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  1. #1
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    What is the point of saying "I am validated"?

    More and more sites are going out of their way to put proof that they are valid XHTML, CSS, and such on their pages. What is the point?

    I can see this on sites geared towards promoting standards but the rest why? Who really cares if your site is XHTML 1.0 transitional? Wouldn't the average Joe Schmoe user just care if your site doesn't show in his browser?

    Displaying these little buttons are not going to get you kudos or extra development dollars. They aren't going to get you recognition or anything really. And yet people go out of their way to prove that they validate. Most users do no even know what XHTML is and don't care.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I can see the benefits of following standards and making good sites. I don't see the benefits of the little icons, text and whatnot advertising standards compliant. I am not going to visit your site more just because it is compliant and neither are the millions who surf the web everyday.
    Wayne Luke
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  2. #2
    ********* Wizard silver trophy Cam's Avatar
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    I can see where you're coming from, and those big buttons from the W3C site suck, no doubt about it. I have seen some nice little ones though and text links placed appropriately never hurt. The way I see it is that if the average web surfer visits your site, they see that and nothing crosses their mind because it's not something they recognise, however when a web developer stubles across the site they think "Hey, this site is XHTML/CSS compliant!" and move on. It may or may not stick in their minds, they may or may not even notice it, but in the long run, has anything suffered from your compliance obsession?

  3. #3
    + platinum's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've wondered the same thing. I'm not in a habit of ever putting those buttons on any of my sites either (okay, well I do have one or two nice looking buttons on one site).

    I think validating your code is just to 'finish it off' for some people. I mean, I guess it's just a status symbol of sorts, terms are thrown around loosely though and even a lot of "web designers" have no idea what XHTML is and why it's better than HTML, so having that button is only going to mean something to those in the know (and, to prove that the designer(s) knew what they were doing).

    I know I'm in the minority here probably But if someone has those buttons I'll check out their source code just out of interest.

  4. #4
    ********* Wizard silver trophy Cam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by platinum
    I know I'm in the minority here probably But if someone has those buttons I'll check out their source code just out of interest.
    If the button is a link, I'll usually click it (middle-button, new tab) to check the the code actually validates. If it doesn't, a polite email to the author would soon follow.

  5. #5
    + platinum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ P@CkMaN
    If the button is a link, I'll usually click it (middle-button, new tab) to check the the code actually validates. If it doesn't, a polite email to the author would soon follow.
    mmm! I have found a few awful ones... however, too lazy to email.

  6. #6
    "Of" != "Have" bronze trophy Jeff Lange's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, I don't put it on any of my larger websites, as it serves no real purpose to the average user, and they'd probably be rather confused as to why it's there anyways.

    On my personal site, I have one that fades in, just to prove to people who view the site that I know what I am doing
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot ComputerBob's Avatar
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    I put those icons on my site to show that I spent the time and took the care to make sure that my pages validate. Creating my pages was probably only about 1/5 of the work. The other 4/5 was getting them to validate to coding and accessibility standards. If that doesn't mean anything to most users, so be it. It meant 500 hours of work to me.
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  8. #8
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Hmmm.. I don't have enough time to go verifying someone's claim nor do I really care what standards they use as long as it works in my browser.

    On a personal site, I can see people doing this as that is an expression of who you are but on a business site, I don't see any purpose in it except to take up space.
    Wayne Luke
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  9. #9
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ P@CkMaN
    If the button is a link, I'll usually click it (middle-button, new tab) to check the the code actually validates. If it doesn't, a polite email to the author would soon follow.
    That's why I have them on my site. It provides a good feedback and QA mechanism. On any client's site though I would just write to the standard and not add the buttons. They serve no purpose on a content or commerce site in my opinion, unless of course you're selling standards-compliant something or other on that site .

  10. #10
    I am obstructing justice. bronze trophy fatnewt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    unless of course you're selling standards-compliant something or other on that site .
    That's the only real purpose I see for them. If you want to advertise that your sites are designed using the standards, you could demonstrate it.... although I wouldn't put them prominently on the page since the people you're selling to likely don't know much about the difference.


