Strict as it Gets

Strict as it Gets

Google.com has 51 errors; CNN.com has 37 errors; SharpHue.com has 0 errors. These results were returned from the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) web site Validator tool.

So, what’s the big deal? Honestly, most web users don’t have to bother knowing. On the other hand, businesses that pay for web development should be happy to hear that thousands of dollars in future savings is in it for them! At Sharp Hue, “0 errors” displays our commitment to achieving the best in our industry. We believe in practicing standards and want our clients to know that we constantly strive to be The Experts.

The recently redesigned SharpHue.com was validated for XHTML 1.0 Strict – a standard that is as “strict as it gets”. Simply put, XHTML is an intelligent cross between XML and HTML designed to drive standards based development. Both formats are important to web developers and therefore web browsers like Internet Explorer and Firefox were designed to “parse” both formats. Unfortunately, this flexibility has led many web developers to play loosely by the rules. This practice, if not halted soon, will result in costly re-development of code to correctly display on mobile devices and get noticed by search engines.

It should be noted that the Web Browser is a complex piece of software and only a few firms (Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, etc.) play in this arena today because it is very expensive. One school of thought is to build a browser exactly by the “Book of Standards” (i.e. Firefox), and the other is to build a browser that intelligently deals with slipshod coding practices (i.e. Internet Explorer). The disparity is democratic in effect because it has allowed geeks and non-geeks alike to publish billions of web pages over the past decade. Unfortunately, most of those pages will never be compatible with the mobile devices we will rely on to interact with the web in the future.

The good news is that consciousness about these issues is far more widespread than it was just two years ago. Since there is not a deadline to fix the issues, like there was with Y2K, the solution will take time but will eventually be noticeable. After the transition to standards is in full gear, we will all benefit in our daily lives from the new possibilities that will be imagined. Check out Google Base for an idea of how standardizing something like data sets can be very powerful and useful.

In 2008, the companies that are paying attention to the importance of standards, like Sharp Hue, are getting involved with promoting standards based development with their clients. The notion that web sites should be usable and accessible is really at the heart of this effort. The recent launch of Sharp Hue V2 and the new SharpHue.com is all about supporting this growing movement for playing it smart with web development today before things get out of hand in the future.