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mozilla.org Style Guide

by Jamie Zawinski jwz@mozilla.org

Here are some basic style guidelines for writing content to be hosted on mozilla.org. Some are important, some are arbitrary, but please follow these guidelines in the name of consistency.

Adding Files

Filenames

Location

Linking and URLs

Code Format

Which ones of these do we need?

Validation

All pages must validate as HTML 4.01 Strict using the W3C Validator. Any exceptions (e.g. <textarea> wrap) must be approved by a site manager. Link to some list "managers"

Markup Style

Use semantic markup. Everything else is corrollary. Stylistic information belongs in the stylesheet, not the markup. So

There are a number of semantic classes defined in the Markup Reference. Use these instead of defining the element's presentation. Site stylesheets will assign the presentation rules.

Semantic markup explains why something should be styled rather than how it should be styled. <p>, <sup>, and <em> are semantic elements. <p> and <p> are not.

Recommended Reading: "Structured and Semantic Markup" from DocBook: The Definitiive Guide (in Chapter 1)

Adding Style

Use classes defined in the Markup Reference. They already have styles associated with them, so you may not need to write any style rules. If you feel something's missing Post to Documentation? File a bug in the Documentation component against fantasai@escape.com? What should one do?

Localized Style Rules

Stylistic information is centralized into several site-wide stylesheets. This way, the site has a coherent look and feel and the formatting conventions are consistent. However, the site stylesheets can't handle everything, so some pages may need to incorporate additional rules ofr local use or to handle specific page layouts.

Content Style