ISD Web Style Guide

Web Text

All lab web pages will conform to XHTML 1.0 (Strict). For our purposes, ``conform'' means to pass the validator at For convenience, most pages should include a validation link at the bottom. All CSS code should also pass the validator at Most users should start with the template when creating pages.

Since our department is still standardized on Netscape 4.7x, there may be cases where we need to use the Transitional form instead of Strict for the time being. We will not (never, ever) descend into the more kludgey dialects like HTML 3 and HTML 4.

When using acronyms, please enclose them in <acronym> when appropriate. Check the source for this document for an example. Tip: do not allow any whitespace other than ``space'' inside the title information.


Always, always, always specify the image width, the image height, and alternate text for every (every!) image. Always. Without fail.

We will not use GIFs, for philosophical and legal reasons. (A picture is worth a thousand words. Unfortunately with GIFs those thousand words may come from a lawyer for the company which owns the LZW patent.) Instead, we will use PNG for images where lossless compression and indexed color are appropriate. Again, there are some problems with PNGs and Netscape 4.7x, but nothing we can't work around.

Should we need to post any images where lossy compression is appropriate, JPEG should be fine.

Thou shalt not animate thy images unless you have a really, really, really good reason.

Papers and other documents

Ideally we should post documents as both gzipped postscript and as PDF, to reach the widest possible audience while still maintaining our principles. We should also offer plain text abstracts and BibTeX entries whenever possible. Brian has written a script to help with document management. To learn more, poke around under Docs/ or ask someone with a clue (e.g. Brian).


Use of JavaScript is permissible, but absolutely nothing important should depend upon it.

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!