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Top Dog Top 10

Monday 19 April, 2004 ( 3:55PM GMT)

The 'Top Dog Top 10' is a feature I'm going to try out on the Dog Blog now and then - top-10 lists of web related stuff based on mind-numbingly complicated and highly scientific methodology (that's right, it's my own simple opinion).

Shoot me down in flames or call me an enumerating wizard - it's all about the debate, so offer your own thoughts and opinions...

Top Dog Top 10 Web Standards Sites

Kicking things off I thought we'd go for something quite general - the TDT10 of web sites that promote web standards.

This list is based on quality of content (both of the subject matter and the clarity of writing) and influence.

Oh, and I've not included the W3C. That would be too obvious.

If I'd written this list a year ago it would look very different - new players come, old players go and some leap forward or tail off. This is the here-and-now:

  1. CSS Zen Garden - The most incredible designs on the web that really show what you can do with CSS whilst maintaining structured HTML.
  2. A List Apart - Articles that, although sometimes a bit hit-and-miss, are often at the cutting edge, pushing the boundaries of web design further than any other site.
  3. Mezzoblue - Good discussion and solutions to web design issues more frequently that any other major web log.
  4. Simple Bits - For Dan Cederholm's sage advice and especially his 'Simple Quiz' feature.
  5. CSS Vault - Like the Zen Garden, an excellent resource for seeing how it's done and learning by example.
  6. WaSP - The first place to go for specifically web standards related news.
  7. The Daily Report - Still influential, when the Godfather of web standards has got something to say it's usually worth listening to.
  8. Andy Budd Blogography - Articles, news, links and opinion from a man with his finger on the pulse.
  9. Whitespace - Ridiculously frequent, well-written articles about web design from Paul Scrivens.
  10. Stop Design - Good quality advice and intelligent, thought-provoking opinion.

There's only room for ten on the list - those just outside include Asterisk, hicksdesign, Simon Willison, Max Design and Meyerweb.


Comment 1

Well, make it top15. I miss and here at least. Sure there are more :)

So said rimantas on Monday 19 April, 2004 at 5:15PM GMT.

Comment 2

Web Design References:

So said on Monday 19 April, 2004 at 7:56PM GMT.

Comment 3

Well, it's the images that make the Zen Garden beautiful, not the actual styles.
What about me? Also, where's QuirksMode?

I mean, I don't use DOCTYPES but I still I hint every now and then that tables for layout is bad. I'm probably 89th on the list. I just cannot see how the W3C event and box models make senes.
Is it because I use frames?

So said Dante Evans on Monday 19 April, 2004 at 10:17PM GMT.

Comment 4

Wow, I am flattered. I got two sites up there :) Wow, ummmm, yeah, wow. Now I got some pressure. Geez thanks a lot :-P You forgot your site. I thin it is way more informative than mine.

So said Scrivs on Tuesday 20 April, 2004 at 6:20AM GMT.

Comment 5

I can't include HTML Dog!

One site I should have included though is 37signals ( and ). A rather foolish oversight of mine.

So said Patrick on Tuesday 20 April, 2004 at 1:18PM GMT.

Comment 6

Well, Dante, sorry, but if you don't use DOCTYPE there can be no talk about standartds. No table layouts - ok, let's talk about coding practices, but talking about standarts requires ones named.
And about box model - you have content with some width. You may want to add some padding/margins/borders or may not - it does not matter, since adding a margin or padding _does not change_ the width of the content. Thats 'additive' model, and that's how css works.

So said Rimantas on Tuesday 20 April, 2004 at 1:28PM GMT.

Comment 7

Yeah, but there's more to Web Standards than using a DOCTYPE: It's about using clean, structured markup and not using tag soup.

So said Dante Evans on Wednesday 21 April, 2004 at 12:15AM GMT.

Comment 8

You need to tell the browser what standard you are using or else you may as well not bother. If your so against doing things properly why do you read this blog so much?

So said [Anon] on Wednesday 21 April, 2004 at 11:09AM GMT.

Comment 9

In an attempt to prevent this going off topic, I'll qualify what I meant by 'web standards'.

A 'web standard' is a standardised way of doing something on the web that is usually accepted by a large number of people. In this case it tends to mean the W3C. 'XHTML 1.0' is a web standard. 'CSS 2.1' is a web standard. 'WCAG 1.0' is a web standard.

By following and promoting a web standard you have to accept it - you can't pick and choose which bits of a standard you like and which you don't and then claim to follow it. In this case, all of those on the list have a doctype declataration (I haven't checked, but I'm pretty damned sure) because without one there's no point in building a web page to any HTML standard because browsers will just fall into 'quirks mode'.

Although this isn't a list about how 'web standard' a web site is, it would be difficult to promote web standards if you didn't follow them yourself.

So said Patrick on Wednesday 21 April, 2004 at 11:48AM GMT.

Comment 10

I totally agree on the list ( and the sites added by commenters ). It's great to see so many quality resources. ( including this one )

So said Bart N. on Thursday 29 April, 2004 at 5:28PM GMT.

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