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  1. #51
    Compulsive Clubber icky_bu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japhi
    Just because I work on my truck or do my own plumbing doesn't make me a mechanic or a plumber. It follow that just because I have 5 websites, I am not a web developer.

    There needs to be a certification process for Web Developers backed by a strong professional association. Good developers should be able to distiguish themselves from hobbyists, apprentices and imposters. Untill there is, clients will continue to get burned, compensation wil continue to soften and the industry will not get respect.
    Good point. Well said.

  2. #52
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japhi
    There needs to be a certification process for Web Developers backed by a strong professional association. Good developers should be able to distiguish themselves from hobbyists, apprentices and imposters. Untill there is, clients will continue to get burned, compensation will continue to soften and the industry will not get respect.
    I'll say it again: power yields respect, and not the other way around.

    I've been hearing this kind of talk for at least ten years now (before web design, in software development). Conversations like this one tend to end with "there needs to be a certification process!", figuring that the respect other professions get happens because a bunch of folks got together and issued paper. From practical experience (as someone who currently holds three "respected" tech certifications myself), I can testify that it doesn't work that way in real life. It's just not a useful solution.. the "strong professional association", where do you think that strength comes from?

    Professionals like doctors and lawyers are respected because they wield real, tangible power over peoples' lives - their paper isn't about propping up their marketability or providing a sense of group identity, but about limiting the damage they can do. Many professions (plumbing, general contractors, accountants, etc.) are licensed by the state because unskilled practitioners represent authentic threats to the public good; if a plumber or barber or electrician screws up, more than money can be lost. Because public good is involved, victims of fraudulent practitioners can have those licenses taken away, stripping the practitioner of the ability to engage their services in the marketplace. There's recourse to abuse, and a recognition that a real power needs to be checked - the paper is a symbol of the power, not the cause of it, and web designers simply don't wield nearly the same level of power. When web designers (and the Web itself) are trusted enough to handle true power in their work, they'll get all the regulation - and respect - that comes with it.

    A web design certification process would only carry weight if not having a cert meant not being allowed to legally practice, and for that to happen, there would need to be a compelling public good case. Otherwise, any web design cert, no matter how nobly accredited, is nothing more than a marketing gimmick designed to strip newbie designers of a few hundred bucks and a bit of business naivete. It sure wouldn't keep Little Jimmy out of the market, or prevent Jimmy from competing on the cheap - it'd only be a symbol of what some web designers think about each other. At best.

    Web designers need to stop focusing on respect as a profession and instead focus on respect as their own businesses. Plenty can be done there, but first a designer needs to distinguish themselves among the rabble and noise. That requires a lot of thinking and work and dedication, more effort than just rushing out to join a new club.
    Last edited by Robert Warren; Oct 6, 2006 at 22:22.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    Not many web developers have letters after their names, there's no years of studying for offical examinations, etc etc. Most web developers are just coders who are trying to run a business and not doing a very good job of it - it's almost embarrassing to hear some of the tales told on this web site - people working without contracts, working for slave wages, guys spending more time writing sales proposals than actually working on or in their business, guys agreeing to completly unacceptable terms, the list goes on. The industry's a mess because 95% of the people working in it haven;t got the first idea on how to run a business.
    Good point. However, it isn't just the amateurs who give web design a bad name. If you define professional as a person who helps guide and nurture his or her profession - like medical professionals who decide how to treat certain illnesses - then ask yourself who runs the web design profession. Microsoft!

    Seriously, countless web designers complain about the endless hacks they need to code in order to make their websites work in Internet Explorer. But how many take a stand and try to persuade their customers to switch to better browsers?

    Here in the U.S., the medical profession and public education have both been privatized. There's no need to privatize web design, because web designers were never true professionals in the fullest sense of the word to begin with.

