Zeldman: 99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete. Yeah, but…

In general, I agree, but with 2 caveats:

First of all, a lot of people still use Netscape 4, including some of the people writing the checks to designers.

Second, CSS-P is a big pain in the a**. And don’t send me a link to some CSS layouts page. Yes, it’s fine for putting a few boxes on a page, and you can do some neat stuff with it, but anyone who’s actuallly wrestled with a complex layout (say for a web application) knows that it is downright nasty getting CSS-P (which was designed specifically for layout for gosh sakes) to do what you want. I’m not denying CSS is an improvement over spacer gifs and the like, but it leaves a lot to be desired as a layout language, and requires plenty of ugly hacks of its own. There, I’ve said it.

Human Factors International certification… um, so.. who made HFI the arbiter of whether or not I’m a qualified HCI practitioner. It’s not that I don’t think there’s any value to certification, but I’m thinking it’s gotta come from somewhere other than a for-profit consultancy.

World Wide Web Consortium Issues Scalable Vector Graphics as a Candidate Recommendation. Yeah, ok, but until it works in the browser (i.e. not as a plugin), I’m not sure what advantage SVG has over Flash.

While I was supposed to be “focusing my energy” at the end of yoga class this morning I was instead thinking about the ILOVEYOU virus (which as aaron pointed out would have been way cooler if it was called IKISSYOU). I was thinking about how all the mac users who smugly pointed out that the virus didn’t affect them were totally missing the point.. They weren’t affected because they don’t make up enough of the market to have been targeted. Which got me thinking about how computer viruses are similar to natural pests where if you plant the same crop year after year you end up much more vulnerable than if you rotate your crops. Not that I’m advocating switching your email client all the time, but it does argue in favor of heterogeneity.. It’s funny to be making an argument against standardization.

It’s amazing how quickly the net evolves.. While I liked the impulse behind A Standard for Site Organization, the specific suggestion (standard directory names for common site sections) seemed downright archaic to me: Why wouldn’t you just have a standard XML site-description file that pointed to site resources, a la deepleap? But then I noticed the article’s from 1998. It makes me want some sort of ambient date representation, like documents that start to generate a smell as they decay.

OK, so, yeah, Microsoft’s disregard for web standards—simultaneously implementing new features and failing to implement standards such as DOM and CSS—is really, really crapulent. And there’s no way I’m gonna start using totally proprietary, non-degrading stuff like element behaviors, but shit some of what they’re doing is just way cool, like editable content (try it here with IE 5.5.). And, speaking of proprietary extensions, what about XUL? How is that so different?

I tend to agree with taylor’s thoughts on Netscape 6. The summary: Mozilla has a lot of good stuff under the hood, such as XML and CSS/DOM standards-compliance, but the interface is some kind of sloppy anti-design that clutters the screen with AOL cruft which competes visually with the content. XUL is interesting, sure, but unless the page author can control them skins are not an interface design solution.

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