The importance of standards

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Nat at O’Reilly Radar writes on the importance of standards in web page design, making me very happy. He wrote:

The point of the standards is not just to ensure that browsers can display the pages. The standards also ensure the pages form a platform that can be built upon; a hacked-together platform leads to brittle and fragile extensions.

That’s the problem with some of the Ajax libraries, such as Dojo: a belief that some of these standards aren’t all that important and can be disregarded. A page that uses standard CSS and XHTML can easily incorporate change, as well as integrate new functionality. The use of standard XHTML and CSS is never going to go out of style.

The one paragraph with which I disagree, somewhat, is:

Between Google and Yahoo!’s work on in-page widgets, the spreading effect of microformats, and the rise of the importance of accessibility, we’re finally getting rewards for standards-compliance.

The in-page widgets from Yahoo and Google are nifty, but I don’t see them as an important end-result of standards compliance. I do agree, hugely, on the growing acknowledgement of the importance of accessibility, but microformats, (no offense Kevin), are largely unknown, and most are not based on an independent standards effort I’m aware of.

Aside from this one paragraph, which struck me as a bit buzz wordy, overall I can agree, strongly, with the gist of the post.

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