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Building Standards Compliant Websites

By James Hippolite, in , posted: 15-Mar-2007 20:25

Building Standards Compliant Websites

John-Daniel Trask


What is a Standard?

  • Agreed upon protocols
  • Three types
    • De-facto
    • Industry
    • Government

Importance of Web Standards

·        Ensure durability

·        Ensure accessibility

·        Ensure portability


·        HTML 4.01

·        Last revision

·        Being superseded by XHTML


  • Level 1 (CSS 1.0)
  • Level 2 revision 1 (CSS 2.1)
  • Level 3 (under development)
  • Mobile Profile
  • TV Profile


  • Web Accessibility Initiative
  • Guidelines for
    • Aiding disable audience
    • Aiding agent type support

NZ Standards

Other Standards

  • RSS / ATOM (and icon)
  • SiteMaps
  • OpenSearch

Why Standards Compliance Makes a Difference

  • Acid2 Test

Implications of “no standard”

  • Separate specification class emerges per browser
  • More expensive delivery
  • Frustrates users
  • Hurts adoption

Microsoft and Web Standards

  • Getting better
  • IE7 is a major step forward
  • IE8 under development (Acid2 compliant)
  • Working with other organisations

IE7 Functional Advancements

  • Support for OpenSearch
  • Scaling handled by browser (text and graphics simultaneously)
  • Phishing filter
  • Tabbed browsing
  • RSS platform support

IE7 Rendering Advancements

  • Fixed more than 50 CSS bugs
  • Transparent PNG support
  • Added CSS 2.1 positioning
  • Added CSS 2.1 selector support

Advancements in Tooling

  • Validation added to existing tools
  • CSS Control Adapters for ASP.Net 2.0
  • Plug-ins for Internet Explorer
  • Full new product line…


Expression Web

  • For designers
  • Standards based
  • CSS based layout
  • Strong support for XML and XSLT
  • Direct integration with ASP.Net 2.0

Key Benefits

  • Prevents non-compliant sites
  • Rich CSS designer support
  • No OOTB (out of the box) legacy tags
  • Comprehensive DOCTYPE validation

How to use this stuff…

Visual Studio

  • Orcas, March CTP
  • Richer validation support
  • Link checking
  • Tag structure visualization
  • Web Designer and CSS support baked in Orcas
  • ASP.Net 2.0

ASP.Net 2.0 CSS Control Adapters

  • Demo

Validating your sites

  • Validate online with W3C
  • Validate with tools (e.g. expression ware)
  • Ease validation with browser integration
  • Download


Checklist for building your site

  • Valid HTML
  • Valid CSS
  • Page weight
  • Screen size, font size
  • Accessibility factors
  • Cross browser checking

Call to Action

  • Validate your sites
  • Grab Expression Web Designer (free 60 day trial)
  • Develop to standards


Other related posts:
Teach Yourself Azure in 4 hours
Geek Post Monthly Newsletter Volume 2 Issue 10

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JamesHip's profile

James Hippolite
New Zealand

Welcome to my technical blog. 

Here, I attempt to distill the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer knowledge I have accumulated since first qualifying MCP in 1996.  This blog started on 13 September 2007 as an off-shoot from my mixed up personal blog.  But it took a shot in the arm from Scott Hanselman's talk at TechEd New Zealand 08 "32 Ways To Make Your Blog Suck Less".