Standard Web Standards will be on an indefinite hiatus starting today. I’ve mentioned in another blog of mine that I plan to focus on new and different things this 2010 and writing actively in this blog is one of the things I plan to do less of.

I believe that the Web Standards war has been won already. The war I’m referring to is the adoption of proper technologies on the presentation and markup of web pages. I’m convinced that web professionals today see proper XHTML & HTML is a must and designing websites with CSS is now the norm. A few years back, it was a huge plus to design along those lines; now it’s the way things are. While this blog ventured into User Experience, Usability, and Internet Matketing themes more, the lessening content about web standards is perhaps an indicator that the Web Standards war is all but over.

With an admission that the Web Standards war of the last decade is finished, I believe that this blog has accomplished its major mission– I’d like to believe that this blog has been made a little dent in changing web designers’ minds about web standards.

What’s next for me? I plan consolidating my blogging activity this year. My areas of focus are Screensucked (my movie reviews blog) and Big Lakers Fan. If you notice, I’m putting my attention on lighter topics and entertainment, which I find extremely easy to write for. My writing about the web will now be moved to  BloggingPro (which covers blogging topics) for the time being.

My other area of focus will be my community and evangelism work. Since I’m the Mozilla Philippines Community Leader, expect more updates on that site, especially about Mozilla’s work on open web standards. If you ask me, most of the web standards stuff will be appearing there. I also started to be the Twitter person of the Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO). 🙂

On the usability and user experience front, I’m doing a lot if it right now that writing about it may be fatiguing. I may come up with a site on this exclusively in the future. 🙂

I owe a lot to this blog that I can’t find it in me to shut it down completely. Who knows? When the next web standards crisis arises, this blog will make a comeback. 😀

Google Places Vote of Confidence on HTML5

Chalk one up for Web Standards.

Google has decided to retire Google Gears and is moving forward with HTML5. This isn’t really exciting news for the everyday web user but for the standardistas out there (*chirp* *chirp*), this is exciting news. Heck, HTML5 is still not even done a formal specification! With this development Gears has almost fulfilled its intended use– to be the stop gap to Google’s needs for offline storage and a few other API’s before HTML5 could deliver.

With Google Chrome and perhaps the Google Chrome OS, Google may be priming HTML5 into the forefront sooner than expected. (Some folks estimate HTML5 will hit critical mass at around 2015).

So why is HTML5 getting this much traction this early? Well, if you ask me, it’s because the users’ expectations of the web is increasing by the day and the development of the spec is lagging far behind. This need has given the browser makers the impetus to go ahead and implement bits and pieces of HTML5. Now, Google is banking on the available components of HTML5 will be able to deliver their intended web experience.

HTML5 may be far from finished, but Google thinks it’s already good enough.

PWDO’s 5th Mini-Web Design Conference


It’s Mini-Web Design Conference season once again!

The Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO) will be having its fifth Mini-Web Design Conference, the first after the major Form Function & Class web design conference. The event will be held at the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) in Manila on November 14, 2009.

The event is spearheaded by applicants of incoming members of the PWDO with the help of the Association of Information Management of DLS-CSB.

It was over a year ago when we organized the very first Mini-Web Design Conference and I think it’s a great venue for web folks to network and learn a thing or two. 🙂

See you all there!

Web Design Vs. Print Design: A Review

Fifteen years ago, there were no web designers. The very first web designers in the early days of the web were “traditional” graphic designers that migrated their skills from print to the new media.  So a lot of web design today is influenced by print design philosophies.

However, it’s easy to take from granted the differences between print and the web for the designer. Here are some of the key differences revisited:

  1. The Web is Dynamic – the key difference between the two media is that designing for the web means designing for content that will change based on the reader’s interaction. Printed content and design, obviously, will stay the same for eternity.
  2. Authoring is different – Making web pages can literally be done on notepad for the HTML, CSS, and Javascript stuff. But there are key tools available from image editors (Adobe Photoshop/Fireworks, Mic), editors (Adobe Dreamweaver), and even rich media (Flash) that give the web its interactivity. Print folks have Adobe InDesign, and even Microsoft Word. Also, designing for print operates better in a WYSIWYG environment.
  3. As far as standards go, the web has a long way to go – From the browsers, to the mark-up standards, and design standards the web is a mish-mash compared to print.  If I ask you what the standard for rich media on the web, you’ll probably say “Flash,” but open web standards advocates will point to something else.

