Rapid Prototyping Kit (RPK)

The Rapid Prototyping Kit is a set of starter files and folders to get your site built quickly according to Web standards and best practices.

Download Options

You can download the RPK in a few of different forms; all are in .zip format, so you might need 7-zip to open them on your computer if it has no archiving program. Here are the three versions used in the book, which match the content of the book and will always be available here:

  • rpk.zip: Basic XHTML version of the RPK used throughout most of the book (see Chapters 9-19)
  • rpk-php.zip: PHP-based version of the RPK (see Chapter 21)
  • Coming soon: rpk-wp.zip: WordPress-theme version of the RPK for use with WordPress version 3.1 (see Chapter 22)

The RPK HTML files use root-relative paths to load CSS and JavaScript. They were created for use with a local development Web server and the http://localhost/ URL; set one up yourself with XAMPP. If you are opening your files directly in the browser, you must change the root-relative paths to relative (see Chapter 20 in the book for more on paths). For example, instead of href="/css/screen.css", remove the slash so it reads href="css/screen.css". Use your text editor to do a search and replace in the prototype HTML files; search for ="/ and replace with =". You will have to alter those relative paths if you start building a folder-oriented site architecture. (Again, you're better off setting up XAMPP.)

Each of those versions of the RPK includes version 1.5.1 of jQuery and SWFObject version 2.2. Consider upgrading those as new versions are released. Test your site locally using XAMPP before uploading to your live site to make sure that everything works.

Other Download Options

Adventurous writer/designers can download rpk-html5.zip, which is an HTML5 version of the RPK. The only differences from the XHTML version of the RPK are:

  • The DOCTYPE declaration is <!DOCTYPE html>
  • The <html> tag is simplified to <html lang="en" id="example-com">
  • The UTF-8 character set is specified via the new <meta charset="utf-8" /> syntax
  • The validator link in the footer refers to HTML5

Everything else is essentially the same in the HTML5 version as the basic XHTML version of the RPK, meaning that your CSS and JavaScript developed with the XHTML version should work seamlessly with it.

For even more adventurous writers/designers, you can browse and download newer versions of the different RPKs at GitHub. Those versions may differ from what’s in the book.