Grim reality... - 11-24-2005 , 07:34 AM
Here is the grim reality of the world. The new Georgia Aquarium
was just built (the largest in the world I might add) Anyway, they
obviously needed a website.
Starting from scratch they could have done anything. But they
didn't they did this (warning it may not work in your particular
browser with yor particular settings):
Or I should say, they hired this company to do it for them:
Now go look at their list of client's. (Some of them are on the
front page, but there are more)
So, here in alt.html we read/preach/rant about validation, and
drill. But in the real world we seem to find the exact oposite. At
least the real world as known to Americans (which is obviously the
target for all these companies).
I am not bringing this contrast up to argue which is better as
there are more than enough threads in this group that talk about
that. (Hell I have myself participate in one or two threads like
that...) But rather to point out how there is a HUGE job market
for many of the skills frowned upon in this group. As a matter of
fact in Atlanta, the job market for IT positions is at pre-internet
bubble burst levels. So what is causing this boom in the "evil
Could the growing number of developers aware of validation etc, be
shrinking the number of developers heading in the "non validating"
direction, thus causing a need for these type of developers in the
companies where the web page is still run by marketing?
Or could it be that more people want the web to be more interactive
and sites like these are making tons of money, and that is why
there is a boom for these types of developers?
I find this contrast interesting.
Re: Grim reality... - 11-24-2005 , 08:14 AM
Travis Newbury wrote:
Very slow to load. Major usability problems. Major accessibility
Numerous "Connection closed by remote server" errors.
What is the point of having the purchase tickets form on the home page
for everyone if only logged in users can use it? The same form even
appears on the login page that appears after you tried to purchase
tickets from the home page. And does it remember the number of tickets
I entered so that after I have registered I don't need to re-enter that
information? No, of course it doesn't.
Why put the e-mail subsscription form in the location that has become
de facto standard for the search form?
The School Group Reservations in the menu is a sure sign that very
little QA was done. Works in IE but not in Firefox or Opera.
Why <title>Georgia Aquarium - 43</title> for the home page? What does
that 43 mean? And does every other page just have <title>Georgia
Aquarium </title> instead of a unique title?
to do with the skills/technologies used to create the site. It's just
bad design, poor planning and very little QA. With a bit of thought the
same site could be accessible and easy to use with no loss of style.
Same in every industry. Lots of jobs for people who do quick, cheap
jobs and don't contradict the client. And a smaller number of jobs who
do quality work. Just thank your lucky stars that people like surgeons
have professional bodies that regulate and license practitioners. Good
job web sites are just web sites and not anything important like heart
and the large sub-sector who do ordinary work will both be growing.
What is positive is that the principles of good web design and
development are trickling down. Yes, the majority of work being done is
still poor, but on average it's not as poor as it was in the late '90s.
made sites. Just lots of clients who want a web site cheaply, quickly
and exactly how they want it and who don't want any so called 'expert'
advising them differently. Luckily there are also clients who want
decent web sites.
Re: Grim reality... - 11-24-2005 , 09:02 AM
On Thu, 24 Nov 2005, Travis Newbury wrote:
My experience has been that most sites which claim to be "interactive"
are in fact doing their best to take away the natural user-driven
interactivity which comes with any normal web page, and feeding the
user with a pre-programmed experience, with just a few occasional
choices of pre-determined options.
Don't get me wrong: sometimes (e.g for a demonstration, simulation, a
certain kind of tutorial, etc.) this can actually be just what's
wanted. But to promote that as "interactive" seems to me to be
____________________ [clear.gif] # of Adult Tickets
____________________ [clear.gif] # of Child Tickets (age 3-12)
____________________ [clear.gif] # of Senior Tickets (age 55+)
[clear.gif] [clear.gif] [buttonSubmitNew.gif]-Submit
What price Section 508 ?
Re: Grim reality... - 11-24-2005 , 09:08 AM
Travis Newbury wrote:
as people make out, that's just an easy metric to point to. More important
for me is creating with the intended spirit of the format.
Validation might be the minimum, but it does not guarantie the formats are
used correctly. The obvious example is tables for layout, but there are
many others, such as the dominance of CSS for creating fixed-width layouts.
