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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    To make matters worse they seem to have decided to 'legalize' more or less everything that exists on the Web today. Why not, since they have to support it anyway? But it's like legalizing rape and murder to reduce the crime figures.
    I like that comparison.

    Exactly my take on a lot of those new "semantic" tags -- extra containers like NAV just to justify the people who like wrapping their UL's in a DIV for no good reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    Effectively they're letting the totally clueless and the victims of WYSIWYG rubbish generators dictate what should be considered best practice.
    In other words, mollycoddling the addle-minded.

    Though what I don't get about people not understanding STRICT is that it's EASIER... Why the hell do people find all that outdated presentational crap resulting in 10:1 code to content ratios "easier" than strict with a more reasonable 2:1 to 3:1 ratio? Shouldn't using less code be easier? Shouldn't saying what things ARE be easier?

    But with people sleazing out a psd and thinking that makes them a web designer... What was that you said about an "appalling contempt for accessibility?"

  2. #52
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    Though what I don't get about people not understanding STRICT is that it's EASIER... Why the hell do people find all that outdated presentational crap resulting in 10:1 code to content ratios "easier" than strict with a more reasonable 2:1 to 3:1 ratio? Shouldn't using less code be easier? Shouldn't saying what things ARE be easier?
    The other point about HTML 4 STRICT is that it is the only variant that is actually HTML 4. The TRANSITIONAL version is basically a combination of HTML 3.2 and HTML 4 to allow people to transition from one to the other without having to do it all at once. So instead of having to throw out all the garbage at once you get to do one room at a time. Of course most people aren't throwing out any of the garbage and are racing forward from a garbage ridden HTML 3.2 to HTML 5 where the garbage has been redefined to be features. Visions of a house full of garbage being promoted by real estate agents as feature filled comes to mind.

    So while 90% of web pages still contain garbage the decision has been made that instead of waiting for at least some that garbage to be cleaned up before looking to perform further cleanups (as XHTML 2.0 proposed) that the cleanup will be made unnecessary by just undoing much of the work that was done to define the garbage as such in the first place.

    By the time that HTML 5 becomes a standard the <video> <audio> <embed> <iframe>tags will just duplicate an equally simple <object> tag and we'll have five tags to serve the purpose of one. Somewhat reminiscent of <applet> etc from HTML 3.2.
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  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    So instead of having to throw out all the garbage at once you get to do one room at a time. Of course most people aren't throwing out any of the garbage and are racing forward from a garbage ridden HTML 3.2 to HTML 5 where the garbage has been redefined to be features.
    ... and that really does seem to be what it boils down to - worse than people not throwing away the garbage, they're still making new garbage like it was 1998. Take one look at 90% of the 'help me' threads and the majority of people making new sites are still vomiting up disasters and calling them websites using outdated methodologies with hordes of unnecessary non-semantic markup... Made all the worse by being total accessibility failures and often having nothing for the search engines to even SEE.

    Made even funnier when it's so called SEO 'experts' vomiting up the non-semantic accessibility /FAIL/ -- so much for 'writing for people is writing for the search engine'

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    i would've expected html mark-up to become simpler in html5. for me, as an example, it lacks:
    - in the in the i18n department. that is a topic to be takes seriously.

    i would've expected css rules to become more powerful in css3. for me, as an example, it lacks:
    - a feature of inheritance (not just cascade)
    - a feature of cloning (not just cascade)
    - some new positioning features. it's all a container in a container in a container, but i don't see this being very much exploited. it's time to get past inline and block and float.

    these are topics that last. <center> is just an opportunity. it only makes for a beautiful tautology. this has to stop somewhere (speaking of which, indeed <object> would've been an universal solution, as stated in html 4.01).

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    In other words, mollycoddling the addle-minded.
    Well said!

    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    Though what I don't get about people not understanding STRICT is that it's EASIER...
    That used to baffle me, too, but I think I've found out why. Most people (designers/developers) see a web page as a visual representation of an idea. For them the layout, the colours and the decorative images are the page; the content is, at best, an aside. At worst it's some filler needed to justify the existence of the pretty page, or bait for search engines.

    You and I and Stephen share the original view of the web that the W3C had from day one: that the content is the most important thing and that the presentation is something that is added on top of the content in certain circumstances. The presentation is still important (in those circumstances), but not as an end unto itself.

    For the former group, presentational markup makes sense. Like the OP of this thread they think in terms of 'fewer characters to type' and 'keeping everything in one file'. And if you look at a web page as a pretty picture with some more-or-less-meaningless letters on it, then I can sort-of understand how that could make sense.

