HTML Writers Guild Newsletter -- 31 May 2001

by hwg-news-bounces(at) (HWG News Editor)

 Date:  Thu, 31 May 2001 22:02:26 -0600 (MDT)
 To:  hwg-news(at)
  todo: View Thread, Original

                      HTML Writers Guild Newsletter
                    Volume 7 Number 8, 31 May 2001

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Table of Contents 

1. What is the W3C's HTML Vaildator?
2. Upcoming Online Classes: Take an HWG Class! 
3. Why Did I Get This Email? And Other HWG-News FAQs 
(How to change your email address, how to unsubscribe, and more.)

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1. Tools of the Trade: The W3C's HTML Validator
   (Kynn Bartlett, AWARE Center Director, kynn(at)

Most of us who create web pages learned "by doing" or from a book; web
development is a hands-on process.  Often new web authors are confused by
the concept of "valid HTML" -- if my code seems to work fine in my web
browser, how could it be written incorrectly?

HTML, as a language, has specific rules for syntax and grammar that
define how that language is used.  These were codified by the World Wide
Web Consortium (W3C) when they wrote the HTML specifications.  The most
recent version of HTML is HTML 4.01, released in December 1999.

The specification for HTML 4.01 defines three types of HTML:  Strict,
Transitional, and Frameset.  Strict HTML 4.01 uses style sheets (CSS)
instead of presentational attributes and elements; Transitional HTML 4.01
includes the presentation markup; and Frameset HTML 4.01 should be used
if your document includes frames.  You set the type of HTML used by
including a DOCTYPE as the first line of your HTML file.  (View source on
the HWG home page for an example!)

So, we have a specification -- but how can you know if your HTML code is
up to spec?  For that, you will want to use an HTML validator.  (A
validator is something which "validates" the code against the
specification.  There are other tools which check syntax which may not do
a full validation on your page or site; these are still useful, but may
not find all the possible errors a validator can find.)

The W3C has provided a validator for general use over the web; you can
enter the URL of your file or upload it directly, and the HTML code will
be checked against whichever DOCTYPE you specify (either by stating it in
the first line of the HTML file, or by selection from a list at submit
time).  The URL for the W3C's validator is:

The W3C's validator also supports XHTML, the newest type of HTML, which
is basically HTML re-written according to the rules of XML.

Something interesting about the W3C's validation service is that it was
created by one of your fellow Guild members!  Gerald Oskoboiny, a
founding member of the HTML Writers Guild and long time Governing Board
member, wrote the "Kinder, Gentler Validator" years ago, and when he went
to work for the W3C, he set up the W3C's validator.  Great work, Gerald,
and everyone else at the W3C who has helped provide this useful service!
(Another great validator service is from WDG and can be found at

If you've been on the Guild's discussion lists for any length of time,
you're probably already familiar with the concept of validation -- it's
often discussed.  (And if you're not on a mailing list, check out -- they're quite helpful!)  Validation is like
spell-checking your work -- it's a mark of professional quality if you
can say that your code is "correct", and it also guarantees that it will
be easier for browsers, old and new, to understand.

Why not run your latest web creation through the W3C's validator?  You
may catch some errors you didn't know were there -- or you may find your
pages are more up to spec than you thought!  Help with using the
validator can be found on the HWG-Basics mailing list
( -- fellow Guild members are an
invaluable resource!

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2. Upcoming Online Classes: Take an online class! 
(Gretchen Lowerison, Online Education Director, classes(at)

Through a web-based interface, we offer a broad series of online classes
designed to teach you the skills you need, in a way that fits your busy
schedule. Our instructors are your fellow Guild members, chosen for their
expertise in their field and their willingness to pass along their
experience to you.

