Win a 1 GB iPod Shuffle – Name your favorite HTML element
The competition is now closed: we have a winner!
First, let me sincerely tell you that I’ve thoroughly read every motivation, and many of them were outstanding! You are really smart and funny people, and you all deserve one iPod Shuffle each (no, it’s not going to happen :-)! Thank you for all your wonderful contributions!
In the end, I went for something simple and a bit philosophical, and would proudly like to announce Barry Allison and his motivation the winner of this contest. Congratulations Barry!
Ok, here’s the deal. For the next couple of days I will be very busy, so I don’t find it likely that I will be able to find the time to write. But don’t worry, I think I’ve found a way to make it up to you: a contest!
The price consists of a 1GB iPod Shuffle (not the new version, it’s the old rectangular one). You will get it for free and I will ship it to you, no cost, to wherever you are in the world.
What to do
Basically, it is very simple. Just write a comment telling me what your favorite HTML element is (no, it doesn’t have to be my personal favorite). Write a motivation why you chose that specific element. Best motivation, according to me, will win.
How long is the contest open?
You will have till Sunday the 8th to enter your contribution. Don’t worry, you’ll see when the contest is closed.
PS. Please, only write the name of the element, without < and >. DS.
With the added power off CSS, DIVs can be powerful, resulting in really nice designs and managable code.
Definately Unordered Lists!!! its done with
We're talking instant organization with that one tag. Even a blank white page with just a list can be acceptable in some cases! Its all you need sometimes.
has to be my favorite, because nothing quite makes the page like a title. Really, nothing about designing a site is as satisfying as seeing your name pop up in the top of the browser. It's official, simple, and always unique– not to mention very easy.
Got to be "a"! What would the internet be if we couldn't link to other sites?
<hr /> (or <hr> since you said HTML)
How can you fail to love an element which lets you split your page up into different sections in such a semantically beautiful way? Hide them with CSS and leave them as a little present for… all those people who disable CSS.
I'd definitely go for the tag. It's a shame it's no longer supported, as it would make today's clean web much more lively 😉
whoops … blink tag that was …
best html element has to be since it usually ends my pain when im looking at ugly sites
oh damn i said the html opening tag
The <code>style</code> element, since it allows me to @import my stylesheet files and hide them from ancient browsers.
i like s, because it's very useful if you can mark a word or a sentence in a text with a different font, (background-)color or decoration.
s are also great, because you don't have to use 9123718279 s !
My favorite element is "input". This is the element that makes it possible to add comments to a blog, enter your credit card to buy stuff, and, in a word, interact! To me, "input" is the heart of the modern web.
I would have to say the P element, an old friend of mine. Sure, there are several ways to achieve similar results but P is a named block element for paragraphs, while divs are having an identity crisis trying to do everything. For beginners it's also a way to control the linebreaks without resorting to br, a first step on the road to semantic markup.
DIV! The best tag!
I'll have to go with the tag. It's self contained, flexible and adds an entirely extra dimension to the textual web. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
that whould have been the IMG tag.
I'd say <code>CAPTION</code>, 'cause when added to a table, 99% of the time it means that that very table is used for data display and not 1993 layout hacks. 😉
Lol, my initial thought was div since it's so flexible, but in these heady days of ajax and unobtrusive js, it has to be script 😀
Not for what script does per se, but for the almost limitless possibilities it opens up…
And I guess it's no surprise that the most powerful tool in the box is the one most often abused!
I would say….HTML! Simply because without this little tag right here, HTML coding would not be possible! XD
Mine would be the <code>a</code> element. I find it very important because it helps me navigate from one page to another and thus discover the Web.
the strong tag baby.
In texts I write (usually activeCollab related) I use del to mark things that are done. Its really nice feeling when you del something like this: "Implement file sections that features file versioning, folders, user comments and thumbnails for images." That is one feature that took me few weeks to finally del it so it made me really happy.
