Liberty Miller - TECHNICAL COMMUNICATIONS 61 - Fall Quarter 1997
440 Dixon Landing Rd. #B201 - Milpitas, CA. 95035

Documentation Plan

"On-line Guide for Beginning HTML"


This Documentation Plan is meant to outline the features and characteristics of the "On-line Guide for Beginning HTML" project for all groups involved in its production. This Documentation Plan has been developed as an exercise for the Technical Communications 61 class. Published elements are hyperlinked below.

High-Level Document Summary


This document is meant to be a non-profit public service, accessible to all. To that end, it will be published on the World Wide Web.

Target Audience

As intimated in its title, the "On-line Guide for Beginning HTML" is intended for users new to HyperText Markup Language (HTML). We will assume the document will be used to create basic web pages by users who have some familiarity with the World Wide Web, popular browsers, and with computers in general.

Media & Style

Since this document is to be published on the WWW (World Wide Web), it will be written in HTML. All pages should be written with the assumption that the HTML code will be frequently checked by the user as an additional reference and learning aid. Style templates will be created by the writers to establish a consistent look and feel to the document, following the basic style guidelines listed below. Consideration of a potential "hard-copy" version of the document must be included.

Documentation Strategy

Target Audience & Excluded Content

The Web is already full of many useful sites dedicated to introducing users to the features and intent of the Internet. To be useful, our document must attempt to fill a specific informative niche. We will describe our intent to the reader in an introduction to the site, including information we will not be covering. A list of links to potentially informative and/or helpful sites, and a list of related books, may be provided, depending on previous experience of the writers and time available to do research.

    1. This document is meant to be an introduction to the basic features of HTML coding to produce basic web pages.
    2. This document is meant to be non-platform, non-browser specific. We will describe variations in Browser interpretations of HTML code where necessary, but will not express our preferences.
    3. We will not attempt to address the posting of pages, as this is dependent on many variables (the web site, the platform of the user, the type of browser used, etc.).
    4. We will not attempt to describe the multitude of Web Publishing Tools, accept to reference their existence in the introduction, or as necessary to describe certain HTML features.

Style Guidelines

All chapters are to be written in a consistent style. This formatting style will be determined at a meeting of the technical writers after a review of all salient technical features that need to be included. (See also the basic style features that follow.)

    • Two style templates will be created: one for the look of the viewable page and one for the HTML coding.
    • Documents may be translated or imported into HTML from other formats (e.g. Microsoft Word), but the resulting HTML code must be then checked and modified for clarity, and to match the style criteria mentioned above.

Basic Style Features

    • To facilitate any hard copy printing (either for userís reference or any future publishing), the style will imitate a book format. To this end, "active" features (like drop-down menus, dynamic HTML, etc.) should be kept to a minimum. Static features (e.g. screen-shot images saved as .GIF files) are preferred. Any dynamic elements must have an alternate hard copy form.
    • A "Table of Contents" page will be included, complete with Chapter and Section numbers. Each entry shall be a hyperlink to the corresponding page/section.
    • Each time a new term is introduced, it will be a hyperlink to its corresponding entry in the Glossary. Each Glossary entry will have a link at its end to return to the section where the term was introduced.
    • A book-format Index will also be included, with page numbers serving as hyperlinks to the appropriate section of referenced page.
    • Each page should have a navigation bar at the top and bottom, with buttons for "NEXT" page, "PREVIOUS" page, "TABLE OF CONTENTS," "GLOSSARY, " and "INDEX." To further facilitate ease of use, each page exceeding 480 pixels tall should have "NEXT" and "PREVIOUS" arrow buttons centered vertically on the right and left sides of the pages (respectively).
    • Each Chapter will have a "HTML Tag Quick Reference Page" at its end, listing the tags introduced in the chapter with a short definition of each. These pages will be collected in an Appendix at the end of the document.

Proposed Outline

    • Introduction / Table of Contents

Serves as "Home Page" for the site.