Upcoming courses you can take during May and early June include:

Introduction to HTML 
May 21, 2001 - July 1, 2001
Designed for the student with little to no working knowledge of creating
HTML files "by hand." If you're looking to learn HTML from scratch or
move beyond using a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editing tool,
this is the class for you. Students will be introduced to the structure
of HTML documents, good markup techniques, and the concept of validation.
Functional topics will include text formatting, simple lists, tables, and

Introduction to Programming Concepts 
May 21, 2001 - July 1, 2001
This course is suggested for students with no programming background, or
those who would like a more formal introduction to the concepts behind
most programming languages. This class is an introduction to the
fundamental syntax and logic of programming. Students will learn how to
establish a script, and work with variables, conditional statements,
loops and arrays. The fundamental logic of program flow and design will
also be discussed. 

Creating Spread Sheets with Excel 
May 28, 2001 - July 8, 2001
Microsoft Excel is Windows answer to the spreadsheet. Gone are the days
of paper ledgers and hand calculations. Excel allows you to set up a
digital ledger and enter data directly into your computer. Once the data
has been inputted, you are able to perform a variety of calculations to
provide you with the information that you require.

Sites that Sizzle: Web Animation with Macromedia Flash 4/5 
May 28, 2001 - July 8, 2001
During the 6 week course, we will cover the world of FLASH 4 or FLASH 5.
We will learn to draw, create and manipulate vector objects and/or import
them, make them come to life in frame-by-frame animations and on multiple
layers. We will have them "morph" into new shapes under complete control.
We will reach high levels of complex interactivity with mp3 sounds and
multiple animations talking to one another! We will also view the new
flash 5 features such as the bezier tool and the movie explorer. 

Web Site Promotion 
June 4, 2001 - July 15, 2001
This is a course in Basic Web Promotion for students with existing Web
Based businesses and/or offline businesses to promote on the Internet.
The course covers the basics of developing a marketing plan, branding and
positioning , web-based promotional strategies and how to use traditional
marketing strategies to supplement or enhance an Internet marketing

Intermediate JavaScript 
June 4, 2001 - July 15, 2001
Intermediate JavaScript: Working With Form Data is designed for the users
of JavaScript who want a bit more technical mastery of the language.
Students will increase understanding of the JavaScript language and
syntax, especially in the area of interacting with HTML forms.  Users
will become proficient in manipulating form data to make interactive web
pages. The class will focus on using JavaScript to create an interactive
order form.

JavaScript Special Topics:Manipulating Layers 
June 4, 2001 - July 15, 2001
JavaScript Special Topics: Manipulating Layers will move the students
knowledge further forward into the area of interacting with layers. Users
will become proficient in manipulating layers to produce animated menus
and images.

Accessible Web Design 
June 4, 2001 - July 22, 2001
HWG online education instructor Kynn Bartlett will show you how to ensure
your web site can be used by as broad an audience as possible, in the
newly revised course D201, "Accessible Web Design." This seven-week
web-based course will cover the full range of accessible design, from
practices to policy.

Programming with Active Server Pages 
June 11, 2001 - July 22, 2001
This course is designed for students proficient in HTML, and with some
programming experience in either VBScript, JavaScript, PerlScript, or
their parent languages. Students will be introduced to Basic ASP
techniques and server-side scripting in VBScript.  At the end of the
course they will be able to:

     Process forms on the server; 
     Write a monthly calendar; 
     Construct a commercial web site with catalog and shopping basket; 
     Read from, and write data to the server file system. 
Sites that Sizzle: Web Animation with Macromedia Flash 4/5 
June 18, 2001 - July 29, 2001
With the help of Katherine Ulrich's book entitled Flash 4 for Windows and
Macintosh or Flash 5 for Windows and Macintosh (depending on which
version of Flash you are using): visual quickstart guide; weekly lessons,
visits to sites that exemplify current the current flash topics, we will
be covering techniques to create what is most enjoyed throughout the web:
FLASH animated web sites. 

