Why are standards important?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by bjg, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. bjg

    bjg Guest

    ?
    bjg, Feb 13, 2004
    #1
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  2. bjg

    rf Guest

    "bjg" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > ?


    If you need to ask the question you will not understand the answer.
    rf, Feb 13, 2004
    #2
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  3. bjg

    bjg Guest

    "rf" <> wrote in message
    news:6h_Wb.54043$...
    >
    > "bjg" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > ?

    >
    > If you need to ask the question you will not understand the answer.


    The reason I ask, is I have always seen standards as important for my own
    personal projects, but how do you convince your boss that? I work for a
    large well-known online retailer, and soon we are re-designing the site.. I
    have seen the other people's work who are helping and they don't even care
    about standards. Time = money and it takes time to make a site comply with
    standards, especially if you're a messy coder who has no idea.

    By question would have been better phrased, as what are some reasons why
    standards are important for a high-traffic website? "If it looks good in IE,
    who cares" seems to be the attitude at work. I don't think I can persuade
    them with moral arguments...

    Any ideas?
    bjg, Feb 13, 2004
    #3
  4. "bjg" <bjgatinternodedotondotnet> skrev i melding
    news:402c8986$...
    > "rf" <> wrote in message
    > news:6h_Wb.54043$...
    > >
    > > "bjg" <> wrote in message
    > > news:...
    > > > ?

    > >
    > > If you need to ask the question you will not understand the answer.

    >
    > The reason I ask, is I have always seen standards as important for my own
    > personal projects, but how do you convince your boss that? I work for a
    > large well-known online retailer, and soon we are re-designing the site..

    I
    > have seen the other people's work who are helping and they don't even care
    > about standards. Time = money and it takes time to make a site comply with
    > standards, especially if you're a messy coder who has no idea.
    >
    > By question would have been better phrased, as what are some reasons why
    > standards are important for a high-traffic website? "If it looks good in

    IE,
    > who cares" seems to be the attitude at work. I don't think I can persuade
    > them with moral arguments...
    >
    > Any ideas?


    "What if they made American roads only for Chrysler cars?"

    There's a good start for a discussion whether or not you should comply to
    standards. Microsoft has been in "trouble" before regarding the monopoly
    they've set up in the latest Windows versions. Guess what happens then?

    Also, you lose the customers who prefer to use Opera, Netscape,
    Mozilla/Firefox, Safari and whatnot as their browser, simply because it
    looks ugly (which makes the visitor think your company is less trustworthy).

    Personally, I've made sure my new corporate website complied to standards,
    and I even made it just as look good in Internet Explorer, Netscape
    Navigator, Opera and Lynx. I know, I've checked.

    --
    Kim André Akerø
    -
    (remove NOSPAM to contact me directly)
    Kim André Akerø, Feb 13, 2004
    #4
  5. bjg

    Cameron Guest

    bjg wrote:
    > "rf" <> wrote in message
    > news:6h_Wb.54043$...
    >
    >>"bjg" <> wrote in message
    >>news:...
    >>
    >>>?

    >>
    >>If you need to ask the question you will not understand the answer.

    >
    >
    > The reason I ask, is I have always seen standards as important for my own
    > personal projects, but how do you convince your boss that? I work for a
    > large well-known online retailer, and soon we are re-designing the site.. I
    > have seen the other people's work who are helping and they don't even care
    > about standards. Time = money and it takes time to make a site comply with
    > standards, especially if you're a messy coder who has no idea.
    >
    > By question would have been better phrased, as what are some reasons why
    > standards are important for a high-traffic website? "If it looks good in IE,
    > who cares" seems to be the attitude at work. I don't think I can persuade
    > them with moral arguments...
    >
    > Any ideas?
    >
    >


    Because IE isn't the only browser that people use and IE has, or at
    least had bugs that allow for sloppy markup, so a site will look fine in
    IE but not in other browsers that actually conform to the W3C's
    standards, and in reponce to your comment about time = money, a pro web
    developer shouldn't take ages to write markup that is standards
    compliant, I don't do it as a job (Unfortunately) but I can write
    standards compliant (X)HTML that validates first time.

    ~Cameron
    Cameron, Feb 13, 2004
    #5
  6. "bjg" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > ?


    One conforms to standards if one wishes the code to be interoperable.

    - Standards compliant code is accessible by any end user application, which
    supports the used standard.
    - Standards compliant code remains servicable for as long as the standard
    exists, not until the next incremental update of the most popular browser.
    - Standards compliant code is readable by other coders than just you.
    Woolly Mittens, Feb 13, 2004
    #6
  7. bjg

    rf Guest

    "bjg" <bjgatinternodedotondotnet> wrote in message
    news:402c8986$...
    > "rf" <> wrote in message
    > news:6h_Wb.54043$...
    > >
    > > "bjg" <> wrote in message
    > > news:...
    > > > ?

