Jeff Croft

I’m a product designer in Seattle, WA. I lead Design at a stealthy startup. I recently worked at Simply Measured, and previously co-founded Lendle.

Some of my past clients include Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo!, and the University of Washington.

I’ve authored two books on web and interactive design and spoken at dozens of conferences around the world.

But seriously, who gives a shit?

Blog entry // 08.18.2007 // 7:20 PM // 140 Comments

W3C: Where are the web designers and developers?

The W3C acts, essentially, as the organization which creates the tools I work with to do my job as a web designer. They create the specifications I’m supposed to code to, determine the direction future versions of these specs will take, decide what issues are important to address, and generally tell me how to do my job.

But there’s just one problem: not a single one of them are working web designers or developers, from what I can tell. Why should I take them seriously?

I just read the bios of all 66 W3 team members. Here’s what I did and didn’t find:

  1. I didn’t find a single name I recognize as a top web designer or developer.
  2. I didn’t find a single person who has ever worked as a web designer.
  3. I found one person — of out 66 — who has worked as a web developer (but, seemingly, doesn’t do so any longer).
  4. I found a ton of people in computer science and IT. This representation is certainly useful and important — but should it really make up the vast majority of the W3C?
  5. I found a lot of accessibility experts. Again: important to have, but aren’t other things, as well?

While I am generally committed to web standards, I’m even more committed to getting my work done in a way that is elegant, efficient, and pleases my clients. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to view the W3C as an organization that is capable of producing effective design tools. CSS 2 was released in 1998. At that time, the W3C starting working on CSS 3. It is still under development today. About a month ago, CSS 2.1 was elevated from draft to recommendation status. In other words, it’s taken almost a decade for the W3C to go from CSS 2 to 2.1.

In the same time, a competing product, Adobe’s Flash, has had seven major revisions. When CSS 2 was released, Flash was at version two, as well. Today, it’s at version nine. What’s more, Adobe has a proven track record of creating great products for designers — probably in large part due to the fact that they employ designers, whereas the W3C (apparently) doesn’t.

I don’t know about you guys, but I don’t consider a one-tenth increase in version number to be very significant progress in the course of a decade. Consider any piece of software you use on a regular basis, and ask yourself what you would do if it showed the same speed of growth. At the time of CSS 2’s release, Mac OS 8 was available. Would you be satisfied if the latest version of Mac OS available today was 8.1? What if we were still on Photoshop 5.5? I’m quite certain that I would have kicked any software product that moved this slowly straight to the proverbial curb by now. Wouldn’t you?

Jeffrey Zeldman loves him some glacial pace. I don’t. The W3C is just not getting the job done when it comes to design tools, and I can’t help but imagine it’s at least partially due to the fact that they have no designers on their team roster. More and more designers seem to be turning to Flash for certain aspects of their job that web standards simply have no comparable answer for (see video, animation, and visual design tools for examples). If the W3C and web standards in general want to stay relevant to designers, they need to pick up the pace on design tool development — and that probably means hiring some designers who actually do real work in this field.

Seriously — there are no web designers and one (former) web developer on the committee that writes our specs. Does that make any sense at all?

Update: Jeffrey Zeldman, in a comment over at his site, writes what he knows about the W3C and its efforts to work with real-world designers and developers. As I suspected — it’s not entirely the fault of the W3C that there is almost no representation from these groups on their team. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who has noticed this, and that the W#C is trying to change it. Here is Zeldman’s comment:

The W3C has at times worked with people who design, code, or direct websites for a living. Jeffrey Veen, Todd Fahrner, and David Siegel were consulted in the early days of CSS.

But the specs have largely developed without representation from people who actually make websites, and that is a problem many of us have called to the W3C’s attention over the years.

The W3C is trying to change this, but it doesn’t always work out, partly because the number of hours a person must commit to participate in a W3C committee grossly exceeds what any normally employed person can provide; and partly due to human screw-ups.

Last year Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, invited me to participate in a key W3C working group. Unfortunately, he invited me on the last day the W3C was accepting new members to that group. To “qualify,” I would have had to fill out paperwork and muster recommendations from third parties. If I had had no work in hand, and if those third parties had also had no work in hand, I just might have been able to pull it off. Here on planet earth, I didn’t even have time to respond to Tim’s invitation in a proper manner.

For a short while I wondered if the last-minute invitation was a dis, but high-level W3C sources informed it was all about disorganization and not at all about disrespect. Still, that kind of disorganization hardly provides an incentive or opportunity for busy designers or other web professionals to participate. And thus the problem continues.

Who can participate under those conditions? People who are on someone else’s payroll and whose job description permits them to spend most of their time building and maintaining their expert status. Sometimes people who are on their own payroll make the sacrifice, but few of them can afford to keep going.

Everyone agrees that the specifications would benefit from the input of real-world designers, developers, IAs, usability specialists, and so on; but nobody knows how to get more of us involved.

