News - June, 2008
W3C Compliance And Open Source Solutions
W3C Compliance refers to the programming standards that have been established by the W3C Authority; which is the group responsible for maintaining and evolving the HTML language.
Open Source Solutions are pre-programmed solutions that can be customized on both an aesthetic and functional level by experienced programmers. These solutions generally cover most of the business needs of clients; which is what makes them extremely popular as Online Business Solutions for clients not willing to invest large amounts of capital in Custom Developed (Programmed) Solutions.
Since the W3C released its new level of standardization and Validation Tools it has become far easier for clients to see how their website complies with the standards established by the W3C.
The one issue pertaining to the use of Open Source Solutions is that many of them are not W3C Compliant and regardless of whether or not your web designer has correctly programmed your website layout with W3C Compliance in mind it will not remain so as soon as the Open Source Solution has been integrated into the website layout.
The reason for this is in the fact that Open Source denotes a programming community that continually builds upon the existing programming code. In a nutshell, this basically means that you will have potentially hundreds of programmers who specialize in functionality working on a solution that also requires W3C Compliance which they generally have no interest in complying with.
Although not the best of solutions, as long as the layout is not compromised and the Open Source Solution is able to function as intended it technically will not compromise any of your Online Business potential. For this article we tested several popular Open Source Solutions to see exactly how they would rank when put through the full W3C Validation process.
osCommerce – This open source solution is functionality rich and extremely popular for use on Ecommerce based sites; but it also uses ten year old HTML code which is all table based. It is also very much modular in the way the architecture of the code has been programmed so that in the end it is literally pulling layout details and content from dozens of individual PHP documents.
OSCMax – This is a derivative of osCommerce and although it does have a significantly higher level of functionality it has also carried over much of the coding problems which were originally established in osCommerce.
CMS (Content Management System) Solutions
Drupal – This solution, although extensive, is by far the least compliant of many of the big CMS Solution Open Source Providers. Similar to the problem which exists with osCommerce, Drupal started the development of its solution with outdated code and is now so large in scale that cleaning for use within a fully compliant W3C environment would be unrealistic to say the least.
Joomla – Out of all the solutions tested this CMS Solution is by far the best developed. The very first test run on the frontend code passed W3C Validation immediately without any need to update the code. In closing, although only one of the all the Open Source Solutions we tested is 100% W3C Compliant it does not dictate that because of this they are not viable solutions. On the contrary, if the web development group you are working with are capable of upgrading the code to W3C Compliance; and you have both the time and capital to invest in the upgrade process, then in the long run your site will only load better, faster and look the same in all browsers. LogoBee is currently in the process of upgrading all of the code for the Open Source Solutions that we use to ensure that our clients have the best solution available to them instead of having to suffice with the out-of-the-box versions of the Open Source Solutions used by most development groups. W3C Validation of websites can be easily done at http://validator.w3.org/ by simply typing in the URL (web address) of the website you would like to validate. To see the validation details for yourself you can easily just copy and paste the addresses listed below of Open Source Solution examples that are currently online for review: osCommerce - http://demo.oscommerce.com/ OSCMax - http://www.logobee-web.com/demo/w3c/oscmax/ Drupal - http://www.opensourcecms.com/cms/drupal/ Joomla - http://demo.joomla.org/1.5/