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On this Page:
Huh?
Problems with standards
The new era
Why this site supports standards
How this benefits you
This site is written using HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2, with a dash of php as required. The style sheet and all pages you see are validated against the w3 css, XHTML and accessibility validators (and more too).

If it looks bad, your browser makes it so.

Huh?Top

If you write for the web, you know this. Skip to "Why this site supports standards". If you don't, this is the simple version.

Web pages contain lots of information instructing the browser how to render content - display images, make some text coloured, and so on. Check it out under View or View Page Source on the toolbar

Until recently there was no consistent way to communicate that information. Different commands were often needed to achieve the same thing - and each page had to include all - and there are over 1000 browsers. Get it wrong and the browser could crash, lock your operating system and leave you rebooting your computer. Some surfing experience.

It got out of hand. Hence w3 and pressure for uniform coding. SOP's for the web, if you will.

The Problem with Standards.Top

In the short-term the problem got worse because older browsers did not understand the new standards. Later browsers are better, but too many variations still exist. Assistive Technology still seems to be doing its own thing, and leading edge - WAP, cell phones and WebTV are as bad.

Add to that the belief standards provided limited functionality. That perception is hard to shake, but it's wrong. End of argument.

But it isn't rocket science to figure getting information on to the internet is a black-art. It has nothing to do with the quality of the material being posted, even less about accommodating emerging or assistive technologies that make the web accessible to all.

The New EraTop

The choice is simple - standards, or not

Why this site supports standardsTop

Ultimately standards will ensure that the same code means the same thing to any web-enabled technology. Old and new. Everyone has easy access.

If standards are supported.

So this site supports them.

Ok, there are a few hacks, but no separate pages and no sweating the detail. If something is out of line, another thing doesn't work perfectly, so what? This site is about artillery not evaluating oh-so-1999 css-P?.

This page looks fine in any mostly standards compliant browser.
How it looks to you depends on how accurately your browser interprets the w3 standards. And don't be asking which browser you "should" use, although WaSP keeps a list. The point of standards-compliance is that it shouldn't matter.

How this benefits you.Top

Here are the long reasons why supporting standards benefits you:
Availability - no single browser works for all platforms but the content can be rendered by all devices on all platforms.
Institutions like banks and governments have no excuse for refusing to make information easily - and freely - available. The argument "it costs to code for all technologies" won't work as an excuse for withholding information or making it pay-for".

Maintenance - standard code is easier to write and maintain.
More time and money can be spent putting up good quality content.

Stability - code can be read by future and old browsers and pages always render so you can see the content.
In the past a new browser usually required a more powerful operating system. That meant newer computer hardware. Translation: You pay.
Standards means access is not limited to those with the latest gadget - and the money to buy it.

Usability - content can be rendered by technologies designed to overcome disabilities and no person is denied access.
Everyone has equal access - and it costs nothing extra to make it that way.

Personal choice - you use the device or technology you prefer.
No one dictates what gadget you must have - and no one gets a monopoly on it either.
This web-site won't change the internet. Nor will web standards alone. But it is one of millions that pressure browser manufacturers to write standards-compliant engines.

If there are a few pixels out of place, hang in there. It will ensure pages like this become oh-so-2004.