17 November 2008

W3C standards resources

This may sound a bit grey and I have to admit that for a long time I couldn't get excited about these. I mean the idea of over 450 organisations and experts ever being able to agree on anything, let alone publish anything in a way that could be helpful for those of us who don't start creating web pages by writing code or can manage only some pretty basic code and only when we have to, seemed highly unlikely.

I am pleasantly surprised, therefore, that, having finally got around to finding what The World Wide Web Consortium was all about, they talk a great deal of sense. Anyone who has had to struggle with making pages look good in umpteen different browsers or had to explain to a client why that beautifully crafted png file looks dreadful on the ancient IE6 browser his office is still using will appreciate the excellent work being done and will be in favour of their desire to make the web a better place - and a more consistent one - where we make one page and that's it, it works.

By way of introduction and to gather a bundle of links together for students and colleagues, I have made some resources available at this link which, whilst pretty basic, may help someone.

I do love CSS stylesheets and the ease with which I can switch the appearance of content but they're still a bit of a pain in that I have to write out all the code and I just wish I could find some nice software that recognises what I'm doing and translate my efforts into acceptable code for a sheet. I have to say that the ease with which very attractive pages can be put together by complete amateurs utilising software like Serif Web Plus and Coffee Cup is going to have an impact sooner or later and someone simply will have to come up with an application at a reasonable price that does the same job and meets the standards. 

To make a small site using tables I need a quiet evening a a couple of cups of coffee. To recreate the same thing using CSS takes me ages unless I borrow someone else's template. And several glasses of alcohol to calm my frustration at getting layouts to behave as I'd like and easily been able to do in the old way. So, for the sake of my health, driving licence and possibly future career, software suggestions welcome!

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