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Something that came up the other day made me want to write this post. This will be a quick one about how I dislike using another party’s program/code.

In Business Management (what I’m currently majoring in), you often hear about “outsourcing”. Essentially, outsourcing is having a third party come in and perform a certain task or section of your organization for you, usually for fee. It is a very popular option nowadays because almost all functions of a business can be outsourced in some way. More on that when I have time.

WordPress has limitations of course, but I’m not talking about that in this case. I’m actually talking about YouTube and other affiliations with the company. You are given the option to “embed”, or more literally place a video onto your own website, hosted by YouTube. It’s great in some ways because they code everything, host it on their servers meaning you don’t have to pay, and all you need to do is hit the play button to start watching.

The problem, and essentially what I dislike as a developer is when you aren’t given any options to modify THEIR code. StudioTim has always passed the XHTML validator, which is the official standard that websites should be following if they want a clean website. Some may ask why follow standards? It’s simple. Having a working website that follows rules makes it easier to edit, find errors, and ask for help when something goes wrong. Also, it allows you to streamline many different applications which would use your code, such as Really Simple Syndication (RSS Feeds), or XML readers. What I’m getting is that YouTube’s code to embed their videos violates this standard, and will cause errors whenever you try to validate a website with Youtube Links.. Of course, they are performing a service by hosting and playing videos for free, but it still doesn’t change the fact that if they’re services are so popular, why can’t they follow the standard too?

Again to go over why standards are important:

  • Helps streamline all internet browsers and capabilities
  • Easier time for outside programs and applications to analyze your website
  • Faster and more optimal performances
  • A clean website = usually clean look
  • Easier to find errors
  • Easier to edit
  • Easier to read

While having an “invalid” website doesn’t make it suddenly blow up and stop working (though that’s always a possibility), the truth is it is not running optimally. In StudioTim’s case, these YouTube errors don’t break anything, but whenever the website loads, it loads unnecessary code, or code that’s invalid and may not be recognized by all internet browsers or applications. While YouTube is providing a free service, their codes and application should be kept up to standards.

Despite this, I am a regular user of YouTube, and their services are always appreciated (who doesn’t want free video streaming?). I just wish that they would comply with the standards so my website isn’t marked as “invalid”.