Archive of: world wide web
To criticise Twitter for its content (or, I should say, your perception of its content) makes as much sense as criticising the content of the telephone networks or the postal service. Like them, Twitter is a means of communicating. The content communicated has no bearing on its value.
And as he rightly recognises, they’re not used to being called on their knowledge and veracity.
It’s now possible for columnists and companies to hear what people are saying about them. That’s unnerving for columnists, not least because their opinions are now frequently challenged by people who know more than they do. Instead of responding like adults – correcting when they’ve made a mistake, engaging when someone raises a sensible point and defending themselves from false accusations – they are whining like children and dismissing technologies that they don’t understand.
(Hat tip: John Naughton)
Leisa Reichelt reflects on what Mark Boulton and herself learnt during the D7UX project this summer, and puts her finger on a big issue facing the Drupal community going forward: who is the target audience?
And so we have this tension. Drupal as a ‘Consumer Product’ and Drupal as a ‘Developer Framework’. Currently, the official direction is that the project is going to attempt to be both. I think this is a serious problem.
The target audiences for each of these objectives are so far removed from each other in terms of their tasks & goals, their capabilities, their vocabulary, their priorities. An attempt to devise an interface to suit both will result in an outcome that I expect we’ll see in the release of Drupal 7 – that is a compromise to both parties.
From a fantastic piece by Christopher Calicott looking at how front end design and development is treated within the Drupal community.
Having such high standards for writing PHP code while playing so fast and loose with front end code and treating it as though it’s a non-issue, even while the rest of the world does it this way, is not only a gross double standard within the Drupal community, it is currently beginning to get the attention of the Web world outside of Drupal — and not in a good way. We’re positioned in the press to take off like a rocket and gain real longevity, and yet in the web design community – people who talk around the world at conferences, on podcasts, et cetera – are starting to hear that Drupal, despite the good things about the code they’ve heard, makes minced meat of their beautifully executed, semantic XHTML, and there are no plans within the leadership of the Drupal community (yet) to raise the standard for front-end code to the same degree that they have on the backend.
Firstly, developers take writing code very seriously and have stringent – but ultimately plain and simple – coding style rules to follow with their module development. Designers have the same sorts of practices. It’s what they do and it’s equally as important. It is time that that is fully recognized in the Drupal community and an effort be made to bring this paradigm (elsewhere largely already in practice) into our community. Designers feel just as strongly about a developer playing fast and loose with improperly written, unsemantic XHTML as developers do about designers who make dumb mistakes with PHP or try to talk shop when they are out of their depth. In fact, dare I say it – if you’re writing poor, unsemantic XHTML markup, it’s due to your lack of understanding of what you are doing, at this point. Web standards are widely adopted in the Web world. Drupal ignores this fact at its peril.
It’s an issue that’s been bubbling under for a while, and this is the best treatise I’ve seen on it yet. Required reading for anyone involved with Drupal on any level.
Simon St. Laurent on the O’Reilly Radar talks about the rebirth of the conversation around HTML after the relative quiet of the past five or six years:
Today, though, the HTML conversation is reborn. Standards development around HTML seems to actually have a chance of influencing user experience in the browser, and Microsoft itself is participating in the HTML 5 conversation despite still holding roughly two-thirds of the browser market. While Microsoft’s market share is only slowly eroding, developer mindshare seems to have shifted decisively to the band of WHATWG upstarts, Microsoft’s competitors.
The reason for this, I think, is that HTML 5 clearly has a bright future in a place that Microsoft can’t presently block: mobile web browsers. When I ask people about the future of computing, the word I keep hearing in their answers is “mobile”. Even if it’s small now, it has a much greater effect on how people evaluate what’s coming.
Microsoft has a mobile presence, certainly, but it’s hard to argue that it has anywhere near the visibility of the iPhone, or even the Android. Mobile web browsing has kept Opera going for years, but the iPhone and Android give Apple and Google much more visibility for their HTML 5 work, and Apple’s decision to keep Flash off the iPhone in particular gave developers further cause to rethink their dependencies. (The WebKit browser engine these share will also be integrated with Blackberry soon, and is also on the Palm Pre.)
What’s especially interesting to me is the amount of mobile systems that are going with WebKit as their rendering engine of choice. It’s not just RIM and Palm, but you now have Symbian and Nokia coming together under the Symbian Foundation as well.
Matt Haughey points out the obvious flaw in the logic of bandwagon marketeers and companies who just don’t get it.
So maybe instead of getting your company on twitter, paying marketers to mention you are on twitter, and paying people to blog about your company, forget all that and just make awesome stuff that gets people excited about your products, hire people that represent the company well, and when your stuff is so awesome that friends share it with other friends, you may not even need “social media marketing” after all.
Concentrate on what you do well, give great service, and people will talk about you and evangelise you. Do it badly or try to game the system and people will still talk, but for all the wrong reasons.
(And while I’m on the subject, if one more account with the phrase “social media expert” in their description tries to follow me on Twitter heads are going to roll. Seriously, just piss off will you.)
I can’t believe we still have to link to The Cluetrain Manifesto 10 years after it was first published.
Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to the Future of Web Design conference this year, partly because of the ongoing integration work (if you’re following me on Twitter you know what that’s been like) and partly because I wanted to save some cash for dConstruct 2008.
Roll on 3rd September.
Matt McAlister examines what it means to be part of the web of data:
It’s not about posting data to a domain and figuring out how to get people there to consume it. It’s about being the best data source or the best data aggregator no matter how people make use of it in the end.
Nate Koechley has a great companion piece entitled Data Ocean vs Document Lake.
We’ve decided that IE8 will, by default, interpret web content in the most standards compliant way it can. This decision is a change from what we’ve posted previously.
- Dean Hachamovitch on the IEBlog
This is great news, kudos to the Microsoft team for listening to the community and changing their approach.
(for more background see Jeremy Keith and Jeffery Zeldman’s articles in issue 253 of A List Apart)
The proposed default behavior for version targeting in Internet Explorer solves the problem of “breaking the web” in much the same way that decapitation solves the problem of headaches. In its current state, version targeting is a cure that will kill the patient. Version targeting could have been an opportunity for Microsoft to demonstrate innovation. Instead, the proposed default behavior demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the World Wide Web, a place that according to its creator, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, will always be “a little bit broken.”
- Jeremy Keith