So, I made my way back to Ed's Weblog this morning. I had read his comments regarding the necessity of standards the other day, but I wanted to read them again before I told my story. Mine is definitely in the Left-Field Department, but it does demonstrate why standards are a Good Thing. For what feels like the last 8-billion years, I have been testing a powerful open source shopping cart system. The code that drives the tools is robust and elegant (despite the fact that there are *no* comments...grrrrr) but the html templates it ships with are nasty. There is no other word. They are machine generated, impossible to read and make liberal use of the dreaded font tag. I decided the Right Thing To Do was clean up the templates, and I did. Any guesses on what happened next? The images vanished. Poof! The reason they disappeared was simple : I like white space. I prefer to write img src = "foo.jpg" rather than img src="bar.gif" because I find it easier to read. Unfortunately, the propeller-heads decided that the former would fail a pattern-match when the templates are rendered. So now I know and, frankly, I feel worse for the knowledge. Granted, this has more to do with the software I am using than any particular web standard. The point is that if we all had the same definitive reference we would find new and, more importantly, better ways to waste our time. Just ask anyone who's ever tried to write cross-bowser DHTML. Anyway, the whole reason I started the story with Ed is that, when I arrived first link on his site was to something called White Space Bugs in Browsers. see also Edd Dumbill : XML, Standards and You.