Introduction to Web Standards

  • Leslie F. Sikos


Technical standards are widely used in various fields of life—think of the standards of paper size and the standard envelopes that fit them, or AC power plugs and their corresponding sockets. Web standards, similar to other standards, are normative specifications of technologies and methodologies. In other words, they are well-defined sets of requirements to be satisfied. They are not only ideal from the technical point of view but also represent user needs. However, web standards are often ignored; the World Wide Web consists of billions of documents that do not consider proper restrictions or regulations, deproving user experience. This is because the Web is a “free forum” where everyone can publish pretty much anything without technical skills, content review, or censorship. Unfortunately, this approach comes at a price: you will often encounter sites that download really slow, collapse in the browser, or have poor functionality. In spite of the benefits of standard compliance, not only content authors but also web developers find it challenging to implement web standards, mainly due to the lack of widespread distribution. Even the most popular web sites can be very confusing, and in contrast to the common misconception, developers cannot use them as references to learn from. Moreover, web designers often ignore standards because of the misbelief that developing with standards means an additional workload. Due to their limited knowledge on web standards, web designers are often not familiar with the benefits of standards compliance and the best practices of standards-based web design.


International Standard Organization Internet Engineer Task Force Internet Engineer Task Style Sheet Standard Compliance 
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Copyright information

© Leslie F. Sikos, Ph.D. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leslie F. Sikos
    • 1
  1. 1.SAAustralia

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