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  1. The most annoying this about the Internet    Forum: General Discussion
    Replies: 6
  2. Questionnaire Anyone ???    Forum: Introduce Yourself
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  3. Web Standards Web Site    Forum: General Discussion
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  1. #1
    paulsmith41's Avatar
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    Question Internet Standards Questionnaire

    Hello All,

    I am Paul Smith a student on my final year of a degree in Computer Studies, as part of this course Iím doing a thesis on Internet Standards.

    I have produced the questionnaires below to evaluate web designerís opinions on current standards use and whether or not they are always important in the design process.

    There are two versions of the questionnaire a technical one for people who are proficient in web design and a general version for people who are just starting out.

    If you could spare 10 minutes I would be grateful of any responses you may provide, follow one of the below URLís if you are interested.

    http://www25.brinkster.com/paulsmith41/technical.asp

    http://www25.brinkster.com/paulsmith41/general.asp

    Thank You in Advance
    Paul Smith

  2. #2
    Zaire's Avatar
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    I filled in your Technical One..

    One thing I have to say, just like that song **** the Police...

    Muther* the w3c...


    I don't agree with alot of stuff they do, there too anal about stuff..

    Also, in addition to properly coded sites, we need to trash all 'proprietary-browser' code

  3. #3
    Doorknob's Avatar
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    yes indeed. sick of writing cross-browser code are we? hehe

  4. #4
    Zaire's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Doorknob
    yes indeed. sick of writing cross-browser code are we? hehe
    That's a big negative boss..

    Where I work, im responsible for the back-end


    Then again, on our cms that's just about done, I figured out what I could do that worked and didn't in different browsers, and stuck to those that worked.. All my JS/CSS works in each browser ( except the dinosaurs )

  5. #5
    Mikailus's Avatar
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    Uh oh, did someone say w3c?....

    <rant>Like any committee with "middle-management mentality" w3c invent problems, slowing the pace of progress, so they can set up working groups to issue reports and diktats in order to solve those "problems" and therefore justify their existence.

    What's to discuss? If a technology works and/or enhances a persons internet experience debating whether it is a "good" thing or not is redundant. Hell's teeth, even if it doesn't work too well I want to be able to choose if I use it or not.

    Who invited w3c to decide what technology we should and shouldn't have access to through our browser anyway? I neither want nor need their vision of what the internet should be forcing on me. It goes against the very nature of the web.

    Browser and other internet software makers should pull their heads out of their collective butts too and realise they need each other. If it wasn't for their constant petty bickering w3c would have no excuse for existing in the first place.

    New technology and so called proprietary code should, like Flash for instance, be made available to all users of any browsers which don't support it via a plug-in as and when the browser encounters it and subsequently by inclusion in updated browser versions.

    Having to test a new site in a gazillion browsers pushes up the cost of web development and makes web makers' jobs a lot more difficult than it should be (at least those who slavishly comply with the "standards").

    While we're on the subject, sorry to the few elitist geeks who think it's cool to still use only NS3 but if I'm making a site that requires use of a technology that your old browser doesn't support, that's a choice you made by not updating.

    And don't get me started on Mozilla...designed for "standards compliance" (or web pages using technology over "x" years old).

    They took years developing a slow, clunky browser (sounds like NS, no?) which is full of bugs and security flaws (makes IE look like the perfect form of travel on the net) and only supports basic internet technology as per w3c's vision of the web. Open source software? Bah!

    Fortunately, standards compliance in most industries usually means moving forward using new technology not backwards as is the case with w3c.

    W3c should quit interfering in what doesn't concern them and maybe spend some time

    convincing people to UPDATE because using a 10 year old browser means they are missing out on a lot.

    ensuring makers of browsers and new devices used to access the net support current technology and have a product which accepts third party plug-ins to support new developments.

    Maybe then web designers would stop having to jump through hoops in an attempt to make a one-site-displays-in-all web and concentrate on the important stuff like ease of use, presentation etc.</rant>
    Last edited by Mikailus; 01-07-2003 at 03:20 AM.

  6. #6
    Android's Avatar

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    I dunno....I'll agree that it's pretty frustrating having to go through the routine of testing on several platforms; however, I (for one) like the idea of designing one site that's useable in several browsers on any given platform. I kind of thought that that was what the W3C was accomplishing. They've actually done alot toward cleaning up the mess the internet used to be.

