7 thoughts on “HOWTO Spot a Wannabe Web Standards Advocate

  1. It bothers me too – as does the lack of ability to comment on the site.
    Let’s just take one point (that anybody who says i and b tags are deprecated or says em and strong should be used instead is a “wannabe”). Actually by the time he’s finished this has been turned into three points which smacks of a wannabe making something out of very little.
    Separation of presentation from content and structure is important. Using i and b tags mixes in presentation (which should surely be in CSS). em and strong quite clearly identify structure, which is why they should be used in preference in HTML. As to the general point – I’ve read too many books that talk of the i and b tags being deprecated to agree with the author’s reasoning that anyone who makes such a statement is a “wannabe”.
    It’s a shame because there’s some really good articles by the same author on the site and he’s clearly very knowledgeable, but in this post it’s a cheap laugh made at other’s expense and I think he comes across as mean-spirited and arrogant.
    Personally I’m happy to be a “wannabe” based on his definitions.

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  2. Ian, rest easy. The author isn’t advocating the use of <i> and <b>, but subtly highlighting several common misconceptions, misconstructions and misapplications.
    Take the very first point: “Talks about the importance of the alt tag.” (note emphasis on “tag”)
    Alt is an attribute, not a tag.
    As for <i> and <b>, all that is stated is fact: these elements are not deprecated. They are specified in HTML4.01, XHTML1 and included in XHTML1.1’s Presentation module.
    Hence the word “Wannabe” in the title. True Web Standards nutters wouldn’t make such mistakes!

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  3. Thanks Ben.
    Yes, I got a fairly long reply from the author explaining each point.
    I still think it’s a bit ‘superior’ though.
    But then as a ‘wannabe’ I’m bound to say that ;-)

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  4. You get them everywhere, don’t you. Mind you, who can really hold their hand up and say they’ve never been there before?
    Especially when you’ve just discovered the XHTML TR pages on w3.org and start to use it. I found such a page earlier today but seem to have mislaid it – the doctype declaration was proudly displaying XHTML 1.0 Transitional, the page was advertising a web design service, but oddly, when I tried to validate it, 37 errors came back. Mostly ignored UPPERcase words…..
    ;-)

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  5. I’m guilty of using homegrown XML documents and XSLT, but never for semantic reasons.
    Typically where I’ve used this approach was where I needed to serve document types other than HTML to certain devices.
    For example, Torque (www.garagegames.com) supports HTTP and a markup language, but the markup language isn’t HTML. By using XML and XSLT, I could feed it what it wanted and also feed IE what it wanted.

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