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3. Anatomy of an HTML Document > Appearances Can Deceive

Appearances Can Deceive

Documents never look alike when displayed by a text editor and when displayed by a browser. Take a look at any source document on the Web. At the very least, return characters, tabs, and leading spaces, although important for readability of the source text document, are ignored for the most part. There also is a lot of extra text in a source document, mostly from the display tags and interactivity markers and their parameters that affect portions of the document but don’t themselves appear in the display.

Accordingly, new authors are confronted with having to develop not only a presentation style for their web pages, but a different style for their source text. The source document’s layout should highlight the programming-like markup aspects of HTML and XHTML, not their display aspects. And it should be readable not only by you, the author, but by others as well.


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