Here's the basics from the W3C:
Don't forget to add a doctype - add what? [w3.org]
List of Valid Doctypes [w3.org]
"add what?" says it all.
This pretty much describes me, "the browser assumes you’ve written old-fashioned, invalid markup and code per the depressing industry norms of the late 1990s."
That's me. I learned HTML the old fashioned way, by looking at other people's source code. I can't begin to imagine which kind of HTML it is. I try it and if it works I use it.
Would this be the code for me?
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
Best for you? That all depends. Transitional 4.01 is ok if you just code HTML but I like XHTML strict because it is bulletproof across browsers (which decreases your QA time) and I am a pixel nazi.
All I do is hand coded html and css.
I would say: start with HTML 4.01 Transitional. Get that to work and validate. Then move on to HTML 4.01 Strict.
You will be amazed at the structural things you will learn about HTML simply by fixing minor validation errors. :)
I hand code everything as well and have used a doctype in my documents for 6 years now. Using a doctype (and validation) has made me more aware of what I'm actually doing. In the end I have become a better coder.
I'd agree with DrDoc - definitely move to Strict eventually. That's what transitional's for: an intermediate step to make the path to strict less painful.
The attitude of "if it works, I use it and if it comes out on screen alright I don't care about anything else" really doesn't work with the web...
|The attitude of "if it works, I use it and if it comes out on screen alright I don't care about anything else" really doesn't work with the web... |
Actually, the problem is that it DOES work. If omitting </html> caused your entire document to fail in all browsers, then we wouldn't have a hodgepodge of would-be web designers spewing out code riddled with errors; we'd have people who know how to write code, and people who don't.
annej, I think you'll find that you're probably not too far off from where you need to be in creating correct markup. Surf around for info on standards, doctype, etc, and i'm sure you'll be on top of your game in no time.
I see Doc types without the "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd"> at the end. Is it necessary?
Doctype without url is same as no doctype at all.
For details check out
Activating the Right Layout Mode Using the Doctype Declaration
[edited by: encyclo at 9:39 pm (utc) on Mar. 25, 2006]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]
^ ^ edited: simul-post :-)
|I see Doc types without the "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd"> at the end. Is it necessary? |
If you don't include the URL in the doctype, it throws IE into "quirks mode" which is in many cases the same effect as having no doctype at all. While this works in your favor in most cases by "forgiving" coding errors, it can also work against you by not suporting somethnig specific to your selected doctype.
Don't feel so bad about being an oldschool handcoder (me too.) Taking the steps to get up to speed is better than most do.