    I don't put those images on my sites. Sites are supposed to validate to standards anyways. I would hope that eventually every site out there could safely put one of those badges on their site... but that they wouldn't need to because standards were actually... y'know... standard.

    Not that it's near-reality, but y'know.
    Colin Temple [twitter: @cailean]
    Web Analyst at Napkyn


  11. #11
    because you gotta have beer! firegryphon3207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    That's why I have them on my site. It provides a good feedback and QA mechanism. On any client's site though I would just write to the standard and not add the buttons. They serve no purpose on a content or commerce site in my opinion, unless of course you're selling standards-compliant something or other on that site .
    So you are saying it might serve a purpose for say your site (assuming you are offering some sort of services as a designer) but not neccessarily on your client's pages? If so, would you say it's important to have it in that context?
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot ComputerBob's Avatar
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    I agree that all sites should validate to standards. Unfortunately, relatively few of them do. Maybe they will some day, but until then, I think it is a "badge of honor" to be able to say that your sites do.

    I just thought of another reason why I display those icons on my site. When I was redesigning my site, I often looked for other XHTML 1.0 Strict/CSS sites to be able to study their code. Now I'm happy to let my site serve as an example for others who are looking for them.

    Plus, having read Zeldman's DWWS book, I'm convinced that anything I can do to promote and make people aware of standards will help the whole standards movement in some small way.
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy blufive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerBob
    I'm convinced that anything I can do to promote and make people aware of standards will help the whole standards movement in some small way.
    And that's one reason to carry buttons. Just to provide a steady drip, drip, drip to get standards into peoples' minds.

    Hopefully, they can help convince people that using the standards and being accessible doesn't automatically mean producing a site that looks rubbish. There are still people who think that way; if they run into enough decent-looking sites that carry the badge, they might get the idea eventually. Drip, drip, drip.

    Then again, the front page of every corporate site on the web isn't necessarily the right place for such buttons.

  14. #14
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    The fact of the matter is that only other web designers care whether a site looks like "rubbish". The visitors to your site don't care. They just want a site that is useful to them.

    If I didn't force my parents to upgrade their browser and OS when new one come along, they would be using Windows 95 and Internet Explorer 3.0. today. Of the people in my family (I have 10 aunts and uncles, 85 cousins, 73 second cousins and 18 third cousins on my father's side alone) that have computers (about 80% of them), only 6 of them are running a Windows or browser version that didn't come with the computer when they bought it. Now that is a small cross-section.

    Add to this the fact that a standards compliant website will look like "rubbish" on many computers out there. How many of you test your standards compliant sites on Webtv? UltimateTV? AOLTV? How many test them in AOL 6 which is still one of the prevalent versions of that software out there? AOL at all?

    Has the drive for standards compliance actually forced you to lose site of the audiences for your websites?
    Wayne Luke
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  15. #15
    "Of" != "Have" bronze trophy Jeff Lange's Avatar
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    I attempt to test with the most popular things, but if I recieve any reports of problems with minority browsers, I will fix them as best I can, and if something requires that I break standards to get it to work for the majority of people, I will do it.

    Standards are extremely nice, however, functionality to the end-user is more important.
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard jag5311's Avatar
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    I know I'm in the minority here probably http://www.sitepointforums.com/image...ies/tongue.gif But if someone has those buttons I'll check out their source code just out of interest.
    I often do this anyways. If I see a nice site, I go up to source just to see if they have <body margin="0" or whatever [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img] Then I can say to myself,

    "HAHA, you aren't standards compliant!!!..." j/k

    So would you recommend I remove these buttons from this site, www.somethingspecialgiftbaskets.com (at the bottom)? Its not necessarily a client site, but a relatives site that I did. Sad thing is, only the first page is XHTML validated [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img], because some others, like the contact page uses <CFFORM> and that generates automatic javascript, EXCEPT IT APPEARS IN CAPITALS LIKE THIS, and hence, destroys by validated XHTML. Thats the bad thing about coldfusion.

