|Web Standards and Business Process|
|Monday, 06 August 2007|
If you’re wondering why Web standards have anything to do with business, just look around at the myriad companies who now face the prospect of upgrading all their systems to connect to the web. Not keeping up with Web standards will soon cost these companies millions as they either close down business, or spend the money to make their systems talk to computers online in a fashion that is understandable and accepted by other systems.
This whitepaper contains a review of two books and a discussion of web
standards, including CSS and XHTML, and some known problems associated
with deploying CSS-based sites. Most already know that the World Wide
Web Consortium (W3C) is the international standards organization which
recommends how the Web should work and how web pages should be coded
for usability and accessibility. These recommendations are then born
into standards as the W3C’s member organizations take the new
suggestions to the rest of the world and also try to apply it
internally. The W3C is led by Tim Berners-Lee himself, and contributing
organizations number about 428 including giants like Microsoft, Adobe,
Macromedia (now owned by Adobe), Apple, Motorola, Oracle, Pitney Bowes,
as well as a number of smaller companies.
A review of two books
Increasingly, because of the move toward adherence to standards, and requests for companies creating browsers to show the same code the same way regardless of platform or version, it seems we are living the next phase in the evolution of the Web. Therefore there’s a plethora of books on the subjects of Web design using CSS and Web standards, and on avoiding the pitfalls associated with this. I’ve reviewed two books here. They are:
Next, we’ll visit CSS hacks. A quick Google of this topic will bring up
numerous up-to-date pages on the subject, but we’ll include a brief
list of some interesting hacks here.
<!--[if IE]><link rel="stylesheet" href="../ie-only.css" type="text/css" /><![endif]-->
Next, we’re going to move to the subject of getting your code XHTML compliant. The natural question is, “Who Cares? Why does it matter?” Well, there are a number of reasons to write valid, well-formed XHTML, but the few that stand out are:
Those are the rules, and they’re not very hard to follow. They just need a little getting used to, and if you use a coding program which helps write the tags for you, make sure you switch its workings in the options menu to write them in lowercase.
We’ll end the discussion here. There’s enough here for anyone who’s
starting to look at font-end Web standards to launch into their own
research on the Web or to grab either of the two books I reviewed
earlier. At this point, we’ll wrap up with a brief “state of the union”
future commentary, or “how it might work.”
It used to be bleak because regardless of how entrenched Web
technologies had become, publishers — those responsible for
disseminating the world’s knowledge in various forms — could not see
the importance of “doing things right” on the web, or of the importance
of lean code, or of following any kind of Web standards. This kind of
thinking has darkened the prospect of transitioning to a new revenue
model for many years and has lost businesses millions, though the light
is finally coming through I think. Some publishers are now moving in
the right direction, recognizing the importance of Web standards and
other issues, albeit some still going there kicking and screaming. At
the center of the problem was the lack of understanding or support for
reviewing the entire production system starting with the writers and
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