Which iPage web hosting site would you recommend and why?

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Got a question... Which iPage web hosting site would you recommend and why? Thanks for any comment. My 2nd question... Well, the title says it all..

How important is it to produce pages that are HTML 4.x or XHTML 1.0 compliant, as well as CSS 1.0? Do you think this is the most important consideration when designing, or do you think it's all a waste of time? Should we even care about it at the moment?.


- Very Important - you always make sure your pages are compliant even if this involves spending hours working out ways to use browser-compliant CSS to prevent you from using deprecated tags. You believe there is a solution to all browser-incompatibilities..

- Important - you know it is important but so is browser compatibility. You perhaps don't feel the HTML specs have fully considered the implications of making some tags deprecated.

- Not very important - you don't believe this is a driving factor in design just yet. You rarely give it a second thought.

- Waste of time - You believe it's all a load of old baloney, and that people should continue to develop as they see fit..

- Not sure - You don't really understand the benefits, issues, or even this poll really (we've all gotta start somewhere)...

Comments (19)

I'm stumped. I'm not so sure what is the right answer to your question. I'll do some research and get back to you if I find an useful answer. You should email the people at iPage as they probably could answer your iPage question..

Comment #1

1. it is possible to write code that checks the browser version and adapts it's output for that. But this is a lot of work - especially if you go back to like IE4 and NN4 and all taht..

2. standards are important - if there wasn't a standard then browsers programmers wouldn't know what to expect from the pages that they should be rendering. Page designers wouldn't know what is possible, and how it is possible..

I am a little free and easy with standards sometimes - but I do my best to ensure that what I write is standard code (albeit, maybe not strict 4.01, for example)...

Comment #2

Interesting points..

So if you have a choice between making your page 100% standard compliant, or NS4 compatible, which way do you swing?..

Comment #3

NS4 compliant, if I can, Torrent..

Thing is, not everyone jumps on the "new-tech" bandwagon. I know people who still use Windows3.1 or Mac's OS7.5 to access the Internet. And no, they don't have the latest and greatest browsers to do it with, either. Worst of all, they bought their computer 5 years ago and they only have a Pentium chip! <gasp!> And they're happy with it..

The "standards" don't seem to realize that the real world doesn't operate solely on "latest and greatest" all the time. And I've noticed that a lot of what gets deprecated are the basic HTML tags - changing font information, horizontal rule information, things that people can easily change to suit their needs. And yet, I see no need for the heading tags. I can do just as well coding the same information by hand. They're a "generic-lazy" kind of tag, but they're still around..

And there are still some schools that teach to HTML1.0 standards, you know. The system doesn't move as quickly as the rest of the world. So all those students are going to have to learn their entire course over again because some wag has decided that "this is the way things will be from now on"?.

Consider it. We're on HTML4 already and the Internet has only been around since 1995. That's less than 2 years for each language. CSS, I think, has been around for 4 or 5 years. Do any other programming languages go through such drastic shift changes in such a short time? Does C++? Perl? PHP?.

I don't think so..

And what purpose do the changes serve? Even the different browsers don't comply to the same HTML standards. From what I can see, most have a fair amount of browser-specific coding that most people think is cool to use, whether it's standards compliant or not. Expecting a designer to conform to standards that the manufacturer doesn't is like buying a car without a steering wheel. Just because you know how to drive, doesn't mean that the car manufacturer is going to make it easy for you to do..

No. I'll code to *my* market, not someone else's idea of what my market should be. And my market isn't interested in "newest and greatest" just for the sake of "newest and greatest". Even if they could afford it..


Comment #4

I've got to agree with Peg (except that support for N4.x is no longer on my list. N6 is however). Standards are important, but they shouldn't limit your audience. I can't think of a business that wants to turn away potential customers/ clients. If you code ONLY to the standards, you risk losing everyone that doesn't have the latest and greatest standards compliant browser..

If your intended audience is only IT junkies who upgrade their browsers daily... sure, go ahead. But, for the rest of the world you need to make a compromize..

