posted on:March 22, 2008
5 Most Common Web Standards Misconceptions
When starting to get interested in web standards, you hear a lot of buzzwords, a lot of theories about what web standards are… Here are some most common misconceptions.
1. Web Standards = Validation
Markup and CSS validation has an important role. It can be of great assistance while you’re learning, because W3C validator not only points out the errors in your code, you can also learn how to fix them.
However, passing validation alone doesn’t mean that you’re page is built according to web standards.
I once compared validation and spell checker. If you run this sentence through spell checker
Dog fox brown lazy over jump.
it will find no errors. But does that sentence make sense? No. Similar thing happen to your document when you’re not using proper html elements for structuring your markup and not paying attention the the logical flow.
I can’t stress enough the importance of semantic markup.
2. Web Standards = CSS
CSS is a style sheet. It is a (powerful) tool that we use to make things look good. And yes, it is very important part of web standards.
But, take a second and look at any table-based markup nightmare of a site and you’ll see that they all use CSS in one way or another. Does that make those site web standards compliant?
Technology doesn’t make web standards. Even CSS doesn’t. It’s how you use it.
3. Web Standards = No Tables
When switching over from table based layouts to css based layouts, many developers refuse to use tables in any case. “Tables are evil” they say.
To me, none of the html elements are evil. They were all invented by very smart people and each of those elements has its purpose. HTML tables, for instance, are the best choice if you have to display tabular data, such as calendar…
4. Web Standards = Divs
Overusing divs is something that often happens to people switching from table-based coders to css rookies. I went through that phase myself. What happens is, you simply replace tables with divs and that’s it. You end up with the similar complex and unreadable markup as you had before, plus your css file grows several times.
It’s not just the container elements that you have to change, it’s the entire approach. It’s quite a path to walk, but it’s the good path 🙂
5. Web Standards = No IE
The idea of web standards is delivering cross platform and cross browser solutions. In IE’s case we need to deliver web standards to non standards compliant browser. But it’s our job.
Do yourself a favor and don’t ignore IE debugging when developing your site because your client use it for sure. Sooner or later you will have to do it.
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