Issue 11 of Web Design Readings – HTML specification differences, Building static website, My summary of 2014 & 2015

Happy new year!

In this letter, I share links on the HTML specification, building static website, and my summary of 2014 and 2015.

Difference between W3C and WHATWG HTML specification

I have discussed the HTML5 vs. HTML Living Standard in the issue 3.

Last week I read the post, “W3C vs. WHATWG HTML5 Specs – The Differences Documented”. It shows several different explanations on certain HTML elements and the author provides his opinions on which one makes more sense on each difference. This post definitely worth a read.

When you are using something that doesn’t quite match the specification, just remember the following as the author said in the post.

Regardless of what was specified by both the groups at the beginning of a feature, browsers and developers have the power to drive the success of one or the other version.

By the way, W3C has a full list of the differences between the 2 specifications.

Building Static websites

My website,, is static and hosted on Amazon S3. The site needs the S3 for file storage, Route53 for domain service and CloudFront for CDN. I followed Michaël Gallego’s “Static website on S3, CloudFront and Route 53, the right way!” to setup my site.

I built the site on Ruby on Rails and the functions on the site are designed with static hosting in mind. Whenever I updated the site, I wget the site into a local build and then upload the files to s3.

In my next project, I’m going to use the Ruby powered Jekyll engine to build static website for my client.

Beside the mentioned methods, there are some other approaches to generate static website:

  • The Adobe Dreamweaver helps reusing duplicated HTML code by using the site and templates engine. It builds the final HTML when you change anything inside the IDE.

  • Apps like Hammer or CodeKit provides client-side include to help you build the site theme. They will compile your preprocessors and the templates into the final HTML.

Codrops 2014

I’m always a fan of reading different CSS effects post in the Codrops. You can find many cutting edge CSS effects there to inspire you in your next web project. They recently put up a collection of their 2014 favorites.

For design inspirations, Daniel Riemer has collected his sites of the month of 2014 and 2013.

2014 & 2015, my writing and teaching years

I had been writing a lot in 2014, and I will continue writing on the web technology in 2015.

In the early 2014, I published my first video screencast product. It’s a 2 hour course teaching you to build 2 HTML5 games step-by-step.

In mid 2014, I published my third book, HTML5 game hotshot. It demonstrates how to use CreateJS library and canvas tag to create 8 games.

In the past months, I’m doing more writings. The first outcome is this Web Design Readings newsletter.

In 2015, I’ll finish the 2nd edition of my book HTML5 game development by example book: Beginner’s guide. This book will be published by PacktPub, alongside my other books.

I’m also writing my first self-publishing book, Practical CreateJS. This is my first try to organize my course material into books. The next one is an iOS development book for beginners.

Another big thing this year is to attend the by-yearly WorldSkills Web Design competition in August. I was the competitor back in 2003 (and got a bronze medal). After that, I became the trainer and regional expert to bring candidates to the event. The students I trained had won the silver and bronze medal.

It’s going to be a year with lots of opportunities. Wish you have all the best in 2015.

Truly Thanks and Best Regards,
Thomas Seng Hin Mak