about W3C Standards and all that other stuff?
(originaly written in 2004, but mainly still up-to-date and true.)
standards are totally useless because (a)
not everyone (or company) agrees with some
sits around telling everyone what to do
and (b) the core technologies keep changing
would you rather?
your website to work
a majority of browsers right now,
standards compliant and have parts
(or all) of
your website work for
but not these other browsers
that people will eventually
upgrade to the latest
browser while knowing all that extra time (like double) you spent on
making a standards compliant website
will be shot
out of the
window when the next new browser
forces the standards
to change anyway.
If your choice is #1, then you realize
the importance of "Getting
it to work, right now"
is more important than "hoping
it will work later"
and that standards committees are more
about things" than "doing things".
out history, innovation destroys the
e.g. so called standards,
or W3C's "recommendations".
Lots of so called experts, authors, and
gurus say that tables, when it was first
created, was never meant for layout. However,
using some simple and innovative thinking,
tables and nested tables can do everything
that has been asked for in web page design
and layout. And guess what? tables work
every time and in every browser. Can CSS-P say that, especially when it was supposed to replace tables? Nope, at least not yet or anytime time soon because every browser,even the new "standards compliant" ones still have those little quirks that again need to fixed by a css hack.
Wait a second, something (i.e. tables) that wasn't designed for layout still works, but something (i.e. css) that was supposed to designed for layout still doesn't. Ah, the irony!
Moreover, what good are standards
when browsers change
by adding new features every month?
every few months? Or, the needs and demands
of the users change with the latest
Ever heard of FIREFOX (and now in 2011, Chrome)? That's a new browser
that came out of nowhere. Could another
browser do the the same as well? Sure can,
just like Firefox did and so will its
incompatibilities with websites. Could
perhaps Opera find some other source of
revenue and thus make it's browser free?
Sure can. No one knows what the future
holds so how can anyone predict that this
version of CSS will be on the browsers
that's everyone is using?
Furthermore, any committee, such as W3C,
can slap a label on a document and call
it a "standard".
Standards are NOT the same as "compliance" or "conformance".
You should ask how many people have already "conformed" to
a certain spec and what's the chance
that others will conform to a certain
the future and how long will it take
IF they decide to comply?
long has web standards been around
5, 10, 15 years?
How long has Yahoo been around?
And are they standards compliant?
Let's see below who is standards
compliant after 10 or more years of
is a list of sites that are NOT W3C compliant
as checked by the W3C standards validator.
Yahoo.com = INVALID or Fatal Error,
Apple.com = INVALID or Fatal Error,
Amazon.com = INVALID or Fatal Error,
Google.com = INVALID or Fatal Error,
IBM.com = INVALID or Fatal Error,
SUN.com = INVALID or Fatal Error,
NEWS.com.com = INVALID or Fatal Error,
this site seems compliant.....now
let's see the R.O.I.)
(2nd Update, nope, not valid 900+ errors)
MapQuest.com = INVALID or Fatal Error,
USAToday.com = INVALID or Fatal Error or
no DOCTYPE specified,
MSNBC.com = can't even get a validation
nytimes.com = can't even get a validation
NetworkSolutions.com = INVALID or Fatal
Error or no DOCTYPE specified,
AOL.com = can't even get a validation response
ESPN.go.com = INVALID or Fatal Error or
no DOCTYPE specified,
msdn.Microsoft.com = INVALID or Fatal Error
or no DOCTYPE specified,
microsoft.com * Validates but use TABLES!!!!
Macromedia.com = INVALID or Fatal Error
or no DOCTYPE specified,
list goes on and on.
You can see for yourself here
at the W3C validation Service
- What happens if Microsoft
introduces a few new features to IE 7 that
Mozilla doesn't have OR won't support OR
that W3C won't call a standard?
Microsoft did that before and they will specifically go out of their way to
do that again and again to make sure their browser is NOT 100% standard-give-away-my-secret-sauce
to the open source world.
Microsoft will NEVER make their browser 100% W3C compliant as they always keep
adding new features. In fact, all of their products are not 100% standards
because they will always have something to add to the latest product.
And it's the same for Apple's browser, Safari. Steve Jobs understands business.
Do you see all parts of their Apple computer being made by 3rd party like you
what? you are going to see the same for their Safari browser with regards to
So you CSS purists can kiss Apple's Safari browser goodbye to your list of
compatible browsers as long as Steve Jobs is CEO of Apple. And you definitely
can say "hasta
la vista" to IE 7 as long as Mr. Bill and Mr. Ballmer are running the show.
Is AOL's browser compatible with other browsers? NO, NO, NO.
That's competition in a capitalist economy and you better get used to it.
- CURRENT STATE of STANDARDS
Here are some website that list the current
state of web standards.
As you can
see, standards are NOT going to happen if
you have to have a website that tracks "CHANGES"
to those "STANDARDS".
O X Y M O R O N.
DOT Html - Blooberry
Comprehensive history of Browsers, Html, CSS
and their compatibilities
List of bugs on CSS across browsers
(as you can see, standards never seem to happen in the real world)
Dreamweaver MX 2004 adds Cross Browser
As you can see Dreamweaver MX 2004
is adding support to validate across
Therefore, why do we need cross-browser
validation if there is going to be
standards anyway? Aren't all browsers
to get together, hold hands, and get
married to each other and live happily
Thus, standards are not going
to happen anytime
soon if one looks at Macromedia's
actions in developing cross-browser
validation support in MX 2004.
- Opera study: only 4.13% of the web is standards-compliant
The Web is fragmented, complex and always evolving.
By Ryan Paul - Ars Techna - October 15, 2008
- SECRET SAUCE versus CAFETERIA FOOD
Agreeing on standards is like McDonald's
and Burger King agreeing to have the same
type of french fry recipe. Where is the
sauce that makes you want
to go their restaurant? And where is the
reason why I should use one browser over
another? If all browsers are going to be
the same, why should anyone make or even
support another browser in the first place?