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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    W3C: Buy Standards Compliant Web Sites

    From the W3C Quality Assurance Interest Group's Buy Standards Compliant Web Sites:
    ...
    Ignored for a long time by many developers, open standards such as HTTP, HTML or XML are at the very core of the success of the Web. The current trend of stressing standards compliance on the Web is not due to chance: they are a win-win for all participants to the Web.

    Developed by experts and with input from the whole Web community, standards work together to provide the foundation to build increasingly powerful applications. Standards are the result of a lot of energy and expertise and are available for free: don't miss the opportunity to benefit from their leveraging effect!

    On the Web, being up-to-date with the latest technologies is a difficult exercise: choosing the wrong tool or architecture can lead to losses in money, time, or customers.
    ...
    An interesting read, and an important one for developers as it seems that the W3C is now taking direct aim at our customers, lest you were still unconvinced of the importance of standards. ;-)

    It's only a draft, but it seems to be a fairly complete overview to me. It underscores the importance of standards, stresses the bottom-line, walks you through the standards process and demonstrates how standards work together, so if you're unclear on one or more of those points, you should defiantly read it.

    Combined with the WaSP's renewed effort, the 'tag tide' might very well be turning. Sooner or later, you may walk into a meeting with a client who asks: "So, standards, what do they mean to you?" :-)

    ~~Ian

  2. #2
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Well, as always. You learn the easy way or you learn the hard way. When your client starts asking the tough question and you're still coding HTML 4 because your WYSIWYG editor does it, then you'll learn. Thanks, Ian.

    Sketch
    Aaron Brazell
    Technosailor



  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    I see a couple of problems with the recomendations being made to clients. The first is that w3c is a technical site, the chances of that document being read by a manager of Yahoo let alone the manager of ye-local ball bearing co. are next to none. The article instead should have followed wasps current approach in targeting designers and give a well structured and non technical overview of exactly what the standards are and how they benefit the designers. And most importantly, MAKE IT EASY TO READ AND UNDERSTAND!

    For the most part i think the XHTML spec has been misunderstood by many designers as meaning you have to ditch tables and adopt the "dashed line" style look or else you arent coding to standards, when infact its not true, Tables can still be used in a layout that is coded to XHTML and still retain most of the benefits of a div/span layout. The only place it is mentioned that you should avoid using tables in your layout is in the W3C WAI guidlines. And even that provides methods for making table based layouts more accessible.

    There also seems to be alot of confusion caused by the fact that Standards/Accessibility/usability have all been heaped into one big pile and advocated by many as what can appear at times as a joint cause, sure one effects the other, but make it clear and in a non technical way that to create a valid XHTML site the only thing you really need to do is add a DTD, close all tags and not use proprietry tags. Thats pretty much all there is to it, but to understand that you have to go through the wads and wads of w3c specs and all non w3c articles tend to wonder into the css/usa/acces area and to most designers the meaning of what is trying to be achieved is lost, and the misconception that your downgarding the role of screen design for the sake of blind freddy seems of very little importance.

    The second area is browser support, Its still not perfect, and to many at the moment it seems you are swapping one set of workarounds for a new set of workarounds. Which is completely true, especially more so in the complete CSS realm, look at the sample css codes at noodleincident and you have win fudge this and hide from opera this ect ect, while the documents may validate against the validator, they arent truelly valid, The whole point of standards is to remove the need to code hacks for each and every browser, using valid tags in an invalid fashion, doesnt make your document valid!

    Realisticly i dont ever imagine walking into a meeting with a client and having them ask so what do web standards mean to you, it would have to be flogged to death by mainstream press for that to ever happen and that will never happen, atleat not untill the lowest browser in use is a version 10.

    You could walk into a meeting with a client and chances are they wouldnt even know what HTML is, let alone standards.

    but the thing is, If your seriouse about wanting to make a proffesion out of this industry, your seriouse about making money off your site, at the bare minimum you should be using VALID (X)HTML, theres no real excuse other then laziness for not doing it.

    And just for the record, if a site validates as XHTML strict and you add the margin to the body for Netscape 4 support, then in my oppinion your validating.. it doesnt effect the other browsers, your just maintaining backward compatibility.. something i think w3c tends to forget about sometimes.

    wooow now thats a really anti standards post.. opps

    p.s: SUPPORT THE STANDARDS!!

  4. #4
    ********* Genius Mike's Avatar
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    Originally posted by iTec
    And just for the record, if a site validates as XHTML strict and you add the margin to the body for Netscape 4 support, then in my oppinion your validating.. it doesnt effect the other browsers, your just maintaining backward compatibility.. something i think w3c tends to forget about sometimes.
    I couldn't agree more
    Mike
    It's not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.


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