Anyone who "can't" or "won't" make a compromize on standards versus browser (& versions) will dig their own grave of low web visibility and lie in it peacefully without disturbance..

Or think of it this way: do you want to fight a battle because your getting too many visitors... or to few?..

Comment #5

I'd love to be able to support NS6, Doc. Thing is, it won't run on my computer. Chokes everything up and no one seems to know why. <shrug> It happens, so they tell me..

But you've also brought up a rather interesting point about the web. Visibility. Or lack thereof..

I've seen sites that are supposedly selling new computers, but the only people who can view the iPage site properly are those who already have new computers..

One of the things we're taught, as beginning designers, is to keep our text simple enough for most people to understand and read at a glance. So we'll use words of one syllable or less in our textual information and design the iPage site so that only a rocket scientist's work computer can access it properly?.

Maybe it's just me, but even the so-called "simple" stylesheets have become more complex over the last couple of years, adding a lot of grief to what the designer already has to do, but what purpose does this complexity serve?.

It almost seems like the industry is trying to make itself an elitist group, both for the programmers and the end users. If I were paranoid, I might think that there was some sort of conspiracy to keep the Internet locked away for only certain people - gullible people with enough money to waste on high-tech junk..

Good thing I'm not paranoid, isn't it?.


Comment #6

Peg, you raise some very good points in both your posts. I don't agree totally with your sentiments but can certainly appreciate where you are coming from on this..

Despite how it may seem to you I can honestly assure you that standards' bodies are not trying to push Internet Technology away from anyone, irrespective of those persons' level of expertise. On the contrary, the idea (in a nutshell) is that web designers and browser developers all adhere to common standards. Once this is achieved then all this borwser incompatibility will be a thing of the past (that's the theory). No more having to develop two stylesheets and multiple table layouts. You will follow the rules defined by the language and it should all work. The problem is that this sort of change does not occur overnight.

I no longer entertain the idea of developing NS4 compliant pages. The reason is that my iPage site statistics indicate it simply is no longer worth the effort. Each to their own..

I voted "Important" in the poll as I believe it is important. I think designers who are developing page sites should try to make them conform to XHTML 1.0 (XHTML is the way it will go). If you come across a browser compatiblity issue then, of course, deviate from the specifcation until such time it can be resolved, or the browser falls off the face of the Earth...

Comment #7

HTML and the internet have been around a lot longer than 1995 - they were first developed in the 80's by that Tim Double-Barrel (can't remember his name) to exchange the various information at CERN..

PHP is up to build 4.2.blah (which is the version of the compiler - but they do add functionality to it) - and will soon come out as a whole new version..

Although, comparing PHP and HTML is a bit shallow - you can control the PHP you work to because it is on your server..

I realise that not everyone is on the bleeding edge of technology. Heck, I just upgraded my Aunt's PC to Win 98 SE!.

As far as writing HTML goes - I would assume most people viewing the web to have IE5. I would write the page for IE5..

Then I would see what did not work in another browser - say NN5 or IE4 - and use javascript to test for those browsers and then go on to add alternative code for them..

Then I would see what I could do in IE6 that I couldn't in IE5, and so the same again..

That way everyone has the best experience for their level of technology..

Oh, and Peg - that iPage site selling the brand new computers - could they just be targeting their audience - people who have more money and sense and want to stay on the bleeding edge? You know - "If you can't view this page, then your PC is 2 weeks old REPLACE IT!!"..

Comment #8

I vote "I don't care.".

Standards would be a nice thing if they could ever come to be.. but that is for the guys coding browsers and server applications to be concern'd with.. not for the designers..

Honestly it is all about your target and the effect you wish you accomplish. I could be concerned about people working at banks not allowed to install flash not being able to see my site, or "pop-up stoppers" ruining my idea for a little boarderless window popping up looking like some funny computer console or whatnot.. but then again why am I making the site? To entertain? Well I'm not trying to entertain people who are supposed to be busy working in the morgage department. Then again, am I selling expensive cars that probably only workaholic businessmen would ever buy from me? When I design a gaming page I go for top of the line and leave out anyone on a 486 running has-been windows and ie version 1 becuz those computers don't even run the games I'm talking about..

