Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

Vincent Flanders writes on his Web Pages That Suck site that one of the biggest web mistakes of 2004 (actually, number three in the list) is the ‘mystical belief in the power of web standards, usability, and tableless CSS’. He writes:

There is nothing wrong with any of the above except they’re being touted by…guess who?…people who offer web design services specializing in…guess what?…Web Standards, Usability, and tableless CSS. These are simply tools. Remember, nobody gets excited about the tools used to build a house (“Please tell me what brand of hammers you used!”). People get excited about how the house looks and performs.

Here we go again.

There’s nothing ‘cool’ about web standards, per se, and it’s true that the CEO of a large company will usually care little about the tools used to create that good experience, but it is, nonetheless, important. You can save significant bandwidth and money (like 40,000 Gb per year). Who wouldn’t want to save money? That imaginary person building the house that Vincent refers to? Well, perhaps he spent a quarter of the money on the proverbial hammers and had enough left over to have a great house-warming party, who knows?

The point Vincent makes is essentially that some people are putting faith in web standards above many other things. It is not a magic bullet, though; using web standards is just one tool in your toolbox (let’s not get on to hammers again), but a very powerful one nonetheless.

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