Why do we have to fight to be allowed to make things right? I mean, really? Look at all the web standards advocates out there, fighting to get their message through; People lobbying for stylesheet-driven web sites and accessibility.
And all these battles are not about trying to have something in line with cool scripts animating things all over the page, not about doing something to show off to your friends. These things are about keeping development costs down, vastly reducing bandwidth usage by having all presentation in CSS files that will be cached in the visitor’s web browser, and reaching a lot more potential customers with web sites that are accessible.
I can’t believe I’m using my spare time, as do many other very talented persons, fighting to get the message across. Everyday, there are web sites/blogs all over the internet showing you how to better adhere to web standards, to write the leanest and most efficient CSS and tutorials and recommendations how to reach a higher accessibility (thus also gaining goodwill as well, which will result in even more business).
But we’re met by a wall of decision makers and Project Managers that just don’t understand what it’s about (or are to weak to take the discussion), tool manufacturers whose products deliver terrible code because they lack the skill to do it correctly and it’s too much of a hassle to learn and to eventually set things right (because no one asks for it).
I mean, even Microsoft, with its history, understands the importance of this. Next version of Internet Explorer will have a greatly improved web standards and CSS support, next version of the .NET environment will encompass web standards and accessibility improvements and their MSN Search is the only search engine out there that delivers valid XHTML code and where the presentation is contained in its own CSS.
Of course Microsoft still has a long way to go, but at least they’re on the right track. And if they can go through this, with their immense size as a company, what holds you small companies back from upgrading your skills? From learning how things are supposed to be done and how you will make much more money? From having some tougher demands on your web developers and tool manufacturers to deliver something that isn’t ghastly?
If you agree with me, give me a “hear, hear”, put your foot down and tell your managers that this can’t go on anymore. It’s business suicide to be in the web development business producing web sites, without even having the know-how or even interest in creating a good, effective front-end layer.