As web design matures and print media finds a way to arrest its steady decline, designers will probably dabble on the media more often. Appreciating the difference between the two media could probably go a long way.

2 Reasons Why HTML 5 Should be in Web Designers’ Sights

Things have been pretty silent on the Web Standards front in the last year but I’m sure the noise level will by pickup by next year as the HTML 5 specification is gradually going to be implemented on browsers and other apps (particularly the trend-setting Google Wave).

Web designers who are serious in their crafts should definitely take a look at the HTML 5 spec as I see it to be a game-changing upgrade of skills for the web design-folk. If you’re a web designer, I have a couple reasons why HTML 5 should be in your radar:

  1. It will change your workflow – With new elements for tags, I’m sure it will take a lot of getting used to. If you coded <div>’s on your sleep, that will change in HTML 5 as more semantic tags like <section>, <article>, and <aside> are around. Also, you may be tasked to migrate HTML 4/XHTML 1.0-coded pages into HTML 5.
  2. It puts more emphasis on wider interaction mechanisms – I have to admin, designing for the “old” web is simpler as the interaction interface is primarily HTML forms. But if there’s anything we’ve seen in the last two years of web design, interaction has evolved and HTML 5 makes it more official. Free-form drawing via the <canvas> element, drag-and-drop, and active background processes mean some changes in the web design philosophies designers are used to.

HTML 5 is definitely a richer spec and would definitely make the Web a more immersive place. It’s now up to us, the people making websites, if we can make it happen for our end users.

3 Things You Probably Did Not Know About Web Standards

Some people say that the battle for Web Standards has been won, with most designers already conscious of standards compliance. But based on my personal observation, there are still a few things about Web Standards that escape even the seasoned vets of web design:

  1. Web Standards do not pertain to one technology – Web Standards, at its most fundamental form, is actually the set of recommendations (HTML/XHTML, CSS & JavaScript at the very least). To use a particular Content Management System (CMS) does not automatically guarantee that the site is Web Standards-compliant. (Although a great deal of CMSes do a great job of taking Web Standards into consideration.)
  2. Web Standards-compliance is an authoring approach – Beyond the valid code and compliance to the recommendations, Web Standards takes into account semantic mark-up and accessibility
  3. The Web Standards are held back by software – Yes, I’m talking about browsers. By the end of the year, the HTML 5 specification will most likely be complete. How many browsers will be ready to handle them? We don’t know.

I hope these three little nuggets will help you understand Web Standards better.  You can always refer to the Web Standards Project website for more information on this topic.  :)

I’m honored: Standard Web Standards Recognized as “Disabled-Friendly”

I’m very proud to share that Standard Web Standards was recently recognized by a body comprised of government agencies and non-government organizations for its web accessibility features.

The Philippines’ National Council on Disabiliy Affairs, National Computer Center of the Commission on Information and Communications Technology, Vision Office Support Services Ltd. and the Philippine Web Accessibility Group gave several websites commendations during the form function & class Web Conference last July 10, 2009. Plaques were presented to the website owners for including accessibility features, and promoting web standards, usability and accessibility.

The other websites that were recognized as “disabled-friendly” were:

  1. http://www.philcecnet.ph – Official Philippine E-center Community Portal of the National Computer Center represented by Dr. Angelo Juan Ramos (Government)
  2. http://www.blinding-light.com – Personal Website of Ms.Miko Reznor (Anna Monica Esguerra)
  3. http://www.lilianefoundationphil.org – Official Website of Liliane Foundation Philippines represented by Sis. Agnetia Naval, National Coordinator (Non-government Organization)

Disabled-friendly awards winners

Awardees (from left): Regnard Raquedan, Eloisa San Mateo, Sis. Agnetia Naval, Anna Monica Esguerra, Jojo Esposa of PWAG and NCDA Executive Director Geraldine Ruiz (seated)

I’d like to thank the agencies for the honor and recognition of the extra effort I put in to make my blog more accessible. 😀

(Photo from Jojo Esposa’s Picasa Web Album)