Future Proofing

Making it reusable

Adherence to standards enables the same content to be reused and represented in many different ways, according to its context.

In the context of websites, this is achieved through the use of cascading style sheets (CSS).

HTML provides a limited range of possible significances, which can be contextualised further using CSS (heading1 may be smaller in the side columns of a site than it is in the main body of the text, for example)

The general principle is extended into xml, which allows information to be stored together with multiple types of meta-information.

This means that the same information can be reused and represented in many different ways, and many different contexts.

Thus the same database might be used to:

  • Provide product information for a printed catalogue
  • Provide on-line information on a web-based shop
  • Connect to an invoicing system
  • Connect to a delivery system
  • and so on

CSS is designed to makes it simpler to support multiple presentations of the same material for different media from the same layout, without the need to redesign the pages:

  • higher resolution screens
  • print
  • low resolution devices such as mobile phones.
  • page readers.