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  1. What does HTML³ support?
  2. Where do I start?
  3. What about adding this tag? How do I create my own tags?
  4. Can you recommend some good resources?
  5. Is it really free? Why don't you release it commercially?
  6. Frames when?
  7. Sprite sizes don't appear the same as they are in !Paint

What does HTML³ support?
This is a two-fold question really; there are the types of external file supported, and a number of internal formats that it can output.

  1. External filetypes
    These are types of files that can be dragged onto HTML³ and the program will be able to use them intelligently; any other files can be used in simple links.


    • JPEG (&C85 - standard)
    • GIF (&695 - standard)
    • PNG (&B60 - standard)
    • Sprite (&FF9 - for RISC OS use only)
    • BMP (&69C - for Windows use only)
    • Shockwave Flash (aka SWF) (&188 - needs a plugin, so not really a graphic format)
    • WBMP (&F8F - for WAP (mobile phone) use only)
    • SVG (&AAD - vector graphics format)

    Hypertext files
    • HTML (&FAF - standard; also outputs stricter XHTML if required)
    • SHTML (&144 - SSI capable servers only, such as Apache or Netplex)
    • PHP (&18A - .php3 extension, for PHP capable servers only)
    • Text (&FFF - files of this type are assumed to be incorrectly filetyped HTML)
    • Data (&FFD - files of this type are assumed to be incorrectly filetyped HTML)
    • WML (&F8E - for WAP (mobile phone) use only)

    Other files
    • Sound files - background sounds can be type &FB1 (.wav), &FD4 (.midi) or &FC2 (AIFF) files.
    • map files - anything ending in .map, or filetyped &259, are assumed to be imagemaps.
    • URL files - ANT, Acorn, MIE and Netscape files (ending in .url, or filetyped &F91/&B28) are inspected for URLS and textual descriptions.
    Note that the program can also be set to automatically correct extensions based on the RISC OS filetype for a number of file formats, and not just the ones listed above. You have control over what HTML, archive and JPEG files have after them.
  2. Internal formats
    The program can tailor it's output based on a number of selections in the options window.
    • Straight HTML mode, with options for different letter case (uppercase, lowercase, my own mixed variety).
    • Stricter XHTML mode, lowercase only.
    • WML (WAP, mobile phone) mode, lowercase only.
    • Perl output mode which outputs the above formats escaped so that you can generate HTML for inclusion in Perl CGI scripts; it can also generate the "print" codes - starting a line with print " and ending with \n";
    • Output server interpreted code, either straight SSI or PHP and ASP.

Where do I start?
HTML³ comes with lots of options, which for a beginner can be quite confusing - and by beginner I mean a newcomer to the program, not necessarily someone who doesn't know much about the HTML language. The best advice I can give is to take it easy - don't just install the software, switch on every option on every window, and hope for the best.

It helps if you know a little about HTML - if not, see the resources section elsewhere on this page for links to some tutorials. If you're going to play around, try not to do it on your important website, just mess around with files stored in a safe part of your hard drive and see what you can come up with. It also helps if you read the rest of the documentation of course! The page about the side bar tells you what each section is for, so perhaps this is the logical starting point.

  • When using HTML³ for the first time, put your name and other details in the User details... window (click to Open), so that the program can create links to your home page or email address without you having to type them in again.
  • Then I recommend using the Effects window first, because you can quickly see what these are doing to your web page, and they won't mess up the layout of the page too much. Don't the special effects section straight away though, it can be quite intimidating.
  • Images are good too, all you have to do is drop a GIF or JPEG file onto the image window (or the side bar) and HTML³ will do pretty much everything for you.
  • Links are almost as easy as Images.
  • The Address section looks complicated, but as long as you've entered your email address etc. correctly when setting the program up, the top half of this window should give you quick access to linked versions of your name, email address and web address.
  • I would keep away from Tables and Forms altogether until you're pretty confident with HTML - these are quite complicated concepts to master.

What about adding this tag? How do I create my own tags?
Although I'm always adding to HTML³, and welcome suggestions, there's an (apparently) little-known function in the Address section that allows you to create up to 12 macros yourself; you can even change the text on the buttons. These macros can be for single tags, plain text, whole sequences of tags, or a combination of tags, text, and tokens that change according to the time of day or what colours have been set in other parts of the program.

Can you recommend some good resources?

  • John Alldred's HTML tutorials
    Everything you need to know about HTML, and a whole lot more. Invaluable to all, but written by a fellow RISC OS user.
  • Web Design Books and Periodicals in HTML form:
    • Creating Killer Websites
    • Web Style Guide - Basic Design Principals for Creating Web Sites
    • Webbed Environments - The Independent's web guru has a stash of articles here on just about everything you need to think about when designing a site.
    • HotWired's Webmonkey - Wired magazine's online web designing reference, with everything from Apache configuration to style sheet tips.
    • UseIt - Web guru Jakob Nielsen's website, with a lot of interesting articles on how to design usable (as opposed to just flashy) websites. Not to be taken as gospel, but a lot of it makes a lot of sense.

    If you want to know how to design sites, these free online resources should save you a few quid. These are not really HTML tutorials, they're more what to do once you have that basic knowledge.

    If you know a little more about HTML and want a good reference book rather than a tutorial, then one of the best around is the Webmaster in a Nutshell (version 2) from O'Reilly (damn, should subscribe to one of those Amazon referral schemes, I might have made some money from that link :-)) - with everything from HTML (including a section on character entities) to XML, CSS style sheets, Perl, PHP3, even the Apache web server, it's like a Web designer's bible.

  • Harry Decker's Font Emporium
    The best RISC OS font collection on the web. Check out the Dingbats section for for cool bullet graphics, and if you're not so hot on graphic design, pick a good font, pick a contrasting background and foreground colour pair, and just use nice, anti-aliased text for logos and headlines - as Harry does for the font site. If you have no graphics packages at all in your collection, you can use !Configure to bump up the size of font that still antialiases, use !Edit to write the text in a nice, big font, and !Paint to grab the image and trim it to size. Good design can be done on the cheap!
  • SolutionsWeb Software - various cool tools, like a Javascript creation program, a CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) creator and a thing for creating button graphics.

Is it really free? Why don't you release it commercially?
A lot of people ask this, and I take it as a compliment that you seem to think it's worthy. However, there's a lot of reasons why I want to keep this program freeware; also even if I wanted to make money out of it, it's taken ages to get the program this far and I just don't have the time to support the program commercially. That's not to say I won't answer people's emails - I try to do so as quickly as possible - it just means that there's a lot more pressure for perfection first time, bugfixes if not, and generally having to pander to everyone's slightest whim if there's money involved; at least now I have the fallback position of "well, it's free, what more do you want?" Smiley

Frames when?
Not yet. Hopefully this will be a third-party plug in when I get the API written.

Sprite sizes don't appear the same as they are in !Paint
This is probably due to HTML³ correcting for different dpi (dots per inch), so although the image only has a certain number of pixels, HTML³ is telling the browser that there are twice that so that low resolution images are not squashed. More information is available from the Images documentation.

HTML³: © Richard Goodwin 1997-2002