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Week 2 Assignment Redux

September 5, 2010
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A few issues to tackle this week (as with every weekly assignment review no importance is attached to the order presented):

  • Answers to the 5 questions were allowed a wide variance without losing points; you had to be flat out wrong to get a deduction. That said .de is a ccTLD and you should understand the components of a URL. If you did not use ccTLD as the answer for the .de question, then revisit the reading. On the answer for the Sir Tim question, it’s at least as important that he heads the W3C which is the neutral international body overseeing the development of the Web. IMHO, that’s more important than inventing the Web and it’s what he does NOW [present tense, as in “what does he do?”].
  • h and p elements are always siblings; many students used them as inline variants of each other. This is not mal-formed, but it is not valid and that will be very important going forward.
  • To get the EC for a link you had to use the target=”_blank” attribute to get it to open in a new window or tab. Note how there is no “link” element, but there are anchor elements which are what the average person calls a link. My EC assignments are often sneaky and are so for educational purposes.
  • There were instances of mal-formed xml and this brings up the “paint by numbers” aspect of the course.  I demonstrated the way I code for a sound reason: do the markup before the content and you’ll never run into bad markup; seems simple enough but most students and people think of the content before container (if they think of the container at all). An example is a carton of milk. We think of the milk not the carton, but for us the issue at hand is the carton which can hold juice, water for house plants, extra change from your pockets, mixtures of diesel fuel and palm fertilizer, goldfish brought home from Petco, you get the picture. Containers are what’s useful, the contained is the benefit [to paraphrase the Tao] and we are learning a trade focused on usefulness. For the most part the content we publish will be created by others.

A nice segue into week 3 is an issue of character encoding one student encountered; a link did not work because there was an unreadable character in the href attribute. Look at the image and note a diamond-shaped emblem with a question mark in the middle right after the = and just before the h in “http” :

character encoding issues demonstratedWhat does it mean? It means the browser doesn’t know what to do with the character. When the browser decides how to “publish” your content it becomes important for it and the content to be speaking the same language.  That’s why I say Sir Tim’s current job is more important than his past achievements.

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