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RE: What HTML Means

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Jan 2001 12:28:20 -0800
To: "WAI Interest Group \(E-mail\)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <003b01c0831f$87dff480$0100a8c0@aries>
Kynn wrote:
"I know it's easy to decide that they're all ignorant dummies
      and feel superior to them, but how much does that really
      accomplish if we refuse to see the needs of people doing "bad
      web design" and assume it's just because they suck?  This is
      the same thing as the WYSIWYG arguments; we need to consider
      other people's perspectives as valid for them, and understand
      them, if we wish for -them- to understand -our- perspectives."

Reply:

I don't know who "they" is. I don't see any clear dividing lines.

The difference between me and "them," presuming that "they" are the people
doing bad web site design, *is* a matter of ignorance, but that doesn't make
them dummies or inferior. I am woefully ignorant of lots of things, even
related to web site design. But I've taken the time to learn a bit more, and
that effort is reflected in the quality of my output. And the more I learn,
the better my sites become.

What is the same for all of us is our goal. We all want to produce
attractive, functional web sites (that, to be honest, we think reflect
positively on ourselves). In my case, I had the freedom to spend a hell of a
lot more time perfecting my techniques. And it was a "hell of a lot" more
time because there was so much information available that was simply wrong -
well intentioned, maybe, but wrong. It took me years to sort it all out. In
fact, I'm still sorting.

Now, I don't expect everyone else to be able to do that. We each have our
own priorities. That is why I feel so strongly that we need a source of
information that addresses the needs of amateur and novice web page
designers. It must provide correct information not only on the use of HTML
and CSS, but on the entire concept of a web page and the networking medium
itself. And it must provide this information in as simple and concise a
manner as possible. In fact, it must itself be an example of excellence in
web page/site design.

Did I mention that it must be simple? Simple! That means that HTML can't be
explained in programming terms. A much better method would be by analogy to
common items or experiences.

Since I've been promoting this idea for quite some time here and elsewhere,
I've decided to do something about it. I am currently working on such a
site. It won't happen quickly - I'm swamped with other work - but I will
plug away at it until I have something to show this list.

The only people who I think suck are the so-called "professional" web site
developers who can't be bothered to write good HTML because they think it's
beneath them. I have nothing but disgust for that attitude. But those aren't
the users of WYSIWYG tools of whom Kynn speaks.

Charles F. Munat
Received on Saturday, 20 January 2001 16:15:41 GMT

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