    Anyone who has ever had to maintain – not to mention redesign – a non-trivial web site of more than three pages knows the indisputable benefits of separating content and presentation. But I guess designers/developers who only create new sites, deliver them to clients and the forget about them may not have encountered the issues involved in site maintenance.
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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    That used to baffle me, too, but I think I've found out why. Most people (designers/developers) see a web page as a visual representation of an idea. For them the layout, the colours and the decorative images are the page; the content is, at best, an aside. At worst it's some filler needed to justify the existence of the pretty page, or bait for search engines.
    Aye, that is mostly it. The bait for the search engines part is funny in a way - how the biggest lesson of SEO; "content is king" ends up abused like everything else they abuse. I'm constantly seeing websites of late with no content of value that in SEO terms are little more than polishing a turd.

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    You and I and Stephen share the original view of the web that the W3C had from day one: that the content is the most important thing and that the presentation is something that is added on top of the content in certain circumstances. The presentation is still important (in those circumstances), but not as an end unto itself.
    Well that's like I keep saying: People visit websites for the content, NOT for the goofy graphics you hang on the content. I think that's a particularly bitter pill for many 'designers' to swallow - not realizing their flashy one-offs are like posters, cool when you get them, sad and pathetic three months later.

    Look at the big successes - Amazon, E-Bay, Google - these are NOT design wonders, but they provide content of value in an easily navigable format that works pretty much any browser anywhere anytime... even with their outdated markup and scripting for nothing; the multitude of sins are easily forgiven thanks to content of value.

    It's why my approach to web design is content FIRST. Mark up the content using semantic markup with zero concern for appearance, and oddly the CSS off appearance will be fairly attractive and usable to the end user. THEN you design your fancy layout using CSS (adding a few semantically meaningless wrappers like DIV and SPAN as presentational hooks when necessary), and then only at the final stage do you boot up the goof-assed paint program to hang graphics on the layout. This staged construction also means that when technologies are missing, there's still something to fall back on.

    This whole drawing a pretty picture first nonsense is how we end up with broken layouts due to dynamic fonts over fixed height containers/backgrounds, miserable accessibility /FAIL/ since being so concerned with the appearance before the code semantic markup is a joke if present at all, etc, etc...

    "designing in a PSD" is another of those "I meet the person who came up with this in a dark alley, bad things are going to happen" Latino Militant Moments. Shoehorning content into a sliced up PSD is no way to build a website if you care about accessibility, speed or ease of access - and yet it's become the industry norm because the suits who don't know any better are more impressed by flash than substance.

    Well, unless you talk to their wallet. Lowered hosting costs and/or higher traffic due to people actually letting the page finish loading (that's directed at those of you who see nothing wrong with 2 megabyte websites built out of 200+ files per PAGE) can really get you in the door.

  7. #57
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    inconsistences in html specs will mark the end of html wide spread use?

    i don't really like designers or half developers for the mess in the web platform.

    to me, it's only a matter of time to witness the heavy use of java in reverse: as a web plug-in for interfaces in other mediums. instead of succeding in making html able to work with different <object> elements to enrich content, we'll see more and more ides that are ajax capable/html indiferent. by java or by other means. flash, air, silverlight.

    if this battle of content over presentation over behaviour it's not solved in a decisive way, browsers will become collateral damage. there is to much pressure now on the web platform, to much at stake, to rely on these mood swings found in specs. nevermind different ways in approaching and different interpretation of them. at one point someone will cause a massive break of the lines towards proprietary technologies, leaving behind cross-platfom html gains, because of the headaches caused by them.

    anyway, back to subject. according to html 4.01 specs,
    "
    The CENTER element is exactly equivalent to specifying the DIV element with the
    align attribute set to "center". The CENTER element is deprecated [p.38] .
    "


    i tend to believe, from the current html5 point of view, that the question of this thread, no matter how wrong, is legitimate.

    specs are spiriling towards one another. if html 4.01 is generalizing (gives <div>, takes back <center>), html5 takes it back (gives back "versions" of <center>; some good: <header>, <footer>, some bad: <nav>, <article>).

    so i believe it's not a bad question, when you look from this perspective. it oulines wrongs in html5 current proposals. a good counter-example for html5 current direction.

  8. #58
    SitePoint Evangelist optl's Avatar
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    I don't understand why the l33t web developers in this thread get so worked up over HTML specs. Why does it bother you so much that some people use outdated tags on their websites? Isn't it good enough that your website looks pretty on 98&#37; of user's screens. I have better things to do than to care about every little semantic HTML detail on OTHER people's sites; like writing good content, polishing my marketing skills, reading about SEO, creating Wordpress plugins, creating Iphone Apps, trying to master Google Adwords, and thus making more money than most of the lowly web designers in this thread.
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    actually, by reading these "l33t web developers" posts you can learn something. experience and knowledge is what you came here to find. and perhaps some good people to steer you in the right direction.

    that's education and usually you pay for it. here it's free. for whoever has eyes to read and patience to understand. so thank you "l33t web developers" for taking the time.