Some people see splinter groups like WHATWG as a partial solution to the “crisis” of W3C inertia; others see such groups as fomenting a “crisis” of fragmentation. I don’t see the W3C’s inertia as a crisis; I can keep working with the specs they’ve already created. I don’t see WHATWG as a crisis; they’ll be able to get HTML moving faster, and they have buy-in from browser makers because they are browser makers. They’re coordinating with the W3C. What more could you want?

Comments

  1. 001 // Lee // 08.18.2007 // 8:05 PM

    It certainly explains some things :) If they aren’t being inconvenienced by the current state of affairs then they have no reason to do anything about it.

  2. 002 // Joe Dolson // 08.18.2007 // 9:42 PM

    Very true. I imagine it would make some difference to the overall pace of events if anybody on the team had to deal with the insufficiencies of CSS and/or HTML on anything resembling a regular basis.

    But then, this is policy making: as in government, policies tend to be made by individuals with a great deal of distance from the activity being regulated.

    I’m not sure that the actual membership of the W3C team is that closely related to the creation of new and revised specifications, however. Each specification has it’s own membership. These lists of members are, however, protected - so it’s hard to say exactly what they consist of.

  3. 003 // Ian Smith // 08.18.2007 // 10:33 PM

    I hate the W3C these days with a passion. They’ve become the Microsoft of the web. Everybody just sits there waiting decades for them to innovate and it never happens, but nobody has the courage or resources to make a decent alternative. I’m no programmer (designer + artist, coder) but someone has GOT to make an alternative markup language. I’m sick of this old, old XHTML and CSS. Good post :)

  4. 004 // Jonathan E // 08.18.2007 // 10:34 PM

    I definitely agree that 10 years is a ridiculous amount of time to make a jump from CSS 2 to CSS 2.1, and it would be nice if bodies like the W3C would move a little a lot faster. Employing designers and developers who are frustrated daily by the issues we have to deal with would probably help as well.

    Having said that, even if the W3C were to move faster in the implementation of newer standards, it’s still up to browser vendors to support those standards… and we all know how long that can take. Finally, once the browser vendors add full support for said standards, it’s up to the end users to download the latest versions of those browsers.

    I’m not saying that those reasons should provide an excuse for the W3C, but I think that even if they were to move faster, there’s still going to be the user bottleneck that will prevent us from using (exclusively) those new standards for quite some time. So, my question is, can the glacial pace really be sped up significantly?

  5. 005 // Joshua Blount // 08.18.2007 // 10:50 PM

    Well said Jeff, well said.

  6. 006 // Jeff Croft // 08.18.2007 // 10:54 PM

    Having said that, even if the W3C were to move faster in the implementation of newer standards, it’s still up to browser vendors to support those standards… and we all know how long that can take.

    You know, everyone says that, and I guess it’s true. But, at the same time, Flash player adoption is remarkably quick when a new version comes out. Why? Because Adobe/Macromedia perfected the deployment. Why do we let the W3 and the browser vendors off the hook on this? Why do we just accept that is has to be so slow? If Adobe can deploy their rendering engine to the majority of users in a third of the time, why can’t the web browser vendors?

  7. 007 // Jeff Croft // 08.18.2007 // 10:55 PM

    Each specification has it’s own membership. These lists of members are, however, protected - so it’s hard to say exactly what they consist of.

    Interesting, Joe. I didn’t realize that, I guess. Still seems like they ought to have some designer/developer representation on that 66 person team they list out on the site, though.

  8. 008 // Jonathan E // 08.18.2007 // 11:38 PM

    Jeff:

    Why do we just accept that is has to be so slow? If Adobe can deploy their rendering engine to the majority of users in a third of the time, why can’t the web browser vendors?

    I was going to add a thought like this to my first comment, but didn’t for fear of letting it get too long. Anyways, my thoughts on this are that the Flash player is extremely light-weight compared to a browser, making it extremely easy to upgrade. Also, users (Windows users in particular) are often much more hesitant to upgrade their web browser because they have experienced a lot of growing pains in the past.

    I can remember the first time I did an upgrade of IE and realized that I hadn’t just upgraded IE, I upgraded Windows Explorer (and other pieces of the OS) as well. People had a lot of problems during the “Browser Wars” days when they were upgrading their browsers, and I suspect that has led to the current reluctance that users still have when upgrading their browsers today.

    I don’t know (or have heard of) too many people that have ever had major problems when upgrading to the newest Flash player, but I’ve heard plenty of stories of people having major problems when upgrading their browser. If you make the upgrade process simple and painless like Macrodobe, users will joyfully make the switch, but if you make it cumbersome and painful… well, you know what happens.