    The irony is mind boggling.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    Seriously, countless web designers complain about the endless hacks they need to code in order to make their websites work in Internet Explorer. But how many take a stand and try to persuade their customers to switch to better browsers?
    no offence intended, but this is silly

    a professional web designer does not use hacks

    hacks are a sure sign of a print designer that doesn't understand the web

    persuading customers to use a different browser (i will not go so far as to say "better" because that's much too subjective) is not something a professional web designer would ever think of doing
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  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    Good point. However, it isn't just the amateurs who give web design a bad name. If you define professional as a person who helps guide and nurture his or her profession - like medical professionals who decide how to treat certain illnesses - then ask yourself who runs the web design profession. Microsoft!

    Seriously, countless web designers complain about the endless hacks they need to code in order to make their websites work in Internet Explorer. But how many take a stand and try to persuade their customers to switch to better browsers?

    Here in the U.S., the medical profession and public education have both been privatized. There's no need to privatize web design, because web designers were never true professionals in the fullest sense of the word to begin with.

    The irony is mind boggling.
    Wow, you nailed it. It's all Microsoft's fault and web developers should be up on a soapbox preaching to their clients about Firefox ... that'll increase respect for themselves and the industry in general

  6. #56
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smittenbite
    ...but i am really discouraged from using them or asking anyone i dont know to do anything for my money because of some of the posts i've seen here. i dont really feel at ease when i see posts that say "i have a client who wants to do this, i dont know how, how do i do this?" what happens to that person if no one responds to the thread??? why did they take a job that they cant handle???
    That kind of describes the problem professional web designers are up against. If a client came to me wanting X Y and Z it's up to me to find/recommend a solution before I take the job on. If a project is too big I don't quote for it - period.

    If as a buyer you go cheap, and ask for something extra you'll be dealing with amateurs who don't know how to find a solution to the request.

    The main point is the a web designer should be able to provide solutions - they may not always do the work themselves but will have the confidence and experience to know what is possible and how they are going to get the job done.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937
    a professional web designer does not use hacks
    Spend some time on the CSS forum. Many web designers have separate style sheets that serve one function only - fix things that don't work in IE.

    persuading customers to use a different browser (i will not go so far as to say "better" because that's much too subjective) is not something a professional web designer would ever think of doing
    Why not? Teachers recommend certain books and curricula. Doctors recommend certain medicines, treatment plans, diets, even clothing brands. So why wouldn't a web designer - who presumably knows more about high-tech issues than the average visitor/client - help his clients by recommending better ways of doing things?

    As for which browsers are "better," I really don't think there's anything subjective about it. IE sucks. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by fkr
    Wow, you nailed it. It's all Microsoft's fault and web developers should be up on a soapbox preaching to their clients about Firefox ... that'll increase respect for themselves and the industry in general
    You don't score points with stupidity and silly icons. I never even mentioned Firefox, and i never said it's ALL Microsoft's fault. I merely pointed out that the rules of web design are largely dictated by Microsoft, not any professional community of web designers.

    Better browsers include Firefox, Opera and Safari. I use all three, though I favor Firefox, and I especially promote it on my websites. In fact, I make an occasional buck off Google referrals, and no visitor has ever complained to me about being duped into trying an inferior browser.

    I think the slogan "Take back the web" says it all.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    Why not? Teachers recommend certain books and curricula. Doctors recommend certain medicines, treatment plans, diets, even clothing brands. So why wouldn't a web designer - who presumably knows more about high-tech issues than the average visitor/client - help his clients by recommending better ways of doing things?

    As for which browsers are "better," I really don't think there's anything subjective about it. IE sucks. Period.
    Recommending a 'better' browser to a client instead of developing a website which works well in all browsers despite the nuances of IE would help noone. A good web developer does not build websites for his clients, he builds them for the users of the websites...the thousands of people who will browse the website, the same people your client is trying to make some money off, who are all possibly stuck using IE.

    That said, moving on...

