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mozilla.org Style Guide

by Jamie Zawinski jwz@mozilla.org and fantasai fantasai@escape.com
edited by mozilla-reorg

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.

  1. Adding Files
    1. Filenames
    2. Location
    3. Example
  2. Linking and URLs
  3. Page Code
    1. Code Format
    2. Validation
    3. Markup
    4. Adding Style
  4. Page Content

Adding Files

Filenames

Location

This page, the mozilla.org Style Guide, is located at /contribute/writing/guide. It's a guide (guide) describing how to contribute (contribute) by writing (writing). I chose not to make it style-guide because I might decide to expand it someday, and /contribute/writing/guide is descriptive enough in this case.

For example, I might decide to add a skin-writing guide to mozilla.org. Logically, it would go under /contribute/writing/guide/skins, so I would change /contribute/writing/guide to /contribute/writing/guide/index_html and put the file under the /contribute/writing/guide folder. Later, I might decide to split this guide up into several pages--one for location (/contribute/writing/guide/location), another for markup style (/contribute/writing/guide/markup), another for stylesheets (/contribute/writing/guide/stylesheets), and another for content/writing style (/contribute/writing/guide/content. Now /contribute/writing/guide/index_html becomes a table of contents for all the pages under /contribute/writing/guide. Everything fits as if it were designed that way from the start and I'm not leaving any broken links because I made all my URIs forwards-compatible.

Linking and URLs

Page Code

Code Format

Validation

All pages must validate as HTML 4.01 Strict using the W3C Validator. This ensures that the page doesn't have syntax errors, that it can be processed by all sorts of more obscure browsers, and that it doesn't use the presentational markup deprecated in HTML 4.0. Also, we're making one of the most standards-compliant browsers around. It would be bad show to have an incompliant website.

Any exceptions to this rule (e.g. <textarea wrap='x'>) must be approved by the site webmaster.

Markup

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.

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 for local use or to handle specific page layouts.

Content Style