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Over There (in the UK)

February 17, 2001 at 12 PM

Got home from Atlanta late

Got home from Atlanta late Thursday night. I was attending the Web Design 2001 conference there, which proved illuminating, educational and fun.

Fun? Well, actually it was a lot like work. That 9-5 sort of work. And listening to hours and hours of talk about standards, useability, user-testing, database integration, not to mention HTML, DHTML, CSS, ECMAScript, DOM, XML, and all the other acronyms you can think of (go ahead, make up your own, it probably already exists), is...exhausting.

Still, prancing around a strange city on the company dime has its moments, and I made a few good contacts. Strangely enough, the people I ended up eating meals with and getting to know were all fellow Canadians. Through nothing more than random chance, the first person I sat beside was from Calgary, and lunch that day saw me choose a table of Torontonians. It all seemed like fate though; our Canadian posse stuck together for the rest of the conference.

Perhaps the most significant event for us HTML junkies was keynote speaker Jeffrey Zeldman's launch of the Browser Upgrade Campaign. Zeldman is a guru, father-figure of the web design community and it was refreshing to see him take such an activist stance.

What, might you ask, is the campaign about? Basically, it's a crusade to end the use of "4.0" browsers. Notably Netscape 4 (or 4.5 or 4.7 or...), which has for years caused much hair-pulling and -greying among web designers. Why? It doesn't support web standards. It would be fine if it just ignored stuff it didn't understand, but it actually tries to support them, and does so incorrectly. As a result, web pages that should work fine look like dad's meatloaf sitting on the counter for 6 weeks, and can even cause Netscape 4 to crash.

Eventually sites will stop supporting faulty browsers because they hold designers back. Why delay the inevitable? Upgrade to a browser that follows standards correctly. After all, I'd like to keep my hair. And I like it dark brown.

Comments

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Previously: Ooooh, a new update. I’ve

Subsequently: The New South, in a word

February 2001
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