For the first time in several years I’m doing some serious ASP.NET web development. Having followed the “web standards” debate for the past few years (and seeing how Microsoft has been trashed again and again for it’s lack of standards support), I thought I’d see if it is possible to use the latest ASP.NET 2.0 technologies to develop a standards compliant E-Commerce web site. To me, this means web pages that are XHTML 1.0 Transitional compliant and use external Cascading Style Sheets wherever possible. I also wanted to see if it was practical to design the site to meet the latest accessibility standards such as WCAG and Section 508.
To get started, I first needed to bring myself up to date on the current “state of the debate”, especially where it relates to XHTML, CSS, IE “Hacks”, Firefox, etc. Luckily, there are a number of great web sites dedicated to web standards, XHTML and CSS including those listed below:
As well as Microsoft’s own web standards (and related) sites:
Microsoft has also recently posted several very good examples and Visual Studio 2005 templates that make designing a “web standards” compliant site a whole lot easier. I’m not overly impressed with the templates “look and feel” but they are great examples to follow and provide some well written code examples.
My next step is to see what it takes to create a “web standards” compliant MasterPage in ASP.NET 2.0 using no tables for layout purposes. I’ll give you a hint. Buy Dan Cederholm’s latest book Bulletproof Web Design. It’s worth every penny!