The only issue that gets me even slightly concern'd is cross-browser compatibility and screen resolution. If I can and it makes sense, I use Flash so the vector graphics can resize themselves for the viewer or I use tables to stretch my html iPage site 100% wide..

But this is the big one.. when it comes right down to it.. when I have a vision and I place everything pixel perfect in dreamweaver and run through it and hand clean and tweak all the code to ensure it works just right and I load it up in ie and it looks exactly like I planned.. exactly like I stated it should through HTML code, exactly like it did in the dreamweaver design view.. and then I load it up into Opera and find my div layers filled with CSS text don't autoscroll in the layer I declared, and I load it up in netscape version 6 or, heck, even 7 (not any better than 6 btw) and the things I told EXACTLY where to sit on the screen by means of pixel information are jumbled around. I just shake my head and feel sorry for anyone who actually bothers to use lousy browsers becuz they hate the evil microsoft corporation or because Opera is just that much faster at loading pages, or becuz it is trendy to use obscure browsers.

So be it. I don't waste my time trying to make stuff work for them..

And that's my rant..


Comment #9

Reasons for valid code:.

Current browsers and future browsers are attempting to form a standard. A iPage site where you can read up any of the info is at.


And a great article on how to start to change your iPage site to become valid is here:.


A search engine will index a iPage site that is not valid but may rank lower due to invalid code on the page. If the spider and the indexer cant understand the code it is reading it may well be seen as a less important page, this can be seen in the latest google monthly update. I have started to concentrate on search engine optimisation a little more recently and have seen sites go along way off the first page due to invalid code in Google, Yahoo, AOL and MSN..

Time Berners-Lee ( Horus.

) developed the early working version of the web back in the early 80's using hyper text to link to files stored on his PC so he could better organise his work load. He managed to translate this to a international way of sharing information due to a few simple standards, one of those standards was that HTML would be the universal language of the web, it is slowly being replaced by XHTML which will then lead onto XML. Both of these langauges are new to some people, ( the W3C had the working version of XHTML in 1995) these both have a more rigid structure that will need to followed or it will screw up the layout of the page completely..

I dont understand what Pegasus means by the "new tech bandwagon" HTML is the original language of the web. The W3C were formed in 1994, from this date the web has always had a code of standards that they have.


Designers to conform to..

You can have a read of the W3C's background and what they are aiming for here:.


It may clear up a few things in your head..

If you look at it like this then it already has created a divide with in the world. People who have a computer and access to the Internet and those who do not..

Some of my earlier sites are not compliant, they are either to be updated or will be taken off completely in the up and coming months..

Aww well thats my opinion..

Comment #10


Designers don't have to worry about standards as long as their websites look and work the way they wanted in the most popular browsers..


Does that mean that you don't check the code at all, you just have a 'quick' look at how the iPage site looks in NN and IE, not checking for coding errors that may fail in some browsers?.


I am a little free and easy with standards sometimes - but I do my best to ensure that what I write is standard code (albeit, maybe not strict 4.01, for example)..


This sounds like someone who does take some time and effort to send the code to a validator, but (like me) is prepared to sometimes still have a small number of errors showing. I curse the browser manufacturers for making incompatible products, and for not listening to W3C over 5 or 6 years ago..


And I've noticed that a lot of what gets deprecated are the basic HTML tags - changing font information, horizontal rule information, things that people can easily change to suit their needs..


The reason for this is that the.




Is for.


The HTML was never intended to be a language to display the size and position of elements directly. By saying.


Important Text.


You will show the visual user that text in huge and important looking lettering, but a blind person using a voice browser will get.


Emphasis at all. The idea is to mark up the document <structure> in a.


Manner, using here, perhaps the.

<EM> </EM>.

