John Dowdell of Macromedia has discussed this post at si-blog on use of web standards. JD doesn’t seem to get it. JD, what’s not to understand? Simon’s talking about adopting a process whereby rendered HTML:
- meets W3C standards for markup (preferably a flavor of XHTML)
- uses CSS to separate content from appearance
- meets WAI standards for accessibility
- meets accepted levels of usability
Maybe Simon hasn’t made himself clear enough, but I certainly got what he was saying. The known, accepted and proven benefits of web standards compliance are manifold, and I don’t need to go into them here. Suffice it to say that in my crew (who are all techie CF coders), generating non-standards compliant HTML just doesn’t cut it.
Nor does it cut it for the designers we contract in to build web site skins for us. We have a very strict set of minimum skin design guidelines we impose upon them:
- all code to validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional or XHTML 1.0 Strict
- all layout and design code to reside in CSS only, with CSS to validate
- CSS’ to be prepared for screen and print
- all designs to meet WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Priority 2 Checklist points
We impose the same rules upon ourselves, including using Sean Corfield’s ColdFusion MX 6.1 Coding Standards. It makes our development lives immensely easier when everybody’s working to the same set of rules, those rules make practical sense and the quality of our end product is higher.
To my mind web standards compliance is really all about three things – quality, consistency and cross-platform usability.