Re: [WSG] Real world use of standards

2004-01-28 Thread Chris Blown

Clients need to be informed of the benefits of standards and most will
see the value right away. However compromises on design and
functionality can offset the benefits quite quickly. The old saying The
customers always right seems to fit here.

Government departments are _mostly_ aware of standards especially the
accessibility guidelines, so they push for standards compliant sites. It
may eventually become mandatory for Governments.

In house here its becoming more important, some are more passionate
about it than others. It is frustrating when work travels up the work
flow and someone decides to bung in invalid markup, or maybe a
particular application framework doesn't yet support the markup
correctly.

If IE wasn't such a pain, then standards are really a no brainer,
write once works everywhere, hmmm one day.. soon I hope..

Cheers
Chris Blown 


On Thu, 2004-01-29 at 11:06, Bradley Wright wrote:
 I have a question for you all, given that quite a few of you work for large,
 CMS-type companies and the collective level of experience here is seemingly
 very large:
 
 How many of you have experienced working for companies/clients which
 actively embrace the standards and protocols/working methods we discuss here
 every day? It seems to me that very often dealing with clients and client
 needs makes using standards to the fullest an impractical thing at best.
 
 I'd like to know how many of you have experienced work-places where
 standards are extremely important, and not just an afterthought in the
 production process.
 
 This is perhaps a little off-topic, but I think it's worth a discussion
 because the PRACTICAL, real-world use of standards is surely of utmost
 importance to us all.
 
 
 
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Re: [WSG] Real world use of standards

2004-01-28 Thread Justin French
On Thursday, January 29, 2004, at 11:06  AM, Bradley Wright wrote:

I have a question for you all, given that quite a few of you work for 
large,
CMS-type companies and the collective level of experience here is 
seemingly
very large:

How many of you have experienced working for companies/clients which
actively embrace the standards and protocols/working methods we 
discuss here
every day? It seems to me that very often dealing with clients and 
client
needs makes using standards to the fullest an impractical thing at 
best.

I'd like to know how many of you have experienced work-places where
standards are extremely important, and not just an afterthought in the
production process.
This is perhaps a little off-topic, but I think it's worth a discussion
because the PRACTICAL, real-world use of standards is surely of utmost
importance to us all.
Glenn.

I believe embracing web standards is something that starts with the the 
technical team (web developers, etc), NOT at a management or board of 
directors level.  In short, I don't give my clients much of an option, 
and in some cases, don't even bother to educate them as to what I'm 
doing or why -- I feel it's an important step for the web, and by 
making my websites as forward compatible and accessible as possible, 
I'm not doing any harm in the process (unless of course they have a 
large NN4 readership).

To me, starting a project with XHTML for semantic mark-up, CSS2 for 
presentation, and at least priority 1 of the accessibility guidelines 
is now (after a very short time) an automatic and effortless process.  
In fact, the other week I had to build something with tables for 
layout, and it took me twice as long (muttering things like this would 
be so easy with a div and some CSS).

A couple of google searches should help you get a huge list of reading 
material, particularly this one:
http://www.google.com/search?q=business+case+web+standards

... of which I'll highlight this one:
http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000266.php
There's heaps on ALA, of which I grabbed just one:
http://alistapart.com/articles/tohell/
Then read everything here:
http://www.webstandards.org/
And this:
http://www.andybudd.com/blog/archives/000143.html
After reading all that, you'll probably ask yourself why aren't I 
doing this?, and you'll start implementing changes right away.

I don't believe it takes any extra time of effort (perhaps 5% at 
*worst*) to develop new projects with standards and accessibility in 
mind, once you're up to speed... this value can more than likely be 
recouped in bandwidth costs alone on larger websites, and there's 
always the threat of a lawsuit :)

Justin French

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Re: [WSG] Real world use of standards

2004-01-28 Thread russ weakley
Bradley,

First of all, this is not off-topic at all. In fact, I reckon it's the most
important issue facing developers/designers on this list.

