[thelist] Re: The need for IE-only sites?

Greg Holmes greg.holmes at gmail.com
Thu Jul 8 08:05:16 CDT 2004

Diane Soini wrote:

>C'mon guys. Let's get really truly honest about this. Does it really
>matter? I mean REALLY? Do web standards actually, really truly matter?
>I want to believe. I believe they should matter. I've even got
>Zeldman's book right here. I'm a believer. But DO standards ACTUALLY
>matter? Maybe they really don't. In the real world, when we look up
>from our favorite web logs and turn away from our rarified, ivory tower
>web worker world, there's nearly no valid, standards-compliant code out
>there and nobody cares.

Depends on what you mean by "matter", I guess.  The only reason
the web got so big is that it allowed the interoperability of many
diverse servers and clients, on many platforms.  And the only reason
IE got to play on the web at all is because the web operated
on published standards (for the most part).  If interoperability matters,
then yes, standards matter.

Without standards, you get something like, oh, GroupWise.  Can I
use another email client?  No (unless the admin turns on IMAP access
- a *standard*).  Can I use an older version of the client with a
newer server?  No.  Can I use a newer version of the client with an
older server?  No.  Can I write my own client to interact with the server
and do interesting things that the server manufacturer never even
thought of?  No.

Greg Holmes

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