Thursday 31 January 2008

Web Standards Aren’t

After a fantastic day in Perth I ended up talking to a group of oil workers. Men of all classes and walks of life. Scottish, English, Aussie. Tattoos, guys with attitude, heart, and an amazing decency of soul.

An engineer on an oil rig finds a fitting that’s defective. He tells his mates to fix or replace the fitting.

Following manufacturing specs, the person given the task consults the specs, and he builds it just so.

It fits, and will function. If it does not fit, it is not allowed to be used. Those are standards. The products developed meet manufacturing specs world over, and that’s that.

What we have today, on the Web, are not standards in the truest sense. We are at a time in the evolution of the Web where the idea of “standards” is more of a profound misnomer than ever.

Please Define Web Standards

Bet an Aussie dollar you can’t!

Most folks reading this post will say Web standards are markup and CSS, and maybe, just maybe, accessibility.

So what about JavaScript?

If you’re really smart, you raised your hand like Arnold Horschack and shouted out: JavaScript.

Surprise you markup and CSS pedantics, you know, that’s a “standard” too.

Democracy Killed My Grandma

The democratic Web fosters anarchy. That’s not a bad thing per se. I like the idea of anyone having a soap box. It makes for intrigue if not logic.

But professional sites must set some practice that is equivalent to all counterparts. And also supports my Mum when she wants to post a photo.

Don’t you agree?

Context, He Said, Is Everything

There’s a reason that we don’t have standards on the Web, or clearly understand what “standards” really are. The bottom line is it’s not that important.

Web standards aren’t, because democracy demands it.

The grand paradox is that our professional world demands a standard that can be measured and judged. And yet, we need to be free to not be conformists.

Web Standards Really Aren’t

Go ahead, tell me what they are. I know you can’t, because they aren’t. We have specifications, recommendations, implementations and a lot of best practice chatter.

What we do not have is the ace that will fit perfectly in the hole. Web standards aren’t.

It’s time to move on to whatever is next.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 08:28 | Comments (75)

Comments (75)

  1. think your critique of HTML and other Web standards is really interesting.

  2. I’ll sepond some time reading your posts (which I only read after you started to follow me on Twitter).

  3. thanks man good

  4. tnx admin very nice

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