Today while chatting with a friend who is building a website, I realized how much my outlook on the importance of standards has changed in the recent past. The number of websites which follow HTML/XHTML specification is greatly outnumbered by those which don't. Unfortunately, this is largely due to the tools used to make these web pages. So what is the problem? The pages become browser specific. They show up differently/ incorrectly or partially on others. This is by far defeating the very surpose of having a standard for data definition language like HTML. To avoid this, make sure every web page you create is standards compliant (visit http://validator.w3.org/)
An even more unfortunate reality is the lack of awareness and interest to build websites which are accessible. Accessible web sites allow their content to be navigated in systematic manner. Which means, the web page can be navigated using some tools by the blind and other specially abled people. I know of a totally blind person who owns a start up software company. And another one who is a gnome developer. So if I make my site using flash, it means that I will not be able to reach them. But most people don't care! Would they? Even if they knew this?! Indifference everywhere!
Please follow web standards and avoid flash. Let's make the web a better place!