Landing : Athabascau University

Unit 2 Learning Diary Entry

Unit 2 is where some of the planning is put to paper. Prior to that activity, a couple of poor examples are provided to look at to know what not to do with our own submissions and to critique. When I took a look at the first sample I immediately noticed that while Chrome was able to render the page, looking at the source showed an unwillingness to close heading or paragraph elements. I felt it would be most prudent to run the page through a validation test. I felt there was no better test to parse code with than the one at , and several errors showed up. Primarily many of them were due to elements not being closed, where errors would say something along the lines of cannot be a child of element or something similar. However, there were other areas of errors as well as well.  

Other errors included the fact there was no DOCTYPE indication which should be at the start of the page. Next, the title element was empty. There was a warning that the language of the page was not declared, though this was returned as a warning and not an error. Character encoding type was not declared, and this returned an error. The img element did not include alternative text through an alt attribute. Additionally, some nesting issues were present causing stray end tag errors. There was also the use of obsolete attributes such as the border attribute on a table, where CSS is more appropriate.

The second sample was also run through the validation test and returned no errors as a XHTML 1.0 transitional document. The errors in the second file were not as substantial, but there wasn’t much content in the second sample to begin with. The concern here being is that the document may not confirm to more recent standards, such as HTML5. In fact, there are some online sources that do not recommend learning XHTML and encourage people to use HTML5 instead due to more usage. These sites are, for an example:

There is also the fact that HTML5 is the current W3C recommendation.

One of the items I struggled with here was keeping lines of code under 80 characters. I did some reading online and found this interesting discussion. I was motivated to research based on having links for elements be long in nature:

It seems that sometimes the functionality does not allow to keep the characters per line of code under a certain amount sometimes. Though this is considered good style in other programming languages, perhaps this thought is antiquated given newer technologies.

I used div tags only because it was a requirement of this unit, but I feel that even though they are used in conjunction as formatting tools with CSS, I will get better value out of defining styles of heading or paragraph elements in the CSS file instead of using div elements. My thoughts are matched by comments made on the post on the landing located here:

I initially used a form from an online source (and gave appropriate credit in my commentary in the source code of the HTM file) thinking JavaScript was required (from, but after spending more time researching online, determined it was impossible to do without relying on other technology, which has not yet met in any learning objectives. I spent hours researching to confirm this. As a result, the form I have is HTML5 compliant, but does not do anything, yet. Once we learn JavaScript, I will be able to greatly improve it.

Ultimately, I heavily modified the sample pages so much that they became unrecognizable and used them with corrections to start the development of the webpage content.

My work submission for Unit 2 can be found here:


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Group members: this is the place for your learning diary. Use this to post your zipped-up site at least once each unit, and your reflections as often as you wish (at least once per unit). Please write your reflections directly in the post, not as attached files. Where you do need to attach documents, such as for unit 1 designs, use PDF, PNG or JPG formats. You can attach files using the 'Embed content' link in the editor.

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