    And I would never complain about the people who use the internet with older technology. Yes they should be encouraged to upgrade, but then again, I'm happy with my three year old Chevy Cavalier. I don't want a SUV just because I live in Canada!


    I can hardly wait to swap in this laptop I have to lug around for a PDA (which is one of the reasons for the migration to XML based web documents).
    Last edited by Android; 01-07-2003 at 11:50 AM.

  7. #7
    benzden's Avatar
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    Most of the information available on the web today that useful to anyone is in the text of the site. The amount of information being added each day throughout the world is making a tremendous advancement in our ability to communicate knowledge. Just 10 years ago, it would have been impossible for one person to travel to libraries around the world to gather the information available on a given subject that's at their fingertips today.

    How those web pages are presented (browsers OS monitors) is insignificant in the overall scheme of things. There's no doubt the advances in encoding and compatibility will eventually make the experience much more pleasant for both designers and users, but, until then, I just design for what makes sense to me in Internet Explorer and leave the problems for others to resolve - easier to do and say when there is no financial motivation involved in any of my web sites.

  8. #8
    Mikailus's Avatar
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    I guess my point is that it would be easier and faster to persuade a few thousand makers of the programs and devices we access the internet with to comply to some form of standards instead of putting the onus on millions of web designers to accomodate frequently conflicting browser/device technology.

    To make a site truly compliant one must ignore new, useful, technologies and that is detrimental to the client, the site visitor AND progress generally.

    If PHP was a drug it would have taken up to 10 years to (maybe) get approval for use. Fortunately we are at least at liberty to ignore the advice of w3c.

    OK, so we should try from the outset to make a site viewable in as many browsers as possible (I am acutely aware that the 3% of visitors using NS etc. can add up on a high traffic site) but how many versions back should we go? I just fixed a bug in one site I made so it would display in NS 6 + 7 correctly. It's not the same as IE but it's very presentable and I didn't have to discard any of the features. Does it display in older versions of NS? I have no idea.

    What irks me most about the idea users of, say, NS3 should be taken into consideration when making a site is that they all appear to be web designers. Actually, I have never met anyone using Opera or Mozilla who wasn't a web designer (or someone with their own purist vision of what the internet should be) either. Maybe I should get out more.

    The idea of clinging to the old versions or "standards compliant" browsers with some of those I have met is the trendy hatred of all things Microsoft.

    Here's a newsflash for them: proprietary code and all, IE is the BEST browser around. Whether it's a browser or an OS, I don't think disliking Bill Gates is a good reason to base a decision on what is the best software for a task.

    Yes IE has bugs and security issues but so do the rest. They are discovered more frequently in Microsoft programs because of the simple fact that more people use MS programs than any other.

    Maybe w3c could assess the affect they have on the cost of developing sites by inviting designers to submit the number of hours spent cross checking browser compatibility and how much they charged their clients for that time.
    Last edited by Mikailus; 01-07-2003 at 03:48 PM.

  9. #9
    benzden's Avatar
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    w3c seems to be like the IRS, then!?

  10. #10
    Android's Avatar

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    Originally posted by benzden
    w3c seems to be like the IRS, then!?
    Except that the IRS only enforces standards, while the W3C sets them.

    It's the designers of the browsers who are really at fault by introducing features and workarounds that are proprietary. They include these features in each new release of their product in the guise of making surfing more enjoyable for the end-user rather than serve the purpose of providing information.

    My experience is that the most useful (to me, anyway) websites are also the most compliant to W3C standards. My theory is that if they are willing to adhere to said standards, then the information they offer has also been through the mill as far as correctness and accuracy. After all, that's what professionalism is all about.

    BTW, good discussion!

  11. #11
    QuietDean's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mikailus
    To make a site truly compliant one must ignore new, useful, technologies and that is detrimental to the client, the site visitor AND progress generally.
    I have to disagree. As long as technology degrades gracefully (which is a huge feature of the w3c's standards) then you can use what you like. People with, have. people without have a useful, not quite as functional/pretty site.



    Originally posted by Mikailus
    Actually, I have never met anyone using Opera or Mozilla who wasn't a web designer (or someone with their own purist vision of what the internet should be) either. Maybe I should get out more.
    This is a fair point. A large percentage of Mozilla users are web designers. I use it myself, to check how I am sticking to the standards. And without standards, the internet would not exist at all.

