Cybrargonians on the Net #11

By Terry Brainerd Chadwick, InfoQuest! Information Services

Web design and development has become a major task for many librarians. These librarians face such questions as when and how to use various design features such as frames, animation, tables, color, fonts, sound and video, java and other programming, etc. The sites listed below provide design guidelines, DOs and DON'Ts, how to deal with accessibility issues, and various "builders" that will put assist website development.

Design Megasites and Guides


Web Developer's Virtual Library (Stars.com)
This is the ultimate site for would-be and experienced web developers. It's sections include authoring, internet, location, software, web references, CGI, design, graphics, HTML, Java, scripting, index and library, and more. The site contains articles on everything from what is a webmaster to chat software options to creating an interactive index card stack with dynamic HTML. Training is also available on the site with tutorials in advanced HTML, tables, forms, JavaScript, graphics, VRML, introduction to web programming, and more.

The Webmaster's Reference Library

This site is where you want to go if you want to understand how to use Metatags or the basic syntax and structure for frames. It is a searchable site of articles and documents about various aspects of web development. There is expert advise, tutorials, how-to guides, a bookstore, a job match service, a graphic size converter, links to validation services, and much more.

HotWired: Webmonkey
Like WebReference this is a searchable site of articles and documents about various aspects of web development, all fed to you with HotWired's own brand of flashing graphics, small windows, and so on. The site also has tutorials and product comparisons.

Many of the references in this column are part of Mecklermedia's suite of Internet resources for web developers. It includes links to BrowserWatch, E-Commerce Guide, SearchEngine Watch, Internet World, InternetProduct Watch, Java Boutique, ServerWatch, Stroud' s CWSApps, The List (of Internet Service Providers), WebCompare.com, WebDeveloper.com, WebReference.com, WDVL, PCWebopaedia, and more.

General Design Guides

Sun on the Net: Guide to Web Style
This is an excellent guide to writing good Web pages by a company consistently rated highly as having an excellently designed web site.

Yale C/AIM Web Style Guide
This is a very detailed style guide that covers the DOs and DON'Ts of issues including fonts, graphics, frames, tables, cross-platform issues, and more, with examples and related references.

What Makes a Great Web site?
by WebReference.com
A easily understandable and concise article that discusses the characteristics of a good web site.

Sucky to Savvy
by Jeffrey M. Glover
This site, which started life as "The Top Ten Ways to Tell if You have a Sucky Home Page," describes the DOs and DONT'S of web design in a humorous but enlightening manner.

Designing for Accessibility (ADA)

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Accessibility Developments
This site focuses on developments and issues about implementing accessibility to the Web for people with disabilities. It includes design guidelines and specifications, information about the Web Accessibility Initiative, white papters, and other references about accessibilities.

Yuri Rubinsky Insight Foundation: WebABLE
WebABLE has an accessibility database that lists hundreds of internet based resources on accessibility.

Designing Accessible Web Sites
This Web site contains resources about how design html pages to increase their accessibility to users with disabilities. There is information on web design guidelines, browsers with built-in voice and access features, how to make standard browsers more accessible, model web sites, and more.

WWW Browser Access Recommendations
by Jon Gunderson
This paper describes how to make a website accessible through the use of foreground and background colors, anchor placement and highlighting, font size, alt tags, and other techniques.


Specialty Pages (colors, frames, Java, etc.)

Color Maker
by Sam Choukri
This site allows you to choose the colors for all of your links and backgrounds, see how they all work together, and gives you the body tag syntax for your web page. It also includes some background color patters, FAQs, and links to related resources.

Background Colors
This page contains both the syntax for how to use background colors and color swatches (with their RGB number equivalents) that can be viewed separated or all together.

The Background Sampler
This is Netscape's page of examples of background colors that you can use for your websites.

Meta Tag Builder
This form will generate HTML META tags that will allow better indexing by robot-driven search engines, such as AltaVista and Infoseek.

A corresponding page on the site has the Dictionary of HTML Meta Tags, which describes and provides examples of the various kinds of meta tags.

by Sam Choukri
This is a simple fill-in-the-blanks table maker. It describes each option, explains whether the option is broadly supported, and builds your table for you, also supplying you with the proper HTML coding to go with it. The site also includes a FAQ and list of related resources.

by Sam Choukri
Besides colors and tables, Sam also offers a fill-in-the-blanks form for developing frames pages. This also has a FAQ, a page of definintions, and links to related resources.

Sharky's Netscape Frames Tutorial
by Charlton D. Rose
This is Frames Basics in 5 easy lessons.

Java Home Page
This is Sun's own site for Java. You can download the Java Development Kit, see sample applets, learn about JavaBeans, become part of the Java User's Group, learn about the latest software updates, and more. The site also has links to the other major Java Development sites including Gamelan and JARS.
SUN: http://java.sun.com/
Gamelan: http://www.developer.com/directories/pages/dir.java.html
JARS: http://www.jars.com/

HotSyte: The JavaScript Resource

This site promotes JavaScript knowledge through the open exchange of ideas, research, scripts, and links. It has a JavaScript FAQ, public domain JavaScript source code, a list of JavaScript programmers, known bugs, and more.

<FONT FACE> considered harmful
This article describes the perils of working with different font styles. It includes examples and references.

For a broader perspective on fonts, see Fonts and the Web.

Web Style Sheets
This is the official W3C page about dynamic HTML and stylesheets. It explains what they are, the various standards now in effect and being proposed, and also covers cascading style sheets (CSS) and the more advanced DSSSL (Dynamic Style Semantics and Specification Language). It also includes history, press releases, and related references.


Please send any suggestions or comments to tbchad@tbchad.com. Cybrargonians on the Net will be archived at: http://www.tbchad.com/cybrar/. Copyright March 1998, Terry Brainerd Chadwick. Reproduction/distribution is allowable for non-profit purposes with the author's consent.


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