Christopher B. Browne's Home Page



My Web pages are written using the DocBook SGML DTD and translated to HTML using Jade, a DSSSL translator. I use Git to manage the SGML sources, and copy output (e.g. - the HTML and other outputs) to a second Git repository that manages deployment of publishable material to the web site.

I quite actively avoid doing "physical" markup when composing material. Remember that HTML is intended to be a structural language; the point of the whole exercise is to represent the information in a convenient fashion. Presentation is something that should be handled by the browser. Going further than that, recent work on style sheets moves presentation out of the hands of HTML proper, making it into something that authors and readers can configure somewhat less directly. Hardcoding assumptions about presentation into the original HTML is an exceedingly bad idea. HTML is not a DTP language.

I use Cascading Style Sheets to provide a way of decoupling presentation from document structure, providing rendering "hints" that improve the appearance with modern browsers, but which do not hinder readability on browsers that don't handle the "latest and greatest" graphics technology. (That being said, I do not use them in any notably sophisticated way - CSS usage has gotten enormously sophisticated over the years in ways I haven't found interesting.)

I also use postprocessing tools on the resultant HTML such as insert_html_templates and tidy to tidy things up, and to insert a few extras that I haven't bothered to figure how to insert via DSSSL.

It is also important to at least try to use proper language. See, for instance, the classic text on the English language, Strunk and White.

See Composing Good HTML , BrowserMania , Best Viewed With Any Browser! for more details about both good and bad use of HTML.

The origination of these pages was/is thus:

The material has generally speaking grown out of my looking at one subject or another to see what seemed interesting; if it proves useful, that's wonderful. If links are broken, I'd certainly appreciate hearing about it, and if you can suggest a fix, that's even more appreciated. There might even be a button at the bottom of the page that you could click on that provides a web form that might even ease the process.

If, on the other hand, you're in need of further homework assistance, that goes beyond the intended scope of my efforts, and as that is pretty likely to short-circuit your education in research methods, I am likely to actively discourage it.


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