I am planning on making all of our department's web pages accessible, but I am having a bit of trouble getting the page to validate on the W3C validator. I read that getting the page to HMTL or XHTML validate is the first step in accessibility. --- The home page (and web site) I maintain is at: http://www.houstontx.gov/health/index.html -- when I run this through the validator on HTML transitional 4.0 - I get 8 errors. On XHTML, I get 72 errors! I can only imagine what the Bobby validator will say. Maybe I should get some html or xhtml training - what is confusing me the most is deprecated attributes - bordercolor sounds fine to me but I guess it's not right. -- I participated with AIR Houston - an internet accessibility rally. You can read about it on knowbility.org web site. thanks
are there any classes on just hmtl and css and html? thanks
Start with the idea of using [X]HTML to mark up the meaning of your document, not the appearance. Then use CSS styling -- whether via external style sheets, style blocks in the HEAD section, and/or inline style attributes -- to control the appearance of the page.
To this end, the w3.org specifications for [X]HTML have now deprecated most elements and attributes which were used to control appearance in order to support the idea of using CSS for that.
If you browse the CSS forum here, you will find a number of good (and some perhaps not so good) links to learning sites and books. As you go through the learning process, keep referring to the relative parts of the specifications at w3.org (see below) so that you learn to read and interpret them. Once you become comfortable working with those spec.'s, which are the ultimate reference source (though not the most user-friendly), you'll be less dependent on others' interpretations of them.
Just a couple of things: First you have some very major errors in your mark-up. for example, tags in inappropriate places. Your inline css for example is not contained with the <head> tags as it should be. The other problem is you are using <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> but your mark-up looks like Proprietary. It contains things such as NAME, BORDERCOLOR, ALIGN, ABSMIDDLE Which should be dealt with in css in HTML 4.01 Transitional. Also the form tag <form name="guideform" id="guideform"> should contain action="url" where url is the url to which the form is to be submitted.
Having the wrong doctype is much worse than having no doctype at all. The doctype is supposed to tell the browser what to expect. If the code is not formatted in this way the browser may fall over. If you don't use a doctype you are telling the browser that the mark-up doesn't strictly fall into any category so you would like it to make its best guess possible as to how the page should look.
If the mark-up doesn't abide by the doctype or there is no doctype the browser needs to use its psychic abilities to work out what the designer was hoping for.