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Opinion: Do web standards matter?

 
 
Uncle Pirate
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      03-27-2005
Barbara de Zoete wrote:

> What I miss in your explanation to me, is the passion. The reasoning
> about Transitional is what they can read or figger out themselves. The
> passion tells them about reaching all people on earth that are somehow
> connected to the internet. No matter what machine, what browser, what
> ever means, if someone is connected, you can reach them.


Very difficult to get the passion across in a text format like this.
And when I teach on-line, as I often do, it is difficult to get that
across as well, this fall will be in the classroom and the students will
experience my passion. I take pride in doing the best job I can do, no
matter what that job may be.

Far from perfect, my pride (soon to get a facelift, I hope) is
http://alamo.nmsu.edu/, much of my 40 hour a week job. I use the
difference between editing one of the older table layout pages with the
newer 4.01 strict with CSS pages as an example of ease of updating.

I am really looking forward to the promised development of a new layout.
Others, better at design will come up with the layout/design, while
I'll be involved telling them what is practical/feasible and will
eventually implement the facelift. Exciting times.

--
Stan McCann "Uncle Pirate" http://stanmccann.us/pirate.html
Webmaster/Computer Center Manager, NMSU at Alamogordo
Coordinator, Tularosa Basin Chapter, ABATE of NM; AMA#758681; COBB
'94 1500 Vulcan (now wrecked) http://motorcyclefun.org/Dcp_2068c.jpg
A zest for living must include a willingness to die. - R.A. Heinlein
 
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Lachlan Hunt
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      03-27-2005
accooper wrote:
> I too try and follow the standards but I don't take much stock in the W3C
> validator. Sometimes it will say stupid stuff like " a space is not allowed
> here".


It is the validator's job to report *all* syntax errors, not to decide
"Oh, I think this is a minor error, I won't bother the author by
mentioning it this time".

> I mean is that really gunna make a difference.


It may not make a difference to you, as someone reading the source code;
but, to an SGML parser, a space (or any other character) where one is
not expected is a syntax error, from which a parser would have to employ
possibly undefined error handling technniques to recover. In the case
of XML, such errors will be fatal, so yes, it really does make a difference.

--
Lachlan Hunt
http://lachy.id.au/
http://GetFirefox.com/ Rediscover the Web
http://GetThunderbird.com/ Reclaim your Inbox
 
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Lachlan Hunt
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      03-27-2005
Sugapablo wrote:
> Out of microsoft.com, google.com, amazon.com, yahoo.com, aol.com, and
> mozilla.org, only Mozilla's site came back "Valid HTML".


At least the microsoft.com home page is getting very close (only 3
errors: 1 missing alt attr, proprietary nowrap attribute and using
checked="true" instead of checked="checked").

> So if all these places, with their teams of web developers don't seem to
> care, should the rest of us small time web devs concern ourselves with
> standards? I do, but sometimes I feel it's a wasted effort. What do yinz
> think?


This sounds like an attempt to justify the presence of errors simply
because they're made by many other organisations, whereas this really
should be a case of learning from other's mistakes, so you don't make
them yourself.

Many people attempt to ignore standards, conformance and validation by
saying that it doesn't matter and/or it doesn't affect anything.
However, the simple fact is that there is little chance we will ever see
a main-stream browser that conforms 100% to HTML 4 simply because doing
so would "break" many more existing (broken) pages than it would
benefit. i.e. Because there are so many poorly coded web pages out there
that *don't* conform to the standards, we will never see a main-stream
browser that does; thus non-conformance has had, and *does have*, a very
detrimental effect.

The SHORTTAG NET features of SGML are one example I can think of, which
will not be implemented for this reason, at least not in Mozilla any
time soon [1].

> P.S. Slashdot returned a 403 Forbidden to the validator but when I saved
> the homepage locally, it failed too.


That's very strange, at first I thought that might be related to bug
1069 [2] (some hosts reject UAs with libwww-perl in their User-Agent
string), although that didn't work in this case, so slashdot must be
rejecting based on some other factor. However, I was able to validate
with the latest development version of the validator which reported
invalid HTML 3.2 with 130 errors.

[1] https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=94284
[2] http://www.w3.org/Bugs/Public/show_bug.cgi?id=1069

--
Lachlan Hunt
http://lachy.id.au/
http://GetFirefox.com/ Rediscover the Web
http://GetThunderbird.com/ Reclaim your Inbox
 
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Toby Inkster
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      03-27-2005
Lachlan Hunt wrote:

> That's very strange, at first I thought that might be related to bug
> 1069 [2] (some hosts reject UAs with libwww-perl in their User-Agent
> string), although that didn't work in this case, so slashdot must be
> rejecting based on some other factor.


Slashdot blocks the W3C validator by IP address. They've been doing it for
quite some time. (Embarrassed about poor quality code.)

