On this page I give a few notes on the things I take care of when creating HTML pages:


The HTML 3.2 standard

First of all, I make sure that all my Web pages satisfy the HTML 3.2 standard. Checking this page with the W3C HTML Validation Service on 14 October 1999, for example, gave this output [the page has changed since then, but it still is valid!]:
And "the results of attempting to parse this document with an SGML parser" is:
    No errors found!

Valid HTML 3.2! Congratulations, this document validates as HTML 3.2!

Addition to HTML 3.2

Inlined images on web pages have a in their tab an ALT attribute, specifying what is to be seen, intended for those browsers that cannot show images. At first browsers showing images showed the ALT text also when the pointer was above the image, either in the form of a floating small window or in the status bar.

I used this behaviour on many a web page to make naviation easier.

With the coming of new HTML standards these browsers apparently have dropped that very handy behaviour disappeared sadly enough. Therefore I have made one "addition" to the HTML 3.2 to get this behaviour working again: I use the TITLE attribute, which is not part of HTML 3.2, but part of HTML 4.0, on some pages -- these pages are therefore no longer strictly HTML 3.2, for which I appologize. See for example this clickable map of my Scotland photo index.

There is one HTML 4.0 page

There is only one page that does not satisfy the HTML 3.2 standard (plus the TITLE attribute), namely the page about the start of the 3rd millennium, since it contains a JavaScript. Instead, that page is made to be a valid HTML 4.01 Transational page.


Viewable With Any Browser

Viewable With Any Browser
I whole-heartedly support the Campaign for a Non-Browser Specific WWW, because that is what the Web is actually all about: it's the viewer that determines how the page looks, not the maker of the page. I mean: what the maker supplies is info on what is a header, what is paragraph, where is an image, etc., NOT what font to use, what resolution, etc. In the words of the inventor of the WWW:
"Anyone who slaps a 'this page is best viewed with Browser X' label on a Web page appears to be yearning for the bad old days, before the Web, when you had very little chance of reading a document written on another computer, another word processor, or another network."

-- Tim Berners-Lee in Technology Review, July 1996

On none of my pages I have browser-specific instructions, as far as I know (except, perhaps, for the one page with a JavaScript, and I have to admit that not all images have an alt-text for text browsers) -- if you encounter a problem somewhere, please let me know.


Luminosity contrast ratio of at least 10:1. (Level 3)

W3C homeWeb Accessibility initiative
The W3C Web Accessibility initiative "develops strategies, guidelines, and resources to help make the Web accessible to people with disabilities" and they have set up a number of guidelines.

Guideline 1.4 is entitled Make it easy to distinguish foreground information from its background. This is to be achieved by the designer of web pages to ensure that there is "enough contrast between text and its background so that it can be easily read by people with low vision". To meet this guideline, the contrast must be such that colour is not a key factor, so that people who have a colour vision deficit will also see a contrast between the text and the background.

When selecting the colour scheme of my web pages, I have made sure that the "luminosity contrast ratio" is at least 10:1 (this is called "Level 3"). The following table shows the different contrasts currently used on my web page, against the background colour #dddddd (RGB = 221 221 221), light grey.

Kind of
(approximate name)
contrast ratio
in brightness
in colour
text, headers,
items, etc.
#000000 (black)
RGB = 0 0 0
15.6 221 663
unvisited links #440044 (magenta)
RGB = 68 0 68
11.9 192 527
active links &
visited links
#5f0000 (red)
RGB = 95 0 0
10.5 192 568

There are several tools around to check the "luminosity contrast ratio", for example:

The latter one is particularly easy to use off-line while setting up webpages.

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created: 14 October 1999
last modified: 7 February 2007