W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-evangelist@w3.org > January 2003

RE: Promotion of XHTML

From: Samuli Hakoniemi <samuli.hakoniemi@myy.helia.fi>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2002 05:55:14 -0500 (EST)
Message-ID: <1041332109.3e11778da56ad@imp.helia.fi>
To: W3C Evangelist <public-evangelist@w3.org>

Quoting Chris Hubick <chris@hubick.com>:

> The designers I know don't take accessibility and browser neutrality to
> heart.  We need more Mac and Linux desktops, more WebTV's, more Mozilla
> browsers deployed, millions of handhelds with wireless web access, and
> every web designer needs a deaf or blind person as their boss.  These
> issues aren't "real" enough to most of them.  They think if the page
> works on their 15" monitor running Internet Explorer then all is well.

  But only obeying standards do not solve the problems with usability and
  accessibility. There can be an infinite number of specifications and
  articles written, still it's obvious that most designers create adequate

  Idea of a "deaf or blind boss" is good: there should be an strong authority 
  which keeps reminding a designer that others may not see or feel same effects 
  he's/she's feeling at the moment. But does such an authority exist?

> I think the browsers strict handling of XHTML will probably mean that it
> will be extremely difficult to catch on.  I think if we would have
> started out with this behavior 10 years ago, we might all be using
> gopher or something today.  The reason the web is so successfull is
> because of the low barrier to entry.  I think there is also a very high
> elasticity of difficulty.  That is, make it a /little/ harder and you
> will drop a /lot/ of web authors.

  This is true. "Learn Web Design in 24 hours" etc. I've noticed by following
  several forums that for some reason many designers can't figure the differ-
  ence between of creating structure, presentation and controls, probably cause 
  of using WYSIWYG editors.

  These designers forms a group, which may design and work actively for the
  web without a clue about standards and recommendations. Now when someone
  comes and tells them to start obeying standards, everything stops:
  "Have I been doing wrong for years? But how does my browser displays 
   everything properly? Well, it's worth giving a shot.."
  When the validator gives first errors about FONT tags and improperly defined
  dimensions for table, designer usually gives up - rather than starts finding
  a solution. 
> I think it is the environment.  I think web authors need to be directly
> exposed to the vast array of user agents out there.  They need to be
> shown their sites on everything from PC's, Macs, Unix boxes, PDA's,
> Braille terminals, voice browsers, etc, etc, etc.  And I think they need
> better examples.  I think Wired's redesign is in the right direction
> (but still far from ideal).  We need more good examples of real and
> attractive sites which can display on any device.

  But how can we create those "good examples and attractive sites" when nobody's
  watching or listening? Should there be an inofficial W3C, which would create
  more practical and easier-to-understand examples for teachers/professors at
  schools, designers in major companies, etc.? Or is it ok just to wait for
  re-designs to happen?

  There's still more factors and authors which gives an image that there's no
  need for obeying standards nor care about users with impairments or limited
  client programs. I'm not saying these factors should be overruled by the
  "absolute truth of designing", but sometimes it seems futile to claim 
  something which really has no other support than few articles written in the
  web when there's large corporations/books/teachers on the other side.

  Happy New Year,
Received on Wednesday, 1 January 2003 13:50:39 UTC

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