In the case of the Aquarium, this is the kind of site that'd I'd use without
too much moaning if it'd been created several years ago, but for a new site
the effort to make it compatable with standards is lamentable. Having said
that, it does work fine in Konqueror, which puts it above many
sites. Most people commissioning a site don't know anything about web
standards, so with no increased payout for creating quality there's no
incentive for the web developers to improve their sites.
Re: Grim reality... - 11-24-2005 , 10:11 AM
On Thu, 24 Nov 2005, Jim Higson wrote:
I'm a firm supporter of valid syntax; but failure to validate is just
a symptom. Curing the symptom alone is unlikely to cure the disease.
validator says bzzzzzzzzzzt. (With rare and unusual exceptions, e.g
the mythical <wbr> tag can sometimes have its uses).
you expect them to comply with the applicable building codes - even
those you are not aware of yourself? Why should it be different for
building web sites?
Re: Grim reality... - 11-24-2005 , 10:35 AM
On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 16:11:46 +0100, Alan J. Flavell
<flavell (AT) physics (DOT) gla.ac.uk> wrote:
risk. With a web site this is rarely the case.
,-- --<--@ -- PretLetters: 'woest wyf', met vele interesses: ----------.
Re: Grim reality... - 11-24-2005 , 10:57 AM
Alan J. Flavell wrote:
so much as what is important when a developer creates one. Hopefully then
you are taking the effort to look at the spirit. If someone comes to
alt.html with a badly non-validating site, it is completely right to ask
them to get it valid and come back.
There are occasions where non-valid syntax is a kind-of necessary, for
example using that awful AlphaImageLoader stuff in CSS to get IE to display
Probably because most people at least know that building codes exist. I
don't think most people know the W3C exists.
Re: Grim reality... - 11-24-2005 , 01:12 PM
On Thu, 24 Nov 2005 12:34:50 GMT, Travis Newbury
<travisenwbury (AT) hotmail (DOT) com> wrote:
IMHE, the good readers of this newsgroup (well, c.i.w.a.h maybe) are
_far_ more knowledgeable than any manager I have ever encountered who is
commissioning these sites, or judging their quality. I know that I
personally have regularly had huge arguments with managers over _not_
doing things that were all-around a bad idea for "good" design, but were
how the manager wanted it.
Usability is commercially unnecessary. There is no good hard commercial
reason why a site has to get it right. There's no enforcement of the
supposed legal requirement, there's no need to make life easier for
those compelled to use a site (any UK .gov site) and there's no
measurement to count the trade lost by a poor site.
Training is also poor. There is no commercial training available that is
of a good quality. Anyone who does have "the clue" is almost entirely
self-taught. As a result, job recruitment (especially through agencies)
will _actively_ discourage good people and encourage those too naive to
know more than the Microsoftoft or Macromedia party line, viewed through a
handful of the boom-year k00l-site books.
If you think CIW training is bad, then take a look at the
OU (Open University)
Comments from a _recent_ student of it
"we are using Netscape Composer"
"We have been taught to create the pages using tables,"
"we have been taught the 'single pixel gif trick', "
Re: Grim reality... - 11-24-2005 , 04:26 PM
On Thu, 24 Nov 2005, Jim Higson wrote:
try to use it. It's only if/when that fails that I start trawling its
back-level browser-like object with the back-level content that suits
it. Yes, I know...
let alone the W3C's. But without interworking specifications, of
various kinds, their Internet connection would be useless.
all the best.
Re: Grim reality... - 11-24-2005 , 07:49 PM
have not had time to study and read and practice better
standards of website construction. Nothing in best practice
stops use of the interaction or flair you refer to. But it
requires time and patience to do both jazzy frontend and solid
backend stuff. The folk going for the (perhaps more superficial)
popular styles etc can get it without quite so much effort using
crappy source and/or wsiwigs.
Division of labour thing going on: they are hell bent on the
output and anything will do to make it how they want it (and
that means mainly in IE). If it mostly works, why spend time on
validation issues (they think... or "don't think"!) They get
good at providing reasonably quickly what people find
immediately attractive - this makes for a marketable skill more
(as usual, speaking from BdeZ killfile)