Last week was great for chatter — not just about history or U.S. politics, though there was plenty of chatter about those things as well.
Yes, folks, it’s official: validation is a must-have, as explained with a few friendly caveats in the latest Web Standards Project Opinion.
In summary, it appears that you don’t like it, and we don’t like it, but there are still many obstacles to to creating a standards friendly web. Valid markup, and tools that produce valid markup, are still the exception and not the rule. Standards friendly design and development techniques are gaining currency, but haven’t yet come into the mainstream. Most importantly, complaining about the obstacles, or making excuses around them, are sorry substitutes for overcoming them.
For six years, the Web Standards Project has been available to those interested in applying standards toward making site implementation a straightforward affair, and leaving the hard parts to intanglible points of interest, such as user experience, return on investment, and aesthetics.
That availability is not something we see changing anytime soon.
Another consequence of last week’s dialogues is that they exposed a misconception held by many of those who are aware of our efforts.
Put simply, the only positions endorsed by the Web Standards Project as a body are expressed in our press releases and Opinions, which go live with the approval (sometimes reluctant) of every Project participant with an interest.
Everything else you see on this site is published on the initiative of a single author, or perhaps a small group, possibly over the objections of other Project participants (a rare outcome, but not unheard of, either).
Does it seem like anarchy? On occasions few and far between, it is.
The only lines we toe are the ones we draw together, always with an eye on the practical.
That may seem to contradict the stance taken in the previously linked Opinion, but the simple fact of the matter is that valid markup is not a challenge for developers who have the time, patience, and skill to coax it out of their tools — coaxing that becomes easier with practice.
With too many tools, it’s the coaxing that’s the hard part.
That, however, is another battle for another day…
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