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Web Design Standards February 20, 2010

Posted by regan222 in Computers and Internet.
Finally, the Flanagan web site is w3c compliant.  Every page except the "Listen Online" page is perfectly complaint with xHTML 1.0 standards.  Is this really important?  The "Listen" page is non-compliant only in the areas where Flash video is embedded.  It is just too much work to modify the code that youtube.com generates to make that code complaint.  Every browser in the world seems to be able to hit youtube.com so I am guessing it won’t hurt.  I am also guessing that 99% of all web pages on the Internet today are not compliant in some form or fashion and so I wonder if I just wasted several hours of effort making what I build fit the standard.  I thought I would share some of the things I have learned in this experience.
  • xHTML does not recognize capitol letters.  Some people have a terrible habit of clicking on the CAPS LOCK button and leaving it on.  Not only does it represent shouting in email and text but it REALLY throws off the render engine in a web browser.  All tags must be lower case.
  • There should be NO format information in your web page.  If you are still using <center> or <bold> you need to join the 21st century.
  • Cascading style sheets are the only acceptable way to format a web page.  See #2.
  • You must be able to interact with the page using any browser you can think of.  Opera, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome should have no trouble digesting and rendering what you code. 
You need to know how to use comments targeted for IE in order to make a style sheet for it and one for everything else.  Design your page for a compliant browser like Firefox.  See what IE makes of your design, and then build another style sheet that works with IE.  Pay particular attention to position and spacing.  IE counts differently than everyone else.  Use conditional comments like this…
                 <!–[if IE]>
        declare specific style sheet for IE
IE will reconize the declaration and allow it to replace the style sheet that works for everything else.  As long as you only format using the style sheets, every page will look good to any brower.  Remember, most people STILL use IE even though it is not complaint.


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