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View Poll Results: Has producing code that validates decreased your development time?

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  • Yes, I spend less net time when I do so

    4 57.14%
  • No, valid code doesn't have major upsides for me

    3 42.86%
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  1. #1
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    Does validation (writing valid markup) decrease your development time?

    I'm quite familiar with standards-based web design. I've produced several sites that validated correctly. However, upon reflection, producing code that validates has not decreased my development time.

    My pages need to work in the major browsers: Netscape4, IE5+ (Mac/Win), Mozilla. I can't forget about Netscape4 and I can't give Netscape4 users a degraded, text-only version. On many pages that I create, about 15% of users are on Netscape4.

    There seems to be an almost pathological obsession with some people for validated code. I'm merely content with pages with work identically in the above mentioned browsers.

    Has producing valid code (according the the W3C validator) increased your productivity (as the web standards project claims that it does)? My experiences have been negative.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    It decreases the amount of time you'll spend debugging so in a way the answer is yes. Writing valid code now, will make your life (or someone else's life) easier in the future.
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  3. #3
    morphine for a wooden leg randem's Avatar
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    At first, it is a little harder to create valid code (when you're not used to it) and no honest person could tell you differently.

    However, after you get into the habit of writing valid HTML/CSS/JS code, you will find that it does in fact decrease your development time. The reason for this is that once you get out of the habit of using proprietary tags/extensions, you save yourself the headaches associated with trying to get something from one to work in the other.

    The area where I have saved the most time particularly is the wild goose chase you go on as a developer looking for documentation for a feature that doesn't technically exist.

    I can understand the point-of-view where you are satisfied with just having the site look right in the common browsers, but...

    a) there are many more browsers in use than just those you listed, at least one of which (Konqueror) is more prominent at present than one you did list (Netscape 4). Developing to standards will more likely render a decent site in Konqueror without you ever acknowledging that browser exists.

    b) feature freeze doesn't last forever. Mozilla 1.0 just became official, Netscape 7 and AOL 8 are out in beta now, Apple's got a new browser cooking in alpha, and there will always be updates to IE, thanks to Redmond quality... You can't expect to support every version of every browser, or it will eventually cost you compatibility with the newest, most popular browsers. XHTML is becoming more prominent, as it allows for the best parsing by the most engines for many purposes, but most browsers on your list will have a tough time with XHTML. Some sites may not require XHTML to work, but others might... keep your mind open.

    c) perhaps the most important thing to consider... standards-compliance is measurable and tangible. It is a measure by which you can determine quality going out, and also a scale you can use to weigh potential new employees/co-workers/team members. A standards-compliant developer can come into a standards-compliant project, and be right at home. By contrast, an IE coder may be lost in a site, even when that site is designed for IE.

  4. #4
    Grumpy Mole Man Skunk's Avatar
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    It definitely decreases time spent on maintenance, because maintaining nicely written standards compliant code is a thousand times more pleasant than maintaining the "tag soup" that results from just hacking away at HTML until you get the desired effect.


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