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Standards make things standard. I know it's an obvious statement but it's meant to be. The reasons for having standards should be obvious too. The web used to be designed for Netscape or Internet Explorer. You either designed to get the best for one browser or you designed a compromise to suit both. The other way around it was do two designs and set a javascript routine to sniff the browser and direct the use to the appropriate files. This is extra work and what happens if you decide to incorporate another browser into your design? Another set of files?

Enough is is enough. The nature of the web is changing. More and more portable devices are connecting to the net. Handheld computers and 3G phones are but 2 examples. Standards based web pages should display quite adequately on these devices. Moving to a standards based design helps to future-proof your web site. There is also the issue of accessibility to consider. A standards based web site can be rendered by a speech based browser. By not having your web site accessible, you are not only shutting out part of your audience, you could also be breaking the law in some legal jurisdictions. Moving to a standards based design also helps web designers. As part of the redesign of this site, we separated out he content from the layout. The html files contain the test and graphics. The layout is handled by cascading style sheets. The beauty of this approach is that if I want to change the look of the site, all I need to do is change the style sheet and voila... a new look site.

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