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Re: The Web has flexible presentation Re: (Nielsen article)

From: Tom Hume <tom.hume@futureplatforms.com>
Date: Sat, 7 Mar 2009 09:52:59 +0800
Message-Id: <4AF2203D-B7A5-47C5-B8E3-DCDB0B53B1AB@futureplatforms.com>
To: Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group WG <public-bpwg@w3.org>
I spent this period working as a developer in the web industry and had  
a different experience to yourself. Apologies in advance if you find  
this insulting.

I spent lots of time working with lots of folks who came from a print  
or CD-ROM background and explaining to them that no, web pages weren't  
about pixel-perfect layout or complete control over fonts... and that  
(when considering accessibility) users might not be able to view  
images, or may even be accessing through a screen reader etc.

There were people who tried to tightly control layout and look&feel.  
They tended to use huge images or produce the whole site using images,  
Flash, Shockwave or whatever. Nowadays we don't design sites for  
800x600 screens only, or insist on specific versions of Netscape or IE  
(for the most part).

Modern web design tends to play to the strengths of the medium,  
instead of trying to reinforce preconceptions dragged across from  
media that came before.

On 7 Mar 2009, at 09:00, Luca Passani wrote:

> I am not sure how you can call what I say nonsense. I find this  
> rather insulting.
>
> If you ask your Norwegian colleagues who Digital Hverdag, New Media  
> Science and CellNetwork were, they will tell you that those were the  
> top Norwegian web production companies between 95 and 2000 (or at  
> least among the top 5). Their customer portfolios included major oil  
> companies, banks, insurance, goverment departments and so on.
> Those are the companies I worked for in that period. Creating a  
> website would require that "proposals" would be built with tools  
> such as Adobe Photoshop. Implementation was about making sure that  
> HTML and CSS would render as faithfully as possible what the  
> designer had designed visually. Bug reports were, more often then  
> not, reports of a website not looking as expected on some specific  
> browser on some specific OS. We even had to re-install a clean Win95  
> with the original MSIE 4 browser at one point. Everyone had  
> installed MSIE 5 and the MSIE4 compatibility mode was not enough to  
> reproduce the real rendering on legacy MSIE 4 browsers.
>
> I am not sure how you can call "nonsense" the fact that developers  
> built sites with a clear idea of what the site should look like.

--
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Received on Saturday, 7 March 2009 01:53:55 UTC

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