Here are some comments based on Peter's and my experience.. Take or leave as
you wish. :)

CLIENTS
We always sit down with our clients and discuss (amongst other things)
target audiences and browser levels. If we feel the client's audience is
suited to a full css site, we let the client know our preferred decision and
the effects this will have (in simple terms). Generally, this is enough for
most clients and they are happy for us to proceed. If the client is obsessed
with further info, we outline the options:

option 1:
1. faster loading - better for user and client
2. easier to maintain - cheaper for client updates
2. work better across modern and future browsers - better for all
3. provide printer specific options without any new pages needed
4. provide more accessible code - better for specific users and devices
5. ability to provide assistive options like style switchers.
These benefits will be available to around 90-95% of your audience. At the
same time, no browsers or devices will be alienated in the process - old
browsers will get all content, just with slightly reduced visual formatting.

option 2
1. table based pages - slower rendering and more code
2. harder to maintain
3. less accessible to people and devices
4. no special print options
This option is aimed at the lower 10% of your audience at the cost of the
other 90%.

We have not had a client choose option 2 yet. Having said that, there may be
times when option 2 is the best - if you are dealing with a high percentage
of NN4 users or a specific intranet etc.

BOSSES / MANAGEMENT
Most bosses focus on the bottom line. If you need to get up to speed on
developing with web standards, this takes time so the boss or management
will have to pay for this in some form. However, in the long run, the
company benefits (faster development, better provision of service), and the
companies clients benefit (see list above).

If you want to start pushing web standards in your work place, it becomes a
case of sitting the bosses/management down and outlining the aims, costs
(generally in staff time) and benefits to all players (boss, staff,
audience).

In early 2002, this is what Peter and I did with our employer at the time.
We asked for some time off to learn about standards, with the aim to the
benefit us and our users. We were successful.

PART OF THE PROCESS
After some time in the wilderness (while you learn the ins and outs),
building with web standards become part of your process - part of everyday
work. As Justin said, going back is VERY hard.

ONE STEP AT A TIME
The key point about standards is that they are not a black and white issue.
We are all moving towards standards. While some developers have made more
progress than others, we are all still learning (I know that sounds corny!).

The key, when beginning, is to focus on achievable steps. If you only
achieve the removing of all font tags and replacing them with CSS1, you have
made a huge step forward. If you make your code more valid - even if you
donĀ¹t achieve 100% valid code - you are making progress. If you tackle some
accessibility issues on your site, you are making progress. If you keep a
basic table for layout, but use CSS for all other stying, you have made
progress... 

The big advantage that we all have now is resources. There is a huge wealth
of tutorials, blogs, books, mail-lists and people that can help you start or
continue the process.

End rave...
Russ


 
 I have a question for you all, given that quite a few of you work for large,
 CMS-type companies and the collective level of experience here is seemingly
 very large:
 
 How many of you have experienced working for companies/clients which
 actively embrace the standards and protocols/working methods we discuss here
 every day? It seems to me that very often dealing with clients and client
 needs makes using standards to the fullest an impractical thing at best.
 
 I'd like to know how many of you have experienced work-places where
 standards are extremely important, and not just an afterthought in the
 production process.
 
 This is perhaps a little off-topic, but I think it's worth a discussion
 because the PRACTICAL, real-world use of standards is surely of utmost
 importance to us all.
 

*
The discussion list for http://webstandardsgroup.org/
*



RE: [WSG] Real world use of standards

2004-01-28 Thread Mark Stanton
 How many of you have experienced working for companies/clients which
 actively embrace the standards and protocols/working methods we
 discuss here
 every day? It seems to me that very often dealing with clients and
client
 needs makes using standards to the fullest an impractical thing at best.

In my personal experience proven ability to implement standards based
sites is a selling point for about 20% of our clients. The rest really
don't care.

Pretty much any client who is involved in government or is in anyway
government funded should be extremely aware of standards  should insist
on their work being standards compliant. By standards compliant I don't
mean validating XHTML 1.1. I mean primarily WAI and AGLS (because this is
law), but also valid mark-up (any version)  proper separation of content
 presentation.

