Christian Heilmann

Hiding from the standards Gestapo

Monday, February 14th, 2005 at 4:07 pm

I just got an email that made me laugh:

Hello there. I just noticed your W3C validation thingy at the bottom of this
page, and I thought “yay, finally someone that takes his work seriously!”. But no…
When I clicked it I noticed that your page hasnt passed the W3C validation at all!
There’s even errors on this contactpage! It’d please me very much if you’d correct
the errors, as it is always nice with well-coded pages, but if you refuse to do so I
must ask you to remove your W3C mark as it is “fake”.

The page is question is onlinetools.org, which hasn’t been updated for almost one and a half years, as I put my energy into writing articles and content editing evolt.org instead.

I wonder now what I should do? Will my girlfriend still love me when he takes away my w3c button? Will I go to hell? Is there any way I can ask for forgiveness?

I am a huge advocate of web standards, and while it is true that you should practise what you preach emails like the one above are just ridiculous. There are thousands of web sites out there that take web standards very seriously indeed, however most of them are blogs and private sites.

If you want to evangelise better web design, then complain to companies when you cannot use their sites or when they totally mess up in a standards compliant browser. Preaching to the converted or going “neener neener” at small mistakes of people who mean well doesn’t help anybody.

Developers understand, CMS vendors and company managers don’t.

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