  17. #17
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    The questions is: Do those buttons help you sell more gift baskets?

    If the answer is no, then they don't belong on the website period.
    Wayne Luke
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Wizard jag5311's Avatar
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    Probably not.

    I guess one reason I put them on there is not only because of the VALIDATE KICK I have been getting on, but that almost every other gift basket website, In my opinion, SUCKS (in design and coding). But your right, most people won't understand it anyway.

  19. #19
    ********* Wizard silver trophy Cam's Avatar
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    Last time I checked (was a while ago, I could be wrong), ASP.NET didn't produce valid XHTML either.

    I agree with all of your points Wayne, I really do. I don't necessarily know from experience but I have heard from the people here that do, you can't always write a standards compliant site that will render correctly in all browsers, but since most web users are fairly predictable and IE holds most users, and with Mozilla and Opera running on PDAs, I think it's usually fairly safe to create a standards compliant site. It's a safe bet that it will render correctly in Opera and Mozilla and doesn't usually take much to get it to look right in IE as well.

    Also, would this thread be better located here?

  20. #20
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    The message isn't to ditch standards...

    The question at heart is why does everyone have to make standards a central point of their website by adding these buttons. Used to be that it was wrong to add buttons that said your site worked in one browser or another and yet these buttons are doing the same thing with different wording. Why is that correct?
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  21. #21
    because you gotta have beer! firegryphon3207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Luke
    The message isn't to ditch standards...

    The question at heart is why does everyone have to make standards a central point of their website by adding these buttons. Used to be that it was wrong to add buttons that said your site worked in one browser or another and yet these buttons are doing the same thing with different wording. Why is that correct?
    I don't think they are the same thing. One says "I don't care if you don't like IE, you have to use it to view my site." the other says "I want everyone to view my site no matter what they use". By having the button, there is also an opportunity for education of the average user that there is some kind of professional standard. The more the button is used, the more likely the surfing public will become aware of the W3C and the purpose of standards. The more aware the surfing public, the better compliance by browser makers. Granted, the ones on offer by the W3C are ugly, but there is no reason why you can't make something more appropriate. The important thing is there is an opportunity for education just by having it, doesn't that make it worth the effort?
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard jag5311's Avatar
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    so if you want a nice light blue XHTML and css button, you can use mine

    http://www.somethingspecialgiftbaskets.com/xhtml10.gif
    http://www.somethingspecialgiftbaskets.com/css.gif


  23. #23
    because you gotta have beer! firegryphon3207's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jag5311
    so if you want a nice light blue XHTML and css button, you can use mine

    http://www.somethingspecialgiftbaskets.com/xhtml10.gif
    http://www.somethingspecialgiftbaskets.com/css.gif

    aww thanks I'll probably make my own, but I appreciate the offer.
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  24. #24
    ********* Wizard silver trophy Cam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Luke
    The question at heart is why does everyone have to make standards a central point of their website by adding these buttons.
    Most (note the bold) sites don't make it a central point, just a simple button/graphic/link on the site for those that are interested. I agree that the buttons provided by W3C are rather large and do seem to stand out but some of the custom ones I've seen around are quite nice and don't "steal the spotlight" so to speak.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Perhaps it is like the stereo that says it uses Dolby noise reduction (going back a few years).

    Does the end user really care if the stereo has Dolby nr? Probably not. They just want the stereo to sound good. If it sounds good then they don't care if it has Dolby or not.

    However, stereo manufacturers did advertise that they used Dolby technology, and over time Dolby has become a household term as people drew a connection between Dolby and quality stereo sound.

    I see validation working similarly. If widly used on web sites, over time people will come to see W3C validated icons as a hallmark of quality. Perhaps not today, but eventually.

    Certainly poor sites that validate and excellent sites that don't will slow this realization, but for that matter there are poor stereos that use Dolby technology and wonderful ones that don't.
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