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co2
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As we know (or will learn)... the push to design and develop web sites in XHTML, CSS etc. has a two-fold intention. The first being the reason the majority of us are here on this forum, to better the separation between content and presentation/style. The second reason (and of equal importance)... is the generation of accessible web sites to all (not just different mainstream browsers, but PDAs, Smartphones, Text-readers etc.) This second reason seems to come after the first in peoples understanding and learnings of CSS/XHTML. Only know am I leaning towards trying to make my work fully accessible via such standards as the US Section 508 and the WAI recommendations (http://www.w3.org/WAI/ ).

However, during my investigations and studies over the past few months, I've noticed certain countries (by this, I mean to encapsulate governments, industries within, campaign groups) seem to have a better grasp than others. Most notably, those in Australia seem to be flying, as too the US. The UK seems to be crawling behind (both government and the web industry in general).

So, my question is, what are your perceptions of the take-up in your country, and the reasons and opportunities/stumbling-blocks for or against them?

Smile

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Tony
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Standards take-up in your country?

Hi co2,
I'm currently working for a semi government organization here in Australia on a large Intranet portal.
Although many other Government departments are taking standards and accessibility very seriously this place is not.
They seem to have there heads in the sand and think because thay have a SOE (Standard operating Environment)that includes IE6 as the only browser and having the site on a secure Intranet that they can do what ever they like.
I wonder how many of them will read this Cool
Being a contractor I don't get much of a say in how things should be done although I have been pushing for change and am very slowly making progress.
To me, thinking that you will only have that one browser for the rest of the life of the site is just stupid.
The IT network support guys are continuing to develop the SOE and will continue to do so.
Which leads me to the conclusion that IE6 like every other browser before it will have a limited life.
Developing towards Web Standards ensures that the site will work correctly in the browsers of the future.
Currently the front page of the portal is unrecognizable in Firefox. I keep showing it to people and mentioning how easy it would be to fix but they don't see it as an issue.
Now just recently we have had a few little wins which improve the sites useability and cut down each page size by 30KB which considering there is thousands of pages is quite impressive at least to me it is.
Previously all the style information and javascript was embedded directly into the body (not even the head) of the document. Now the javascript and CSS are broken up into logical files and linked to from the head of each page.
You have know idea how long I pushed for this.
We also, I say we because I am not allowed to touch anything alone as it is outside my contract conditions so I have to sit behind someone and tell them what to type :roll:
Yes I am going crazy but luckily I do many more interesting projects in my own time..
The other thing we did was to improve the menu system from a bulky table system to a nice lite menu based on lists.

co2
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Standards take-up in your country?

Water torture technique then! Laughing out loud

I do get the feeling that perhaps people (read clients) are perhaps thinking outside of just IE. But it seems to be a very painstaking process.

I currently overlook an (again, perhaps similar to your words) semi-governmental web site... though commercial. We designed the site in 2001-2002. The client had no interest in having the thing working in anything other than IE (and IE6 at that). Now, if you read the list of companies that access this site on a daily-basis, you'd be shocked at this.

However, we are considering version two of the site now, and suddenly, accessibility seems appealing to the client. However, not because of perhaps getting the site working in Firefox etc... but because it may be possible to have the site work on stuff such as PDAs! :roll:

Ah well. I'd like to hear from other UK-based developers about their thought concerning the uptake over here (I'm quite isolated from the design-developer industry really). I subscribe to the Web Standards Group listing (of Australia), and the majority of posts on there are from Aussie's. So this leads me to believe that there is a decent uptake and even community dedicated to the issue.

As we know, many of the champions seem to be coming from the US (Zeldman and Meyer). I'm just a bit wary of the old UK-business standard of waiting for everyone else first.

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Standards take-up in your country?

As in all things intention only gets you half way.

I estimate it will be 5 to 10 maybe 15 years before we see real change ocurring and clients paying for standardisation, not because they want it to work on different browsers, but just because it will be the only way they can get the work done by then anyway.

We need a combination of things to happen -
2) IE needs to get its act together.
3) People upgrade their systems, and therefore their browsers.

and the biggest change we need is
1) Someone to bring out a cheap wysiwyg editor with really good css support, which will bring all the part time, hobby developers into the fold.

Yes there will be some change in the interim as -
a) clients change for PDA's and other media
b) Enlightened Developers slip the work in.
c) We get enlightened in-house developers.

Even with all of the above -
i) Tables will be supported forever, and old tags will be supported for many years to come.
ii) Web sites are alive things and need updating continually. Why write double the code now (hacks and such to make certain things work correctly) when the content will change dramatically in the future anyway.

and therefore many will say......hey why change.

Day

The only way to learn is to do it yourself