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A New Intolerance

I stumbled upon something that I haven't seen since 1998 or there abouts. Remember this:

This site is best viewed with Internet Explorer at 1024 x 768 resolution.

Yeah. Thought you'd never have to see that again, did you? Sorry. I'll be quick.

There's a new intolerance growing on the web, and it's the lack of web standards from developers. When browsing the web, users are getting more and more impatient about pages that don't render correctly. Even worse, when they're told to use a certain browser or screen resolution. My own wife, who hates using the computer, except when she needs to, hates visiting sites that don't adhere to standards. "Why does this site look so bad?" or "Why can't I see this page?" are common questions that she'll ask me. Luckily, I don't have to hear it all that often. "Because dear, that web developer is a moron."

Fortunately, the W3C and WaSP are making great strides in this area. More and more, developers are adhering to standards. But there is more to developing great pages that just adhere to standards, there are also pages that adhere to cross-browser and cross-platform compatibility. I should be able to visit a site with any browser (adhering to standards too) on any platform with any resolution. The site should also deprecate nicely if I decide not to use JavaScript.

With all this said, me being a very big advocate of such standards, you can imagine my shock when I visited this site: UpdateSport (scroll to the bottom). The funny thing is, I was looking for news on Firefox using Google News when I stumbled on that site. I couldn't believe my eyes. You have got to be kidding, right?

Sure, they're advocating the good word of Firefox, so brownie points there, but come on! Learn how to develop a site, so if I have a resolution of 800x600 (which 17% of web browsers still do, according to the W3C), then I can view your site nicely, without cursing under my breath. Learn how to develop that caters to all users, not just a select 'elite'.

At any rate, I calmed down, and sent the web master a kind email encouraging him to use standards when developing a site. I hope that he realizes what he can do to fix it, so users with smaller screen resolutions, can visit the site, and enjoy the content that's there. If he doesn't, at least he is aware of one user who isn't excited about his lazy attitude towards web dev.

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