  10. #60
    SitePoint Evangelist optl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonnope View Post
    actually, by reading these "l33t web developers" posts you can learn something. experience and knowledge is what you came here to find. and perhaps some good people to steer you in the right direction.

    that's education and usually you pay for it. here it's free. for whoever has eyes to read and patience to understand. so thank you "l33t web developers" for taking the time.
    Maybe you should read my post; where did I say that I don't learn anything from read their posts? I certainly do. I love Sitepoint and have learned lots from this site.
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  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by optl View Post
    I don't understand why the l33t web developers in this thread get so worked up over HTML specs. Why does it bother you so much that some people use outdated tags on their websites?
    I can answer that for you quite easily - outdated tags and sloppy coding techniques usually means more work for us when we're called in to clean up after those types of messes... Which happens sooner or later. We're the people who get the call when six months into a site they are having update troubles, broken layouts, "why doesnt' it work in xxxxxx browser", why isn't it usable on my iPhone or Droid -- We go in and basically have to tell them "You were ripped off by some sleazeball ****."

    When you are brought in and go "when was this written -- 1998?" and the client says "No, we payed a guy a grand for it last year"... the only thing you can respond with is "sue the guy for your money back." --- which I've helped three people actually DO.

    It makes it harder to diagnose problems when your best advice when someone asks for help on places like these forums becomes "It's such a mess, just throw it away and start over"... It's a disaster for long term maintennance and updates - As AutisticCuckoo said (was it this thread or another) -- to paraphrase; if you are doing one-offs where you hope never to see the cleint again then sleazing out a page any old way probably works fine - you spend more than a year working with the client and updating the site, the picture changes a bit.

    Quite franky, if any one out there working as a 'developer' or HTML/CSS coder can't be bothered to write clean semantic valid markup practicing separation of presentation from content - either pull your head out of 1998's backside or do the world a huge favor, back the **** away from the keyboard, and take up something a bit less harmful like macram&#233; weaving.

    I was going to put a smiley after that, but while I am saying it tongue in cheek over the top exaggerated, I'm also deadly serious about that.

  12. #62
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quite simply if use use <center> or <div align="center"> (both of which are deprecated) then two years later when the 500 pages you used it in suddenly need all that content aligned to the left you will be wishing that you hadn't since a one line change to your stylesheet is far quicker than searching through all the 500 pages to change each one. Any sensible person would at that point upgrade to use the correct way of writing their HTML so that a year after that when the text needs to be fully justified that it can be done with a one line change in the CSS instead of taking a further two months.

    I started creating my own main site back in 1999 when CSS wasn't properly supported by browsers. I now have about 2000 pages on that site. There have been a couple of occasions where I've used all my spare time over three or four months going through updating all the pages to get rid of garbage such as <center> and replacing it with CSS in order to be able to make subsequent changes to the design easier. I really wish that CSS had been properly supported back then because there is still a significant amount of garbage in my web pages that limits what I can do with them that I still haven't had time to replace. I'd like to feed whoever started adding presentational tags through a meat grinder very slowly so that they can experience the physical equivalent of the mental effects that such garbage has caused.
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    It's why my approach to web design is content FIRST.
    I've been advocating this for at least 5 years now. (If my web host hadn't f***'ed up my site I could have linked to an article about it. ) I've been declared incompetent because of it, especially by high-flying graphic designers. But some did listen. Andy Clarke based much of Transcending CSS – the Fine Art of Web Design on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by optl View Post
    I don't understand why the l33t web developers in this thread get so worked up over HTML specs. Why does it bother you so much that some people use outdated tags on their websites?
    I wish I could explain it to you, but I don't think we are communicating on the same planet. You and I have very different ideas about what the web is about, for whom it is intended, and what constitutes a professional approach to it. (I can't prove, scientifically, that I'm right and you're wrong, so I'm making no such claims. I'm only saying that we have different foundations.)

    Quote Originally Posted by optl View Post
    Isn't it good enough that your website looks pretty on 98% of user's screens.
    No, it's not. It really isn't.

    One day you may come to understand this. We all become 'disabled' sooner or later (unless we do a James Dean), due to old age if nothing else. It will be far too late, of course, but you will see (or rather the opposite, as it were).

    Quote Originally Posted by optl View Post
    I have better things to do than to care about every little semantic HTML detail on OTHER people's sites; like writing good content, ...
    Do you ever care about or check spelling and grammar of that content? If so, why? Isn't it good enough that the letters look pretty on 98% of users' screens?

