Network: Web Design - Bringing the design community together

We've only just started to see the potential of the Web for new talent

RICHARD HALL is a Brit who has transplanted from London to California, where he is now the producer of Netscape's developer websites DevEdge Online (http://developer. and Open Studio ( openstudio), the two most prominent guides to creating websites on the Internet.

Richard was first exposed to the Web while studying IT Management at London Business School, when some friends introduced him to Mosaic. Since that time he has set up websites for clients of the ad agency Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper as well as the http://the site for the Sci-Fi Channel. Richard started working for Netscape in 1996, producing the Netscape developer site which "fulfilled a dream of wanting to work in the [San Francisco] Bay Area".

Jason Cranford Teague: I've enjoyed Open Studio and DevEdge Online's articles and found them to be useful, regardless of the browser I'm programming for. How does Open Studio deal with the cross-browser issue?

Richard Hall: We understand that deploying sites which work cross-browser is important. Writing two versions of a Web page is not an ideal solution. Some time ago, as a result of this feedback, we geared up to make all our new Dynamic HTML examples on Open Studio cross-browser. When I hear about a new piece of sample code being produced for the site, the first question I ask the coder is whether it's cross-browser and, if not, whether they can take the extra time to ensure that it does work cross-browser. We host nearly as many cross-browser code examples as Navigator-specific examples on Netscape Open Studio.

JCT: "Online Communities" is one of the big buzz-words going around these days. How does Open Studio try to foster a sense of community? Is it working?

RH: Online Communities are still very much in their youth, and they're becoming increasingly valuable resources to obtain expert opinion and help. Open Studio includes newsgroups for members to connect up with their peers and get solutions to their issues.

With Open Studio, we've sought out experts in many aspects of website- building to contribute to the site - it's not just articles from Netscape contributors, but a forum where, for example, you can read Richard Hoy, who moderates the online-advertising mailing list, and explains the critical issues faced by banner advertisers today. We understand that there's a wider audience out there that has more expertise, and Open Studio is there to bring the website design community together.

The potential mass audience of the Web provides an amazing draw for creativity. For those who are truly capable, the Internet provides a mechanism for notoriety to be achieved so much more quickly - take a look at South Park. It emerged from a video clip sent around the Net to TV executives. South Park went on to reach cult status. I think we've only started to see the creative potential the Web has of bringing new talent into the light of day. Working at Netscape on Open Studio is great, because we're helping others to unleash their creativity on a medium that Netscape played a key role in bringing to a wide audience.

JCT:You mention that the Web fosters new talents. Have you discovered any "new talent" while running Open Studio?

RH: Sure. Jeff Rouyer dabbled in Dynamic HTML in his spare time and won a recent Netscape Dynamic HTML competition. His site was totally original and impressed even the Netscape coders who had built the functionality into the browser. His site, HTML Guru (, really shows how you can make a site that stands apart from the crowd. He now writes books on website design. We've also encountered some great games that use DHTML technology, such as Online Frogger ( by Dan Haddix, and a tribute to Spawn (developer.netscape. com/docs/demos/ spawn/index.html) by a Spanish programmer, Paco Gracia.

JCT: It's good to hear that XML will be a part of Navigator 5.0, but I'm a little fuzzy on what XML will mean to Web designers. What potential do you see for XML in Web design?

RH: I think the real value of XML is the ability to separate content from presentation in terms of Web page design. For instance, if a designer wants to change the "look and feel" of a site, they could take advantage of XML tags to change the presentation, without having to recode manually each individual Web page and without affecting pre-existing content. Website- builders frequently need to change the design of their sites and it can be a big undertaking. XML provides an effective way to adapt sites more quickly.

From a website-builder's perspective, support for XML is also important on the back-end, ensuring that Web servers, and/or content databases that serve their Web pages, also support XML.

It will ultimately be the proliferation of XML-enabled clients - like Navigator 5.X that contains an advanced XML parser - that will enable website-builders to begin building not just Web pages, but to architect their entire sites to be viewed through a combination of XML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

To see a list of the links in this column and other related links:

http://www.webbedenvironments .com/examples/34.html

Send e-mail comments and queries to Jason Cranford Teague at: indywebdesign

Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’


Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'


Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from


Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
Owen said he finds films boring but Tom Hanks managed to hold his attention in Forrest Gump
Arts and Entertainment
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
Music Album is set to enter UK top 40 at lowest chart position in 30 years
Arts and Entertainment
The Michael McIntyre Chat Show airs its first episode on Monday 10 March 2014
Arts and Entertainment


These heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his novel, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
books'The Narrow Road to the Deep North' sees the writer become the third Australian to win the accolade
Arts and Entertainment
New diva of drama: Kristin Scott Thomas as Electra
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London