Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

While I’m quite sure this post won’t be seen by the folks who most need to read it, I feel the need to speak up.

In a post discussing his new fan site, Robert Scoble notes the surfeit of vitriol directed at the IE Team in the comments to their blog. Jeremy Wright says “it’s worse than slashdot.”

That’s a shame. I know the WaSP members are above such crassness. And I’m quite sure that our friends and supporters are of similar mien. But it’s apparent that some in the standards community aren’t.

Now I’m certainly no stranger to strong language or strong opinions. But there are two things I try to do, though I don’t always succeed: firstly, I try to criticize the behavior, not the person. Just because someone does something I find objectionable doesn’t mean they’re bad or stupid. Secondly, I try to maintain a modicum of respect when I’m on someone else’s site. It’s one thing to give ‘em hell in your own house, or even from a soapbox on a streetcorner. It’s another thing to be invited into someone’s living room and berate them there.

So on the off-chance that one of the hotheads from the IE Team blog has wandered over here, I’m asking nicely: please, knock off the abuse. We’re all frustrated by IE’s shortcomings, myself included (I’m typing this on a break from churning out templates on a Sunday evening; but for IE’s sub-bar CSS handling I’d be home sipping a Stella and cooking a nice dinner for my SO). Cursing and abusing the IE Team, slamming them for lack of content or critiquing the blog’s markup or stylesheets isn’t going to fix anything, though. More likely it’ll do the exact opposite.

By all means be critical — they’re blogging to get your feedback, after all — but criticize the product, not the people. And do it politely. Or at least civilly.

P.S. Despite the venom, it does seem that they’re getting the message. Yay!

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