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Web Design:
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Introduction to the Projects

The exercises at the end of each chapter of the book provide practice in applying different aspects of your knowledge and skill in Web design. The projects here on the site are intended to give you an opportunity to put those aspects together and design some complete sites. They range in difficulty from very simple projects that could be carried out by a single person to very difficult projects that will require a team that combines different skills.

Standards

Always adhere to Web standards in your projects. In view of recent developments in the Web standards community, you may want to conform to the latest HTML5 standard. If you prefer to stick closely to the text of the book, the markup should be valid XHTML (we advise using the XHTML 1.0 Strict DTD). Stylesheets should be valid CSS, and wherever possible, scripts should use the W3C DOM, unless your course also teaches one of the higher level JavaScript libraries such as jQuery. (You may have to use properties of the window object, which are not yet standardized officially, but there are de facto standards.) Test your sites in all the most common browsers (the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and Safari), and ensure that pages transform gracefully if scripting or stylesheets are not supported. Try to avoid browser-specific hacks and don't be too concerned about supporting obsolete browsers, especially Internet Explorer 6. If necessary, omit a feature in preference to making it rely on browser-dependant code. Make sure that every site achieves level-A conformance to WCAG 1.0, or better. Try to break your layouts by making the window very narrow or by increasing or decreasing the font size in the browser. Check that all the elements on your pages can be differentiated in greyscale.

Use the W3C HTML Validation service and CSS Validator to check your markup and stylesheets.

Difficulty

The projects have been broken up into three, somewhat arbitrary, categories: simple, intermediate and advanced. These give a broad indication of their level of difficulty, although what is easy for one person may be hard for another. The simple projects do not require any use of scripting, either in the client or on the server. Most of the intermediate projects rely on JavaScript, but do not use server-side scripts, while the advanced projects are full Web applications that require some server-side computation. This means that the simple and intermediate projects can be done without having access to a Web server, but the advanced ones require you to be able to serve the site properly using HTTP. In other words, the sites in the simple and intermediate categories will work if you use your browsers File>Open File command and navigate to the page on your disk, but the advanced sites will only work if you enter a URL beginning with http:// in the address bar (or do something equivalent).