Who Cares About Standards

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A talk I did at the first London WSG meeting in 2006 about the history of the screw.


<p>http://static.sxc.hu/z/ze/zenpixel/309699_6397.jpg</p> <p>Who Cares AboutStandards?</p> <p>1by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>A Brief History of Standards</p> <p>2by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>Early Standards</p> <p>3by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p> Stones used as a unit of weight in 7th century BC Egypt</p> <p> In 1120 King Henry I created the ell unit of length</p> <p> Meter first used in 1797</p> <p>However, the history of modern standards</p> <p>is the history of the screw</p> <p>4by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>Invented by the Greeks in 5th Century BC</p> <p> The Archimedes Screw was used to draw water and irrigate farms</p> <p> Screws were used to press clothes, olives and wine</p> <p> Romans created the first wood screws from bronze or silver</p> <p> Screws were lost with the fall of the Roman Empire</p> <p>5by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>6by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>Rediscovered during the Renaissance</p> <p> First written reference in the 1400s</p> <p> Used in the Guttenburg Press</p> <p> Leonardo Da Vinci influenced by the screw</p> <p>Not all screws were made equal</p> <p>7by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p> Screws were hand turned and each one was different</p> <p> Nuts and bolts had to be matched by hand</p> <p> Impractical and Inefficient </p> <p>The Lathe</p> <p>8by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p> Leonardo Da Vinci designed a screw cutting machine</p> <p> First actual machine built by Jaques Besson in 1568</p> <p> The modern lathe was created in 1797 by Henry Maudsley </p> <p>This all changed thanks to Sir Joseph Whitworth</p> <p> Whitworth was Henry Maudsleys apprentice</p> <p> Became foreman in Charles Babbages engineering works</p> <p> Suggested the first screw standards in 1841</p> <p>By 1860 the Whitworth screw was in general use in Great Britain</p> <p>9by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>The American Standard</p> <p> On 21st April 1864, William Sellers proposed a new US standard screw thread</p> <p> By 1883, most US railroads used the Sellers thread</p> <p> Britain adopted this thread towards the end of World War 2</p> <p> Became one of the first official standards</p> <p> Today there are over 800,000 different standards</p> <p>10by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>What are standards?</p> <p>11by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>Definition 1: An agreed set of rules or characteristics</p> <p>12</p> <p>Standards are all around us</p> <p>13</p> <p>Standard units such as the meter, kilogram and secondStandard screw fittings such as "slotted" and "PhillipsStandard bed sizes such as double, queen and kingStandard media formats such as VHS, CD and DVD</p> <p>Benefits of standards</p> <p>14</p> <p>Standards ease communication.e.g. You can tell somebody the train station is 100m away and they know how far you mean.</p> <p>Standards encourage interoperability. e.g. You plug your DVD player into your TV and you know it will work.</p> <p> Standards make life easier.e.g. You can buy a toaster without having to worry that the plug will fit your socket</p> <p>Definition 2: An agreed measure of quality</p> <p>15</p> <p>Standards are all around us</p> <p>16</p> <p>British standard kite markInternational Organisation for Standardisation (ISO)Chartered accountant or engineerHotel star ratingPADI 5 star diving centreEU energy ratingMichelin starCORGI registered gas fitter</p> <p>Benefits of standards</p> <p>17</p> <p>Standards ensure safety and durability.e.g. Goods or services with a BSI kite mark should be safe and fit for purpose.</p> <p>Standards guarantee a level of expertise.e.g. To become a chartered accountant, you have to have achieved a certain level of experience and knowledge.</p> <p>Standards are a mark of professionalism.e.g. Though not required to teach diving, being a PADI instructor shows that you are a professional.</p> <p>Types of standards</p> <p>18</p> <p>OfficialDe-factoOpenProprietary</p> <p>Whats this got to do with the web?</p> <p>19by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>Browser Wars</p> <p>20</p> <p>The languages that power the web were developed over time by the browser manufacturersBy creating their own standards, they hoped to force out the competitionBy the mid 90s many websites were browser specific</p> <p>The March to Standards</p> <p>21</p> <p>The W3C created a set of language recommendationsDeveloper pressure helped force browser supportAll modern browsers support there recommendations.Some better than othersThese recommendations became known as web standards</p> <p>The Standards Philosophy</p> <p>22</p> <p>Separating structure, presentation and behaviourAdding meaning to a documentWriting quality code that will last</p> <p>Benefits of web standards</p> <p>23</p> <p>Standards ease communication.If the site is built using standards, its much easier to hand over to other developers</p> <p>Standards encourage interoperability. Sites are more accessible and forward compatible</p> <p> Standards make life easier.The code is easier to maintain. Easy to make site-wide changes</p> <p>Benefits of web standards</p> <p>24</p> <p>Standards ensure safety and durability.Better written code will last longer</p> <p>Standards guarantee a level of expertise.You need to be a reasonably proficient developer to build sites using web standards</p> <p>Standards are a mark of professionalism.Insisting on web standards helps separate the professionals from the cowboys</p> <p>However the standards aren't perfect</p> <p>25</p> <p>Standards based sites aren't necessarily faster loading than non-standards sitesLarge CSS files are difficult to maintain. Particularly thanks to the cascadePresentation is still tied to structure (to a certain extent)CSS layout is less than idealInconsistent browser implementation(X)HTML and CSS development is stalling</p> <p>Web standards are becoming irrelevant</p> <p>26by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>and thats a good thing</p> <p>Most clients dont care about standards</p> <p>and why should they?</p> <p>27by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>A change of focus</p> <p> Information Architecture</p> <p> Usability</p> <p> User Experience</p> <p> Design</p> <p> Branding</p> <p> Client and user goals</p> <p>28by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>I dont care about standards</p> <p>and neither should you</p> <p>29by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>http://static.sxc.hu/z/ze/zenpixel/309699_6397.jpg</p> <p>Thank You</p> <p>30by Andy Budd of Clearleft.com</p> <p>http://www.andybudd.com/wsg2006</p>