Ethan Marcotte now blogs at Unstoppable Robot Ninja.

Weblog entry:

Blowing off steam

So I published a new web standard today. Well, technically, it’s a recommendation, but we both know who I’m fooling with that one.

So I published this technical recommendation today. Which was great, since I’m the only member of the standards body that drafted it (you wouldn’t believe how quickly it went from working draft to candidate recommendation to proposed recommendation to proposed edited recommendation to recommendation), and I think it looks good. I got into some pretty vehement disagreements with myself toward the end over MIME types, but I told myself I was being a pedantic ass and quickly ended that discussion.

So the recommendation’s done, and ready for adoption. There are a number of cool features in it, and should make for a much sleeker, hipper web. Not hippier. Hip. We’re talking Johnny Depp levels of je ne sais quoi, if that gives you any idea (pre-Pirates of the Caribbean, of course — I mean, Edward Scissorhands in eyeshadow? What is that?). My little web standard is going to make lots of lives easier: plenty of features to enable designers to make stylish (we’re talking The Depp here, folks) web sites; tons of highly abstract, near-hallucinogenic techo-jargon that’d make Derrida break down and weep like a baby; and plenty of emphasis on making all this accessible for the widest number of folks possible.

So now the waiting begins. I mean, I’m sure the various for-profit browser developers will scramble to implement my specification, once they’re done implementing pop-up blocking and plug-in management in their ancient rendering engine. And the open source guys will just love what I’ve done, once they’ve finished stress-testing font zooming in their embedded IRC client. And there might be — okay, there will be differences in how they implement the standard. Granted, it might take a year, or three, or six until they do agree…but we’re getting there, I can feel it. At some point, designers and developers won’t have to worry about the discrepancy between the spirit of the standard and the reality of the web: I mean, the specification is published, there for everyone to see, to reference, and to build upon.

So it’s just a matter of time. I know it is.


Hooray, technical difficulties.

There’s a WordPress issue that’s currently preventing old comments from displaying correctly. Sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully we’ll be back online soon.