About mikeymike.org.uk

This website is really a 'moving house' job from legolas.com.  I can't think of any reason why I might get hate-mail for not having this site be about something in particular.

I guess I wasn't gifted particularly with foresight in that respect when registering legolas.com in 1998, oh well.

Standards compliancy - a further note

Part of the reason for this subject becoming a hotter topic is due to Microsoft's announcement that they have effectively discontinued Internet Explorer development (read more here and here).   Internet Explorer was already lagging behind other web browsers in terms of features and ability to render websites, but now there is a situation whereby the majority of Internet Explorer users will be using a browser that will not get any better, which is 2 years old already, and so could cause the evolution of the 'Web' to grind to a halt.  The repercussions this could have on the IT world are significant.

There are a number of different points of view when it comes to web design and standards compliancy, and I think it is important to draw the line carefully.  Many web designers feel that because IE users represent about 90% of the browser market, then their website should be designed with that browser primarily in mind.  This is all well and good, as say for example a business would have to be stupid to turn away the majority of its potential customers.  But usually this results in little or no testing with other web browsers, which is something a business should avoid doing as it is potentially turning away the other 10%.

Some web designers feel that a standards-compliant 'puritan' approach is currently the wisest approach.   The upside of this approach is that ideally every web browser should be standards-compliant, and therefore the amount of browser testing required before a site is uploaded can be dramatically reduced.  The downside is that it can make websites look like they were sloppily designed to a large portion of visitors, and those visitors fail to see the point that if they were using a more capable web browser, they would have seen what the website how its creator intended it to be seen.

I try to take the middle road.  For example, both this website and my business website make use of reasonably up-to-date standards, but I have some JavaScript to detect if the visitor is using Internet Explorer, and to serve up a more basic style to allow the website to be browsed without any especially negative effects.  I also let the visitor know that this has happened in the most explanatory way I can think of, then there is a potential positive reason for that person to try another web browser and 'see what they have been missing'.


The guys over at Mozillazine for their help with some of the coding.

Kevin Perry and Mike Dixson for their contributions to the Windows Technical Reference section.