Anthony passed me this link via email.

It is the BBC's own standards and guidelines and gives some quite interesting insights into life working on the BBC website. Of particular interest is the supported browsers page, which, looking at the change history, shows they started to support FireFox in December 2004, and still have to test their pages in Netscape 4.7!!

Other interesting pages point to their policy on cookie use and database design and development, revealing they use Oracle and MySQL.

Most interesting of all for me is the HTML Integrity page which lists loads of requirements a single page must stick to. But mentioned quite a bit is Barley. From what I have found out through a contact who worked at the BBC, this is their own template system. Apparently its archaic, inflexible and not many people like working with it! Martin Belam's blog gives a few more clues as to the nature of Barley. It seems to be a home grown system, can anyone else share any light on it?

Also of interest are things like "All pages MUST include a link to a text-only or low-graphic version of the page in the banner/top left-hand area of the page and a "skip to main content" invisible-gif shortcut to aid screenreader users (see information in the forthcoming Screenreader Requirements Standards) as the first link in the toolbar." It must put some real pressure on the web masters to come up with designs that meet all these requirements!

Anyway I'll leave you all to go off and explore it, it is an interesting read, I assure you!