Years ago, when I returned to development after a short haiatus developing business automation systems, I began re-learning web development. Things had changed a little. HTML 2.0 was now HTML 4.0. New tags were available, old tags had been deprecated, JavaScript had matured, and this new thing called CSS was just beginning to catch on. And, oh yeah, I was also learning ColdFusion (4.0 at the time).

Over the years I've seen a trend. There are a lot of designers who've learned some development, but fewer developers have learned design.

Sure, we've kept up on CFML changes, and have learned to work with XML, but many still write HTML 3 type display, with little to no knowledge of the power of CSS.

Like XML and ECMAScript (JavaScript), XHTML and CSS have both been standards for quite a while now. Both ride on principles for which all of us should have a base understanding, that there should be a seperation between data and display.

Over the next several posts, we're going to cover the 'view' layer of our applications. Nothing too in depth, but enough basic coverage to give a good idea of what's possible with well formed documents and styles. After running through some of these basics, we'll apply the 'view' from the perspective of CF, showing how it might be used within some of our MVC frameworks, and extending it dynamically to fit our needs.

Quick start, you need a document. So let's do it:

view plain print about
1<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
3<html xmlns="">
4    <head>
5        <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" />
6        <title>Untitled Document</title>
7    </head>
9    <body>
11    </body>

That's it. That's all we're gonna do with this post, just a basic start. You have a well formed, baseline document, defined as an XHTML transitional document type. Next post in this series we'll start to construct, piece-by-piece, a tableless, CSS driven layout, and then work outward to making that dynamic with ColdFusion.