    Many times its our fault why people dont view what web designers do as rocket science and think they can do it themselves (or have their kid do it). A good web developer doesnt get into pick fights with clients over which browser is better or why tables are so 'yesterday', but keeps his focus on developing user-centric websites that MAKE MONEY (whether directly through e-commerce, or indirectly through brand-awareness/information dissemination).

    The bottom line ($$$) is ultimately what matters to most clients, and youre only worth their time, money (and professional respect), if they can clearly see how what you are going to do for them is going to make them money...its this business side of things that most 'web developers' just dont get.

    Pretty is nice, but pretty on its own is useless. A worthy web developer is one who can combine aesthetics, usability and functionality to develop a website that can really make a difference.

    @geosite, please dont take offence, only the first couple of sentences have anything to do with your comment, the rest is just from general observation.
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  9. #59
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    The fact that this dialog descended into a IE/Firefox debate (with anti-Microsoft comments thrown in) is exactly why web developers aren't respected! Clients don't care about that stuff.
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  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    The fact that this dialog descended into a IE/Firefox debate (with anti-Microsoft comments thrown in) is exactly why web developers aren't respected! Clients don't care about that stuff.
    Oh, really? There are millions of clients and potential clients out there, and I think their interests are at least as broad as those displayed on this forum. And suggesting that web developers aren't respected because they debate the virtues of Firefox vs IE makes no sense at all, if only because virtually no web developers make this debate public.

    I think a major reason web developers aren't respected is the fact that they're so unregulated. I'm not suggesting we SHOULD be regulated by any government. But web developers don't even regulate themselves. Each web developer does as s/he pleases, which is really inspirational in some regards. But there are a lot of amateurs, newbies and lazy web developers who drag the profession down.

    Think about it - what do we have that's comparable to the American Medical Journal? There is such a thing as "web standards," but Microsoft regularly snubs them, and most web developers kowtow to Microsoft, so where does that leave us?

  11. #61
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    I guess I should have seen that coming.... Good luck with your activism , I just think these are different topics. It seems you are more focused on what's wrong with Microsoft than what's wrong with the web dev industry.

    This very same topic comes up over and over, and it always seems to turn into a bickering thread about linux vs. windows, mac vs. pc, IE vs. Microsoft, etc.

    And, the thread reflects many of the realities that some of the more insightful (in my opinion) posts offered. For instance, with no barrier to entry the business has earned a repuation for young, ranting developers who haven't reached a professional level of business protocol yet. I see the same dynamic on this thread.

    The web development industry is constantly being pulled in lots of different directions (and not just because of Microsoft). The professional vendors concentrate on satisfying clients rather than ranting about Microsoft, etc. It's not surprising that the www industry has such a hard time reaching any kind of certification, regulation, or any other professional credentialing system.
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  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    I think a major reason web developers aren't respected is the fact that they're so unregulated. I'm not suggesting we SHOULD be regulated by any government. But web developers don't even regulate themselves. Each web developer does as s/he pleases, which is really inspirational in some regards. But there are a lot of amateurs, newbies and lazy web developers who drag the profession down.
    If you'd only written this paragraph you'd be correct.

    Clients don't care about your grievances against Microsoft nor do they care which browser you prefer or the reasons you prefer it.

    They care about their business and whether you can meet or have met their requirements.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    I guess I should have seen that coming.... Good luck with your activism , I just think these are different topics. It seems you are more focused on what's wrong with Microsoft than what's wrong with the web dev industry.
    Microsoft is a major player - perhaps the BIGGEST - in the web dev industry.

    This very same topic comes up over and over, and it always seems to turn into a bickering thread about linux vs. windows, mac vs. pc, IE vs. Microsoft, etc.
    Maybe they're trying to tell you something.

    And, the thread reflects many of the realities that some of the more insightful (in my opinion) posts offered. For instance, with no barrier to entry the business has earned a repuation for young, ranting developers who haven't reached a professional level of business protocol yet. I see the same dynamic on this thread.
    Cute. Real cute.