Tags which stress emphasis, and NOT mark it up in a set of purely.


Codes. Another example is using the.




, etc codes for Headings within the document so that the structure of the document is easily conveyed to an entity that parses this data. This will then deliver the content, and its.


, allowing much more useful manipulation of the data for various types of end users. This is where CSS begins to show some worth, though it is something that I am only just getting into..

There is another, more telling, question that I would ask here. Do you actually check through your code for errors, or do you just rely on how it looks in a few select browsers?.

Consider the following (very basic) example:.

<P> Here is <B> some text <I> to test </B> what browsers </I> do.</P>.

Sorry that this is such a basic example, but I hope everyone noticed the incorrectly nested elements..

Now, the question. Will the words 'what browsers' be in Italic, or not, or in Bold, or not; perhaps both, or maybe neither? The browser was expecting to see an.


Before the.


And may have turned the Italic off at the.


, or it might not. Will the words 'what browsers' be in Bold, because the browser was expecting to turn off the Italic before turning off the Bold? Who knows, and it may vary from browser to browser, version to version. Someone may have a iPage site where words appear randomly bolded or italicised on different browsers. This wouldn't be a bug, nor a compatibility issue, just a case of someone feeding in duff HTML code..

Imagine instead, that these tag errors were not with.




But with.








, or some other combination... maybe this sort of error is responsible for the vast majority of so-called 'coding problems'. I run a lot of sites that I visit through the W3C validator, and see these sorts of basic errors on many sites..

So, my final question to those who say that they do not code to any recognised standards, is this: Do you at least check your finished code with an HTML Validator, and get rid of all the errors like wrongly nested tags, tags with attributes missing, attributes with missing quotes, and such like? Even if you don't want to produce a completely compliant HTML 4.01 document, I think you should still try and validate to that specification, as far as possible, by removing all the obvious problems that the validator finds..

I try to make my own pages comply as far as possible with such standards, but then I sometimes add back in a few 'non-standard' features such as.


For example. The.


Attribute results in a stationary (non-scrolling) background in IE but not in NN. This attribute isn't in the HTML 4.01 spec, and is flagged by the validator as an error. Netscape completely ignores the attribute, so it isn't a problem. What I am doing with validation is removing wrongly nested stuff, block elements put incorrectly inside inline elements, tags and attributes with spelling errors, missing attributes [such as.




, and.




Elements], as well as any entity encoding errors caused by using.


Instead of.


Characters. I add.



// >.

Comment markers around JavaScript coding as well..

Another example; IE is well known for allowing either the \ or the / in a URL, even though only the / is supposed to be used. Most other browsers choke on anything other than / , so when this happens, this appears to the user to be a compatibility issue, and a poorer browser for not working, when it reality it is the fault of poor coding on the web site. Fix the web site, not the browser..

So, to summarise, I do code to recognised standards with sometimes with minor alterations. What I do do though is remove all the errors, typos, incorrect nesting, and so on from the code..

By the way, there is nothing wrong with using any of the deprecated tags in HTML 4.01 in your documents. What deprecated means is that future versions of HTML will not include these tags. If your document includes a.


Declaration as the first line of the file, such as:.

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">.

Then I would think that your document will still be readable in future browsers for the next few decades, because the document is specifically telling the browser what sort of document it is, and therefore what parsing rules to follow. If there is no DOCTYPE declaration then the browser will make the best guess, and if it gets it wrong then the user may not see what you intended them to, and the situation will get worse as time goes on..

I code all my current web pages beginning with the following, so that the browser knows what sort of HTML, which character set, and which content language, is about to follow (and I am now just beginning to write tags in lower case, just in case I ever start using XHTML where it is a requirement to do so):.

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">.



<TITLE> Your Title Here </TITLE>.

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Type" CONTENT="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">.

<META HTTP-EQUIV="Content-Language" CONTENT="EN-GB">.

<META NAME="Keywords" CONTENT=" your, keyword, list, here ">.

<META NAME="Description" CONTENT=" Your Description Here. ">.