    > >
    > > If you need to ask the question you will not understand the answer.


    > By question would have been better phrased, as what are some reasons why
    > standards are important for a high-traffic website? "If it looks good in

    IE,
    > who cares" seems to be the attitude at work. I don't think I can persuade
    > them with moral arguments...


    A much better phrasing of the question :)

    Lets expand it to three things: Standards; Browser compliance; Browser error
    correction.

    There are N browsers out there. All of them adhere to some of the standards.
    If you code exactly to the standards then there is a chance your page will
    be viewable by all of those browsers and a greater chance that it will be
    viewable with browsers to come. Those bits of the standards that the
    browsers do not understand will not matter as they should [1] ignore those
    bits. The page will still be viewable.

    If you do not code to the standards then it is guaranteed that one of the
    browsers out there will get upset, one way or another.

    Browsers comply with the standards to varying degrees. If you stay within
    the standards you will find most browsers get upset about something or
    other[2]. You may just have to test your page in all browsers you choose to
    support [1] and find a subset of the standards that works for you.

    You will also find that certain browsers (specifically IE) have extensions
    which are totally outside the standard. Use these extensions and you
    guarantee that your page will break in all other browsers.

    Browsers have error correction, unfortunately, IE being by far the worst
    [3]. Throw any mangled bit of HTML at IE and it will make an attempt to
    decide what you are talking about. Other browsers are a bit more discerning,
    they will simply ignore your bad HTML. Code to the standards and you do not
    fall into the error recovery guessing that browsers indulge in and, in the
    case of IE, you will no fall into sloppiness complacency which you trust the
    browser to correct.

    [1] Look at what Netscape 4.x ( a dead browser) does with CSS. It does not
    ignore what it does not understand, it guesses and gets it horribly wrong. A
    browser to be avoided at all costs.

    [2] IE5 and the broken box model.

    [3] I spend most of my life coding in C++. With C++ There is <em>*NO*</em>
    error recovery. If I make even the simplest of syntax errors, like missing a
    ; at the end of a statement then the compiler says: Hey, I'm not going to
    compile this, code this correctly, it's your code, *you* get it right.

    Cheers
    Richard.
    rf, Feb 13, 2004
    #7
  8. bjg

    Steve R. Guest

    bjg wrote in message ...
    > "If it looks good in IE, who cares" seems to be the attitude at work.


    That's the policy of the company that I work within. They cater for the
    *majority* as in many walks of life.
    Steve R., Feb 13, 2004
    #8
  9. bjg

    Steve R. Guest

    Kim André Akerø wrote in message ....
    > Also, you lose the customers who prefer to use Opera, Netscape,
    > Mozilla/Firefox, Safari and whatnot as their browser, simply because it
    > looks ugly (which makes the visitor think your company is less

    trustworthy).

    My company's policy is that it's only *nerds* who use browsers other than
    IE, so they don't give a damn about Opera etc., users
    Steve R., Feb 13, 2004
    #9
  10. bjg

    Cameron Guest

    Steve R. wrote:
    > bjg wrote in message ...
    >
    >>"If it looks good in IE, who cares" seems to be the attitude at work.

    >
    >
    > That's the policy of the company that I work within. They cater for the
    > *majority* as in many walks of life.
    >
    >


    It is indeed shameful that companies adopt this attitude, and I aren't
    going to reboot my PC, boot up winodws and open up IE just to view x
    website I'm going to go find another website that actually works
    properly in all browsers, Windows is there for one reason only and that
    is if the desire to play morrowind or one of a few other windows
    requiring games arrises, and I haven't even booted up windows for about
    2 months.

    ~Cameron
    Cameron, Feb 13, 2004
    #10
  11. Steve R. wrote:
    > bjg wrote in message ...
    >
    >>"If it looks good in IE, who cares" seems to be the attitude at work.

    >
    >
    > That's the policy of the company that I work within. They cater for the
    > *majority* as in many walks of life.


    Eat shit - billions of flies can't be wrong!