    The web development industry is constantly being pulled in lots of different directions (and not just because of Microsoft). The professional vendors concentrate on satisfying clients rather than ranting about Microsoft, etc. It's not surprising that the www industry has such a hard time reaching any kind of certification, regulation, or any other professional credentialing system.
    It's not just about "ranting." They could calmly suggest their clients and visitors use better browsers without even mentioning politics. There are many practical reasons for switching.

    Frankly, I see very few web developers doing even that, so I'm not sure where you're seeing all these ranting newbies you allude to.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by fkr
    If you'd only written this paragraph you'd be correct.

    Clients don't care about your grievances against Microsoft nor do they care which browser you prefer or the reasons you prefer it.
    Some do, some don't. Clients also care about their customers and visitors, whose interests and needs are extremely diverse.

    Use a little logic: If a doctor suggests a certain medicine may be worsening your illness, do you say, "Damn you for attacking the competition!"? Do you accuse him of "ranting"? Or if someone at a service station gives you a tip about a product that gives you better gas mileage or better tire traction, do you label him a subversive newbie? Of course not.

    That's what recommending better software is all about. If your clients or visitors don't want to follow your advice, what have you lost? Nothing. If they DO take your advice and discover a better computing experience, they'll probably think more highly of you.

    That's what true professionalism is all about - taking pride in what you do personally but also doing what you can to improve your entire industry. If someone had steered me away from Microsoft ten years ago, I'd be eternally in their debt.

    They care about their business and whether you can meet or have met their requirements.
    And their customers and visitors almost always figure prominently in their "requirements."

  15. #65
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Tyssen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing
    The fact that this dialog descended into a IE/Firefox debate (with anti-Microsoft comments thrown in) is exactly why web developers aren't respected! Clients don't care about that stuff.
    Maybe if we're talking about websites for the public but if you're selling an intranet to a client, doesn't part of the service package include recommending the best browser available to view the intranet on? Wouldn't a client be interested in one browser being more secure than another? Or one that is constantly updated or faster?

  16. #66
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Perhaps, but that still wasn't really the point of the thread..
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    Part of the point of opting for an intranet rather than a software-equivelent is to avoid requiring software to be installed on the clients. The best browser for their needs is whatever they already have installed.

    @ geosite:
    It is a doctor's job to prescribe medicine. It is a salesman's job to recommend you buy something that they coincidentally sell. It is not a web developer's job to recommend software - it's not even related to their job. What browser the client uses is irrelevant to your job other than testing to make sure whatever you do works in it.

    Professionalism is knowing your job and the aspects of it - not using your clients' and their visitors to push your own ulterior agenda.

  18. #68
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    1. Not all clients mind that much about quality (even though they should). If you think they're not managing their business properly, that's their problem. You can't do anything but tell them.

    2. Not all people behave the way we would like them to. I've heard this "we need more respect" argument from many other professionals (e.g. flight attendants). The fact is - some people don't treat professionals of any sort as professionals. Why should web designers be an exception?
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by fkr
    Part of the point of opting for an intranet rather than a software-equivelent is to avoid requiring software to be installed on the clients. The best browser for their needs is whatever they already have installed.
    Holy cow, how in the world would technology advance if everyone just stuck with what they have, never testing other products and ideas??? That's what your ideas all boil down to - just use what your boss or neighbor is using, irregardless of quality or security.

    @ geosite:
    It is a doctor's job to prescribe medicine. It is a salesman's job to recommend you buy something that they coincidentally sell. It is not a web developer's job to recommend software - it's not even related to their job.
    Browsers aren't related to web developers??? How about Dreamweaver, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL...do you suppose those programs have anything to do with web development? Sheesh.

    To put it another way, most professionals are in a position to recommend SOMETHING. After alll, they're supposed to have an exceptional knowledge of their field. So WHAT could or should web developers recommend? I assume we can recommend a server side language, and I would hope that most web developers recommend their clients embrace CSS. So what's the problem with recommending a browser? Why does it gall you so much?