    Quote Originally Posted by optl View Post
    ... and thus making more money than most of the lowly web designers in this thread.
    I don't doubt that for a minute. Let me just remind you of one thing, though: there are no pockets on a shroud.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  14. #64
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    No, it's put together mainly by representatives from browser vendors, who want to standardise or un-deprecate all the rubbish they've had to support over the years anyway.
    A clear example of this is the removal of REV from the HTML5 specification, because people refused to use it semantically they have decided to dump the mechanism and by association get everyone to use REL in preference (even though it goes against the definition of REL to use relationship to the resource as a supplement to reverse the relationship of the source to the reference - not that the W3C gives a hoot). I got into a moaning battle via email with one of the HTML5 spec "team" to claim that dumping a valid and useful attribute on the basis that people don't use it correctly is like saying we should deprecate tables because people still (after all this effort) use them for layouts. It's absurd that their trying to retrofit the specification to meet the stupidity of the masses.

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    And their contempt for accessibility is appalling.
    I think accessibility is getting better in general, public awareness has gone through the roof, but as normal with the W3C it's all become politics.

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    You and I and Stephen share the original view of the web that the W3C had from day one: that the content is the most important thing and that the presentation is something that is added on top of the content in certain circumstances.
    I've always maintained that so you can throw me in the proverbial boat (and I've had a LOT of criticism over my strict policies about not coding until I've received the primary content). Personally I feel it's worth the resentment because I know that if I work off Lipsum it's just going to end up as a poorly constructed slurry of "cover all bases" and I'm certainly not willing to lower my standards. The real irony here is that if you have content before you begin coding, it makes the process so much easier, there's nothing like content to allow you to know what's the correct element for the correct task (if you actually have something to apply it too)

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    Anyone who has ever had to maintain not to mention redesign a non-trivial web site of more than three pages knows the indisputable benefits of separating content and presentation. But I guess designers/developers who only create new sites, deliver them to clients and the forget about them may not have encountered the issues involved in site maintenance.
    I think that's a serious issue in the industry, we have so many people who work on a one-off contract basis there's no accountability on their part. The services which turn PSD's to HTML simply don't take the time to give a hoot about the work, they just want to get it done and get paid.

    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    Look at the big successes - Amazon, E-Bay, Google - these are NOT design wonders, but they provide content of value in an easily navigable format that works pretty much any browser anywhere anytime... even with their outdated markup and scripting for nothing; the multitude of sins are easily forgiven thanks to content of value.
    Probably not a good example for semantics, Amazon's source code is scary.

    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    When you are brought in and go "when was this written -- 1998?" and the client says "No, we payed a guy a grand for it last year"... the only thing you can respond with is "sue the guy for your money back." --- which I've helped three people actually DO.
    I think this is where accessibility legislation presents a solid foundation, previously we had no barrier to entry so any sort of junk could be purged out with no consideration to the future. But with accessibility law gaining strength and awareness, it gives us the best possible platform (as professionals) to weed out the cowboy builders who produce inaccessible, destructive code and mechanisms (by having them held liable for producing severely discriminatory websites). I know a lot of people don't like the idea of accessibility law because their used to not being told what or what not to-do, but it's become quite apparent by the sheer lack of willingness for most people to comply with standards or even to do a good job that enforcing such law and wielding it to effectively smack-down the worse offenders is going to be the only way we can get some reform in the way people in the industry behave. So I say bring on the accessibility and may all those who produce substandard "not fit for purpose" code finally be dealt with for selling faulty goods that aren't of a basic quality that should be expected from a working professional.

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    I've been advocating this for at least 5 years now. (If my web host hadn't f***'ed up my site I could have linked to an article about it. ) I've been declared incompetent because of it, especially by high-flying graphic designers. But some did listen. Andy Clarke based much of Transcending CSS the Fine Art of Web Design on it.
    Well you'll be glad to hear that my book does the same Tommy, it took a LOT of convincing (and debate) for me to ensure that the content writing chapter would appear BEFORE a single line of code or a single language for producing a website was discussed (going against the grain worried my editor). But I think it was worth the effort, as far as I am aware mine is currently the only book aimed at beginners (in web design) that not only explains the importance of content first (and actively promotes it), it's one of the few to give any time or consideration to accessibility (I gave a solid 20 page introduction).

    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    One day you may come to understand this. We all become 'disabled' sooner or later (unless we do a James Dean), due to old age if nothing else. It will be far too late, of course, but you will see (or rather the opposite, as it were).
    I've always argued that everyone is disabled right now, sure we're not all suffering to the same extent or within the same timeframe, but everyone has some feature which debilitates them. The last person who proclaimed to me that it wasn't true revealed after some digging that they broke their arm the previous year... granted it's not a chronic long term illness, but having a broken arm seriously restricts your motor function and qualifies as a disability.

