The best thing about standards

I'm not going to be blogging now for the next two weeks as I have a few projects which need my undivided attention. So here is a wee competition, just for fun... (Competition now closed)

Competition time

I'm not going to be blogging now for the next two weeks as I have a few projects which need my undivided attention. But rather than let rumours of my untimely death circulate, I thought that I would let you know and leave you with a wee competition, just for fun.

I have cleared it with the Boss (wife) and I'm giving away one of these fantastic And All That Malarkey style model Lambretta scooters for what I think is the best answer to...

The best thing about web standards is ____________

Answers can be serious or funny, technical, a technique, or even a person. Infact anything goes, I will be announcing the winner in a couple of weeks. See you then.

The result

Great answers (mostly Pete Smith ;) ). And the winner is... (cue drum-roll)... Mike Abbott for this. It is true what he says... Send me your address Mike and get riding!


  1. #1 On October 8, 2004 10:06 PM Kevin Tamura said:

    In a team meeting: having one of the deveopers proclaim, after looking at the source of a web site you've designed and coded, that that is the way markup is suppose to look like. Slean enough to eat of of.


  2. #2 On October 8, 2004 10:24 PM James Adams said:

    is Accessibility and Usability! Why even bother doing what we are all doing unless ALL people can benefit from it. Standards compliant sites are cheap to maintain, have a longer lifespan, make a site easier to find in search engines, yadda-yadda-yadda.

  3. #3 On October 8, 2004 10:36 PM Manzell B said:

    The best thing about web standards is...

    It's a great way to talk over the heads of people who will soon be rejecting your proposals. All this, and because you already know non-standard, non-accessible markup, you didn't have to spend that much time learning about something your clients won't care about anyway.

    In all seriousness, there's nothing great about web standards. We should take standards for granted. Otherwise, what kind of standards are they?

  4. #4 On October 8, 2004 11:29 PM Jon B said:

    The best thing about web standards is ...

    the feeling of righteousness that follows from doing something 'right'.

    ...and all the sexy ladies that throw themselves at you obviously.

    The worst thing about web standards is ...


  5. #5 On October 9, 2004 12:13 AM Luc said:

    The best thing about them is that they let you use other browsers but IE. How did i come to this conclusion? By reading the following conversation between a developer and his boss on Zeldmans’ Daily Report archives:

    BOSS: “Our redesign budget is x Canadian dollars and I want the site to only work in IE.”
    DEVELOPER: “Um, boss? If we use web standards our site’ll work in any browser. Won’t cost a dime more and won’t take any more time to build.”
    BOSS: “Hey, hot shot, whose name do you see at the top of this org chart?”
    DEVELOPER: “Yours, boss.”
    BOSS: “And what does that make me?”
    DEVELOPER: “That makes you the boss, boss.”
    BOSS: “And what does the boss want?”
    DEVELOPER: “You want a site that will fail for anyone who isn’t using IE.”
    BOSS: “I’m glad we’re clear on that.”
    DEVELOPER: “You’re the boss.”

    I know it's not my original contribute to this contest but thought it was funny and holds a lot of truth about standards :-)

  6. #6 On October 9, 2004 01:30 AM Jack said:

    The best thing about web standards is...

    ...yelling, insulting and belittling everyone who doesn't use them and wielding the validator as an instrument of ego.

  7. #7 On October 9, 2004 02:39 AM Rob said:

    that it gave us an alternative to building sites in Flash.

  8. #8 On October 9, 2004 04:40 AM cgriego said:

    The best thing about web standards is that they hold the first true glimmer of light for the spirit of the world wide web. They are the gate to a road to a massive interconnected web of information available to anyone regardless of location, time, ability, device, software, or circumstances.

  9. #9 On October 9, 2004 06:20 AM Herrin said:

    ... that after spending every waking moment learning every nuance that your brain can decipher, spending hundreds of dollars on books discussing them, following 286 blogs a day evangelizing them, comment flooding the IE blog with 'concerns' about them and starting your own website to have 'elegant and thoughtful' discussions on the merits of standards, your mom still tells everyone that you fix computers and your friends & co-workers don't understand 'what the big deal is'. Yet you still believe and hope that tomorrow, you can sway the opinion of one person.

