Leaving standards at the door?

When I started my current job, I guessed that I would have to leave my own thoughts on standards at the door, as the majority of work was being done using html 4 loose, with table layouts, part external/part inline styles and inline javascript (uggghhh!).

4-5 months later and thanks to the whole webdev team pulling together we are beginning to turn the corner into a new era of cleaner, standards based code across the board

So how has this change come about? Well all of us that were already standards aware through our own noodling have spread the word; we have advocated xhtml 1.0 transitional to be the recommended minimum doctype from now on. Common included code was converted to validate as XHTML strict, so that we could now write sites as XHTML rather than HTML 4. Using inline styles was deemed bad practice - except for occasional circumstances like, "you are here" style overrides. In addition javascript ahould implemented in an unobtrusive manner, so that if a user has javascript turned off it won't be detrimental to their experience of the site.

We also attempt to keep CSS hacks to an absolute minimum. Should laziness creep in it's tempting to fix rendering differences between browsers with hacks straight away without checking for other reasons why these differences manifest themselves. Should IE 7 fix some of the known bugs but remain susceptible to some of the IE targetted CSS hacks then alot of pages will end-up adrift.

The next stage in the journey is to ensure that all server-side code outputs standards based code, otherwise it will be shame when all the hard work is ruined by a badly written server-side app; a common problem with Content Management Systems.

Overall these changes have come easier than I expected and I am happy to be able to code to my own standards.

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