% '## get the name of the current script for the navbar and header graphics ScriptName = Request.ServerVariables("SCRIPT_NAME") '## get the name of the browser to wrap in browser-specific tags UserAgent = Request.ServerVariables("HTTP_USER_AGENT") %>
This site is compliant with the HTML 4.01 Transitional specification, as well as the CSS Level 1 specification. It conforms to Level A of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0, and passes accessibility checkpoints as detailed by CAST's Bobby validator. Hopefully this demonstrates that it is possible to build pages that are compliant and accessible, and not ugly as a result of such efforts.
These pages are served from a Microsoft Windows NT box running Microsoft Internet Information Server. All pages on this site are built using Active Server Pages, a server- side scripting technology that allows for dynamically served pages based on information provided by each user or information specific to the application. Since the final output is straight HTML, there are never any concerns with browser compatability, as long as the HTML is good.
All HTML, as well as the VBScript that drives the Active Server Pages, is hand- coded and debugged. No editors are used in order to allow the most flexibility in design, guarantee the most control in browser compatibility, ensure the slimmest file sizes for fast download, and guarantee ease of rendering by the browser.
These pages also strive to be as backward- compatible as possible while at the same time leveraging the newest, and most approriate, technologies out there. For example, this site takes advantage of the accessibility features new to the HTML 4.01 specification, yet to be fully supported in the newest browsers. Since no browsers yet support the XHTML 1.0 specification, HTML 4.01 was chosen as the markup language for the site, even though it is not the current W3C recommendation. However, when the specification is supported by browsers, conversion of this site will be a simple matter of a few search and replace routines. In addition, these pages use Cascading Style Sheets Level 1 to offer the best control over the layout of text, as well as its readability, on all pages.
This site has been built using only structural markup and tables for layout. All styling is handled by the Cascading Style Sheets, including page colors, text size, color, and face, as well as rudimentary spacing of elements. No <font> tags are used anywhere on the site, and only structural tags have been used within content. In addition, <div> and <span> tags are not used anywhere in order to ensure structural markup with no tags in place strictly for style. The advantages include greater accessibility for all users, including those who are disabled, those on older browsers, and those on alternative browsers.
All images are optimized to facilitate a fast download while still maintaining the quality necessary to convey the detail of the work. Navigation images are extremely small, optimized to 8 colors and based on the web- safe 216 color palette, as is the background color of the site and the colors of the text. This helps ensure that all users see the same site as all other users, regardless of that user's monitor's bit- depth. Care has been taken to account for those users who cannot see the entire web-safe color palette as well, including users at 16-bit, as detailed by Webmonkey.
The font used in the navigation bar, as well as the watermark on all the images, is London Underground by local type foundry P22. In an exclusive arrangement with the London Transport Museum, P22 released the legendary sans serif design developed by Edward Johnston for the London Underground system in 1916.
Testing is done with different connection speeds, on different platforms, and with a core assortment of browsers on Microsoft Windows, MacOS, and various flavors of Unix interfaces (I'm still having trouble getting BeOS to work, as well as getting access to Amigas). These basic browsers include Netscape Navigator 2.X, 3.X, 4.X, and 6.0; Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.X, 4.X, and 5.x; Lynx 2.X; Opera 3.X, 4.x, and 5.x; and the WebTV Viewer. By using this core set of browsers, I can test a number of different levels of support for HTML 2.0, 3.2, and 4.0, as well as many of the idiosyncracies associated with the major browsers.
The pages of this site are created dynamically from a number of different shared files. For instance, the navigation buttons on the left of each page come from one text file that immediately determines on which page it is displayed, and highlights the appropriate buttons. This is also true of the templates that drive all the pages on this site.
Browser tracking is also a component of the site. As time goes by and it becomes clear what browsers the largest group of visitors to this site use, new features may be added to take advantage of the newer technologies that make it to the web. Hopefully every time you visit this site, there will be a little something different, even though it may not be obvious.