' and " which are used in coding instead of the curly quotes ‘’ used by Word etc.. By using UTF-8, you have better compatibility between browsers and editors. The use of curly quotation marks in content is up to you.

    Make sure that any quotation marks in attribute values use straight quotation marks.

    There's no ‘best editor’, use the one that suits you. All operating systems have a basic text editor to edit system config files which is fine. An improvement is to use a purpose built text editor designed for writing code, they come with bells, whistles and a warning: you may end up spending more time messing around with all the must-have plugins than actually coding. The editors can also provide indicators to show where your code may be wrong. Here are some free ones to have a look at for whichever platform you use:

    Visual Studio Code Editor

    They are listed in alphabetical order only and are provided as a suggestion only. They have their own help guides for installing and installation issues.

  • Valid code

    Simple syntax errors can be the cause of many problems. Use a validator and fix any errors that you can first, they are not fool proof but are really good at finding niggly things that we miss.

    HTML by submitting a link to the page
    HTML by uploading the file from your computer
    HTML by typing or pasting code into an input box
    CSS by submitting a link to the page
    CSS by uploading the file from your computer
    CSS by typing or pasting code into an input box

    For HTML, another thing you can do is view the source code in your browser by pressing ctrl+u, it will highlight lines which it is not happy with.

  • HTML is from Mars – CSS is from Venus

    HTML is used to describe the structure of the document. This is the foundation of a web page and the starting point of progressive enhancement, get the structure right and the rest will fall into place.

    CSS describes how the HTML is presented.

    HTML can exist without CSS.

  • Posting code
    Surround your code with [сode][/сode] tags when posting code, it’s so much easier to read.

    Format it first, this can be done online if not already formatted or your text editor doesn’t do it for you. Show as much code as you need to, including but not just the problem line if there is one, you’ll be surprised how many posters don’t.

  • Be descriptive

    Be very descriptive, but not verbose.

    Describe the problem(s) you are having (we don’t need to know what you had for breakfast). Provide context: what is behaving as you want it to and what is not. When does it happen or has something changed.

    Read your question back to yourself (outloud ideally) before posting and check it makes sense, be honest with yourself. Keep it focused and factual.

  • Browsers

    There are several browsers and they all have their own quirks and ways of doing things, this might be the cause of your problem and is a lesson in making sure that you test in as many browsers as you can.

    Some browsers will only support certain HTML tags or CSS properties, luckily there is this website which shows you the level of browser support.

    The browser will try very hard to make sense whatever it's given, don't be fooled into thinking that all is correct and good because it all seems correct. They have a remit to make the best of a bad job and do it very well, they do have their limits though and things may change in the future.

  • Screenshots

    These are rarely needed, and often annoying. By providing enough code and detail, we can set up the same on our own machines. Images may be problematic, however, by marking up your image tags correctly <img src="...#" width="300" height="300" alt="Image here"> we can get over it and reproduce the issues you are facing.
« Last Edit: 24 Oct 2019, 02:45:42 pm by Jason Knight »
Our desire for order and definition is often outweighed by our ability.


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Re: Guidelines
« Reply #1 on: 22 Oct 2019, 05:14:15 pm »
First draft to get the ball rolling  :)
Our desire for order and definition is often outweighed by our ability.


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Re: Guidelines
« Reply #2 on: 23 Oct 2019, 12:25:36 pm »
Did not see "reason for the edit" anywhere. I added VSCode to the editors.
Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have succeeded than encouraging people who have not. - Neil deGrasse Tyson

Jason Knight

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Re: Guidelines
« Reply #3 on: 23 Oct 2019, 01:08:55 pm »
added formatting.
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