Bottom line: I LOVE del because it usually means that something is off my list and that I can move forward.
I'm going with the unordered list. Severely underused with nearly limitless opportunities. That's counting a bit of CSS styling. Without styling, unordered lists still retain some sense of organization allowing visitors to make sense of what they're reading even if their browser decides to render pages in a horrendous manner.
The FORM tag.
Where would the web be without forms? No Google searches, no logging in to your e-mail, very little user interaction with databases at all – commerce would be nearly impossible.
Everyone who commented on this post used a form. When you add a del.icio.us bookmark you use a form. When you buy from Amazon, you guessed it, you use a form.
The web has blossomed in a relatively short period of time mainly because forms allow people to communicate with websites. Forms have propelled the web to become much more than just an information resource; forms allow billions of people all around the world to connect with each other Ã¢â‚¬â€œ surely that has to be considered amazing!
In the online era that some describe as Web 2.0, we owe much to the humble HTML form.
form elements are one of the things that makes the web dynamic and makes ecommerce etc possible
I love them all so far. Been into web design for about 4 weeks now. Looking to try and break out of accountancy and carve a living, so right now I am in that 'rabbit in headlights' phase where everything I discover is equally startling, and most of the time equally confusing.
DOCTYPE thanks. OK so maybe not a real tag per se but without it we would be doomed with having our pages mangled by Internet Explorers quirks mode : (
I use clickable labels for checkboxes and radio buttons. I put the input-element inside the label. In that way, you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to use the Ã¢â‚¬Å“forÃ¢â‚¬Â -attribute for the label to be connected to the input-element. It also makes positioning easier as you can position the label with the checkbox or radio button inside it.
font tag. It's like 3 tags in one. You can define size, color and font all in one tag. It has to be the 2nd most powerful tag on the internet after the table tag where you can define width, height, border, cellpadding, and the ever useful cellspacing! how come iframe hasn't been mentioned? What's better than a page within a page? I've never tried this – but what if you put an iframe on a page – and within that iframe – refer to the parent page? I am tempted to try it – but it could take down the whole internet. I have also wondered what would happen if you submit http://www.google.com to google? Talk about infinite recursion? I take no responsibility for any of these ideas.
I just love the :<h1>Heading of the page</h1>
It is like your majesty, the king of headings!! He is the Lord, the President, the Emperor.
By default it renders large text, the <h1> really stands out on a webpage. It tells the beginning of something yet to come … Sadly a moron might style the <h1>Heading of the page</h1> to render as small text. That really spoils all the fun. Not on my webpage! I want my <h1>Heading of the page</h1> to be the largest text of all as it was predestined to be. If I see a heading styled as tiny text than I just have to switch styles off for a moment to see the <h1>Heading of the page</h1> in full glory again, as ever.
Now you may understand that http:// is a protocol …
My favorite is the <code><style></code> tag, because of its inherent transformative ability to illuminate and inform html structure. Although not structural itself, it allows the <code><body></code> content to transcend the predefined browser styles to new heights of enlightenment. It allows graphic designers to fashion works of art from the solid foundation of a well-formed document; it gives the material heart of the document wings so it can soar, an example to all lesser web pages that this is the true fusion of content and presentation.
It is my favorite HTML tag because it is the one that informs me the most about a site. Not one I'm developing, but one I'm visiting. Most of the time I'm on the Internet, I navigate through an army of sites. Without the beloved TITLE tag, I get lost in a blizzard of tabs.
I'm glad nobody mentioned it yet because it somewhat validates my point:
the BUTTON element is a beautiful and forgotten element.
Not only is it underused, it is actually also usurped quite often by inappropriate A and INPUT elements.
You should never use a link just to trigger an action. Links are to be followed. BUTTONs are to be pushed.
And you can use them everywhere. So go ahead and my day: push my BUTTON.
<code>TITLE</code> element. No documents without title, all other elements are optional. I definitely like good titles. Nomen est omen.
