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Re: A Compromise to the Versioning Debate

From: Anne van Kesteren <annevk@opera.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 07:31:27 +0200
To: "Denis Boudreau (WebConforme)" <dboudreau@webconforme.com>, "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.tqu2ypyq64w2qv@id-c0020>

On Sun, 15 Apr 2007 16:48:25 +0200, Denis Boudreau (WebConforme)  
<dboudreau@webconforme.com> wrote:
>>> Why even care about incompetent web developers? I don't want to start  
>>> a discussion about the trade but seriously, being a web developer  
>>> requires some skill that a lot of people just don't have. Catering for  
>>> them and trying to make HTML as simple as possible so that these  
>>> people won't have any problems is just weird.

That's not weird. We're all human and make mistakes. The design has to  
take imperfection into account. This means imperfection in the  
implementation, the generated HTML (whether by hand or tool), even the  
specification, etc.

Even skillful web developers rely on error handling as can be seen by the  
broken tools (no tool is perfect) they sometimes have to work with. See  
the following blog entry for instance (I'm surprised Roger Johansson +100  
this thread for whatever reason):

   http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/200704/lame_excuses_for_not_being_a_web_professional/


The web is also not solely for skillful web developers, but also for  
teachers who quickly want to set up some coursework pages for instance.  
They might want to edit HTML by hand, but you can't expect them to fully  
comprehend what they're doing up to the details of setting up the right  
MIME types and dealing with character encoding issues. That's just silly.  
(Those last points probably apply to "skillful" web developers as well as  
quite often they have some encoding issue although I suspect that problem  
might be less visible now since blogging tools have mostly fixed their  
issues with those.)


> While I also fully agree with this (I guess I'd have to +1000 it), it  
> remains a good question snce there will mot likely ALWAYS be more  
> incomptent web authors than there will be comptenent ones. Not just  
> because people don't read the specs in our field, but because in every  
> trade, for every people that excel at what they do, there is an army of  
> others who just don't care enough to dig a little deeper than what is  
> expected from them.
>
> So, maybe, just maybe - and whether we like it or not - cleaning up the  
> web has to go through simplifying the tool we put in the developer's  
> hands.

It's not about cleaning up the web. It's about finding out how it works.  
Once you find out how it works (and have documented that so other benefit  
 from it too and can support it like you do, etc.), you can start thinking  
of improving it.


-- 
Anne van Kesteren
<http://annevankesteren.nl/>
<http://www.opera.com/>
Received on Monday, 16 April 2007 05:31:44 GMT

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