--
Toby A Inkster BSc (Hons) ARCS
Contact Me ~ http://tobyinkster.co.uk/contact

 
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Beauregard T. Shagnasty
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      03-27-2005
Toby Inkster wrote:
> Lachlan Hunt wrote:
>
>> That's very strange, at first I thought that might be related to
>> bug 1069 [2] (some hosts reject UAs with libwww-perl in their
>> User-Agent string), although that didn't work in this case, so
>> slashdot must be rejecting based on some other factor.

>
> Slashdot blocks the W3C validator by IP address. They've been doing
> it for quite some time. (Embarrassed about poor quality code.)


Heh, they forgot this one. <g>
<URL:http://www.htmlhelp.com/cgi-bin/validate.cgi?url=http%3A%2F%2Fslashdot.org%2F&warn ings=yes>

"The maximum number of errors was reached. Further errors in the
document have not been reported."

In all fairness to Slashdot, the "maximum number of errors" was 50.

--
-bts
-This space intentionally left blank.
 
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Sugapablo
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      03-27-2005
Quick funny follow-up should you care to look at it. Being that it's
political in nature, I'll simply provide the link:

http://www.subuse.net/article.php?g=14&id=4


--
[ Sugapablo ]
[ http://www.sugapablo.net <--personal | http://www.sugapablo.com <--music ]
[ http://www.2ra.org <--political | http://www.subuse.net <--discuss ]

 
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me
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      03-29-2005
"Sugapablo" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newsan.2005.03.26.13.01.27.899058@REMOVEsugapabl o.com...
> Just out of curiosity, while checking on a site I was working on, I
> decided to throw a couple of the web's most popular URLs into the W3C
> Markup Validator.
>
> Out of microsoft.com, google.com, amazon.com, yahoo.com, aol.com, and
> mozilla.org, only Mozilla's site came back "Valid HTML".
>
> So if all these places, with their teams of web developers don't seem to
> care, should the rest of us small time web devs concern ourselves with
> standards? I do, but sometimes I feel it's a wasted effort. What do yinz
> think?
>
> P.S. Slashdot returned a 403 Forbidden to the validator but when I saved
> the homepage locally, it failed too.
> [

]

I suspect you had some idea of the response you'd get before you asked this
question (considering the audience) but I see no harm in seeking validation
from those who share a similar point of view.

I have no objection to standards provided that they do not make unusable
anything that existed before the standard. I see no obstacle to providing
backward comparability for legacy code in the current standard (someone
please correct me if I'm wrong).

As an aside I do not validate my code. I might implement validation if I
perceived that there was sufficient benefit for me to warrant doing so.

Philosophically speaking I oppose anything that impedes a website author's
freedom of expression. If authors cannot expresses themselves freely then
the web serves no purpose.
Signed,
me


 
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kchayka
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      03-29-2005
me wrote:
>
> Philosophically speaking I oppose anything that impedes a website author's
> freedom of expression. If authors cannot expresses themselves freely then
> the web serves no purpose.


It's all about you?

Whether you want to admit it or not, it's really all about your
visitors. Without them, the web serves no purpose.

--
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Please reply to the group so everyone can share.
 
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c.thornquist
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      03-29-2005

"me" <anonymous@_.com> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "Sugapablo" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> newsan.2005.03.26.13.01.27.899058@REMOVEsugapabl o.com...
>> Just out of curiosity, while checking on a site I was working on, I
>> decided to throw a couple of the web's most popular URLs into the W3C
>> Markup Validator.

<snip>

> I suspect you had some idea of the response you'd get before you asked
> this
> question (considering the audience) but I see no harm in seeking
> validation
> from those who share a similar point of view.
>
> I have no objection to standards provided that they do not make unusable
> anything that existed before the standard. I see no obstacle to providing
> backward comparability for legacy code in the current standard (someone
> please correct me if I'm wrong).
>
> As an aside I do not validate my code. I might implement validation if I
> perceived that there was sufficient benefit for me to warrant doing so.
>
> Philosophically speaking I oppose anything that impedes a website author's
> freedom of expression. If authors cannot expresses themselves freely then
> the web serves no purpose.
> Signed,
> me
>
>


I tend to agree. I see the need for some very basic standards for validation
(esp. alt. tags), but the dogmatic attitudes present in newsgroups & on some
developers sites re validation and/or tables versus CSS makes it sound
almost cult-like

Carla


 
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me
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      03-29-2005
"kchayka" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> me wrote:
> >
> > Philosophically speaking I oppose anything that impedes a website

author's
> > freedom of expression. If authors cannot expresses themselves freely

then
> > the web serves no purpose.

>
> It's all about you?
>
> Whether you want to admit it or not, it's really all about your
> visitors. Without them, the web serves no purpose.


What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Which comes first, a book or it's
readers? Which comes first, the website or the visitors?
Signed,
me


 
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