This week's goal:
This week you will master (1) the basic structure and syntax of html documents and (2) the material that goes in the <head> of your page. Of course, you are eager to get started on what will actually appear on your web page. But spend some time working on the material that only computers, search engines, and html designers see to create a professional-looking page. By designing a good <head> for your web pages this week, you will learn the basic structure of a document, summarize what your web pages are about, and start preparing your pages for the search engines. This will also prepare you for using java script or style sheets on your pages if you decide to try that later.
What to do this week:
1. Go to "View>Page Source" of this page and see what html source code looks like. Do the same with the first page of the Yale C/AIM Style Guide and Graphix 6. (If you are unsure how to view the source, see the link to the left below for instructions.) You do not need to study the code, just look it over briefly.
2. Read the sections of the text you have chosen that deal with basic html syntax and those tags that go in the head of your web page. (For example, in the Raggett on HTML 4 book read chapters 3 and sections 1, 2 and 5 of chapter 12. In Elizabeth Castro's HTML 4 for the World Wide Web, read chapters 1, 2 and 18. If you use the More Excellent HTML, read the first half of chapter 2 and the sections of chapter 12 about the <meta> tags. If you want to see the material explained another way, visit the "Resources" link and check one of the other tutorials.
It may seem strange to be reading sections from the end of the text book when we are just beginning. Many books and tutorials deal with <meta> tags at the end as "finishing touches" for web pages. I ask students to learn <meta> tags at the beginning so that you avoid the frustration of having to go back and change every page with <meta> tags later, when you are almost done with your project. Also, thinking about the material for the <meta> tags will help you plan your site.
3. Visit the <head> link below for some comments about this topic. It is not quite a "lecture" as you would get in an actual classroom, but does provide some perspectives.
4. Try the quiz if you want to check out what you know. You will not be graded and do not need to send it in. It is only for your own use.
5. Browse the web and use the "View>Page Source" to see how various web designers have used their <head>. Try to find a page with an interesting <head> and post its URL to the List Serv with the subject of your message marked "Talking heads."
6. Complete the submission, post it on your web site, and send a text version as an attachment to the instructor. Some suggestions for how to do the assignment are available on the link called "How to do the Homework Assignment."
If you have problems doing the assignment, post your question to the ListServe with the subject of you message marked "Please Help with Topic 3." If you can answer a question posted there, please do.
Copyright by Diane Wang, 1999, 2000. All rights reserved.