Second best is <code>P</code>, simply awesome and legal to omit the end tag.
There is no single tag in HTML that is more descriptive. It embodies the definition of semantic markup.
I have this letter, "x." It's such an ugly duckling, always sitting there, sharp and agular.
But wait, what's this? There's a tag for me? It wraps my little x, stealing all of the angularity for itself, and blessing that poor character with <code>font-family: serif</code>–grace galore! And oh, the meaning of this magnanimous sequence. The pith, the point, the quick–such that all might assimilate the meaning of mine symbol, that meaning that meaning is erratic! Long live VAR!
a – "no man is an island"
I love <code>div</code> very much!
<code>Div</code> lets me change layout way.
<code>Div</code> takes me to the Web Standards' Road.
UL – The unordered list.
One of the few tags that can be nested infinitely – makes them very flexible for menus, outlines, simple lists and so on.
They are also very easy to apply DOM scripting & CSS to. And they look great with no CSS as well.
My favorite HTML element is the TABLE tag. Why? Because without it's misuse, the standards movement wouldn't be as widely known as it currently is. Granted, were it being used properly there wouldn't be a NEED for a standards movement.
Another reason for my support of the lowly TABLE tag is how easy it makes it to determine a web developer's experience level. I can't stress enough how many interviews I've gone through where the candidate said simply that they strictly use tables for layouts, or that they just use a WYSIWYG editor and didn't may much mind to the markup.
The TABLE tag's usage is one of the largest debates in the web development community, and continues to draw constructive conversations about proper web development between web workers. Usually the conversation is one well-informed, semantic-minded developer educating a lesser-informed "n00b".
Thank you TABLE tag for polorizing the web design community, and for getting developers to pay more attention to the markup they produce.
(The handi-capable web surfers also thank TABLE tags for making the web impossible for their browser to understand that page…)
my favourite HTML element is the a element 🙂
when i found a nice websites, i always wanted to let everybody to knew it, i wanted that everybody who saw it, go clicky clicky the link ^^
and also, to encourage people to use a when they took contents from another websites, at least put a link from where you took it 😉
<code>Legend</code> does it for me. Without The One Great Legend, as told in Heed The Mighty Legends (HTML), how would Snarg and Blint have known that the hidden treasure of Targgor was right within their grasp and …
Oh wait, you mean HyperText Markup Language.
Ok, then it's still <code>Legend</code>, because it provides a "map" to a form, which benefits both visual and non-visual renderings .. everyone is happy, all is right with the world, and you can't get much better than that.
The img element, not because I like using it in my documents, but because of its importance to HTML becoming so widely used. Without it, there's a good chance HTML would've never caught on in the way it has. When Mosaic added img tag support is when the public started taking notice, and the web really began to take off.
Wow, that is great. So many comments, and no-one mentioned my favorite tag: dl (Definition list). You can use it in so many different ways, for a navigation, a glossary, a dialogue, etc. To me, it seems even more valuable than ul.
button tag is my favorite. 🙂
button tag is my favorite. 🙂
It's got to be the conditional comments tag(s):
Without that, we'd never be able to code using a proper browser and then add all the microsoft 'hacks' later….
I love me a nice <body>.
I would've said <blink>, but some other clown beat me to it. 🙂
I've already got an iPod shuffle, though.
It has to be OBJECT because the majority of people don't know how to use it correctly.
So have you now gone into the business of showroom modelling?
To choose one favorite is hard, because many tags are necessary. But to name one, it's the p-Tag.
It is very simple but often mis-used and mis-understood. A webdeveloper who does not understand what the p-element is and when and how to use it (and when not) is a shame…
PS: If I'm the winner: I don't want no iPod, send it to the local orphans home 🙂
Push the button!
After reading the article "Push my button" by Aaron Gustafson, I found my new favorite HTML element is the <abbr>button</abbr> element. It truly doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get enough respect, that it deserve. Unlike the input-based buttons, the majority of browsers do not force any particular design on the button element. So why use <abbr>input</abbr>-based buttons?