  15. #65
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathshadow60 View Post
    [...]You were ripped off by some sleazeball ****."
    I've had to say something like that before when doing a "retrofit" and used nearly the same words and certainly the words; "You know that useless piece of cr*p, shoddy undone and downright 'waste of time' piece of coding you previously paid for by those web design lying...".

    It's demoralising when these people have paid "so-called professionals" to make them websites and they have lied directly to their clients faces about what they have done for them.

    Can I help Stephen with the operating the meat-grinder please? I agree with what he's saying in the last paragraph of having to "fix" things.

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    this type of "programming skills display" is not restricted to web area. for many years i had to put up with pseudo-programmers and their "conquests". one that bugged me the most was the refusal to embrace sql in vfp, back in the days when programming for oracle 8 was half way ported.

    the lack of vision is also seen here, in this thread's question. it's very much palpable. resistance to change is always present when individuals are finding hard to improve their way. i hope these answers will make optl change it's vision. and that his thread we'll prove useful in that way to many others.

    programming just for money, and mistakes for free,
    if that's the way you do it, you need to break a lawyer's fee.

    (sorry deathshadow60, for stealing some dire straits from you )

    it's one thing to accept you don't know but are willing to learn, and another to accept it and be proud of it. my experience so far has told me to go with the former and forget about the later.

  17. #67
    SitePoint Zealot ShinoKage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    A clear example of this is the removal of REV from the HTML5 specification, because people refused to use it semantically they have decided to dump the mechanism and by association get everyone to use REL in preference (even though it goes against the definition of REL to use relationship to the resource as a supplement to reverse the relationship of the source to the reference - not that the W3C gives a hoot). I got into a moaning battle via email with one of the HTML5 spec "team" to claim that dumping a valid and useful attribute on the basis that people don't use it correctly is like saying we should deprecate tables because people still (after all this effort) use them for layouts. It's absurd that their trying to retrofit the specification to meet the stupidity of the masses.
    I think one of the major problems is that web site designing/developing has evolved into something that "just anyone can do". And so people treat it that way. It's not viewed the same way other crafts are looked at (or so I hope)... now I am horrible at examples, but let's take the most extreme profession I can think of -- a surgeon. That's not a "do it yourself" type of profession, for good reason, and I don't have to explain why. If people suddenly started putting out books like "A Beginner's Surgery Guide", advocating that it's really NOT anything difficult and anyone can do it (with very little, mediocre training, I might add), people are going to start believing it and also believe that they don't need to follow any kind of rules or regulations because, well, why should they? The books don't say they have to.

    Okay, someone needs to take this thought an run with it because, as I said, I am terrible with analogies

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    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Most fields you can have a DIY approach with various exclusions which affect life and death or a wider group of people. For example you can do your friends plumbing or you could get into carpentry and make yourself a chair but there's no guarantees it'll sell that well if it's not at a high standard. The core problem with the web is the fact that people can't tell what the quality of goods are (without professional aids), therefore it's an easy target for scam artists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Probably not a good example for semantics, Amazon's source code is scary.
    All three of those examples are bad examples - you missed my point. You have content of value, as I said "a multitude of sins can be forgiven" - I mean, have you looked at how badly google has shtupped their own codebase? I chose those as examples of bad coding AND bad design, but that put content as the most important factor on the page, and not the goof-assed graphics and scripted effeects; though again, Google appears to be forgetting what it was that made them great in the first place with the train wreck of scripted asshattery they're turning the search pages into.


    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I know a lot of people don't like the idea of accessibility law because their used to not being told what or what not to-do, but it's become quite apparent by the sheer lack of willingness for most people to comply with standards or even to do a good job that enforcing such law and wielding it to effectively smack-down the worse offenders is going to be the only way we can get some reform in the way people in the industry behave.
    It's sad that it's damned near coming to that. Pathetically sad. That you actually hear dumbasses out there spouting crap like "Valid code doesn't matter" or "Who cares about the WCAG" is mind-numbingly idiotic.

    Though it doesn't help that the language of the specification is cryptically vague and poorly written, with few if any of the references/tutorials making it any better - no offense to the one here at Sitepoint, it's VERY complete - but the navigation is horrific and it's not something I'd point a nube at... W3Schools is so knee deep in bad practices that it's been aging like milk, and that's before we talk the more fringe tutorials and guides.

