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Part 4: Part 4: Dynamic Web Sites > The Future of the Dynamic Web

Chapter 29. The Future of the Dynamic Web

Suppose you are doing a bit of work about the house, building that back deck you always wanted. A friend who has graciously agreed to help you measures the first board and tells you to cut another one to 350.3 centimeters. You look at your tape measure and realize that it uses inches, not centimeters. What do you do? Easy: Convert 350.3 centimeters to inches by dividing by 2.54. The result is about 138 inches. Cut the board, and you are in business.

What was wrong with good old inches, feet, and yards? These units were the standards for centuries. The problem was that the imperial measurement system had some rather vague and arbitrary conversions between smaller and larger units (I can never remember how many yards are in a mile, for example), whereas the metric system allows you to convert from smaller to larger units by moving the decimal (see the sidebar "All for a Lack of Standards").

Standards are great, but if we didn't try to improve our standards, we'd still be swinging from tree to tree, trying to figure out which one had the best bananas.

In the world of the Web, yesterday's bleeding-edge technology is today's standard. The stuff that crashes your browser now may well be the accepted norm with the next browser release. That said, these things can become standards only if we—the people creating for the Web—actually use them.


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