Brainstorms and Raves

Notes on Web Design, Development, Standards, Typography, Music, and More





Friday Feast #24: CSS, Standards, Flash, Usability, and Googlisms

In the usual feast style, there’s a mixed stew of goodies today.

Converting Tag-Heavy Old HTML Pages to Spiffy and Lean XHTML and CSS

Bradsoft’s TopStyle will help you do just that with its integrated HTML Tidy. And if you don’t already know, TopStyle’s 3.0 version has expanded beyond being a CSS editor. It’s now also an HTML and XHTML editor. Based on standards-compliant site creation and maintenance, you’ll find plenty of helpful tips to create your pages to validate with W3C’s CSS validator, also integrated within TopStyle.

TopStyle’s upcoming version 3.10 update will also include integration with W3C’s HTML validator and Watchfire’s Bobby. This is exactly what we at WaSP love to see happening. Following standards really does make a difference, it’s easier than you may think, and editors like TopStyle can help guide you along.

By the way, TopStyle also integrates with many other tools, such as Dreamweaver MX, Adobe GoLive, HTML-Kit, NoteTab Pro, and more.

CSS Inspiration and Tips

Joe Gillespie’s Box of Tricks continues from last month, this time with inspiring tips for creating rollovers with CSS.

CSS and Lists

CSS provides so much flexibility with lists. Don’t want bullets? Want them horizontally aligned? More? Check out A List Apart’s CSS Design: Taming Lists by Mark Newhouse. I’ve mentioned other articles and tutorials by Mark Newhouse, and this is another terrific reference packed with inspirational ideas. See ALA’s CSS directory listing for lots more ALA articles on CSS, too. The Flash Usability Guide: Interacting with Flash MX by Chris MacGregor, Crystal Waters, and David Doull

Flash and Usability Can be Friends

Find out how with the new book, The Flash Usability Guide: Interacting with Flash MX by Chris MacGregor, Crystal Waters, and David Doull. See also Chris’s fantastic Flash Usability white paper at his top-notch site.

Google and Googlisms

Checking around at even a few weblogs, you will probably find references to a fun distraction, Googlism.

Like Mozilla or Netscape 7 but miss IE’s Google bar? Try Mozilla’s Google bar.


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I Wrote a Book

Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists  Via Deliver First Class Web Sites: 101 Essential Checklists, by Shirley Kaiser. SitePoint Books (July 2006). 

Available now via: SitePoint Books,, (Canada), (UK), (France), (Germany), (Japan), Tower Books U.S. and elsewhere! You'll also help support this site and its owner if you purchase via any of these links.

Learn more at SKDesigns - Deliver First Class Web Sites and via SitePoint Books.

Recommended Books

Web Style Guide - Basic Design Principles for Creating Web Sites, 2nd Ed., by Patrick J. Lynch, Sarah Horton. Yale University Press, March 2002.

Cover: HTML for the World Wide Web with XHTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide, Sixth Edition. By Elizabeth Castro. Pub. Peachpit Press August 2006.

Hand-picked best book recommendations for Web site design, CSS, graphics, Photoshop, color, accessibility, more

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