Saturday, January 28, 2006

Implementation of Standards (HTML & more)

As has been picked up all over the net Google has published some analysis of HTML used on the Web. Now some of the bloggers in the e-learning arena have picked up on this, notably Stephen Downs and Scott Wilson. I generally believe that people will only adhere to the standards when they are force to do so as normally it makes their life harder. As web browsers were lax in what they accepted most people were lax in what they produced, and it may be that web would be very different if web browsers strictly implemented the standard. So as long as the software implementing the elearning standards is strict in what it accepts and what it produces this should be ok. The problem is that at the moment this isn't the case. Our experienced in the Bodington community is that content packages produced by other elearning products need special code to deal with them as they are typically outside the specification. However at the moment the number of products is reasonably small so this is possible. And as Bodington is one of the smaller communities at the moment it is in our interest to interoperate as well as possible with the other products as people evaluating Bodington will blame Bodington if it fails to import a WebCT content package, rather than questioning if WebCT can product a correct one in the first place.