Ruby, Rails, Firefox, Anime, Mac
In: Web development13 Jun 2004
The Web Standards Project asks of anyone and everyone “involved in web production in any capacity” to take a survey on Web Standards and it’s relevance to you in a recent press release, Web Standards: Who Cares Anyway?.
Most salient question in the survey: What roadblocks or challenges have affected your use of Web standards?
“All of the above” applies to my position to a certain extent, but the biggest challenges I experience in my capacity of as a web developer for muvee Technologies (yes, I just got employed, 2 weeks ago) relate to that of lack of team and management knowledge and support. The current webpages are coded in old school tables, using Dreamweaver. Everyone else on the web team uses Dreamweaver. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, because a WYSIWYG editor is the best for productivity. And I take nothing away from the frontend designer and media designer – they are a class act when it comes to design.
I’m probably the oddity in the team, the only guy using a text editor to crunch out PHP scripts using the HTML webpages that are done by the creative department. And I am the only one to see invalid HTML, unclosed tags, and spacer images that Dreamweaver generates. Does it matter to the designers? Not one bit because they don’t see it and the pages still turn out find in the important browsers. Does it matter to me? Yes, it is annoying because I’ve been coding to Web Standards wherever I can, but it is something I can and should live with. There are honestly far more important things to do, as I have been reminded, than cleaning the HTML towards Web Standards-production code. I can’t argue with that. The website works (well, it doesn’t work in Opera, but fixing it is going to be a touchy subject I’ll bring up after I’m more settled into my position), so what’s the point of wasting time making changes that don’t produce any tangible benefit (to them). I can’t argue with that too, yet.
But when the time comes when there aren’t more important things to do, I will be faced with an urge to propose a shift towards Web Standards. How will that turn out? One word – badly. Why? Because the designers are not going to like it. They (nor the company, I’d guess) would not be willing to toss away what they’ve used for years to produce their webpages. Unless Dreamweaver starts becoming a far better webpage editor in terms of the code it generates, I don’t think they’d like looking at raw HTML code (and I don’t blame them either). I’d probably become public enemy number one in the web team if I start proposing these changes, even if I suggest to undertake the conversion to Web Standards all by myself. I don’t have a case, yet.
Anyway, take the survey, let WaSP know what’s happening in the real world, and also let me know if and how you’ve managed to convince your department/company to switch to Web Standards. Please do share your experiences, especially those that end in sucess, because that’s where I believe everyone has lots to learn from.