Introduction: A description of the document/site, what it is meant to cover, links to other potentially useful sites and other recommended references.

Table of Contents: List of "Chapters," pages, and sub-sections, with hyperlinks to each.

    • Chapter 1: Basic HTML Concepts and Elements

Explains the basic terms used in HTML and provides the necessary tags for your first HTML document.

    • Chapter 2: Your first HTML Document; Basic Document Layout

A "hello world" page. Includes "Dividing your web page into sections", "Titles", and Footer suggestions.

    • Chapter 3: Style Tags and Fonts for Text

Demonstrates the headings, division, and paragraph tags, and provides examples of various tags used depending on the nature of the text presented. Expands on page layout.

3.1 Content-Based Style Tags

3.2 Physical Style Tags

3.3 Setting Font Sizes

3.4 Changing Font Types

    • Chapter 4: Character Entities

Shows special characters and how to use ASCII codes.

    • Chapter 5: Links

Explains how to insert HTML pointers to external Web and Internet resources, and to internal elements of your Web pages. Includes anchors and image links.

5.1 Types of Links

5.2 Creating Links

5.3 Internal Document References

    • Chapter 6: Lists

Discusses various types of lists for Web documents, including numbered lists, bullet lists, and definition lists.

    • Chapter 7: Color

Describes background and text colors available.

7.1 Types of Color

7.2 Adding Color

    • Chapter 8: Images

8.1 Types of Images

8.2 Image Alignment Options

8.3 Using Graphics for Backgrounds

    • Chapter 9: Imagemaps

Explains how to set up links within an image, with possible applications.

    • Chapter 10: Tables

10.1 : Uses for Tables in Web Pages

10.2 : Basic Table Elements

10.3 : Table Borders and Alignment

10.4 : "Table Data" & Columns

10.5 : Captions and Headings

10.6 : Cell Alignment & Spacing

10.7 : Colors

    • Chapter 11: Creating a Framed Structure

11.1 Changing a Frames Contents

    • Chapter 12: Forms

12.1 Creating and Identifying Form Parts and Information

12.2 Adding Submit and Reset Buttons

12.3 Adding Input Fields

12.4 Check Boxes

12.5 Radio Buttons

12.6 Select Lists

12.7 Text Areas

12.8 Field Sets

    • Chapter 13: Meta Tags

Outlines MetaTag requirements and uses.

    • Chapter 14: Style Sheets

Describes the main types of styles sheets and their properties.

    • Chapter 15: Introduction to Java, Applets, and JavaScript

Defines the terms and provides two practical examples.

    • Appendix A: Quick Reference Pages

A collection of each chapter's main points and Tags for review.

    • Appendix B: Other resources

A list of references which can help expand upon this document or are related to this topic, in print or on the Web, with appropriate hyperlinks.

    • Glossary

The main "new" terms and/or jargon used throughout the document.

    • Index

Listing of all main terms and ideas introduced in this document, with Chapter/Section numbers and hyperlinks to the applicable sections.

Project Schedule, Resources, and Potential Issues

Project Schedule

    • Technical and Stylistic review is on November 25, 1997.
    • Final Printing is December 2, 1997.
    • Team Predecon will work on Chapters 1-8; Team Maximal will complete Chapters 9-15, with the exception of Chapter 10, which will be completed by Optimus Primal. Each team will be responsible for their own contributions to the Appendixes, Index and Glossary, each of which will be compiled by Megatron.


Ideally, the total memory space of the document should not be more than 2 Mb of data, but can reach a maximum of 5 Mb. This implies a limit of around 100 Kb per section: any Chapter exceeding this limit should be approved by Optimus Primal.

Potential Issues

As we are working on multiple projects at this time (including the Ancient Greece project, the Advanced HTML project, the Painting project, filing taxes, and others) it is essential that this project be initiated and completed as soon as possible. A scheduling session is imperative!

[This document was written by Liberty Miller ( ã 1997), originally using Microsoft Word 97 SR-1, then hand-coded into HTML]