[thelist] Re: Why code for standards

Arlen.P.Walker at jci.com Arlen.P.Walker at jci.com
Mon Feb 4 13:50:00 CST 2002

>By making your "standards" organization
>so exclusive,  how can you realistically ask such a question?  It is
>that the small businesses were / are "excluded" by these practices,
>therefore,  the question should be to them:  "Who would *want to* do
>Why would they want to participate in the deployment of something that
>were so obviously and prudishly excluded from in the first place?

So I guess what you're saying is we should all rip the Ethernet cards out
of our computers, because that's a standard set by and agreed to among
corporations. We could go back to dial-up connections, but hey, wait a
minute, that's *also* a BigCo standard. Got to get rid of the computer, for
that matter, because the standards for that are set in other BigCo's
(Microsoft sets the design standard for intel/AMD-based systems, even the
vast majority of the ones running Linux, Apple for PowerPC-based). And
televison and radio is out, because they're standards-based as well.

Standards are now and have always been necessary. And most of the time
they're set by the ones with deep enough pockets to fund the R&D effort.
Standards that some folks have been economically excluded from start at
your walls (you *did* know there were building standards, didn't you) and
proceed through every niche of your home and office (and garage, for that
matter). While many of these standards don't cost a lot to meet, they were
all set by the folks who were big enough to fund the discovery effort.

Why code for standards? Because the web design, and even the web page, for
that matter, is only the means to the end, not the end in itself. The end
is communication, whether that commincation involves the exchange of money
for goods and services, or merely of time for information. And standards
allow me to focus on the *real* task at hand, communication; instead of
wasting time and energy on the means I can go right to the end.

Are we there, yet? No. And I'm jealous of every minute I have to spend
testing this browser quirk or that workaround (can you tell I've just
discovered for myself the NS/Mozilla bug that drops a scroll bar over the
top of a background image positioned on the right?) because that's one
minute that's forever lost to me and I'll never get it back. And it's only
lost because some fool decided I shouldn't be allowed to make something
available for everybody, but only for a select group (a group I had no part
in selecting, I might add).

And *that's* the heart of my beef with Browser Buffonery: They're getting
in the way of my doing my job, which is to communicate what I know (or what
the people who hire me know) as efficiently and as effectively as I know
how. Right now that involves wasting a lot of time working around
everything from bad programming to indifference, even active hostility, to
standards. All I want the Browser Bozos to do is to get out of my way and
let me do my job.

<hmmmm, blood pressure down 30 points, now>

Have fun,
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen.P.Walker at JCI.Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.

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