Microsoft Groupie Blathers On And On And On …

This wanker really makes me angry. He’s trying to convince us that Microsoft is the victim of a worldwide conspiracy of idealists to impose web standards on everyone in order to upset the already level playing field. The battleground is the release of Internet Explorer version 8.

The guy claims that web standards are impossible because of the mess of browsers which do not implement W3C web standards, implement them inconsistently or add browser-specific tags. He says all this as if Microsoft wasn’t the originator of all these faults with web design today.

Let’s have a quick look at some of his claims:

Those documents are super confusing.
The Wanker’s Rant

I guess they are confusing if you haven’t learned to read yet or insist on buying shows with Velcro fasteners because those fiddly laces-things are waaaaaay too difficult. Let’s test some of the text of the HTML 4.01 Standard for legibility.

“The BR element forcibly breaks (ends) the current line of text. (http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/text.html#h-9.3.2)”

Pretty good so far. How about another?

“In ordered lists, it is not possible to continue list numbering automatically from a previous list or to hide numbering of some list items. However, authors can reset the number of a list item by setting its value attribute. Numbering continues from the new value for subsequent list items. (http://www.w3.org/TR/html401/struct/lists.html#h-10.2)”

Tough isn’t it? All those letters next to each other like that. To read this stuff you may even have to know how to read that joined-up writing grown-ups do.

Oddly enough, the people this loser claims to be the victims of the standards conspiracy, Microsoft, is a member of the W3C Committee which developed the standard. It’s not like web standards are a surprise for them or that they don’t have anyway of asking questions when they don’t understand what’s going on.

In practice, with the web, there’s a bit of a problem: no way to test a web page against the standard, because there’s no reference implementation that guarantees that if it works, all the browsers work. This just doesn’t exist.
The Wanker’s Rant

Ok. How about the reference browser implementation put out by the W3C committee? It’s called Amaya. It’s not the greatest browser in the world but it’s not meant to be. It’s sole purpose in life is to show you how the people who write the web standards this cockhead complains about should display.

There is no practical way to check if the web page you just coded conforms to the spec. There are validators, but they won’t tell you what the page is supposed to look like, and having a “valid” page where all the text is overlapping and nothing lines up and you can’t see anything is not very useful.
The Wanker’s Rant

Oh dear. There are plenty of validators which test whether the code for your page conforms to standards. The Amaya browser shows you how it should look on a standard compliant browser.

The fact that there are non-conforming browsers (read lots of versions of Internet Explorer) browsers is not an argument for dropping the ideal of standards but an argument for dropping Internet Explorer for a standards-compliant browser.

Standards make everyone’s life easier by providing a common language for communication and development. The mantra which should be on every web developer’s lips is:

Standards Make Sense