The State of the Craft (HTML)

I just recently saw this posting by Eric Meyer on how browser makers and big companies interact and how browsers (and developers) are put in a bad situation.  The short version is: Browser makers want to update their browser to follow standards.  Terrible developers complain that their f**ked up HTML and JS will break if the browser changes.

In the last month or two, I have had the opportunity to recreate other people’s html.  I am creating Marketo Landing Page templates that “look” like their site.  Each one is pretty quick.  But when I view their source, I am really disgusted by the horrible html being used.  Things like spacer.gif are only the beginning.  Tags like <TD background=”foo.gif”> are just horrible.  Iframes all over the place, nested tables to create padding, it makes my head spin.

I just can’t believe how people call themselves web developers and don’t take their craft seriously.  If you are a cobbler, you should be interested in all new foot technologies.  If you are a chef, you should read up on the latest culinary innovations.  If you are a web developer you should absolutely know CSS and how to make semantic (clean, concise) markup.

After looking at 20 different sites and recreating them, I have concluded that the state of the craft is absolutely dismal.  Maybe 5% of developers are trying to make their code short and clean.  Of course, if you are reading this, there is a good chance you are in the 5%.  However, we must help the craft.

When someone you know, who is a web developer, makes a site with nasty 1998 html, you must intervene.  The first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem.

If developers kept up to date, then browser makers could focus on the right things.  Like fixing their standards!

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