Standard or Best Practice?

The Web Standards Project asks What is a Web Standard?

It’s a good question – as many of the things we refer to as ‘standards’ turn out to not be standards at all – but they are best practice. I suppose it might be splitting hairs, but to be technically correct we shouldn’t be calling things standards that aren’t. Things like semantic markup and separation of presentation & structure, for example.

However, as the author states:

What we absolutely must do is take care to spread a message that encourages rather than discourages using the best science and best practice. It is holding that goal high that makes us professionals, after all.


I never really thought about it before, but Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are not quite the same thing. SEO is something you do as part of an overall SEM strategy.

The latest Market Position newsletter outlines 5 steps for successful SEM, and looks at things from a strategic perspective rather than a technical one. All simple stuff, but it’s good to be reminded of the simple things from time to time.

Noise Over Free Trade Agreements

Firstly, let me say I don’t normally comment on things political. My typical response is “whatever!”

However, John Allsopp has written a piece on the impact our recent Free Trade Agreement with the US has on our IP laws. Or, if he’s right, they’re not our laws anymore.

What he’s basically saying is that we’re handing over our right to make our own laws regarding copyright, patents and trademarks over to the US. We adopt US law in these areas.

If he is right – it’s a bit concerning that we would hand over a sovereign right to make our own laws to be at the mercy of US corporations who influence congress.

I can’t think of anything about the US legal system that I’d like to see reproduced here, much less having them make our own laws for us!

Not happy, Jan!

The Four Essentials of Modern Web Design

The Web is a young medium: it’s really only about 10 years old. Consider television at age 10, or cinema. Back then, these media were primitive, still finding their way. They were exploring the limits of new technology, but huge developments were yet to be made.

Web professionals are at that same point today. We’re pioneers, still exploring the limits of a new medium. Our grandchildren will, no doubt, look back on what we’re doing and think it’s quaint. We still have much to discover about what the Web can do, and how it can be used.

Enter: conferences such as Web Essentials 04.

Web Essentials 04 was a two-day conference held in Sydney, Australia, from 30 September to 1 October 2004, which explored in detail the essential pillars of the Web. Speakers included Dave Shea, Douglas Bowman and Russ Weakley, just to name a few.

The four essential practices on which the conference focused were:

  1. Valid code (standards compliance)
  2. Accessible code
  3. Semantically correct code
  4. Separation of content and presentation

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