Why I use web standards

January 17th, 2011

Today I got round to thinking, ‘why do I code with web standards?’

I thought back to my lecturers at BU advocating it, nope been doing it before then, what about A level ICT? Before then even… GCSE AICT? Maybe not quite that far back but I think I’ve cracked it.

I’ve been coding with web standards ever since I’ve been using Opera (in my case version 6 way back in 2004). When you right-click a page you see something called ‘Validate’, I hadn’t seen this in other browsers so naturally I was intrigued and clicked it, some weird new tab opened informing me it found that x page had 6353 errors; I was intrigued enough to find out more.

It didn’t take long for me to start doing this on every page I visited and being fairly appalled at the amount of sites that didn’t validate (still am in fact, but the situation’s improving).

You would’ve thought then that I’d know all about Zeldman and his army of followers but in truth I’ve only just got round to reading his seminal Designing with Web Standards and must say that it is enjoyable, if a little basic at times. A lot of it refreshes things I’ve read online about why to write valid (and semantic) code: accessibility, leaner, better cross-browser compatibility, graceful degradation, makes you feel good. What reason is there not to do it?

So thank you Opera; you set me on the right path in my web infancy.

About HTML. There is 1 comment.


Chris Mills said:
Hi Tim! Chris Mills here from Opera – I enjoyed reading your post, and as you can probably imagine, given the nature of my employer, it was heartwarming to read how our browser got you into web standards I like the fact that you’re using HTML5 for your site too. You should probably use
for the main areas of the page, and you coujld use an
to surround all the main contents, as it’s a single syndicatable item. The markup looks pretty clean – you should get rid of
tags wherever possible, and presentational stuff like , and your page really needs an

for a11y and SEO purposes, but on the whole it’s not bad at all. Of course, I can imagine that a lot of this is probably due to WP being a bit of a pain to hack Nice one.