Mar. 22, 2012
5:33 pm

Technology

The best and worst HTML references

I’ve been recommending people to W3Schools for a while. I’m not linking to it here, but if you search for any HTML element, it’s the first thing that comes up. Turns out, using that site as a reference is a bad idea.

I saw Jeffrey Zeldman tweet a post earlier about how it’s fairly difficult to block W3Schools from your search results. Or at least, more difficult than it should be. That led me to look up why you’d want to block them in the first place, which led me to w3fools.com. They outline, in detail, errors and misleading statements on the W3Schools site and also offer up a number of alternatives for HTML, CSS and JavaScript reference guides.

The best of which, after looking for a while, seems to be the Mozilla Developer Doc Center. After browsing for a bit, I was really impressed with their clarity and detail, and the site’s easy on the eyes.

While the w3fools site isn’t without criticism itself, its larger point about how it’s problematic to rely on a single, non-transparent resource for accurate information rings true. It’s time to move on.

So today starts a new habit of adding “mdc” to my searches when I need a quick answer to something HTML- or CSS-related.