[thelist] Are you designing with CSS and web standards?

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Fri Mar 11 21:39:57 CST 2005

> The entire discussion about web standards I think is overblown.  The goal
> is to get some information you have, onto the browser window of your
> visitor.  Whether you use straight HTML or XHTML or XML or HTML with CSS is
> not so important as the final result.   It's what we've all been doing for
> years.

Would you create a website where each page is a gif image? How about
pdf? Flash? Etc.

You are correct to an extent, because we web developers (engineers in
general) love to try to optimize things that don't need optimizing.
Sure, it might save us 5kB/request to use a standards-based layout,
but unless we're slashdot, it probably doesn't make any difference in
our ending bandwidth bill.

I will refrain from getting into a standards argument, because google
can help you find millions of them archived in hundreds of lists'
archives. The point is: there *are* benefits, and in 95% of cases at
least one of them will be of marginal benefit. The push towards
standards is basically the web developer community saying: we want
future WYSIWYG editors and text editors to give us tools to produce
code that takes advantage of current technology, because it would be
beneficial. It's the community saying: if someone wants to learn
markup, they should start with the markup of current standards. It's
the community saying: if a current developer has time on her hands and
is looking for something new to learn, here's something she might want
to take a look at. I don't think anyone is saying: LEARN STANDARDS OR
DIE!!! It's just an acknowledgement that the current state of the Web
is such that the marginal benefit of these tools outweighs the
marginal cost.

Probably the best argument out there is that you rarely see someone
who has truly made the jump to standards come back and say "You know,
that really wasn't worth it. I'm going back to font tags."

Matt Warden
Miami University
Oxford, OH, USA

This email proudly and graciously contributes to entropy.

More information about the thelist mailing list