The wonderful thing about web standards

Alex and I were having a rant discussion a few days back about web standards after I pointed out to him that Firefox and Safari not being able to supply login credentials within a URL meant they were not RFC-compliant in this respect (and he accused me of being sponsored by Microsoft)!

I know that there are many pieces of Microsoft software where the standards have been “extended” or “enhanced” and this week I heard that they are going to extend RSS when it is integrated into the next version of Windows (codenamed Longhorn); but we had both hoped that the Mozilla browsers would be better in this respect (in general, they are).

I like Firefox. In fact the only reason that I’ve gone back to Internet Explorer (IE) is that a huge number of websites (about 10% according to IT Week) only work properly with IE and some mis-identified Firefox as a very old Netscape browser. Now that IE’s market share has slipped to about 85% and Firefox is gaining momentum, all we need to do is to persuade web designers to code sites to work with all common browsers.

It would be so much easier for web designers, IT administrators, and IT architects alike if all browsers complied with standards. In another IT Week article, Bill Pechey highlights a UK government department of trade and industry (DTI) report that suggests standards promote healthy growth.

I’m hoping that Microsoft’s forthcoming IE 7 browser will be fully web standards compliant (and if it has to support Microsoft-proprietary extensions as well then that is fine as long as it can properly render standard pages). That remains to be seen but meanwhile it’s good news that Microsoft is collaborating with the Web Standards Project to promote open standards.

Get Firefox!

(and just to show that I’m not biased…Internet Explorer).

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