    Forget HTML. What about http? Thats the standard used to transfer the information about the web. tcpip? Communications protocol, another standard. No standards here = no internet.

    Back to design. We are discussing design standards. Well, they are not making standards to make our lives easier. That it will do so is a happy side-effect. The standards are there to make websites useable and accessible by the most possible people who wish to use the internet. Flouting these standards with quite plain proprietry code is selfish and usually a marketing angle.

    Don't get me wrong. I support Open Source. However, I use win2k ( I feel its the best OS out there, period) and Internet Explorer (Its the browser I am most comfortable with). I am not a hypocrite, and I also feel I am not a trendy MS hater. I know that I could not write an OS capable of running a huge percentage of computers worldwide. Like you say, more security holes usually means more popularity (you find a hole in a windoze machine, how many targets do you have?).

    All said and done, I deplore the tactics of Microsoft when it comes to 'supporting' a standard, publicly, then privately changing it enough to proprietise it on there own massive userbase (see css1,css2,HTML,javascript).

    We need standards. Without standards, we would not be discussing this at all.
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  12. #12
    HTML's Avatar
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    Great thread folks, kinda gets the old tired mind churning

    keep 'em coming

    Dave
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  13. #13
    benzden's Avatar
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    Except that the IRS only enforces standards, while the W3C sets them.
    I'm pretty sure that most of what Congress passes as "so called" tax 'simplification' is written within the IRS by people who know less about tax law, especially regarding any fairness doctrine, than the average citizen.
    The adjustments to those unfair tax laws are written by outsiders with the lobbying strength to get them passed - these days it seems the average citizen no longer has any lobbying strength -- wasn't that way 3 decades ago.


    Creative individuals are, by definition, leaders - those who follow must bureacratize all that new 'stuff' in order to understand it and get others with much less complicated mental processies to be able to administer and maintain it. Look back in history - most creative individuals (those we know about) were scorned and had little $financial$ success -- it was those who came later to $capitalize$ on their creativity who garner whatever success they considered important to themselves.

    I'll stick with creativity and leave the bureacracy to others.

  14. #14
    Android's Avatar

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    Originally posted by benzden
    I'll stick with creativity and leave the bureacracy to others.
    Words to live by. I've usually tried to stick with the creative end of things, then I joined our Joint Health and Safety Committee here at work. Wanna know about bureaucracy! I honestly thought I could maybe make a difference! Live and learn, I guess.

  15. #15
    Mikailus's Avatar
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    Bureaucracy...that's the word that would have saved me a lot of typing...and I know how it works...

    I'm on a committee myself (I was drafted against my will) which oversees the running of a web site.

    With just a couple of people who understand the mechanics involved, and one of those who knows what needs to go on the site, we could crank pages out on a daily basis if needed.

    Unfortunately "experts" in other fields all have to have their say too which leads to months of delay. This process is made worse because:

    • one member is also one of this country's leading experts in ISO 9000 so everything has to be documented: how the committee functions, what goes on the site, how it goes on, when it goes on and so forth ad nauseum.
    • for the non-technical people, before a decision can be made the whole technical process of what can and can't be done and why or why not has to be explained (repeatedly). Why this should be I don't know. They will probably never use the information.


    A simple church web site (a church with 150 members) which is less than a month old (it took 12 months to plan!!) has generated a volume of paperwork (rules, guidelines, how to, what to etc.) just a little more wordy than the bible.

    I imagine this to be, generally, how w3c works but on a much larger scale (unless someone else knows otherwise).

    Standards are required, I agree. How we achieve them is the issue.

    For me, the biggest problem with such committees is that, at the end of the day, everyone wants to be able to point to something and say "That was my idea/contribution."

    My contribution to the committee I'm on is to keep my mouth closed (unless it's absolutely necessary to speak) in an effort to reduce the amount of time wasted on committee meetings.

    Funny thing is, if I do something differently to what the committee decides (or something not discussed at all) nobody notices.

    Footnote: One byproduct of the over-compromise frequently reached by committees is the "Crazy Rule". For instance: it was suggested a forum could be put on the church site for church members (many of them snowbirds from up north) to keep in touch. This idea was thrown out because of the danger that people might start discussing religion.
    Last edited by Mikailus; 01-09-2003 at 01:19 AM.



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