    Matthias
    Matthias Gutfeldt, Feb 13, 2004
    #11
  12. bjg

    Cameron Guest

    Steve R. wrote:
    > Kim André Akerø wrote in message ....
    >
    >>Also, you lose the customers who prefer to use Opera, Netscape,
    >>Mozilla/Firefox, Safari and whatnot as their browser, simply because it
    >>looks ugly (which makes the visitor think your company is less

    >
    > trustworthy).
    >
    > My company's policy is that it's only *nerds* who use browsers other than
    > IE, so they don't give a damn about Opera etc., users
    >
    >


    I'm a geek and I don't use IE (There is a slight difference ;) ) and I'm
    really hoping your company doesn't sell PC components ;)

    ~Cameron
    Cameron, Feb 13, 2004
    #12
  13. Steve R. wrote:
    > Kim André Akerø wrote in message ....
    >> Also, you lose the customers who prefer to use Opera, Netscape,
    >> Mozilla/Firefox, Safari and whatnot as their browser, simply because
    >> it looks ugly (which makes the visitor think your company is less
    >> trustworthy).

    >
    > My company's policy is that it's only *nerds* who use browsers other
    > than IE, so they don't give a damn about Opera etc., users


    My company has a policy of accepting sales orders from anyone that has the
    funds regardless of the technology employed and their chosen method of
    payment without regard to race, religion, geography, political persuasion or
    sexual orientation.

    What do you sell? Would your management mind placing a sniffer on your site
    and redirecting the unwanted traffic for me - I'm sure I can find a suitable
    target.

    Toodle-pip.
    --
    William Tasso
    William Tasso, Feb 13, 2004
    #13
  14. bjg wrote:
    [snip]
    > The reason I ask, is I have always seen standards as important for my
    > own personal projects, but how do you convince your boss that? I work
    > for a large well-known online retailer, and soon we are re-designing
    > the site.. I have seen the other people's work who are helping and
    > they don't even care about standards. Time = money and it takes time
    > to make a site comply with standards, especially if you're a messy
    > coder who has no idea.
    >
    > By question would have been better phrased, as what are some reasons
    > why standards are important for a high-traffic website? "If it looks
    > good in IE, who cares" seems to be the attitude at work. I don't
    > think I can persuade them with moral arguments...


    Most people will probably answer this in relation to "what is out there". In
    other words, standards are how you ensure that what you do works with lots of
    browsers in lots of circumstances, some of which are still in the future. I
    won't argue with that - but I think such benefits of strict conformance to
    standards tends to be exaggerated. Popular browsers tend to be tolerant.
    Intolerant browsers will not become popular.

    My answer is very different. People developing anything need standards of
    *some* kind, else they are out of control. This is most obvious where more
    than one person is involved in a project, and/or the product has to be
    maintained in future, perhaps by different people. These standards could be
    established purely for the one project. Or they could be corporate standards.
    Or ... they could be external standards. *What* they are is the second
    decision - the first decision is to have standards at all. This is the
    difference between engineering and amateurism.

    Now, suppose you decide to have agreed standards for the project. (And surely
    it isn't *that* hard to agree that you need a statement of the form "this is
    what we can do, this is what we agree not to do"? If it *is* hard, you've
    already lost the argument - you have a totally different value-system from the
    others). What standards should you choose?

    My personal answer to that is "I'll use an externally-defined standard because
    in the long run it will save me a lot of effort". (I have chosen HTML4.01
    Strict & CSS1+2, but that is just my opinion). Advantages in using an external
    standard include:

    - I don't have to specify a standard - it is already specified.
    - I can be confident that all the bits were designed to work together
    reasonably well.
    - I am a little more confident that my pages will actually work in practice.
    - I am not breaking new ground - I'm letting others do that.
    - I can ask W3C for a quick check about whether I am maintaining my chosen
    standard - I don't need to devise a separate test, or "just hope".
    - I can expect to find components - eg. copy others' stuff, or buy stuff if
    necessary.
    - I can expect to be able to re-use stuff (skills, components, tools, etc) on
    other projects.
    - I could buy skills if necessary.
    - I can get help if necessary because there are lots of experts who know my
    standard.
    - I am more likely to find experts who are interested in helping me if they
    respect my choice.

    Note - every one of those is a personal advantage. There is no altruism there.
    I'm not out to protect the web, or win points in a mark-up competition. Just
    develop pages in a predictable, controlled, way. (Control includes cost, risk,
    and time).

    I think the bit about looking good in IE is somewhat different. In addition to
    choosing a standard, I *also* test against a set of browsers. But the logic
    there is different - I want my pages to look reasonable "out there". There is
    overlap - they are a little more likely to if I use standards. But I do keep
    the 2 topics separate in my mind.

    --
    Barry Pearson
    http://www.Barry.Pearson.name/photography/
    http://www.BirdsAndAnimals.info/
    http://www.ChildSupportAnalysis.co.uk/
    Barry Pearson, Feb 13, 2004
    #14
  15. On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 09:34:59 GMT, "rf" <> wrote:

    >Browsers have error correction, unfortunately, IE being by far the worst
    >[3]. Throw any mangled bit of HTML at IE and it will make an attempt to
    >decide what you are talking about.