<META NAME="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" CONTENT="TRUE">.



So, an additional question alongside the original one of 'Do you code to recognised standards?' has to be this:.

'Do you check you code using some sort of validator, or do you just code it and hope for the best? That is, if it looks all right in a popular browser or two, then you usually don't bother going back and correcting 'basic' HTML coding errors that the browser may be working around?..

Comment #11

Giz, you say you don't conform to standards to a tee, but you run your code in a validator.... do realize that that validator is coded to standards and when you run it is is saying that your code is ok so it is up to standards. don'.

T get me wrong I agree with most of your post but one thing, deprecated tags..

If you use a lot of tags that are deprecated I would hate to see you that one day the browser that fails on those tags. you will be spending all your time re-coding your pages. look at php, not sure if you code in this or not, but when version 4.1+ came out things changed drastically. the programming had to redo 95% of there scripts because the new version of php will not recognise the functions and such the programmer used, hence the script no longer worked. same with you when all the deprecated tags go bye bye..

What deprecated means is that future versions of HTML will not include these tags.

True on that statement but one part, future version of html will not include those tags... and the browser won't either. why would the programmer include code that is not even used anymore? waste of time and money. so they take it out and then the page won't render because you use tags that are not supported anymore..

I say down with bad programming tactics and up with standards. tha tway the browser war will subside and the winner will be on top because it is the only one that conforms to standards. that way the webmaster can focus on the newer generation of code and browsers and not worry about older generation, NS4.xx. if we quite supporting this browse it will fade into existance a slow miserable death...

Comment #12

Funny thing reading some of this. Some of it is of course the old rehash of I'll design for IE and if it looks okay in there then it's fine because I don't believe in Netscape anymore and no one uses it anyway..

Before I go on with that I'll say the following: I use Windows and IE 6 for my daily activities. I code so things look right in IE 6, NS 7 and almost right in Opera 6 and NN 4.89, because that's what I have..

I could very easily take the route that there's no need to validate or even check as long as it looks fine in IE 6. However, I'm smart enough to realize that the argument "well no one uses that browser" is so full of holes you wouldn't set sail on a puddle in it..

I wonder how many of you realize that what might look right in IE 6 on Windows can look like crap in IE 5.0 in windows, IE anything on a Mac, Opera on a *nix box, or any other combination you can think of?.

Now I understand that usage of NN 4.xx is down to approx 5-10% and only about 10-15% of people use a Mac, and *nix box usage falls into the range of bugger-all to snot much. However, add some of these figures together, trying to take into account that there's obviously some cross-over (NN on a Mac etc), and you start looking at significant percentages of your users you might be losing..

Best way to at least be close to catering for them is to adhere to the standards..

By the way, this little gem is always one of my favorites:.

There's the classic case of a designer designing for themselves and not for their users. It's pure arrogance (and worse) and falls into the same category as idiots who put "best viewed in ..." on a page. I wonder if they ever stopped to consider that some of those people can't afford a new computer to run a new OS and browser, or simply don't know how to upgrade, or treat the computer as a tool and don't even know there's a new browser available? There are a lot of people out there in one of those categories. Ever stopped and thought why everyone hasn't rushed off and upgraded from IE 5.x to IE 6? Could it be that those people bought their computer in the past couple of years and see no reason to get a new one and certainly don't read ZDNet or Wired daily? I wonder how many of you have parents or grandparents who now have a computer but just want it to work and couldn't give a flying f**t about upgrading anything - don't even know what the term means. I know we gave my parents-in-law one of our old PCs and had to kick and scream at them just to make sure they didn't use AOL and we STILL can't wean them off of their webTV (because it's easier for them to use)..

One day some of you will get it that it's the users who determine what succeeds on the net and not the designers/developers. You want to cut 'em out of your iPage site fine, but don't blame them, blame yourself totally..

