There are several HTML-related standards, such a HTML 3.2, HTML 4, and XHTML 1.0. HTML 4 is also referred to as Dynamic HTML (DHTML). In addition, there are multiple browsers and device types that can display content based on these standards. With all these variables, getting the content you need formatted the way you need it for your specific environment and requirements is critical. ePublisher provides the Simple HTML and the Dynamic HTML output formats to allow you to generate the HTML-based output you need. You can also customize this formatting to meet your requirements.
You can use the Dynamic HTML format to produce XHTML output that conforms to XHTML 1.0 standards and uses cascading style sheets that conform to the CSS1 standard. XHTML became a W3C recommendation in 2000. Dynamic HTML is recommended to produce output that you will publish on a Web server and provide to users running a Web browser, such as Firefox or Internet Explorer. You can also customize the Dynamic HTML output format to create a powerful, full-featured web site.
As the standards evolve, browsers and device platforms adjust to support the newer standards. With mobile devices, additional platforms and browsers have been introduced, which can complicate the decision about which standards your content can use.
The Simple HTML and Dynamic HTML output formats allow you to generate HTML content to integrate into your Web site. You can also create content for HTML-based release notes and content for hand-held devices, such as PDAs. These output formats provide the flexibility and control you need, with the ability to add a basic table of contents, index, and browse navigation. You decide whether to use all the aspects of DHTML and XHTML in the Dynamic HTML output format, or to use simplified HTML to support a wide range of browsers and platforms, including mobile devices and PDAs.
The Dynamic HTML output format produces HTML content that conforms to the HTML 4 and XHTML 1.0 standards, and uses cascading style sheets that conform to the CSS1 standard. Dynamic HTML (DHTML) is a collection of technologies developed to make HTML more dynamic and interactive. DHTML uses the following technologies to give the content developer control over the appearance and behavior of HTML elements in a browser window:
Static markup language (HTML 4)
HTML 4 extends HTML with mechanisms for style sheets, scripting, frames, embedding objects, improved support for right-to-left and mixed-direction text, richer tables, enhancements to forms, and improved accessibility for people with disabilities.
Presentation definition language (cascading style sheets)
Cascading style sheets (CSS) provide style definitions, such as fonts, colors, spacing, and positioning to HTML documents.
Document Object Model
The Document Object Model provides a standard that allows programs and scripts to dynamically access, process, and modify the content of a page.
XHTML is an abbreviation for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language. XHTML 1.0 is similar to HTML 4, with tagging rules that conform to the requirements of XML. If you modify the page templates or styles in a Dynamic HTML project, make sure your changes conform to the XHTML requirements for future maintenance. However, as long as you create valid HTML, most current browsers can correctly display your output.
To determine whether the Dynamic HTML output format is what you need, review the following considerations:
If all your users have current browsers and their viewing environment is not restricted, use the Dynamic HTML output format.
If all your users have current browsers and you want to provide enhanced navigation controls, such as an expand/collapse table of contents, full text search, and related topics buttons, consider using the WebWorks Help output format.