    I think that's why I keep pointing people at the old WDG reference page, since it's probably the most clear and plain english explanation of what the tags are, are for, and even what they aren't for. Amazing how over a decade later with little in revisions it's still spot on accurate for HTML 4 holding up better than many new pages on the subject.


    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    So I say bring on the accessibility and may all those who produce substandard "not fit for purpose" code finally be dealt with for selling faulty goods that aren't of a basic quality that should be expected from a working professional.
    I agree, but it will never happen. Laziness prevails over industriousness when you have people being raised with a sense of entitlement. Do as little work as possible to collect a paycheck, because all we teach people to do anymore is be employees. Work ethic? What's that?

    "But that's not fun" - Guess what, there's a reason it's called work and not "happy happy fun time". Maybe if instead of dicking around on the internet playing games on MSN, one hour coffee breaks shooting the **** on MSN, get two hours of playing solitaire in, the boss wouldn't have to make certain employees stay late to actually get the job done, and one might actually EARN a raise instead of getting one just because they've been there so long they have to give it to you! "The Employee mentality"


    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Well you'll be glad to hear that my book does the same Tommy, it took a LOT of convincing (and debate) for me to ensure that the content writing chapter would appear BEFORE a single line of code or a single language for producing a website was discussed (going against the grain worried my editor). But I think it was worth the effort, as far as I am aware mine is currently the only book aimed at beginners (in web design) that not only explains the importance of content first (and actively promotes it), it's one of the few to give any time or consideration to accessibility (I gave a solid 20 page introduction).
    It really is the smarter approach - as I've said a billion times people visit websites for the content, not the layout or graphics you hang on the layout; Something that your artsy types who sunk four to eight years into how to use photoshop classes definately don't want to hear. Were that they took a few WRITING classes along the way, much less a marketing class or two.

    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    I've always argued that everyone is disabled right now, sure we're not all suffering to the same extent or within the same timeframe, but everyone has some feature which debilitates them. The last person who proclaimed to me that it wasn't true revealed after some digging that they broke their arm the previous year... granted it's not a chronic long term illness, but having a broken arm seriously restricts your motor function and qualifies as a disability.
    As someone who's medical record reads like you slapped together four other people's paperwork into one folder, I hear that. Injuries and chronic illnesses have made me much more aware of how even the simplest of infirmity can effect ones ability to use poorly written websites... While properly written websites give you endless choices on how to address a problem...

    Though what really rips me about it is that doing it properly - valid markup, separation of presentation from content, taking the time to format your output (and not WASTING time on whitespace stripping) - it all seems like extra work, but it makes the overall job EASIER... Yet the number one defense for sleazing it out any old way is that it's 'easier' or 'I can't be bothered to put in the effort'

    It's like these people never learned the words of August Willich:
    "A drop of sweat on the drill ground will save many drops of blood on the battlefield"

    Though I prefer Rommel's take on it.
    "Sweat saves blood, blood saves lives, brains saves both"

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    as far as I am aware mine is currently the only book aimed at beginners (in web design) that not only explains the importance of content first (and actively promotes it)
    Perhaps the only one in English
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

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    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Wow, look at this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by opti
    I don't understand why the l33t web developers in this thread get so worked up over HTML specs. Why does it bother you so much that some people use outdated tags on their websites? Isn't it good enough that your website looks pretty on 98% of user's screens. I have better things to do than to care about every little semantic HTML detail on OTHER people's sites; like writing good content, polishing my marketing skills, reading about SEO, creating Wordpress plugins, creating Iphone Apps, trying to master Google Adwords, and thus making more money than most of the lowly web designers in this thread.
    You know, this kind of question is asked regularly and, it's asked honestly, by LOTS of people in web development. Hell, we need some more threads with this kind of question, no matter how redundant they seem to the old-timers.

    I think the best we can do (and should do and keep doing) is SHOW people the what and the why and the how (the how is important, because I think it can show that good code can be done rather easily most of the time). As web developers, whether sleazy fly-by-nighters or newbs or just people working in a day-job, they'll still make their choice, still decide if it's 98% that's good enough or 100% or 80% or whatever... so long as they make those decisions with the knowledge of why, I'm mostly ok with it. Informed bad choices are better than uninformed bad choices, because the person making the choice has weighed in the sides and can anticipate and understand problems.

    Here's how to know WHY:
    Watch a senior with basic internetting skills order a book on their library website; watch them find the program they missed on the channel site (ok dunno what the English version of uitzendinggemist.nl is : ).

    Do some web surfing with a screen reader. Just do it. You can either get demos from the Big 2 for Windows, the free NVDA for Windows, Voice Over is on any Mac running OSX, Orca on Gnome Linux, or even FireVox. Whatever. Experience the web in a different way. What do you notice is different? Easier? Harder? Makes sense? Gets you lost?