Watch the beauty
My favorite element is the LINK element because :
– In modern web design, authors should separate style sheets from hypertext documents (Separation of presentational information from content), and this element is used to import external style sheets to control the style of a whole set of documents.
– Authors can specify a number of alternate style sheets that the users can then select in their user agent, depending on their preference.
– Authors may use the LINK element to provide a variety of information to search engines and/or users with disabilities : alternate linguistic versions of a document, additional navigation aids (starting page of a collection of documents, previous and next pages in the serie, …), relationships between documents (forward and reverse links)
A – without it web would be a very boring place
Can there be any doubt? <a>. Why? Because without it, there would be no internet.
They're so powerful, people spend money to collect more of them. People will pay to have other people click on them. Adding more of them to your own site can earn you money. Some people obsess about the text they use, and where they point to. Others are addicted to looking at which of all of the <a>s in their site their visitors click on. People even specifically request up-to-date lists of relevant links from websites they enjoy!
So really, it has to be the <a> tag – it makes the internet go round.
The <code>menu</code> element. You don't get more semantic than a list for a menu called <code>menu</code>. Sadly, the <code>ul</code> element had something to say about the <code>menu</code> element. It thought it had the right to put it to sleep in rev. <abbr title="Hypertext Markup Language">HTML</abbr> 4.01 with its <code>u</code> and its <code>l</code>. It thought people didn't want an order to their navigation. It thought that something as fundamental as a menu didn't need to be semantically marked up. It thought it was superior.
Well <code>menu</code>, I miss you. <code><ul class="menu"></code> just isn't good enough. You can never hope to compare with my old friend <code>menu</code>. One day, I hope, one day, we meet again.
My new found favourite tag would have to be the Q tag which has been recently talked about on Alist Apart.
It allows you to semantically markup inline quotes. However, it isn't supported by Internet Explorer and isn't widely known resulting setting the BLOCKQUOTE tag to display:inline.
I wish tag was supported by IE and then I'm sure everyone would use it more often as I do alot more inline quotes than block quotes.
I would also like to take this oppertunity to mention a weird and uknown tag… the XMP tag.
I have seen alot of people favour the div tag, however, I think this tag it use too much. Why would you build a menu inside a containing div tag, when it much better to use an UL or a nested UL?
My favorities one… is … :o)
Because I can make it do everything … don't you beleive me?
Take a look at http://hb.cult.bg/ps/
PRE: Without doubt the most useful element in some of my recent works, if only Internet Explorer felt the same way about it, my life would be a lot simpler.
However, thats not the case, as much as I'd desire it to be so, whenever Internet Explorer encounters a PRE element, and said elements content is wider than its parent container, IE does the most illogical thing: Stretch everything to fit the PRE element. No amount of CSS trickery can solve the problem, I've tried many times myself, and so have many others.
So, yes, the PRE element is my favorite, even if it's in a bitter and twisted sense of the word.
I'd go with the MARQUEE tag. It is by far the most useless tag around and it is rarely used (I atleast haven't seen it around in a while) on professional sites. That, together with the fact that is not in the official spec makes it my favorite. Good riddens.
I love "a" tag because I found my wife in a hyperlik in University in Brazil. I found her in a mail-list and start to talk. After I discover that I already meet her before and 7 years later we get married. Thats the way it happen. Thats why I love "a" tag.
I think I must, after some consideration, choose the "a" tag. A stands for "anchor" and it is indeed the anchor of the web.
HTML stands for the HyperText Markup Language. Sure, there's plenty of other markup languages, but HTML was the one to define itself as fundamentally oriented around connecting to other documents.
You could write a game using nothing but a bunch of HTML documents and some anchor tags. Some people have written innovative hyper-fiction. Hypertext made it common for documents to be multi-dimensional.
