Web Standards Project

You may not know it as you surf the net, but there are lot of extra lines of computer code on every web page you browse that aren’t really necessary. The reason? A lack of standards among the various browser programs people use to access the net.

To ensure that a page will load and display properly on each and every browser, web developers are forced to provide a lot of extra information in each page. This is information that is never used by all of the people, all of the time. Some estimate that up to 25% of the time to program a page is spent ensuring that it will work properly in the various versions of Netscape, Explorer and other browsers.

Although the World Wide Web Consortium is responsible for establishing common net standards, they aren’t always supported by all browsers and add-on programs. The new group hopes to change all that by putting some pressure on the manufacturers to adopt common standards. If they are effective, this could be a repeat of the old VCR wars, where the VHS standard eventually prevailed. Let’s hope so, because the results will benefit us all with better-performing websites that are cheaper and easier to build.