Posts Tagged ‘Semantics’
We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Semantics’.
We are pleased to present below all posts tagged with ‘Semantics’.
To you, modal windows might be a blessing of additional screen real estate, providing a way to deliver contextual information, notifications and other actions relevant to the current screen. On the other hand, modals might feel like a hack that you’ve been forced to commit in order to cram extra content on the screen. These are the extreme ends of the spectrum, and users are caught in the middle. Depending on how a user browses the Internet, modal windows can be downright confusing.
Modals quickly shift visual focus from one part of a website or application to another area of (hopefully related) content. The action is usually not jarring if initiated by the user, but it can be annoying and disorienting if it occurs automatically, as happens with the modal window’s evil cousins, the “nag screen” and the “interstitial.”Read more...
Editor’s Note: This article features techniques that are used in practice by Yahoo! and question coding techniques that we are used to today. You might be interested in reading Decoupling HTML From CSS by Jonathan Snook, On HTML Elements Identifiers by Tim Huegdon and Atomic Design With Sass by Robin Rendle as well. Please keep in mind: some of the mentioned techniques are not considered to be best practices.
When it comes to CSS, I believe that the sacred principle of “separation of concerns” (SoC) has lead us to accept bloat, obsolescence, redundancy, poor caching and more. Now, I’m convinced that the only way to improve how we author style sheets is by moving away from this principle.
For those of you who have never heard of the SoC principle in the context of Web design, it relates to something commonly known as the “separation of the three layers”: structure, presentation, behavior.Read more...
“Form ever follows function. This is the law.” So said the architect and “father of skyscrapers” Louis Sullivan. For architects not wishing to crush hundreds of innocent people under the weight of a colossal building, this rule of thumb is pretty good.
In design, you should always lead with function, and allow form to emerge as a result. If you were to lead with form, making your skyscraper look pretty would be easier, but at the cost of producing something pretty dangerous. So much for architects. What about front-end architects — or “not real architects,” as we are sometimes known?Read more...
Before 1998, the birth year of CSS Level 2, form elements were already widely implemented in all major browsers. The CSS 2 specification did not address the problem of how form elements should be presented to users.
Because these elements are part of the UI of every Web document, the specification’s authors preferred to leave the visual layout of such elements to the default style sheet of Web browsers.Read more...
Whatever you call them — blocks, boxes, areas, regions — we’ve been dividing our Web pages into visible sections for well over a decade. The problem is, we’ve never had the right tools to do so. While our interfaces look all the world like grids, the underlying structure has been cobbled together from numbered headings and unsemantic helper elements; an unbridled stream of content at odds with its own box-like appearance.
Because we can make our
<div>s look but not behave like sections, the experience for assistive technology (AT) users and data-mining software is quite different from the experience enjoyed by those gifted with sight.
A few weeks ago, I dug up an old article that I wrote for Smashing Magazine, “When One Word Is More Meaningful Than a Thousand.” While I stand firmly behind all of the HTML development principles I listed back then, the article lacked one important thing: hands-on examples.
Sure enough, the theory behind component-based HTML is interesting in its own right, but without a few illustrative examples, it’s all very dry and abstract. Not that HTML enthusiasts should shy away from that (on the contrary, I would say), but there’s nothing like a good example to clear up some of the finer points of a concept.Read more...
To keep this article from turning into a book, we won’t look at each in depth. Instead, this is a taster menu: you can see what’s available, and there are links that I’ve vetted for when you want to learn more. Along the way, we’ll see that HTML5 semantics are carefully designed to extend the current capabilities of HTML, while always enabling users of older browsers to access the content. We’ll also see that semantic markup is not “nice to have,” but is rather a cornerstone of Web development, because it is what enhances accessibility, searchability, internationalization and interoperability.Read more...
Disclaimer: This post by Jeremy Keith is one of the many reactions to our recent article on the pursuit of semantic value by Divya Manian. Both articles are published in the Opinion column section in which we provide active members of the community with the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas publicly.
Divya Manian, one of the super-smart web warriors behind HTML5 Boilerplate, has published an article called Our Pointless Pursuit Of Semantic Value. I’m afraid I have to agree with Patrick’s comment when he says that the abrasive title, the confrontational tone and strawman arguments at the start of the article make it hard to get to the real message.Read more...
Update (November 12th 2011): Read a reply by Jeremy Keith to this article in which he strongly argues about the importance of pursuing semantic value and addresses issues discussed in the article as well as in the comments here on Smashing Magazine.
Disclaimer: This article is published in the Opinion column section in which we provide active members of the community with the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas publicly. Do you agree with the author? Please leave a comment. And if you disagree, would you like to write a rebuttal or counter piece? Leave a comment, too, and we will get back to you! Thank you.
Allow me to paint a picture. You are busy creating a website. You have a thought, “Oh, now I have to add an element.” Then another thought, “I feel so guilty adding a div. Div-itis is terrible, I hear.” Then, “I should use something else. The aside element might be appropriate.” Three searches and five articles later, you’re fairly confident that aside is not semantically correct. You decide on article, because at least it’s not a div. You’ve wasted 40 minutes, with no tangible benefit to show for it.
This is not the first time this topic has been broached. In 2004, Andy Budd wrote on semantic purity versus semantic realism. If your biggest problem with HTML5 is the distinction between an aside and a blockquote or the right way to mark up addresses, then you are not using HTML5 the way it was intended. Mark-up structures content, but your choice of tags matters a lot less than we’ve been taught for a while. Let’s go through some of the reasons why.Read more...
CSS grid frameworks can make your life easier, but they're not without their faults. Fortunately, modern techniques offer a new approach to constructing page layouts. But before getting to the solution, we must first understand the three seemingly insurmountable flaws currently plaguing CSS grids.
The biggest complaint I’ve heard from purists since I created The 1KB CSS Grid two years ago is that CSS grid systems don’t allow for a proper separation of mark-up and presentation. Grid systems require that Web designers add
.grid_x CSS classes to HTML elements, mixing presentational information with otherwise semantic mark-up.