Why WebStandards Matter

I just revisited “Why Web Standards Matter (Case Study)”, that I wrote on the background of a customer problem back in 2006. The points are actually relevant event with the more recent and faster browser versions that we have today.

I did a small change to express my opinion better. Changed “JavaScript should generally be avoided” to “Don’t use JavaScript for general page layout rendering”.

Here is the modified advice from the article:

Long-term findings

  • Don’t use JavaScript for general page layout rendering. Think really really hard if it can be done without JavaScript. One example: Print should be done with CSS
  • If there is no way around it, use standard JavaScript libraries were browser bugs, etc are hidden for the programmer
  • Tables used for layout are evil. Use tables for table-based content ONLY
  • HTML code is really messy and hard to maintain. Should be cleaned up to avoid similar situations in the future. Clean up nested tables, table cells with transparent gifs. Use CSS where appropriate could shave up to 50-70% of HTML footprint
  • Many HTML validation errors. Code improperly nested, forgotten end-tags: Ideally, the pages should have no validation errors. It’s an achievable work worth the effort and very educational way of working with the code

Long-term benefits

In general, several benefits could be gained by raising the knowledge of HTML, CSS, Javascript, web standards, and browser issues.

  • Include easier maintenance
  • Lower risk of change
  • Lower risk of browser incompatibilities
  • Lower risk of browser crashes

Read article: Why Web Standards Matter (Case Study)

2 Responses to “Why WebStandards Matter”

  1. Mailand Says:

    Hehe – just revisited an old client’s website. It’s still holding up using my very custom JS functions to set up the Outlook-ish layout.

    I will now reveal the name – however it is related to the danish financial sector. :-)

    I couldn’t agree more with your points – but with ajax-heavy sites as e.g. Facebook setting the standard I’m afraid we’ll only see more sites relying on JS to load the initial layout

  2. Peter Says:

    Could you be more specific on this?

    “Tables used for layout are evil”

    Can you please list the cons by using tables for layout?