Who cares about Web standards?

In: Web development

13 Jun 2004

The Web Standards Project asks of anyone and everyone “involved in web production in any capacity” to take a survey on Web Standards and it’s relevance to you in a recent press release, Web Standards: Who Cares Anyway?.

Most salient question in the survey: What roadblocks or challenges have affected your use of Web standards?

“All of the above” applies to my position to a certain extent, but the biggest challenges I experience in my capacity of as a web developer for muvee Technologies (yes, I just got employed, 2 weeks ago) relate to that of lack of team and management knowledge and support. The current webpages are coded in old school tables, using Dreamweaver. Everyone else on the web team uses Dreamweaver. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, because a WYSIWYG editor is the best for productivity. And I take nothing away from the frontend designer and media designer – they are a class act when it comes to design.

I’m probably the oddity in the team, the only guy using a text editor to crunch out PHP scripts using the HTML webpages that are done by the creative department. And I am the only one to see invalid HTML, unclosed tags, and spacer images that Dreamweaver generates. Does it matter to the designers? Not one bit because they don’t see it and the pages still turn out find in the important browsers. Does it matter to me? Yes, it is annoying because I’ve been coding to Web Standards wherever I can, but it is something I can and should live with. There are honestly far more important things to do, as I have been reminded, than cleaning the HTML towards Web Standards-production code. I can’t argue with that. The website works (well, it doesn’t work in Opera, but fixing it is going to be a touchy subject I’ll bring up after I’m more settled into my position), so what’s the point of wasting time making changes that don’t produce any tangible benefit (to them). I can’t argue with that too, yet.

But when the time comes when there aren’t more important things to do, I will be faced with an urge to propose a shift towards Web Standards. How will that turn out? One word – badly. Why? Because the designers are not going to like it. They (nor the company, I’d guess) would not be willing to toss away what they’ve used for years to produce their webpages. Unless Dreamweaver starts becoming a far better webpage editor in terms of the code it generates, I don’t think they’d like looking at raw HTML code (and I don’t blame them either). I’d probably become public enemy number one in the web team if I start proposing these changes, even if I suggest to undertake the conversion to Web Standards all by myself. I don’t have a case, yet.

Anyway, take the survey, let WaSP know what’s happening in the real world, and also let me know if and how you’ve managed to convince your department/company to switch to Web Standards. Please do share your experiences, especially those that end in sucess, because that’s where I believe everyone has lots to learn from.

5 Responses to Who cares about Web standards?



June 13th, 2004 at 8pm

well, you seemed having much fun at work, dont worry too much about dreamweaver or wat, i mean, so long u get the work done to ur conscious right?

i am trying to code webpage with total css compatibility, but it’s not that easy. i applaud your grit and ability to do that. i do see the advantage and the long term survival of webpages using web standards.

dreamweaver is not entirely bad software, i use it to cleverly interchange between html code and WYSIWYG environment, not that bad afterall, i sometimes get lazy with coding html and a convenient switch function in dreamweaver does the trick. so long i still inspect the code now and then … =)

till then…



June 14th, 2004 at 12am

I’m not sure that I know what they mean by “standards-compliant”. Do they mean making the pages validate, or do they mean “using CSS to do all formatting”?

I’m pretty strongly in favor of making pages that validate. If Dreamweaver produces invalid HTML, then that sounds like a bug to me, and Macromedia should fix it. Especially since WaSP helped Macromedia clean up Dreamweaver MX’s output.

Using CSS to do all of the formatting, however, has turned out to be a royal pain. I chose to do it on my weblog because it sounded like a good idea. A year later, I wonder what the point is. It has caused me a lot of grief, and in return has given me… nothing. My weblog software already separated content and presentation: the content is in the database, and the PHP pages defined the presentation.



June 14th, 2004 at 2am

Who cares? Probably only some of the (young) programmers…

Someone has just ask me why his webpage look awful in Mozilla (thanks to his old-school table layout filled with images that replace text). I did solved his problem (setting padding to zero). But how sad…

If people want to have pixel-perfect website, I’d rather want them to make Flash instead… Although Flash is never a good thing to accessibility and maintenance, I think it is far better than the ugly codes generated by Dreamweaver…



April 18th, 2005 at 6am

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