Freepages-Help-L Archives

Archiver > Freepages-Help > 2002-08 > 1028346130

From: Elsi <>
Subject: Re: [FreeHelp] Please help a novice with Validation
Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 22:48:58 -0500
In-Reply-To: <>

At 07:32 PM 08/02/2002 EDT, wrote:
>I am having a terrible time with my webpages. I had originally used the
>program AOL Press to create my pages and switched to Rootsweb. When I
>uploaded my pages it made sloppy html code. I know very little html and am
>now trying to learn.
>When writing in html code, I don't know whether it is supposed to be written
>in upper case or lower case.

In HTML up to 4.01, the tags themselves are not case sensitive. The newer
XHTML standards say that the tags and attributes should be written in lower
case. Well, that's easier since you don't have to use your shift key, so
I've been doing entirely lowercase tags for the past year or so.

>So far I tried to validate just my first page at
>had so many errors but I have no idea what to do to fix them. It starts with
>the message that the element "HEAD" isn't allowed where I put it. I haven't
>had the courage to look at the other pages yet.

Start simple -- almost every tag has an opening & closing form. Think of
these as a container. You can put things in a container, but something
can't straddle the edge of the container. In the simplest form, your page
needs an HTML container to hold the whole thing. Inside the HTML container
is a HEAD container and a BODY container, one right after the other like this:

If you're writing HTML by hand, start with a file that has these 6 tags in
it. Then start putting additional things inside the containers. Remember,
that just like your refridgerator, you can't put something in that's not in
a container or it will get messy.

In the HEAD container goes your TITLE and any META tags you want to use.
STYLE tags go here, and you might also have some SCRIPT tags if you're
using JavaScript.

<.title>Elsi's fine page<./title>

The BODY container has your page contents -- headers, paragraphs, tables,
images, etc. I'm not going to illustrate it because it just takes too long.

One of the best online tutorials is at the Maricopa (AZ) College web site
-- -- the tutorial is about 30
lessons, but don't let that scare you. 90% of what you need to know is
covered in the first 8 lessons. My 17 year old niece went through the
first 8 lessons in 2 evenings and put her first site of 3 pages online,
pictures and all.

>Since I have started using rootsweb, I have added borders and backgrounds
>the validator says the code is wrong.

It may be. As I said, it's best to start simple and then add things one by

So, I took a look at your page and it looks fine to the eye -- pretty good
start. I next passed the page through the validator & here's why you're
getting that error 'HEAD not allowed here'.

3: <.HTML>
4: <.meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
5: <.HEAD>
6: <.title>Dee's Chesapeake Genealogy<./title>
7: <./HEAD>

Remember what I said about containers? Well, your META tag isn't in a
container. The validator knows that there should have been a HEAD tag
before the META tag, so it just assumed one there. Now the validator gets
to your HEAD tag & considers that it's the second (logical) one reached &
reports that as an error. Unfortunately, the diagnosis made by the
validator isn't always precise enough to locate the problem easily. (Don't
be afraid to ask for help if the validator starts speaking Sanskrit to you.)

>I know I have to fix the sizing of the graphic I made using Coreldraw on the
>first page and I am also going to completely change my photos pages as there
>are too many and they are too large and it's probably a bit tacky. Will
>probably completely do away with the scrapbook section.

You could simply postpone putting up all the scrapbook and photo items
until you're more comfortable with the HTML.

>I don't know the difference between htm and html and which I should use in
>web address. I don't know the difference between my first page:
>both pages look the same to me and I don't know which one I should use or
>which is correct?

.htm and .html are simply two ways to spell the same thing. Originally, an
HTML file was a plain text file with a file type of .html -- but with the
advent of Windows systems which used a strict 8.3 format for file names,
the standard was extended to allow .htm as well as .html

Your two URLs above are actually loading the same file, not two different
ones. This happens because of the way that web servers are configured.
Your URL (that web address thing that starts with http://) can include a
file name, in which case the server will retrieve that file & deliver it to
the browser. Example:

That's my SSI tutorial page.

If the URL does *not* include a file name, then the server looks into its
own configuration to find out what 'default' file names are in use.
RootsWeb configures its servers to use index.html, index.htm, index.shtml,
and index.sht in that order. So, if you have a file named 'index.html' in
your directory, it will be retrieved & sent. If you don't have a file
named 'index.html', the server will look for 'index.htm' and so forth down
the list. If the server gets to the end of the list & doesn't find any of
them, it sends a directory listing to the browser.

So, in your case, a URL of
causes the server to look for a file named index.html in your
genealogy_html directory and send it to the browser.

>I am so frazzled at this point that I really don't know if I should just
>delete everything and start from scratch again or use my computer as a door

Don't stop -- you have something valuable to say and we're here to help you
wrap the HTML around it.


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