Using standards doesn’t make it right

February 11, 2008

15 Comments

Topics: Semantics, Web standards.

The Wikipedia article on Standards in software contains a very good definition of standards, particularly as we might need to view them when talking about web standards: Standards (software) Software standards enable software to interoperate. Many things are (somewhat) arbitrary, so the important thing is that everyone agree on what they are. Software standards is one of the Unsolved problems in software engineering On the whole, the article at Wikipedia is a good example of what isn’t so great about […]

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Graph the Semantic HTML Structure of Your Web Page

January 24, 2008

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Topics: Semantics, Web standards.

In October of 2006, I published a brief article about Marcel Salathé’s interesting Java Applet to generate node graphs of web page structure. In that article, I stated: I’d love to be able to produce graphs where I chose the color coding pattern for particular tags. I could set all non-semantic tags to be bright red, to easily spot the condition of a site in that respect. I could focus my attentions on inline versus block elements, or I could […]

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Supporting Standards that Support Accessibility

December 23, 2007

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Topics: Accessibility, Semantics, Web standards.

The justification that a web site is accessible because it “follows standards” contains a serious fallacy. Specifically, the assumption that standards support accessibility. One root of current standard accessibility practice is conformance to the HTML (HyperText Markup Language) or XHTML (eXtensible HyperText Markup Language – HTML reformulated as XML (eXtensible Markup Language)) standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)). This is a fine practice, and certainly should be maintained. Using correct syntax and following […]

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Thoughts about Content Labeling and Data

December 5, 2007

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Topics: Accessibility, Semantics, Usability.

Interestingly, it appears that some of the ideas discussed in this article are actually being actively tested by Google. As of September 2009, it appears that Google is actually putting this concept into practice. An interesting thought in indexing and handling page structure is the concept that different areas of a single page can be identified and considered independently from surrounding bodies of content. This particularly applies to specific and readily identifiable data-types, such as phone numbers, postal codes, or […]

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CSS3: On Grid Positioning and Layout

September 20, 2007

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Topics: Semantics, Web standards.

Following up on tables and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), the grid model of layout execution is part of the CSS level 3 working draft. The specifications for the grid layout module being discussed were released on September 5, 2007. This module describes integration of grid-based layout (similar to the grids traditionally used in books and newspapers) with CSS sizing and positioning. Document Abstract Semantically, the grid layout system is a nice development — it is a system explicitly and exclusively […]

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