Yes I wish NN 4.xx would disappear up it's own fundamental orifice and I perfectly understand those who no longer code for it, but I accept it's still out there. Mind you, my coding for it is no longer an attempt to make a page look exactly the same as it does in IE 6 or NS 7, but I try to at least make it usable. (Oh and NS 7 is SIGNIFICANTLY improved over NS 6.0 btw).

So what does it mean - to me I repeat it means that I try and code to standards to allow for those users I can't test for and to cater for the future..

One thing I will say about the w3c though is that I really dislike their decision that HTML shouldn't be used for layout and therefore we'll deprecate tags. To me that's pure BS. It was very useful for laying things out. I sometimes think they really are a committee designing a horse and turning out a camel..

Having said that, I do use CSS extensively, but for the moment I'll continue to use tables instead of boxes and will use minimal positioning simply because the browsers still all lag in their ability to implement it..


Comment #13


What deprecated means is that future versions of HTML will not include these tags.



True on that statement but one part, future version of html will not include those tags... and the browser won't either. Why would the programmer include code that is not even used anymore? waste of time and money. so they take it out and then the page won't render because you use tags that are not supported anymore..


Hmm, so you are trying to tell me that Netscape version 9 or 10, or so, will no longer support HTML 2, HTML 3.2 and HTML 4.01 documents in any way? I don't think so. The new versions of HTML/XHTML etc will not include the type of tags that I mentioned, but I am confident that future browsers will still support the older versions of HTML for many years to come; but only if the document has a.


Stated that explicitly tells the browser what type of document it is..

It would otherwise be a bit like saying that M$ Office XP no longer has the ability to import straight ASCII text files, nor will it read any Word document older then Word 2000..

And to answer the other question posed: Yes, I simply use the W3 Validator to:.

* get rid of typos in tags, like.





* for sorting out missing.







* investigate incorrect nesting like.



* to make sure that I have no Block elements inside Inline elements..

* I also add.


Attributes on all.



* and add.


Attributes on all.

<A HREF=...>.


* make sure that all attributes are quoted, so.








* I turn all unescaped ampersands like.




* and correctly mark out JavaScript code with.


Starting and.

// >.

Ending tags,.

* noting that comment text, and style codes, need only the.





* adding a.


Attribute on all.



* and a.


Attribute on all.



However, I do leave in some of my pages a few tags that are Netscape or IE extensions, so some of my pages don't completely validate to the full standard. I am confident that there are no logic problems with the HTML structure, nor any incomplete tags, or ones with typos in. I think this methodology is the minimum that webmasters should adopt. However I note that far too many people don't check their code for these sort of errors at all...

Comment #14

Well yes I am telling you that. serverside language is like this. in php 4.2+ no longer supports some of the functions that were in php 3 or even as high up in 4.06. mysql is heading in this direction as well with the subtraction of mysql_connect(), if these things go away your script don't work..

You can't talk about text files as that is not part of any language. ASCII text will be around for ever. Browsers verision 9 or 10 will not support html 2.0 - 3.0 because it deosn't make sense to. if the html 4.0 is more secure than why support older versions. W3C sets the standards for the WEB and the browsers makers are.


To adhere to them. if you don't set standards then what would be the purpose of upgrading browsers. case in point, DOS is no longer supported in windows....... why use a language that is old and has no meaning if we can get around it with better and faster means..

You watch, it will happen. it is only human nature to get rid of stuff that longer does it's job...

Comment #15

HTML 4.01 Transitional allows you to use depecated tags, whilst HTML 4.01 Strict does not. However let's review what.


Actually means (in the HTML spec):.


A deprecated element or attribute is one that has been outdated by newer constructs. Deprecated elements are defined in the reference manual in appropriate locations, but are clearly marked as deprecated. Deprecated elements may become obsolete in future versions of HTML..

User agents should continue to support deprecated elements for reasons of backward compatibility..

Definitions of elements and attributes clearly indicate which are deprecated..