It's the "web" in the World Wide Web. Anchor tags can point to any other document that has an address. Clueless companies have tried to prevent linking to their sites, out of a complete misunderstanding of the nature of Hypertext. Anchor tags also have the advantage of being able to be both a source and a destination.
All bow down before the life-changing power of the anchor tag!
Have to agree with whoever said the same, the un-ordered list is my favourite.
I haven't seen ONE menu that could not be created using only an (and of course some links are usefull aswell =)
And still you see so many table-based menus out there… =/
My absolute favourite is the title-element served slightly chilled using shorttag syntax for its tags.
I just adore the way it can make up an entire valid HTML4 Transitional document on it's own like this:
Too bad this syntax isn't supported in browsers yet though – I cause can't stop dreaming about it 🙂
<code>…</code> is deffinitly my favorite tag, i build website for 3 years but just started to learn the SEO thing in the last year.
So.. one of the elements of the SEO is writing right the content, i mean – using H1-6,P,Lists and more.
Using Div for paragraph is wrong, using double BR instead of P for paragraph is wrong.
I think that like me, a-lot of other web programmers don't (or didn't) use(d) the P tag – maybe until the standards and accessibility revolution (that came to my land – israel, only in that last year)
P is now my mostly used tag 🙂 In hope that i'll never break a line again 🙂
The love of my life is without a doubt the <code>frameset</code>! I love her so much I cannot stand to put her out there on that cold and lonely notepad…
Div tag, as it allows me to share the content over several templates without having to change the HTML source. Simply positioned and styled with the aid of CSS!
The warmest place in my heart has to be for the "dl" tag because I never knew about it until I really got serious about developing websites. And although the "ul" tag is a close second I always feel someone out there is always doing something more interesting with it.
Definition lists are like my reminder of why I learned CSS and XHTML in the first place: the beaten path is designed to be boring, safe, and convenient despite, if not directly because of, its lack of beauty.
If we only do what is convenient, we'd still be stuck in the stone ages of table-based (which is really to say "fancy design software based") desgin and non-standards-compliant browsers with majority market share… ; )
The q tag is my favourite. Misused, ill interpreted by the most prevalent browser around, I have a soft spot for minorities.
Graphically pleasing, it's basically a p tag in a mirror.. No, jokes apart, I like short tags, and q is short, and includes all what a blockquote has plus the quotes.
Moreover, q's the name of one of my favourite characters in James Bond..
Oh sure I adore the legend element. Why? Simply because it's named legend!
My vote goes to the noscript tag.
The style tag is my favourite.
Only because using it, I can put in my pages diverse types of colors, fonts and arts that proper to me and all people, bigger pleasure, imagination and "head-opening" to a beautiful possible world called world wide web.
The close-tag for HTML-tag; because when its done, the html work is done and we can start with the fun part of creating websites, that we all loOove *dark voice* 🙂
One BODY tag to rule them all!
(because I can kick the HTML tag's ass (HTML is optional in HTML 4, thought of that boys?) and easy to style it as a big daddy do or a sexy fox)
<blockquote cite="http://www.robertnyman.com/2006/10/01/win-a-1-gb-ipod-shuffle-name-your-favorite-html-element/#comment-11293">HTML is optional in HTML 4
So is BODY, then.
But only if you mean TAG, not element. Both elements are always there, if you are indeed talking about valid HTML and not crap soup.
Well, people are clever and have already laid their hands on all the candidates going through my mind while reading the original post, but I think I still have to call out the almighty LEGEND.
Why? Because its a nice word. I mean, abbr, q, em, img, p and many of the others are swell chaps, but their names are just not poetic. And besides, legend is a bit of an elusive element, hiding amongst the cloud-ridden tops of the form and its mighty fieldset. And in may, just as the cherry blossoms turn white and…. oh crap, I can't do this. Sorry, just don't have the poker face for it.
"Legend – Because It's Just A Nice Word."
It has to be the A element. It’s what the Internet was (and still is) all about; it’s what made the Internet.
