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1 COAP 3120 Week 5 program and mid term

Main topic: Media and alternative style sheets

1.1 Monday

1.1.1 Homework 1 and 2 feedback

Problems seen and possible improvements:

(1) HTML and CSS validity Make sure that your HTML and CSS is valid. Most students do ok, some really need to improve.

  • HTML declaration will determine how the browser will render the contents. In particular, you have to avoid quirks mode
  • Bad structure will confuse CSS
  • Bad CSS (e.g. wrong values) will inhibit certain rules to work as you expect.
  • in XHTML, all tags must be closed (or self-closed, e.g. <code> <br/> </code>

(2) Test the page with various screen width

  • A good page must display well in any resolutions

(3) Reports

  • Add more information about your design intents (few do that well)
  • Add contextual information (name, date)
  • Add references
  • Add questions and problems (if you like, this way I may be able to help you improving maybe)

(4) Open issues

  • Some problems are due to the fact that you will have to learn more about layouting, positioning, etc. Therefore, no problem :)

1.1.2 Dealing with media and alternative styles sheets

  • Screen, print and handheld media. What's different ?
  • Alternative style sheets for visually impaired people


Classroom activity:

  • Start working on homework 5. You can start from the following template (or just copy the HTML "link" code)
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
<html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en">
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8"/>

  <title>Change this title</title>
  <link rel="styleheet" title="Base style" type="text/css"  href="main-style.css" />

  <link rel="stylesheet" title="Normal screen style" type="text/css" 
         media="screen"  href="screen-style.css"/>

  <link rel="alternate stylesheet" title="Alternative style" type="text/css"
         media="screen" href="big-style.css"/>

  <link rel="stylesheet" title="Print style" type="text/css" 
         media="print" href="print-style.css"/>

  <link rel="stylesheet" title="Mobile devices" type="text/css" 
         media="handheld" href="handheld-style.css"/>



Source files:

1.2 Wednesday - Mid term exam

The exam will take place on Wednesday week 5

  • The exam is open book and open Internet
  • Topics: Everything that was part of homework one, two and three (including underlying HTML)


  • External, internal and inline CSS style
  • Tags:
    • div and span
    • h1, h2, h3, h4
    • p, blockquote, pre
    • ol, ul, il
  • HTML declarations on top
  • HTML validation
  • Character set declaration


  • Selectors, in particular simple ones (tag names), siblings, children, class and id
  • Every property that was part of homework one, two and three
  • Floats (i.e. you should be able to create a floating box within a text box, not part of hw 3)
  • CSS values: length, colors, percentages and keywords used with these properties
  • Understand some simple cascading principles: E.g. that usually "last found" will win, and "inline" before "embedded style" or loaded style sheet.

Recommended reading (textbook chapters)

  • Chapters 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9 (scan the text quickly and only read sections about topics that you need and don't understand)

Handouts of interest to the exam

1.3 Homework 5

Project summary:

(1) Create an HTML page plus CSS style.

  • Create CSS variants for screen, print, handheld and visually impaired people
  • You can reuse homework 1, 2 and 3 contents as much as you like

(2) A short report describing and discussing your design


  • Create three styles for screen, print and handheld.
  • Create an additional, forth style for visually impaired people. All you need to do is changing font-size for the "screen" styles.
  • For the media variants, you either can use three or four external style sheets, a single external style with @media instructions, or internal styles with @media instructions.
  • However, you need at least an extra external style sheet for the alternative style sheets.

The short report:

  • It should shortly explain your design, e.g. what you aimed to achieve for all media !
  • It should include references/sources used. Be careful to respect general Webster rules about plagiarism.
  • It should shortly explain what you did in your CSS.
  • It should point out problems you encountered.
  • You can use any format for the report (e.g. HTML, PDF or Word).

Example HTML+CSS:


  • Wednesday week 6 before class


  • Upload (a) the HTML file, (b) the CSS file(s), (c) all the picture files and (d) the report to the world classroom (hw 1). Creating a *.zip file of everything is the easiest solution.
  • Make sure that the upload worked (e.g. don't forget to hit the submit button)

Evaluation criteria:

  • Requirements (presence of CSS elements) - 20%
  • Visual design / originality - 30%
  • Usability - 10% (is the text readable ?)
  • Technical quality (CSS structure and documentation, valid HTML and CSS) - 20%
  • Presence and quality of the report - 10%
  • On time - 10 % (only 2 days late = 5%)

1.4 Reading



  • Chapters 15 and 18