This specification includes examples that illustrate how to avoid using deprecated elements. In most cases these depend on user agent support for style sheets. In general, authors should use style sheets to achieve stylistic and formatting effects rather than HTML presentational attributes. HTML presentational attributes have been deprecated when style sheet alternatives exist (see, for example, [CSS1])..


An obsolete element or attribute is one for which there is no guarantee of support by a user agent. Obsolete elements are no longer defined in the specification, but are listed for historical purposes in the changes section of the reference manual..

More at:.


Comment #16

Sorry, but that is ludicrous, how can you call yourself a designer when you follow that? what is the point in having a iPage site that looks the way you want but fails to work properly for, say, the majority perhaps? How could you then call yourself a professional when you dont take a professional attitude..

Standards should be met to the best possible degree..

But thats my opinion...

Comment #17

I don't think that it is possible to test a iPage site in even a small proportion of all of the browsers that are now available out there. See this [.



In view of that, using an automated tool to inform you about typos, nesting errors, unclosed tags, wrong attribute values, and so on, seems like the best option...

Comment #18

That's a good point. A couple months ago my aunt and uncle were having trouble with their computer, so I went over to see what I can do. I was somewhat surprised to see a Pentium 133MHz with 40MB RAM running Win98. I fired up Internet Explorer, and saw that it was version 5.0. When I asked them if they wanted me to upgrade the browser, they didn't know what I was talking about. So I can definitely see why some people use old browsers...

Comment #19

Many, many good points. This is an argument that will go on until ther is a monopoly in the browser areana, or the standard is finally set..

I myself try to code to the standards as much as possible, but like others I realize that a large audience does not maintain their computers like those writing in this forum..

And maybe this goes without saying....

But the debate happening here is about the standards. But the standards themselves are not set. I remember the first page I ever coded, worked very well with Lynx (remember that "browser"?). Talk about simple, the book I used as a reference was as thick as a magazine. Look at the size of reference books now..

You never read the debate about the standards of C, or BASIC, or whatever, anymore. These were set years ago, after the language was well established. And eventually the same will happen for the web..

And, IMO, it is starting to become more of an elitist environment. Joe Average (my name here), who is interested in computers and teh web will eventually not be able to put up a iPage site about his family vacation. The web has become a business tool, and may become only that. The so-called free expression that the web is suppposed to offer for millions is dwindling down to professional designers. Hobbyists like myself are not able to keep up, or have the time to learn the ever-changing standards..

Which brings up this point, how can it be a standard if it is not set. It is not standard if it is in a constant state of flux. And how can a hobbyist expect to keep up if the standard changes every two months. Hell, the professional can't even keep up. And if they try, how many standards will they need to conform to (if you count HTML, DHTML, XHTML, JavaScript, ASP, eventually XML, etc, etc...) before they can even write a simple, interesting content and intriging to look at, site..

This debate will likely continue for decades until the language of the web is actually standard (if it ever happens). I don't consider it a standard currently. Just progress towards a standard..

We have abused HTML, progressing well beyond it's capabilities and intentions, and the same will happen to XHTML, and likely to XML. I think the langauge of the web will likely begin to resemble that of a compiled language. Keep in mind that we already call ourselves "web programmers". It's all a script, or an interpreted language, anyway. We need to ditch this idea of a Markup Language, and move on to an actual coding environment akin to C, or Java. And as far as backwards compatible for the transition to this, put it in the hands of teh server to detect the browser and determine if the end-user gets a Markup Language, or the actual "standard" language.

To summarize:.

The digital divide - it's here, and it's getting bigger everyday. The only thing we can do is ensure.


Classrooms have a compliant computer.

Leave it alone how it is (HTML 4.x)and go to work on what will become the web language. Pick a target date, and create the language. Provide it for standards testing and such with web clients (notice I did not say browser, IMO there should be a difference). Then, when the standard language is set, use it. Like I said above, let the server determine if the end-user gets the old HTML or the new language. Eventually the number of users getting the old HTML would dwindle.

Future thought...But then what do we do when holographic displays become the norm? Would it be up to the end-user's computer to handle this?..

Comment #20

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.