    What browser the client uses is irrelevant to your job other than testing to make sure whatever you do works in it.
    What about security? Overall netsurfing experience?

    Professionalism is knowing your job and the aspects of it - not using your clients' and their visitors to push your own ulterior agenda.
    It sounds like you're the one with an agenda. Why are you so frightened by the idea of letting the outside world know there are alternatives to Internet Explorer? You sound like another generation that was horrified by the notion that the Earth is round.

  20. #70
    Webwellwisher Robert Warren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geosite
    It sounds like you're the one with an agenda. Why are you so frightened by the idea of letting the outside world know there are alternatives to Internet Explorer? You sound like another generation that was horrified by the notion that the Earth is round.
    You know, I never thought I'd see the day when someone would seriously try to draw that kind of analogy. What's next - comparing the OpenDocument debate to the imprisonment of Galileo? Sagewing is right - that attitude is exactly the kind of nonsense that ticks off the good clients and makes designers in general look like a bunch of clueless amateurs.

    Web design clients don't care if you like Firefox, or if it's in fact the best thing since sliced bread. They don't care if your work is W3C, or if W3C is a good thing. They don't care if you use CSS, tables or both. And the last thing a web design client wants to hear is a speech about how great Firefox is. They really don't care.

    Clients want to know that the product will get done on time, on budget, and will be readily usable by their customers - no matter what browser their customers (or employees, if an intranet) are using. As long as IE is still the leading player, web design clients are going to want a product that first works with IE, and any prosthelitizing about Firefox is just wasting their time. They really don't care, because it's not advancing their business interests. Like it or not, businesses have much more pressing concerns than getting mired in a techie religious debate.

    And for the record, I'm a big Firefox and open source fan.

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    If you're designing an application for an intranet, then you could possibly get away with promoting one browser over another. But for a normal internet website that is not the case. A good designer should be able to design for all browsers, it's really not that difficult. The client should be able to look at their website in any modern browser and see the same in each.
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    Your entire post can be summed up in one word - BALONEY.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Warren
    You know, I never thought I'd see the day when someone would seriously try to draw that kind of analogy. What's next - comparing the OpenDocument debate to the imprisonment of Galileo? Sagewing is right - that attitude is exactly the kind of nonsense that ticks off the good clients and makes designers in general look like a bunch of clueless amateurs.
    Please show me some evidence that web design clients are ticked off because of web developers comparing the OpenDocument debate to Galileo's imprisonment or anything similar.

    Web design clients don't care if you like Firefox, or if it's in fact the best thing since sliced bread.
    There you go again, pretending to know what countless clients and potential clients care about. Do you suppose any of those clients are among the millions of people who have begun using Firefox, Opera, Safari, PHP or other non-Microsoft programs?

    They don't care if your work is W3C, or if W3C is a good thing. They don't care if you use CSS, tables or both.
    If they don't care about these things, it might be because the average client isn't even aware of them. Does a medical patient tell a doctor to prescribe a medicine the patient has never even heard of? Does a parent tell a teacher to use a curricula they've never even heard of? Same principle.

    And the last thing a web design client wants to hear is a speech about how great Firefox is. They really don't care.
    Ah, another red herring - the great Firefox bogeyman, raising its ugly head in a SPEECH this time around. For the umpteenth time, this debate is not just about Firefox, and you alone mentioned the word "speech."

    Clients want to know that the product will get done on time, on budget, and will be readily usable by their customers - no matter what browser their customers (or employees, if an intranet) are using.
    As long as IE is still the leading player, web design clients are going to want a product that first works with IE, and any prosthelitizing about Firefox is just wasting their time.
    IE will remain the leading browser as long as web developers are too lazy and unprofessional to do so much as alert their customers to the existence of better alternatives. As for "wasting time," how much time does it take to slap a referral on your website or ask your client if s/he would like ot know about browsers - a whopping 2 seconds for a client to glance at your online referral or possibly 30 seconds to ponder a question? Wow, that really takes a dent out of their life, doesn't it?