  10. #10 On October 9, 2004 06:57 AM Tom said:

    ... how they give every programmer a base to start with. When a standard is used, the same basic XHTML page can be styled for the web, styled for print, styled for handhelds, mined for information to be used elsewhere, and is by its nature structured enough to quickly adapt for other uses nobody has thought of yet (but are thinking of every day). Web standards provide a built-in future-proofing against the changes in the Internet that have yet to be made.

  11. #11 On October 9, 2004 08:40 AM Sunny said:

    The best thing abt web standards is that its half the cost and twice the fun.

  12. #12 On October 9, 2004 10:23 AM James Stevens said:

    getting it right for the whole world to share.

  13. #13 On October 9, 2004 10:39 AM Dave Foy said:

    ...that it gives me a distinct edge over the old-school, local web developer competition : )

    Hmmm... do prospective local clients take a bloated, inaccessible, table-laden website (complete with ubiquitous browser-crashing 'virtual tour' that requires a 10 minute plugin download)...

    or do they plump for a lean, clean, fast-downloading, accessible to all, usable by everyone, search-engine friendly, super duper sparkling clean website from me? Weee heeee!!!!

    Obviously not the only good thing about standards, but a great reason for me.

  14. #14 On October 9, 2004 10:50 AM Andy said:

    ...the way they taste.

  15. #15 On October 9, 2004 11:27 AM Jeremy Freeman said:

    The best thing about web standards is talking bullshit to clients who think you're offering the best thing since sliced bread.

  16. #16 On October 9, 2004 11:51 AM Gfunk said:


  17. #17 On October 9, 2004 01:14 PM Laura Carlson said:

    1. Standards can lower costs by easing maintenance and bandwidth use.
    a. Standards improve maintainability.
    b. Page sizes are smaller, quicker to load.
    c. Markup is minimal.
    d. It is easier to read the source.
    e. It is easier to make site wide changes.
    f. Development time is usually much less than with non-standard methods.
    g. Redesigns are simpler. You don't have to go back to square one.
    2. Standards are search-engine-friendly.
    3. Standards help accessibility.
    a. Pages are inherently more accessibility.
    b. Any accessibility issues are easier to handle.
    c. Assistive options like style switchers can be incorporated.
    4. Standards supports device independence.
    a. Content is available to more browsers and devices.
    b. Content is accessible to older user agents.
    c. Standards aids in graceful degrade.
    d. Pages look great in standards compliant browsers.
    e. Printer specific options are possible without requiring new pages.
    5. Standards are forward compatible.

    Instead of nesting things inside other things, and having sixteen tables just to get the page to lay out, you can use actual paragraph and heading elements, list elements instead of more tables, maybe a 'div' or two, and things like that. The life becomes incredibly easy.

  18. #18 On October 9, 2004 01:58 PM stuart said:

    ... just semantics

  19. #19 On October 9, 2004 03:09 PM John Oxton said:

    The best thing about web standards is ____________
    They go well with tea and biscuits
    Another excuse to spend at Amazon under the guise of buying the latest must have book, oh! and whilst I am here...
    Explaining to clients why you can't cut and paste Word documents straight into a web page.
    The savings on soap products and underwear usage due to sudden lack of interest in ablutions, real world social interaction and sleep.
    Please! my kids need Christmas presents
    Discovering that my feeble attempts at humour are in fact valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional!

  20. #20 On October 9, 2004 06:17 PM Marco said:

    ... we can make fun of those who do not comply.

  21. #21 On October 9, 2004 06:45 PM Aleksandar said:

    ...that I will have time to make love more.

  22. #22 On October 9, 2004 09:59 PM Neko said:

    The best thing about web standards is... ME WINNING A LAMBRETTA MODEL!!!!111

    That or porn.

    ~Neko :3

  23. #23 On October 10, 2004 04:55 AM Max said:

    Looks like Neko won! Bastard guy :-)

  24. #24 On October 10, 2004 07:42 AM Dave Foy said:

    Actually, spotting this and this brought back the old days with a shock - give me our brave new standards world anyday!

