HTML, which emerged in the mid 80s from Standardized General Markup Language, first appeared as a dozen tags in 1991.

The Internet Engineering Task Force first started the effort to standardize HTML in 1995 with HTML 2.0. The IETF’s efforts to maintain HTML stalled, so the W3C stepped in to oversee standardization.

In 1996, the W3C came out with HTML 3.2, which removed proprietary elements championed by Microsoft and Netscape.

HTML 4.0 followed in 1998, provided mechanisms for style sheets, scripting, embedded objects, richer tables, enhanced forms, and improved accessibility for people with disabilities.

I realize, the impact proprietary technologies such as Apple’s QuickTime and Microsoft’s multimedia players, released in 1991; and Adobe Flash, which debuted in 1996 have played in contributing to rich webpages and Web based applications, earlier HTML was primarily focused on delivering text, not multimedia.

Adobe Flash


I have come to realize the importance of sprites in a flash project, I have just completed a flash coursework and thought I’d blog about it especially the use of sprites.

So what is a sprite then?

A sprite is  a movie clip in the Flash UI.  It is a movie contained within a SWF movie, if that makes sense and can stand alone as a SWF and supports many of the features of a regular Flash movie, including:

A standalone timeline

A streaming sound track that is automatically mixed with the main sound track.

I found generating a sprite sheet makes animation smoother and it makes layering easier by  turning several frames of an animation into a single large bitmap which unclogs timeline.

I would be incorporating CSS sprites into my website assignment for the headers, buttons


From experience, search engines find a lot of webpages and I find it difficult to determine their authoritativeness or usefulness without actually clicking the search result. I have been trying out a search engine and in the event, the search engine was a disaster. I know some search engines uses HTML structural elements to evaluate contents of Webpages. For instance, I think Google uses an algorithm to evaluate the relevance of Web pages using tagged texts. Even if there are mechanisms for flagging semantic content such as the Extensible Markup Language, I would like to see website authors use HTML tags in a similar manner. I am feeling more positive generally that this would be the case as tags in XML are becoming more standardized. There are still quite a number of webpages authored using only HTML.

More on HTML tags here and here

Web Design

Every design decision when designing a website should be grounded in research that supports the goals of  end users. Usability testing does that, it gauges how users interact with the design to help strategically place elements throughout the page. Constructing a sitemap serves as the architecture for the site. Next wireframes should be created to show off the carefully planned vision. It doesn’t stop there.  The web design comes to life in the development stage, and is thoroughly tested for functionality and responsive design before and after the target launch date.webdesignprocess-dark

Syntax and semantics

I was just discussing the emergence of HTML 5 with a colleague and he explained that the introduction of HTML 5 would mean some changes to the syntax and the semantics of the language’s elements and attributes. For instance, HTML can be written in two syntaxes: HTML and XML.

From my experience I can say for certain that using XML will enable more complex webpages that will run faster on Web browsers. I also learnt that XML requires a stricter, more accurate grammar than HTML and thus requires less work by the local computer to run quickly and correctly. There is a but though, XML pages require more work by the developer to achieve the higher accuracy level.

I will need to read up more on this and post about it.

Document Design


Importance of typography is not lost on me as a UI designer. It is essential to get typefaces right especially in UI design.

“Typography in context considers the end use/user as the critical component and design criteria. How can we make the choices that support and enhance the effectiveness of the ideas and concepts being communicated

Typeface instantly influences how a document is read and how it is regarded. Fonts work extremely well in setting a mood, also relevant is how the typeface is employed, ensuring that the document effortlessly read.

From personal experience, a good typography facilitates scanning and navigation

Serif vs. sans Serif

Serif  helps to move the reader’s eye horizontally. Sans serif effective for contrast.

What’s new in MadCap Flare 10, the nitty gritty

Kai's Tech Writing Blog

Flare 10, the annual major release of MadCap’s flagship Help Authoring Tool, includes several major enhancements that make Flare easier and faster to newcomers and editors of marketing content. And many smaller enhancements target the hardcore techcomm heavy users. The well-balanced improvements testify that MadCap listens to many of its users.

Today, I’ll focus on the enhancements that I enjoy most – many of them are smaller improvements for heavy-duty tech comm users with large projects and many topics. (An earlier post covered the more obvious strategic enhancements.)

  • Improved build times are probably the most crucial enhancement for us. We have some crazy large projects, and we’re happy to see that build times for web help and PDF alike decreased on average by 10 to 30%. Apparently, Flare 10′s re-engineered build process causes more read/write operations. That means a fast hard-disk drive with, say, 7200 RPM or a solid state…

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Resource Description Framework

What does it even mean right? That was exactly my thought at the time. However I have not sufficiently developed my understanding of it. But I can say this much:

W3C recently started dividing HTML 5 into groups to make development easier.
eg. HTML+RDF provides a way to embed resource description frames in

From this I have drawn my conclusion that RDF is a framework for conceptually modeling information incorporated into Web resources. This can allow developers to incorporate machine-readable data into webpages, which would ensure faster page rendering.

This makes me feel like have learnt something this week.