Idiomdrottning’s homepage

The past is in the past except on the web

On the web, there used to be well-designed pages and badly designed pages.

There used to be some really poorly designed pages that were just one big pixmap or Flash file.

And some that were nice and gentle and straight-forward; your good old “body, h1 hi, p hello how are you” type sites. Nothing fancy, just set up the way the web was meant to work.

Now, let’s say someone comes up with a new and exciting tag like <blink>.

Ideally, here’s what you want:

  1. Sites that don’t need the new tag don’t need to be changed, and
  2. Old browsers that do not support the new tag can just ignore it and things will still work (for example <blink frobnication-level="34">hello jed</blink> would just turn into hello jed).
  3. New browsers can recognize the tag and do all of the new and exciting things.

And of course, ideally you don’t wanna come up with too much of this kinda stuff.

Unfortunately, some browser vendors or spec creators think a little different.

Let’s use blinking text as the example again. A browser vendor is like “OK, wow, we can get the text to blink! To appear, disappear, appear, disappear, appear, disappear in a very amusing way! Let’s do that for all sites now, and provide the <non-blinking> tag for those sites that want to just look normal.”

Whenever that happens, every site on the entire web needs to ftp in one last time to that old University account or grandma’s old high-school poetry site that she posted to the WRAITH-L mailing list when she was a goth synth emo kid on dialup in 1994 and wrap their thing in <non-blinking>.

I think this is a bad thing for the web and should never happen.


Because it already has happened, for example with the <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1" /> debacle. Everyone who had a well-behaved site and wanted their site to just keep looking normal had to go in and add this.

The slippery slope tug of war of font sizes is another example.