Tim Berners-Lee’s dream for his invention, the World Wide Web, is a common space where users can share information to work together, to play, and to socialize (The World Wide Web, A very short personal history ). People known as web developers, usually for reasons of their own, work alongside Berners-Lee to continue making his dream a reality. Web standards guide developers to help ensure that everyone has access to the information and to allow it to be created in as pain-free a manner as possible. The discussion is very diverse on what the standards should be, but most developers will agree that standards that support building and running on all platforms are the ones that they should support. Almost every webpage you visit complies with the W3C standards, and you can see which one it complies with by "viewing source" and looking at the declared "doctype" in the first line. For instance, this page [referring to COL Home Page] mostly complies with the xhtml 1.0 transitional standard.
...to learn more, visit "W3C Standards" (http://www.w3.org/standards/), "The Web Standards Project FAQ" (http://www.webstandards.org/learn/faq/), and "Web Standards" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_standards) on Wikipedia.