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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru
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    Standards - do they really mean anything yet?

    I didn't want to hijack either of the threads on standards so I'm starting one to ask something that I've been wondering about. Up until recently I used IE for browsing and just used Netscape and Opera to check my own work, so I had no idea what was really happening on the web in a way. I switched over to Mozilla for surfing a little while back and it was a real eye opener. I have to open IE to do online banking, use the menus on the ATT wireless site, I needed IE to use Turbo tax, and if I wanted to use at least a couple of very slick e-mail sites..I'd have to use IE. The e-mail, at least,is voluntary and where I have a choice I only use sites that support the browser I prefer so of course, I don't use those services. Nonetheless I was very suprised to see how many major sites are designed to function only with IE.

  2. #2
    ********* Genius zweistein's Avatar
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    Well, they do mean something - if the companies that you visited made their sites following the web standards, their sites would be visible in all browsers. But, your site won't be visible equaly in every browser - but the important thing is that it's visible. And thats what web standards are for, IMO - making sites visible and readable in all browsers (even the special ones - for blind people, etc.)
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Guru
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    I think I put my subject wrong. I mean, if big sites still don't work in all modern browsers, is the standards movement getting as far as it seems to think it is? If sites like that keep shutting out all non-IE browsers, will IE just remain the defacto standard? I sent an e-mail to the banking site complaining about it, so maybe if everyone does that, it'll help, but I don't think that most people will. I think most people will just use IE.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    I'm probably starting to sound like a stuck record now, but this is what the Web Standards project is for

    Phase I was "get the browser manufacturers to start supporting web standards" - and it worked. Phase II is "educate developers and get them to USE web standards" and it launched today: www.webstandards.org

    Things can only get better, especially now the US has legislation covering web site accessibility (Section 508? I think it only covers government sites but it's sure to make big companies sit up and take notice).

  5. #5
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Until Micro$oft actually loses it dominance or decides to actually apply more of the W3C Technical Recommendations - Technical Recommendations are not Specifications - to it's products and services, we’ll have a long wait...

    Then again webmasters are the ones who actually make the sites, so it rest upon them to follow the Technical Recommendations when using HTML or XML.
    Last edited by xhtmlcoder; Jun 12, 2002 at 03:17.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    Actually IE6 does very well on standards compliance (provided you use a doctype to force it in to "strict" mode).

  7. #7
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I think the standards do mean a lot, but the thing is, developers need to start using them, as already mentioned by skunk.....

    Most developers or so called web designers could care less about standards, let alone even know what they are.......

    Many of the govt depts etc that I have been exposed to, have guys there using Frontpage thinking they are web gurus..........and producing less than desirable code.......


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