    BTW, what did happen to that guy? Was he a real doctor? He seemed to know what he was talking about.

  25. #25 On October 10, 2004 11:14 AM paul haine said:

    The best thing about web standards is...

    ...that it keeps Zeldman off the streets.

  26. #26 On October 10, 2004 02:29 PM cssaddict said:

    The best thing about web standards is Accessibility.

    When I say accessibility, I'm refering to the world of the disabled.

    Those who are blind and rely on speech engines, or can't see things if a page is designed in colors that are just plain outrageous. Fonts need to be able to be adjusted for those who have trouble seeing smaller fonts.

    Sure, its great to try to keep your page as you wish it to be designed, font size perfect to the design. But those who have the inability to see are going to head right out if they can't read what you have to say or see what you have to show them, or even sell to them.

    For some who are disabled, the web is their only contact with the outside world. We need to make sure that they can connect with the world, in any way that is possible for them. And if designing web pages that are totally accessable to them, then adhering to web standards is the way to go.

  27. #27 On October 10, 2004 03:40 PM Roger Johansson said:

    The best thing about web standards is...

    ...that they are our last, best hope to make the web what it was meant to be: a world-wide source of information, accessible to all, and not controlled by any single entity.

  28. #28 On October 10, 2004 05:54 PM Kevin Navia said:

    The best thing about web standards is...

    Not worrying about Netscape 4 anymore! Erm... is that IE now?

  29. #29 On October 10, 2004 07:15 PM Joe said:

    The best thing about web standards is never having to say you're sorry.

  30. #30 On October 10, 2004 07:39 PM Ian Fenn said:

    The best thing about web standards is...

    the feeling of sheer relief when you have a collection of coded pages that finally work!


  31. #31 On October 11, 2004 02:23 AM Jason Santa Maria said:

    The best thing about web standards is...

    The lack of full, consistent support across all browsers! No one would have anything to write about if everything was squeaky clean.

    "Hey, isn't it cool how I programmed this complicated multicolumn layout and it works in every browser?! I didn't even have to debug! Standards are so great, I am sooooo happy all the browser makers decided to go out, get a pint, and pool their resources for the good of web-kind."

  32. #32 On October 11, 2004 10:48 AM Loz Hygate said:

    The anagrams:

    The good

    The bad

    The Ugly

  33. #33 On October 11, 2004 01:58 PM Dave said:

    ... less aggravation.

  34. #34 On October 11, 2004 02:47 PM Pete Smith said:

    ... is that you can afford a �30 mullet of a haircut!!!

    (Or so i've been told... Mr Clarke!)

  35. #35 On October 11, 2004 03:47 PM Charlie Bass said: that there are so many to choose from

  36. #36 On October 11, 2004 08:32 PM Guilherme Mendes said:

    The best thing about web standards is the freedom.

  37. #37 On October 11, 2004 10:56 PM Sam Ryan said:

    their new-car smell

  38. #38 On October 12, 2004 10:10 AM Phunky said:

    in the words of Bart Simpson...

    The best thing about web standards is....

    ...Your Damned if you do!
    And your Damned if you dont!...

  39. #39 On October 12, 2004 12:22 PM Jonathan Holst said:

    The show-off ;-).

  40. #40 On October 12, 2004 01:54 PM Foamcow said:

    It means a proper designer can kick the "Your logo here - 5 pages for �50" merchants firmly in the back bedroom.

  41. #41 On October 12, 2004 08:08 PM KLS said:

    The best thing about web standards is _comforming out of the box._

    The best thing about web standards is _to rid of ugly sites!_

    The best thing about web standards is _it is revolutionary._

    The best thing about web standards is _that i want that damn cool scooter of yours!_

    You never said how many entries we're allowed to btw, heh. i really really want that scoot!!! pls pls pls!!! *crosses fingers*


  42. #42 On October 13, 2004 03:42 AM Luke Moulton said:

    ... all the exciting new toys we get to play with.

