Opera, the company behind the browser of the same name, is trying out a new way to help drive web standards: teaching.
The browser is known for rendering web pages under strict adherence to established web standards. Now the company is releasing an online course, or Opera Web Standards Curriculum, to help teach budding website developers those standards right from the start.
The site and curriculum, released in association with the Yahoo! Developer Network, covers basic subjects such as HTML, CSS and design theory. The course authors are all established web developing professionals within industry, and their course material helps guide students on programming websites using the latest approved web standards. Opera’s hope is to teach good web development practices to the next generation of web developers.
The tutorials are all released under the Creative Commons license, meaning you can share the work all you want for non-commercial purposes as long as you use attribution.
Using web standards is a good thing. Typically web developers have to modify code to ensure the web page appears correctly on the most popular browsers, such as Internet Explorer and Firefox. The more developers adhere to web standards, the more likely browsers will too — and vice versa.
If web standards are adopted by all browsers and developers, it will make everyone’s job easier. These days, most web programs need to detect browser types and work around browser incompatibilities to ensure the page displays correctly.
Opera is headed in a good direction by teaching people to code correctly from the start, hopefully reducing the probability of poor site code in the future.