Because of the hyperlinks, you can surf for hours on end, discover all sorts of interesting, beautifull, usefull and/or entertaining websites and webpages!
I'm pretty sure it's obvious as to why it's my favourite. Without that little baby, we wouldn't have websites.
My favourite is the definition-list. It is a brilliant element for conversations, articlelists, definitions any many more. Underestimated by many, but usable in more or less every occation.
Damn it! You people make it very hard to stand out in this contest. I think I have an idea though. Something that HTML lacks is more block elements to mark up big chunks of content. Some have suggested section elements, and some have suggested post elements to make up for this.
Things is, there already is a nice element in the HTML spec for some of this. HTML 3 that is. The NOTE element. In the days of AJAX and applications everywhere it certainly would be nice to have. Go NOTE!
Robert: That's what you get for not specifying what version of HTML we should pick from 🙂
I love the Body that is really my fav!
My favourite is one element that is extremely rare. It is, in fact, so rare that I cannot remember seeing it in any code but my own.
I'm talking about THEAD. (And TBODY and TFOOT, too, but I can choose only one.)
THEAD is a very cool element. Wrapped around the top row of a data table, it provides an extremely easy way of styling the top table header cells (TH is another element I love) differently from the table header cells starting each row, without having a class attribute on the first (or sometimes second, too) table row.
Here's another cool feature, although I'm not sure about actual browser support for this. In paged media, the THEAD (and the TFOOT) is repeated on each new page. This means that if the table is so long that it is broken over several pages, the browser ought to automatically repeat the column headers on every page.
Finally, like a poster above said about the CAPTION element, the presence of THEAD is a good sign that the content author actually understands the value and meaning of semantic HTML, and that the table is not presentational garbage, but instead a pure and beautiful data table, as it was meant to be.
I love all the rare table elements: CAPTION, TH, COLGROUP and COL. But most of them all, I like the THEAD – it contains the TBRAINS of the table 🙂
<abbr title="The A element"><A></abbr>; we wouldn't be here without it. 😉
I'm gonna go with <code>tt</code>.
For me, <code>tt</code> has been there since the beginning, when I first got access to the Internet (at a local library, early '90s). I had an old 8088 at home that I ran a bulletin-board system with, as well as a mac se. Neither of those did it for me, so upon finding the Internet and the Web, I found html. Once I discovered I had enormous edit control, I went apeshizz with the <code>tt</code>! Sure, I colored everything, had hundreds of animated rules on the page… even bored people to tears with blinking tags… but <code>tt</code> was and is still the bomb to me.
<acronym title="A Contrived Reduction Of Nomenclature Yielding Mnemonics">ACRONYM</acronym>
The almighty fieldset… the div's poor but well educated and slightly obsessive-compulsive cousin.
On the days i'm coding up a long compilcated form, when the complication of nesting, cascades, business logic almost seem too much – the fieldset is a lovely warm blanket there to tell me everything's going to be all right with the world.
God bless you, fieldset.
I would say <code>bdo</code>. And that because I can use it to illustrate the fact that this contest is rubbish. One <abbr title="Hypter Text Markup Language">HTML</abbr> element? You have to use more than a single element to make a sementic webpage. A sample code? Here you have some:
<code><bdo dir="reversedandunreadable">Weird contest</bdo></code>
It wil output something like this: rcote Wenties.
Ode to div
O div you are so great,
The other elements have less weight,
Your supremacy is clear,
No bold, acronym or tt gets near,
You are silent but strong,
Used a lot you can't go wrong,
Without you we'd be stuck in table glue,
You freed our formats it is true,
So, this is my ode to div,
The element with the most to give.
Good one Barry…and congratulations!
[…] n had a little contest a couple of weeks ago where he gave away an iPod to the person that best motivated why he/she liked a certain HTML element […]
Your site is perfect!
My favorite element is Title . this is the deciding factor of a page. if the title is a bad one, i don think there is any use in moving into detail of that page… tats all…