    Do some surfing on an uncommon browser. It's sad, weird, creepy, how often those desktop browsers get shuffled over to some mobile-version (Konqueror cough cough). Experience that.

    Experience the web on a small screen that doesn't have zoom. There are plenty enough of them around that any site you make is going to be visited by those. Ask yourself why those people matter less. Are they not possible customers? (possible, depending on your target demographic)

    Talk with your clients, before you make a design or anything. Ask them why they want a site, what it needs to say, do, and to whom. Ask them what they want in the cases mentioned above (abnormal/low number visitors). It's an opportunity to work around future issues with your client, a chance to educate them, and a chance to show your client WHY they picked you as their web professional.

    Why do l33t developers care so much about their precious, precious web standards? The precious. Why do they get worked up when they see <center> tags?

    For some people, their life's work is also an art. When you are careful and proud of outputting excellence, no matter what that is (building things, creating things, dealing with people even such as in nursing), it should be understandable that someone who comes along and does things slash and dash creates emotions. Heck, it should be obvious. Some of these l33ts have seen first hand trouble caused by it. Wouldn't an engineer fixing a bad job done by the previous engineer be upset? He should be, I think. A nurse finding a patient who's been sitting in their own poop for a day because of the way the other nurse works... shouldn't he be upset? And shouldn't the patient be upset as well? What's interesting is how often it's little things. It's also interesting how often bad code isn't noticed by anyone at all... also a point of consideration, but not one I'd use as a reason.

    With web development, there's little physical there. The visitors don't complain to YOU who wrote the tags, if they even complain at all (and they don't know what a browser is, what javascript is, why the page doesn't work... makes it worse). You never see them pulling their hair out in their living rooms (whether it's their fault or yours that they're frustrated). You don't get bent pipes thrown at your head. You don't get angry patients or colleagues writing your name down in an official complaint. It's easy to remain oblivious to mediocre work in this field, and you can earn good money doing it, because (as mentioned above) web development fits the Lemon Market economic example.

    ...and thus making more money than most of the lowly web designers in this thread.
    I know I'd be making a LOT more money if I could make beauty in Photoshop and Flash. Regardless of my coding abilities. It's a simple fact real-life web developers need to deal with. Clients like stuff that LOOKS good on their Standard Screen running Windows and IE8. They like flashy effects. As much as people revisit sites based on content, they LIKE sites that look nice. Me, I'm happy to see various Perl sites get design facelifts, and still cringe when I send someone to PerlMonks : ) The content is the same, but I like visiting those sites more. Call me shallow.

    Opti, I'd say, keep learning as much as you can, because it'll make your web dev decisions better and better, and personally, I don't think making a GOOD site with valid semantic yadda yadda code shouldn't be able to take time away from learning more things that will help you earn more money.

    We need more high-earners and flashy design stars to be aware of web standards and accessibility anyway, because other designers look up to them and imitate them.

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    SitePoint Evangelist optl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Wow, look at this thread.



    You know, this kind of question is asked regularly and, it's asked honestly, by LOTS of people in web development. Hell, we need some more threads with this kind of question, no matter how redundant they seem to the old-timers.

    I think the best we can do (and should do and keep doing) is SHOW people the what and the why and the how (the how is important, because I think it can show that good code can be done rather easily most of the time). As web developers, whether sleazy fly-by-nighters or newbs or just people working in a day-job, they'll still make their choice, still decide if it's 98% that's good enough or 100% or 80% or whatever... so long as they make those decisions with the knowledge of why, I'm mostly ok with it. Informed bad choices are better than uninformed bad choices, because the person making the choice has weighed in the sides and can anticipate and understand problems.

    Here's how to know WHY:
    Watch a senior with basic internetting skills order a book on their library website; watch them find the program they missed on the channel site (ok dunno what the English version of uitzendinggemist.nl is : ).

    Do some web surfing with a screen reader. Just do it. You can either get demos from the Big 2 for Windows, the free NVDA for Windows, Voice Over is on any Mac running OSX, Orca on Gnome Linux, or even FireVox. Whatever. Experience the web in a different way. What do you notice is different? Easier? Harder? Makes sense? Gets you lost?

    Do some surfing on an uncommon browser. It's sad, weird, creepy, how often those desktop browsers get shuffled over to some mobile-version (Konqueror cough cough). Experience that.

    Experience the web on a small screen that doesn't have zoom. There are plenty enough of them around that any site you make is going to be visited by those. Ask yourself why those people matter less. Are they not possible customers? (possible, depending on your target demographic)

    Talk with your clients, before you make a design or anything. Ask them why they want a site, what it needs to say, do, and to whom. Ask them what they want in the cases mentioned above (abnormal/low number visitors). It's an opportunity to work around future issues with your client, a chance to educate them, and a chance to show your client WHY they picked you as their web professional.

