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Re: [Article] Web-Quality v1.1

From: Alex Rousskov <rousskov@measurement-factory.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 11:02:05 -0600 (MDT)
To: public-evangelist@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.BSF.4.44.0209200955130.71473-100000@measurement-factory.com>

On Fri, 20 Sep 2002, Karl Dubost wrote:

> a few corrections, minor updates to the article Web-Quality
> 	http://www.w3.org/QA/2002/04/Web-Quality

I have two specific and two general comments below. The specific
comments assume that the reader buys your existing arguments.

> I would like to add two points, but I need your help.
>
> * "Major companies have invalid websites. They don't care about
> standards, why I should care?"

Answer: "You should care because you cannot afford overheads that
major companies can afford".

> * "I'm working in the real world, I'm doing business with real
> clients and they don't care about standards, they want something
> that works."

Answer: "Great! So use standards because of the other arguments to use
them. Since your clients do not care and standards work, there is no
conflict. Also, your clients may start to care tomorrow. If you are
reading this article today, they may be too. Perhaps you can even
teach them to care. Customers often do not know what's best for them
and may seek your advice and expert opinion."



General comment: Your "Usual comments" section is nice to read, but it
would be very helpful to have a succinct summary of "Whys" in a
separate section. Right now, it is difficult to answer your own "Why?"
question without spending time to extract the answers from the "Usual
comments". In other words, the article does not answer its own Why?
question in an easy-to-digest way. A bulleted list following the
"Usual comments" section may be appropriate. A TOC would be nice too,
BTW.

Think of a person who needs to convince management to follow
standards. That person will benefit from reading "Usual comments", but
she cannot send those long paragraphs to the boss. She needs a concise
summary and a way to prove her points. You help with the latter, but
not with the former.

Another general comment: To be complete, the article SHOULD mention
Web site software that delivers Web content. After all, if the Web
server is incompliant, it may corrupt compliant content or otherwise
fail to deliver it. If you want to argue that standards are the way to
go, you should argue that Web servers (and other software involved)
should follow corresponding standards like HTTP.

Note that achieving HTTP compliance (from Webmaster point of view) is
simply a matter of selecting compliant software and/or making their
preferences known to software manufactures. In this context, it is
much easier to accomplish compliance because it does not involve
arguments such as Web site design quality or cost. Yet, most, if not
all HTTP servers are not compliant. This brings an interesting
question: Are you fighting the true cause for incompliance? Perhaps
all those excuses you are trying to address are not that important if
software that does not have similar problems is still not compliant?


Finally, can you truly say that "My Web site is standard" (the title
of your article) if your HTTP server violates RFC 2616 MUSTs? Should
you be saying "My Web pages are standard, if you can get them"
instead? I believe this is a serious integrity question. From an
outside observer, it may look like you are advocating standard
compliance where it is easy (for you!) to achieve and ignoring it
where it is more difficult.

HTH,

Alex.

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Received on Friday, 20 September 2002 13:02:09 GMT

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