Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

No, this isn’t a comedy routine with the fabulous John Pinette taking the stage. It’s part of an ongoing tragic saga of Web sites that are browser-specific. Nothing new there, as we all know. In this case, they’re all Microsoft sites, alas, and even Robert Scoble is just saying no.

While some people have recently commented that WaSP’s voice has been neutralized by our relationship with Microsoft via the WaSP Microsoft Task force, I beg to differ. Those of us here at WaSP that are working to help support the developers within Microsoft as they make their software more standards-compliant know all too well that there is a snakepit of complexity involved, a reality with which any working Web professional is sure to be familiar.

But let’s separate ourselves for a moment from the software developers who are working to promote standards from within, and it’s pretty darned clear that if Robert Scoble himself is going to boycott IE-only Microsoft sites, that says there’s more work to do. Much more.

Currently, there are no Microsoft site designers and developers active on the WaSP Microsoft Task Force. Maybe it’s time we find the right people and build the bridge. After all, if Microsoft can use the standards cry as a public relations strategy as they shore up support for the upcoming IE7 and related design products, and work closely with WaSP to create smoother relations with the design and development community, they certainly can pony up sites that work for everyone.

IE-only sites? I say Nay Nay, Microsoft.

Need or want help? Then just talk to us and the community at large. I’m sure we’ve proven we’ll be more than happy to help.

Your Replies

#1 On May 8th, 2006 4:38 pm Keri Henare replied:

Like a lot of us I refuse to use IE6, I cannot stand it. 80% (or more) of the issues that I have with browser support stem from IE6, but I do support it in my designs. Microsoft, Mr Bill Gates, please give me the very same courtesy.

Microsoft is a huge camp and we’re not going to reach every corner, yet. The people we currently deal with may not be the people responsible for making these websites. We need to reach a group of individuals within Microsoft (like the Mac Development Team at Microsoft in their arena) who share our passions and who can influence their peers.

So far Microsoft seems to only be embracing standards-compliance as a necessity of survival rather than because it’s the right thing to do. They still have a long way to go before we’ll trust them to what’s right without us baby sitting them. However, I don’t want to come across completely negative. The steps that Microsoft have made so far have been in the right direction, whatever the reason for them. We have to keep up what we’ve been doing: Support Microsoft and guide them but never grow complacent.

#2 On May 9th, 2006 9:07 am Marc Drummond replied:

IE-only sites are indeed bad, and WASP has done a great job of raising the profile of this issue… I think significant progress is being made due to the tireless efforts of people like Molly, Zeldman, and so many more.

However, I do find it ironic that WASP fights against IE-only sites, when its beautifully redesigned site is in fact glitchy in IE.

Every morning, I come to to find the next juicy morsel of standards goodness… and I dread the moment the site loads. I use IE6 at work… I have Firefox installed too, but most often I’m in IE6, as are many who are out there.

When loads up in the default size of my browser window, the Buzz is black. That column drops down below the task force content on the right. If I hit the maximize button on my browser window, voila! The Buzz is back. This issue does not occur in Firefox.

It’s probably a rounding bug or some such thing in the CSS. I’m sure the great minds at WASP could probably fix this issue if someone took a look at it. I’ve send three to four emails without ever hearing a response.

I know IE6 is terrible, yada yada yada, Firefox is a million times better, yada yada yada… but if WASP wants to have credibility on the issue of people making IE-specific sites, then the least WASP could do is make sure that is not a non-IE-specific site. It’s the same thing, except in reverse.

It’s one thing for Malarkey’s site to be intentionally anti-IE with its black and white stylesheet for the non-standard IE browsers. It might annoy me a titch when I browse there in IE and have to switch to Firefox for the full experience, but I get the point. With, it’s not intentional… it’s just a glitch and should be fixed.

Again, I totally agree with what you’re saying, Molly. You’re doing great work (and I happy visit your blog everyday sans problems), and so is WASP. I just wish this glitch would be fixed, and this seemed a good chance to point that out, since I’ve had zero luck with any of the other channels I’ve tried.

Thanks for your time,

#3 On May 9th, 2006 11:10 am WaSP Member mollyeh replied:

Keri: Couldn’t have put it better myself.

Marc: You are absolutely right and oh, believe me, we have a list of site woes. We can fix them. And we will. And for the record, I hate the text size on this site so much I scream about it regularly. Hopefully, we can get the issues sorted soon.

#4 On May 9th, 2006 12:06 pm Emil Stenström replied:

Molly: Me too but fortunately zooming works great :)

I belive we have the IE Team on the right track. What team is next?

#5 On May 22nd, 2006 2:25 am Technikwürze 22: Usability-Tipps » macximal replied:

[...] Even Scoble Says Nay Nay [...]

#6 On May 22nd, 2006 2:38 pm » Technikwürze #22 — cne _LOG Archiv replied:

[...] Web Standards Project: Even Scoble Says Nay Nay [...]

#7 On May 31st, 2006 9:41 am Technikwürze :: Design & Webstandards Podcast » Blog Archiv » Technikwürze 22 - Usability-Tipps replied:

[...] Even Scoble Says Nay Nay [...]

#8 On June 4th, 2006 3:43 am Technikwürze :: Design & Webstandards Podcast » Blog Archiv » Technikwürze #22 - Usability-Tipps replied:

[...] "Even Scoble Says Nay Nay": [...]

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