I spent most of this weekend feeling sick and up to my eyeballs in XHTML and CSS. Maybe it was a back-and-forth discussion with Apotheon that did it, but I committed myself to making a fully XHTML 1.0 Strict compliant Web site (I am finally rebuilding my personal Web site). XHTML and CSS may be standards, but they are wretched standards. I understand the concept of XHTML and CSS. It is an admirable goal. It is unfortunate that while CSS is great for doing all sorts of circus tricks, it is positively lousy for meat-and-potatoes design basics. And yes, I saw differences between Firefox 1.5 and IE 7 in how they displayed certain things, so I know that one of them is not following the standard or the standard is vague.
Sadly, it seems to me that too many standards are useless or hard to work with or just plain broken. SMTP is a great example of this. While SMTP is really easy to work with, the nature of it has presented us with the wonderful world of spam. And thanks to SMTP being a standard that is supported everywhere by every piece of code under the Sun, my great-grandchildren will be complaining about how the junk mail filter in Outlook 2183 does not stop all of the emails for “herbal supplements.
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Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.