Anyone else (outside the technical world) has no real reason know or care
about web standards at this point in time.


 I'd like to know how many of you have experienced work-places where
 standards are extremely important, and not just an afterthought in the
 production process.

For us standards are extremely important. We are not validation nazis, but
we feel that the proper use of HTML  CSS results in a higher quality of
end product. There is also a side benefit that our code is easier to
write, maintain  reuse these days. So our priorities are:

#1 - Better user experience
#2 - Better product for the client (easier for the client or another
agency to maintain).
#3 - More efficient development process

Maybe a small example is in order - http://www.pophouse.com.au. This is a
really small  simple site. The client doesn't know or care about web
standards. Personally I don't know if the HTML  CSS validate and I
haven't checked whether it passes any of the WAI standards. However none
of this really matters  there was no budget for building  testing
against the specs.

I think the site is still cool because its really simple  easy to use.
- Its fast loading.
- The nav is clear  text based.
- The fonts resize.
- Content  presentation are pretty neatly separated (with a couple of
exceptions).
- It makes almost as much sense in Lynx as it does in IE.
- The whole layout is super simple  reusable.
- The client can easily edit page content with Contribute.

So without chaining ourselves to the letter of the standards we've found a
nice balance by understanding the principles behind them. I think its
taken us about 18-24 months to reach this point  be pretty comfortable
with it. This learning process has involved everyone in product, from
project management, to graphics  programming.

If you treat standards as something programmers or QA people deal with at
the end of development you are going to waste a massive amount of time 
effort. If you start off by understanding the standards you can work them
into your day to day work without batting an eyelid  you'll end up with
all round better end products.

 This is perhaps a little off-topic, but I think it's worth a discussion
 because the PRACTICAL, real-world use of standards is surely of utmost
 importance to us all.

This is definitely NOT off-topic


Cheers

Mark


--
Mark Stanton
Technical Director
Gruden Pty Ltd
Tel: 9956 6388
Mob: 0410 458 201
Fax: 9956 8433
http://www.gruden.com


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RE: [WSG] Real world use of standards

2004-01-28 Thread info

My situation is as follows:

Here at BHP Billiton, I am part of the Global Intranet Team. I wrote
the CSS/XHTML for their Global Intranet and then wrote standards
compliant templates for other people within the business to use to
build their own intranets.

We were able to adopt W3C standards and XHTML/CSS for all this
because, basically, before our team was put together, there were no
standards at all - intranets were built by whoever with whatever. We
wrote documentation, style guides etc emphasing standards compliance
as well.

This went fine for a year or two. Our team was rebuilding old
non-compliant intranets and making them standards compliant and
building new intranets with CSS/XHTML, W3C standards etc.

Since that time, new CMS's have been bought into sections of the
company (against our protests) that do not adhere to these standards,
and things are starting to go backwards in some areas. 

It's sort of like two steps forward - one step back when it comes to
web standards here, which can be frustrating. In a company this size,
it does take a lot of championing the cause by the right people to
get something like web standards in place. We're making progress, but
it's a battle.

Regards,

David McDonald
http://www.davidmcdonald.org




 Original Message 
From: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Subject: RE: [WSG] Real world use of standards
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 11:06:45 +1100


I have a question for you all, given that quite a few of you work for
large,
CMS-type companies and the collective level of experience here is
seemingly
very large:

How many of you have experienced working for companies/clients which
actively embrace the standards and protocols/working methods we
discuss here
every day? It seems to me that very often dealing with clients and
client
needs makes using standards to the fullest an impractical thing at
best.

I'd like to know how many of you have experienced work-places where
standards are extremely important, and not just an afterthought in
the
production process.

This is perhaps a little off-topic, but I think it's worth a
discussion
because the PRACTICAL, real-world use of standards is surely of
utmost
importance to us all.



*
The discussion list for http://webstandardsgroup.org/
* 



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The discussion list for http://webstandardsgroup.org/
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