    Why do l33t developers care so much about their precious, precious web standards? The precious. Why do they get worked up when they see <center> tags?

    For some people, their life's work is also an art. When you are careful and proud of outputting excellence, no matter what that is (building things, creating things, dealing with people even such as in nursing), it should be understandable that someone who comes along and does things slash and dash creates emotions. Heck, it should be obvious. Some of these l33ts have seen first hand trouble caused by it. Wouldn't an engineer fixing a bad job done by the previous engineer be upset? He should be, I think. A nurse finding a patient who's been sitting in their own poop for a day because of the way the other nurse works... shouldn't he be upset? And shouldn't the patient be upset as well? What's interesting is how often it's little things. It's also interesting how often bad code isn't noticed by anyone at all... also a point of consideration, but not one I'd use as a reason.

    With web development, there's little physical there. The visitors don't complain to YOU who wrote the tags, if they even complain at all (and they don't know what a browser is, what javascript is, why the page doesn't work... makes it worse). You never see them pulling their hair out in their living rooms (whether it's their fault or yours that they're frustrated). You don't get bent pipes thrown at your head. You don't get angry patients or colleagues writing your name down in an official complaint. It's easy to remain oblivious to mediocre work in this field, and you can earn good money doing it, because (as mentioned above) web development fits the Lemon Market economic example.


    I know I'd be making a LOT more money if I could make beauty in Photoshop and Flash. Regardless of my coding abilities. It's a simple fact real-life web developers need to deal with. Clients like stuff that LOOKS good on their Standard Screen running Windows and IE8. They like flashy effects. As much as people revisit sites based on content, they LIKE sites that look nice. Me, I'm happy to see various Perl sites get design facelifts, and still cringe when I send someone to PerlMonks : ) The content is the same, but I like visiting those sites more. Call me shallow.

    Opti, I'd say, keep learning as much as you can, because it'll make your web dev decisions better and better, and personally, I don't think making a GOOD site with valid semantic yadda yadda code shouldn't be able to take time away from learning more things that will help you earn more money.

    We need more high-earners and flashy design stars to be aware of web standards and accessibility anyway, because other designers look up to them and imitate them.
    Very informative. Great post with a great attitude. You didn't come of as smug at all unlike many people in this thread. Thank you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by optl View Post
    Very informative. Great post with a great attitude. You didn't come of as smug at all unlike many people in this thread. Thank you.
    I think the reason many of them did "come off as smug" is because the majority of the people using mal-practice have no excuse for it. They've either learned it already, or have had ample time and resources to learn how to do things properly and they don't.


    And Stomme, wonderful post, very well worded and well explained (and not so intense like deathshadow, lol ).

  24. #74
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Very informative. Great post with a great attitude. You didn't come of as smug at all unlike many people in this thread. Thank you.
    Thanks, my ego exploded and my head can't make its way out of the room now and I want some chocolate.

    I'll be honest, I would have been as smug as the other four in here (because I agree with them) except that I got to this thread late and ended up reading like three pages of what I was thinking already anyway (like the Perl echo chamber lawlz).
    Plus, in my job, it's a regularly-asked question. WHY does it matter if there's some validation error somewhere? My colleague (generally the back-end guy) regularly inserts <center> tags (um, on our main company site, he managed to insert a table with nested center tags...
    Code:
    <center><center>m0ar CENTER</center></center>
    !!) and frankly, the only people who would ever notice it are the folks who look at web page underwear: web developers. I mean, okay, JAWS calls the thing out as a table, but it's a simple one and it ignores center tags anyways. So does Lynx, who will render a table but not center tags (actually, I can't tell... it staircases them). There are good arguments about why not to use them, but (unfortunately?) there are no black-clad jack-booted W3C storm troopers who ninja their way into bad developers' bedrooms in the night-time to take them away to the bad place if they do happen to use align="foo" somewhere. Same goes for guys who leave the toilet seat up. Arg.

    So I think a professional web developer firstly is someone who knows when it will/could/might impact a visitor (who may not even be human (google) or may be a linear user agent (lynx, screen reader)) and when it won't (and cares), and secondly is someone who prides themselves on not using crappy tags simply because they know they're crap... while also knowing that the universe actually doesn't care either way (which is kinda depressing).

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    Quote Originally Posted by optl View Post
    You didn't come of as smug at all unlike many people in this thread.
    It's not smugness. It's exasperation.

    How do you think a construction worker would feel watching an alleged professional banging in screws with a hammer?

    * gives some chocolate to the Poes *
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