    That's the gist of the bizarre "Don't wake up the sheep" arguments I see over and over and over. You people make it sound like merely recommending another browser is tantamount to moving heaven and Earth. It wastes SO MUCH TIME and pisses people off, it's unprofessional, it's a waste of time because no one cares (even though thousands of people continue to download alternative browsers), why it's subversive!

    They really don't care, because it's not advancing their business interests. Like it or not, businesses have much more pressing concerns than getting mired in a techie religious debate.
    How would you know what their business interests are and what technology might advance them? Many of the businesses that stick with Microsoft do so primarily because they can't afford to change; the cost of retraining their employees alone can be formidable.

    Does that mean such a business is going to snub a web developer who merely SUGGESTS a website that adheres to THE standards, rather than Microsoft's self-imposed standards?

    And your reference to a "techie religious debate" is just one more piece of propaganda. There are both practical and political reasons for choosing your software and technologies carefully, none of which have anything to do with religion, to my knowledge.

    True professionals should take charge of their profession, not let it be dictated by corporations that don't even know how to make a proper browser, and they should certainly not be too lazy or apathetic to even MENTION the existence of better ways of doing things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eldacar
    If you're designing an application for an intranet, then you could possibly get away with promoting one browser over another. But for a normal internet website that is not the case. A good designer should be able to design for all browsers, it's really not that difficult. The client should be able to look at their website in any modern browser and see the same in each.
    What is there to "possibly get away with"??? I mean, how hard is it to merely SUGGEST using a better browser, a particular server side language or to recommend adhering to web standards?

    And, yes, a good designer may well be able to slap together some hacks that make his or her creation look presentable in IE, but what about SECURITY? Is that not of enormous PRACTICAL concern?

    For crying out loud, have web developers all been muzzled???

  24. #74
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    To repeat what I mentioned before; one of the problems with the web design industry is that the businesses are run by a bunch of geeky coders who don't really understand how businesses 'work'. Clients generally don't care about the technicalities of web design, all they care about is the end result and whether it solves their problems or wants. These needs rarely equate to a burning desire for their site to work in Firefox - instead it will be more along the lines of 'I need to make more money', 'I need to generate more leads', 'I need to ease the customer support burden on my call centre', 'I want to impress my boss'.

    People buy for a lot of reasons, most of them emotional, rarely technical. If you're going to run a freelance business on your own, you need to learn how to develop sound business processes, learn solid sales techniques that focus on securing the conceptual sale rather than the technial sale, and learn when to step out of your geeky coder shoes. People who run successful web development businesses are rarely good technicians, they just tend to be very good sales men with sound business heads who understand what their target audience needs.

    Of course, if your target audience are web developers, then by all means place self-congratuatory messages over your web site about how the XHTML validates and how it works so well in Firefox - they may actually care (but probably not).

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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowbox
    To repeat what I mentioned before; one of the problems with the web design industry is that the businesses are run by a bunch of geeky coders who don't really understand how businesses 'work'. Clients generally don't care about the technicalities of web design
    They might care a lot more if web designers bothered to inform them.

    These needs rarely equate to a burning desire for their site to work in Firefox.
    It isn't just about Firefox or performance. There are other good browsers. There are various servers, server side languages and databases to choose from. And security is an issue that many businesses care about.

    For years, I thought Microsoft was the only act in town - because none of the "experts" I consulted informed me otherwise. I use Dreamweaver, and the Dreamweaver forum might as well have been a Microsoft subsidiary. Only after I discovered open source software did I realize the "salesmanship" that was occurring on the Dreamweaver forum and others. Yet when someone suggests an alternative, they turn the tables, claiming WE'RE the ones who are engaging in salesmanship or "zealotry."

    There's nothing wrong with informing one's clients. And the excuse that "they don't care" is totally lame - and unprofessional.


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