W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-bpwg@w3.org > March 2009

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

From: Luca Passani <passani@eunet.no>
Date: Sat, 07 Mar 2009 10:46:46 +0100
Message-ID: <49B24286.5040306@eunet.no>
To: Mobile Web Best Practices Working Group WG <public-bpwg@w3.org>
Tom Hume wrote:
> 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 can live with the idea that someone has argued (also with customers) 
that pixel-perfect layout are not necessarily a good idea for web sites. 
I had a problem with Chaals referring to 14 years of established 
web-design practices as "nonsense". One may be manufacturing electric 
cars, but this does not entitle them to refer to the statement "cars are 
powered by fossil fuels" as "nonsense".

Separating content and presentation may certainly be a handy concept in 
many circumstances (particularly software development), but in the 
context of media agencies the line between the two is blurred to say the 
least (well, more often, just inexistent): presentation  *is* 
communication. In those cases, transcoding means to destroy the content 
and enraging the content owner. A standard should not endorse 
transcoding without the consent of the content owner.

Of course, this leads to the same point I have been making all the way: 
transcoding should only happen when the content owner has agreed to it. 
CTG risks to go even further and justify the destruction of the platform 
which content owners use to deliver their content (referring to UA 
spoofing of course)


> 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.
> -- 
> Future Platforms
> e: Tom.Hume@futureplatforms.com
> t: +44 (0) 1273 819038
> m: +44 (0) 7971 781422
> work: www.futureplatforms.com
> play: tomhume.org
Received on Saturday, 7 March 2009 09:47:25 UTC

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