    IE really lets you get away with murder. My colleage was creating a
    website, and he wrote (by mistake):

    <td style='border-top-style=solid'> [1]

    IE "assumed" what he wanted and applied the border to the top of the
    cell. Opera correctly ignored the rule, as it is invalid.

    Luckily he uses Opera himself, so he corrected his markup.

    To the OP: A good case you can make for writing to the standards is
    that it can help the site be accessible to those with disabilities. In
    many terrorities, sites that are inaccessible are considered illegal.
    Obviously standards compliance is not the be all and end all of an
    accessible site, but it will certainly help assistive technologies.

    [1] Before you ask, it *was* for tabular data!

    --
    David ( @priz.co.uk )
    David Mackenzie, Feb 13, 2004
    #15
  16. Jukka K. Korpela, Feb 13, 2004
    #16
  17. "bjg" <bjgatinternodedotondotnet> wrote:

    > "If it looks good in IE,
    > who cares" seems to be the attitude at work. I don't think I can
    > persuade them with moral arguments...


    Oh, why didn't you say _that_ in the first place (in the Subject line
    and in the body)?

    Pick up any page of the company's site, change the doctype to one that
    makes IE 6 go to "standard" mode, show the result and ask them: "When
    Microsoft takes the next move and turns the 'standard' mode the only
    one, or at least the default, what will happen to us?"

    (You may need to check this in advance. Some pages don't crash in the
    'standard' mode, so pick up another one.)

    If your conscience says that this is not morally quite acceptable,
    since you are fooling them a bit (Microsoft probably won't do that, at
    least in a few years), tell your conscience "OK, _you_ try it next".

    You might also try the same by disabling JavaScript and telling that
    according to yet unconfirmed news, hundreds of leading companies
    worldwide are taking an action that will make company firewalls filter
    out all JavaScript due to exceptionally severe security holes detected
    in IE's JavaScript support, holes that have been claimed by Microsoft
    not to exist, so there are no patches to come.

    --
    Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
    Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html
    Jukka K. Korpela, Feb 13, 2004
    #17
  18. bjg

    rf Guest

    "David Mackenzie" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Fri, 13 Feb 2004 09:34:59 GMT, "rf" <> wrote:
    >
    > >Browsers have error correction, unfortunately, IE being by far the worst
    > >[3]. Throw any mangled bit of HTML at IE and it will make an attempt to
    > >decide what you are talking about.

    >
    > IE really lets you get away with murder. My colleage was creating a
    > website, and he wrote (by mistake):
    >
    > <td style='border-top-style=solid'> [1]
    >
    > IE "assumed" what he wanted and applied the border to the top of the
    > cell.


    Yep. IE freely allows 'HTML' syntax spread over into CSS. There was a post
    here earlier today, something like:

    selector
    {
    color: red;
    background="blue"
    }

    where the OP was wondering why it did not work in all browsers

    > Opera correctly ignored the rule, as it is invalid.


    If only all browsers would refuse to display invalid HTML. <dreams/>

    Error correction has bread a generation if bloody lazy coders.

    Cheers
    Richard.
    rf, Feb 13, 2004
    #18
  19. bjg

    rf Guest

    "Jukka K. Korpela" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns948E88F505A87jkorpelacstutfi@193.229.0.31...
    > "rf" <> wrote:
    >
    > >> ?

    > >
    > > If you need to ask the question you will not understand the answer.
    > >

    >
    > There was no question, just a question mark.


    In your typical pedantic mode you have of course chosen to ignore the fact
    that the question was posed in the subject line [1] (which I agree it should
    not be). I can only assume that you think that your post here might be in
    some way a lesson to the newbies. If so, where is the actual lesson? You
    should have at last followed up the above remark with a diatribe describing
    how to post to usenet in particular and to the world in general. You are
    slipping Korpela.

    Here, I'll copy/paste the actual question down here for you:
    Why are standards important?

    Now, where is your answer?

    [1] If you did not see the subject line then <sarcasm> get a better
    newsreader </sarcasm>
    rf, Feb 13, 2004
    #19
  20. bjg

    Whitecrest Guest

    In article <402c8ee7$1@proxy.>, says...
    > > The reason I ask...

    > "What if they made American roads only for Chrysler cars?"


    A better analogy would have been "what if they build roads for everyone
    but Chrysler owned by people that refuse to use air conditioning."

    > Personally, I've made sure my new corporate website complied to standards..


    And which one would that be? I would like to see a "corporate" site
    that complies with standards. (I mean large corporation like the one you
    mentioned in your statement, Chrysler)

    --
    Whitecrest Entertainment
    www.whitecrestent.com
    Whitecrest, Feb 13, 2004
    #20
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