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

Tim Beadle tim.beadle at iop.org
Thu Jul 8 08:10:33 CDT 2004

On Thu, 2004-07-08 at 13:10, chris at martiantechnologies.com wrote:
> Standards may philosophically be a life thing, but in the context of 
> this list they *are* just a web thing. Tom's TrueGreen site is an 
> example to everyone of a well designed and executed project lifecycle.
> Having said this, many of us work on much, much larger projects on
> which we inherit a massive codebase. Every change that is required can
> either be made by one person in a day or so without standards
> compliance, or the suggestion can be made to recode the entire site
> taking 9 man months, after which a testing and stabilisation phase
> should be gone through. The new site is then launched (with the risks 
> of un-fixed bugs), with the net improvement to the customer being zero. 
> The best you can hope for in the real world is to gradually improve 
> your code snippets' standards compliance in the vain hope that other 
> coders pick up on this and do the same. The system as a whole is not
> affected, but at least as a developer you can allow yourself a smug
> sense of self-satisfaction - which seemingly is the major motivator for 
> many web developers these days.

I agree with you on many points: migrating to a standards-based solution
from tag soup *is* expensive, and sometimes difficult. I would take
issue with your assertion that there is no user-level improvement: how
many times have we been told that slow-loading pages are a massive
turn-off for users? Web standards bring faster-loading and
faster-rendering pages along with the slew of developer-level

There has been a bit of a backlash against standards lately[0], possibly
due to certain standards-advocates' relentless "validate or be damned"
approach that doesn't recognise that many people have a lot of interia
in their organisations and web sites to overcome, and that they're
getting there (slowly, sometimes). I just wish that these purists would
give credit where it's due and encourage people not to give up, 'cos
we're all working towards a better web.

[0] http://www.molly.com/2004/06/11/standards-backlash/
Tim Beadle <tim.beadle at iop.org>

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