The CSS Beginner

Now that I’ve convinced some of my good friends to use CSS I’ve got to do some more preaching about effective implentation of the techniques. Ineffective use of CSS is just as ‘bad’ as having a tag soup/WYSIWYG table mania site.

Download Mozilla FireFox

Developing in the most advanced browser should make sense. Yes, I know IE has the largest market share. I also know from experience that if you’re wanting to ensure a cross browser display starting in the most advanced browser and then ‘trickling down’ to the lowest common denominator (Lynx, for example) is much easier than scaling up, down, and all around.

Choose a DOCTYPE

What’s a Doctype? In the first line of every page of this site it says this:

This line is what’s called a Document Type Declaration (DTD) – essentially what’s going on is I am instructing the browser which ‘mode’ to render my file in. Rendering Mode? WTF? Your browser has 2 rendering modes. Quirks Mode and Standards Mode. Quirks mode means the browser’s rendering engine tries to figure out what you want to do – and will often do just the opposite. Standards mode, however, meticulously renders the page to the specifications of your code. It doesn’t matter that I specified XHTML 1.0 Strict vs. Transitional, or even HTML 4.01 – whatever I specify the browser will digest it the way I want it to – without a DTD the browser tries to guess. With CSS you’ll want things done in a very particular way—quirks mode will not be your friend.

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