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January 27, 2006

How developers use standards

This is a great item (via Stephen Downes) from Google on how people really use HTML.

One element alone, body, manages a whopping 9 completely invalid attributes in popular usage. As Stephen notes, "when people don't care what the HTML standard says, why would they care what your standard says?"

The other side of the coin is that we work together to make the web work even with all the inconsistencies, legacy markup, plugin madness, and format wars. Ultimately there is nothing substantial to be gained from making a site thats impossible to use in a regular(ish) browser, or from creating a browser application that displays a "PAGE DOES NOT CONFORM" message instead of a best-effort to render markup of any level of ghastliness.

Like the guy (also from Google) said - Internet technology has to be Simple, Sloppy, and Scalable.

So where does this leave e-learning standards? Well, we've got some hard thinking to do.

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