Introduction to XML 
June 18, 2001 - July 29, 2001
XML has been referred to as the new ASCII of the computer world. In a
short space of time it has outgrown its nascent purpose of being a means
to fix 'broken' HTML and help the web expand, and has become the language
of choice for most new major standards and projects.  This course is
designed to give students a thorough grasp of the basics of XML and will
also hopefully excite them enough to learn more about this powerful new

Get more information at: 


Course fees are based on membership level; Full members receive a
discounted tuition price, while Trial members pay the standard price.
Full membership is only $40 per year, so upgrade your membership before
registering, and save money! Payments may be made online via secure
transaction; all figures are in U.S. funds.  A certificate of completion
is available for an additional $5; the request needs to be made at the
time of registration. A certificate can be requested after class is
completed for $10.  Textbooks (when required) are separate and may be
purchased through the Guild's online bookstore, The Bookmark. Books
should be purchased before the first week of class! In addition, students
should have regular access to the web and the ability to post completed
assignments on a public (non-Intranet) web server.

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3. Why Did I Get This Email? And Other HWG-News FAQs 
(HWG-News Newsletter Editor, editor(at)
This newsletter was edited by Kef Moulton <kef(at)>. 

Some questions you may be asking:

Q: Why did I get this mail?
A: You received this newsletter because you are a member of the HTML
Writers Guild. This message came from HWG-News, the Guild's mandatory
mailing list for all members. If you need more information about
HWG-News, please see the List Charter at:

Q. Why doesn't this newsletter talk about web design or HTML more?
A. The newsletter is the Guild's administrative bulletin to the
membership; beyond the HWG News Tips, we don't include specific
information on web creation. If you are interested in the topics of Web
design and HTML, then you might want to subscribe to some of our
discussion lists devoted to those topics. More  information on the
Guild's offering of discussion lists can be found at:

Q. How can I find out more about Guild activities?
A. The Guild has set up a one-way announcement list, HWG-Announce, that
carries bulletins of day-to-day Guild business. For details on how to
subscribe, please see:

Q: How do I unsubscribe from HWG-News?
A: Since this is a required list in order to maintain your Guild
membership, unsubscribing is the same as resigning from the HTML Writers
Guild.  If you have your Member ID and password, to resign your
membership in the Guild and to unsubscribe to HWG-News, visit:  Fill in the pertinent information,
and submit it.  If you don't have a Member ID, or have forgotten your
password, send mail to: lost-password(at)  with a Subject of: Resign
membership.  In the body of the message, provide the following

* Your email address(es) 
* Your member ID if you have one. 
* The list of discussion lists you are on.

Please remember that unsubscribing to HWG-News automatically resigns you
from the Guild. If you have problems with unsubscribing, please contact
the password support team <lost-password(at)> for help.

Q: How do I change my email address for Guild mailings?
A: Full members can update their membership profile at any time by going
to this page: If you don't know
your password, contact the password support team <lost-password(at)>
for help. Trial members can send email to <dbadmin(at)> to change
their email address.

Q: Can my company advertise in the Guild's newsletter?
A: Yes; the Guild is offering sponsorship opportunities in HWG-News on a
limited basis. If you are interested in advertising your web related
product or service here, please send email to advertising(at)
Discounts are available to Guild Business and Corporate members, as well
as for multiple placements. The Guild's newsletter reaches over 124,000
web authors worldwide each month.  (Note: The Guild does not make our
member database available for third party use. We have a strong privacy
policy and will not release our members' personal information; our
mailing list is not for sale. Any questions regarding the Guild's
advertising or privacy policies can be directed to advertising(at)

Q: What if I want to comment on this newsletter?
A: The HWG-News Mailing List is a "Read-Only" list -- please do not try
to reply to this message directly.  If you wish to contact the editor of
this newsletter, you may do so by sending email to editor(at) Each
article begins with the contact information for the author as well.  

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Copyright 2001, HTML Writers Guild, Inc., All Rights Reserved. 
Published twice monthly via email and WWW.

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