  43. #43 On October 13, 2004 10:54 AM Robert Wellock said:

    Nothing. (It's a rhetorical question).

  44. #44 On October 13, 2004 11:53 AM KLewis said:

    ...the chocolate topping

  45. #45 On October 14, 2004 10:31 AM Pete said:

    ... that spiders are safe in the knowledge that if they move to a new home, they will still be able to catch insects.

  46. #46 On October 14, 2004 04:40 PM Paul Nattress said:

    The best thing about web standards is...

    ... after more than a decade, people are finally doing it right.

    ("It" being web design/development btw.)

  47. #47 On October 14, 2004 04:59 PM Matt Wilcox said:

    Adopting them early and feeling smug later.

  48. #48 On October 14, 2004 06:04 PM Rakesh Pai said:

    Clean markup, that's universally readable. Everything else is a side effect.

  49. #49 On October 15, 2004 01:32 AM Root said:

    IMHO the best thing about standards is that most designers brought up with a graphical / code producing ethos can't understand the code.

  50. #50 On October 18, 2004 10:29 AM Alex Perez said:

    ... compatibility and unification, a way to make designers life a bit more easy.

  51. #51 On October 18, 2004 05:05 PM Magnus Haugsand said:

    ... hearing your boss say: "Wow, this website loads fast!" .

  52. #52 On October 18, 2004 06:19 PM Chad Smalley said:

    The best thing about web standards is that they made me fall in love with web design.

    Before I delved into CSS and XHTML I wasn't terribly interested in pursuing web design as a career. The old jumbled world of bloated HTML, Flash, Javascript and whatnot was just too much to absorb and I didn't know where to start. I couldn't seem to "gain purchase" on anything (to borrow a rock climbing phrase).

    Web standards have since brought everything into a fine, sensible and aesthetically pleasing focus. Now, in addition to being gainfully employed and loving what I do, I'm equipped with knowledge and skills that are unique among most of the web professionals I know. Friends who have been in the business many years longer than I have are now turning to me for advice!

    And I'm always hungry to learn more. I can't get enough. The future looks very bright indeed. :)

  53. #53 On October 18, 2004 09:30 PM cat daddio said: takes my mind off Leeds United's troubles.
    For a while anyway.

  54. #54 On October 19, 2004 11:31 AM Phunky said:

    Wrong side of Pudsey mate :) Come on Bradford :P

  55. #55 On October 19, 2004 06:44 PM Chris Mcdougall said:

    The best thing about web standards is...

    ...I'm not forced to use one particular browser, as any browser that adheres to standards should be able to display a standards driven page at least adequately.

    It's still a long way coming, but the gradual changes are apparent.

  56. #56 On October 20, 2004 02:30 PM Adrian Edworthy said:

    The best thing about web standards is the warm fuzzy feeling inside.

    Don't do drugs, do web standards.

  57. #57 On October 21, 2004 09:30 AM Mike Abbott said: meet such nice people

  58. #58 On October 21, 2004 08:22 PM knusperpixel said: more pixel.gif's

  59. #59 On October 22, 2004 11:20 PM Keith said:

    ...I know something Bill Gates and co. don't know.

  60. #60 On October 23, 2004 12:38 PM Andrei Smirnov said:

    The best thing about web standards is…

    …this exceptional feeling of responsible freedom and simple multiplicity they (web standards) provide.

  61. #61 On October 24, 2004 02:39 AM Derek Featherstone said:

    The best thing about web standards is...

    ... that once you get it, you don't ever look back
    ... that once you show someone else, they never look back.
    ... that every once in a while, when you show a company the power of standards, they say "Wow. We need our site to do that...". And you smile, knowing that everything you've been pushing for for the last XX years has been worthwhile.

  62. #62 On October 25, 2004 10:53 PM Marilyn Langfeld said:

    The best thing about web standards is:

    That warm feeling you get when you wake up at 4 am holding the latest Zeldman or Meyer book that you fell asleep wrestling with at 2am...

    And the way it makes the web finally make sense to a dyed-in-the-wool style-lovin' print designer, as well as that disabled friend who is now included in the game.