  9. 009 // Jeff Croft // 08.19.2007 // 12:01 AM

    Anyways, my thoughts on this are that the Flash player is extremely light-weight compared to a browser, making it extremely easy to upgrade

    I’m not really sure if that’s accurate or not. The Flash player is lightweight, but I have no idea how lightweight a rendering engine only upgrade to a browser would be. Usually when we upgrade our browser, we get a lot more than the rendering engine. If they could just send rendering engine updates (like Flash does), it may be a lot more lightweight (or it may not; I’m really not sure).

    Also, users (Windows users in particular) are often much more hesitant to upgrade their web browser because they have experienced a lot of growing pains in the past.

    Don’t give ‘em the choice. Flash doesn’t. “If you want to view this content, you must upgrade to Flash 9. Do you wish to upgrade?” If they say no, they don’t get to view the content. In other words, they don’t really have a choice, do they?

    But I do see your point about people being hesitant. I say just send ‘em the upgrades in the background as the default. Let power users turn it off with an advanced setting if they want to, but most people will simply get what they get and they won’t throw a fit. :)

    If you make the upgrade process simple and painless like Macrodobe, users will joyfully make the switch, but if you make it cumbersome and painful… well, you know what happens.

    So again — it’s on the browser makers to improve their deployment, and it’s on the W3C to continue to push the specs forward.

    Quite frankly, Flash offers some pretty enticing benefits over CSS for a designer:

    1. Much better design tools.
    2. Visual design tools.
    3. No browser incompatibilities.
    4. Rapid enhancement of the capabilities of the environment.
    5. Rapid deployment of new versions when they’re available.

    Contrast this with, in my mind, the only two downsides to using Flash:

    1. Flash is generally less accessible than web standards — but this has improved a ton, and continues to do so. Given the rapid rate of Flash improvement and the glacial pace of the W3C, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a day where Flash is actually more accessible.
    2. Flash requires a browser plug in — but, according to current web stats, some 98% of people not only have the plug in, but have a recent version of it. In other words, more people have a recent Flash player than have a modern browser with good standards support.

    Point is: Flash is improving very rapidly in the areas where it’s been behind web standards, and web standards (especially CSS) don’t seem to be catching up to Flash at all in the areas where its been behind.

  10. 010 // Arjan Eising // 08.19.2007 // 4:33 AM

    I agree with the point you have on the people who work for the W3C. However, each Work Group also allows invited experts and those people could have much experience as web designer or developer.

    However, we are not talking about software. In software a mistake, like a bug or an part of the program that doesn’t work properly, can be repaired in a new sub version.

    Standards are not software. You can’t undo mistakes or ‘bugs’ with a new version, because browser vendors need to follow you. You first need to be very very sure your standard is good (at that moment). That takes time, you shouldn’t rush this kind of things.

    From CSS 2.0 to 2.1 took long time, but modern browsers have implemented CSS 2.1. Why? If some parts of the standard aren’t implemented in browsers, these parts will be dropped from the final recommendation, as far as I know.

  11. 011 // Alexander Radsby // 08.19.2007 // 4:51 AM

    I actually can’t believe this. How is this possible? I mean if they set the “standards” they should be aware of the problems & solutions that web design and web development bring.

    That is wierd =/

  12. 012 // Gareth Rushgrove // 08.19.2007 // 5:24 AM

    Interesting job spec over at the W3C for a HTML and Web Applications Specialist, which sounds something like a web designer/developer to me.

    Requirements state (amongst other things); You have a background in computer science and software engineering, Experience with CSS is a plus.

    My guess is the first requirement is on nearly all the jobs they put out. The majority of web designers and web developers I know don’t have that formal background.

  13. 013 // Matt Robin // 08.19.2007 // 5:52 AM

    Hey, I totally agree Jeff - how can the W3C being current and relevant if none of them are involved with the tools in a work environment on a daily basis!

    It certainly goes part way to explaining a lot of the ‘glacial pace’ that Jeffrey was referring to. Things have to change with the W3C or they’ll be scratching about over HTML 4 and CSS 2.1 forever!

    You read ALL 66 Bios?!! Damn, you probably need a few beers now! :D

  14. 014 // Henrik Lied // 08.19.2007 // 6:21 AM

    As far as I can remember, there aren’t a single browser that actually use the DTD (often) provided in a doctype declaration. If this document could be evolved to standardize the default behavior in the browser, we’d be much longer than we currently are.

  15. 015 // Marijn // 08.19.2007 // 6:57 AM

    Well microsoft can ship essential security updates each week or month. They should be able to shove some rendering engine and css improvements in there as well. The problem however seems to be motivation, it’s hard to see how it will bring any kind of benefit to microsoft (or apple / mozilla / opera) for being the browser that best supports css.

    I fully agree to your point. The designers and developers have the most benefit from updates to the standard, so they’re the ones who should be the most motivated and determined and therefore could bring some pace back to the w3c.

  16. 016 // Matt Wilcox // 08.19.2007 // 11:36 AM

    Excellent post Jeff.

    The future of web standards is worrying, not because any of the current standards won’t be around in ten years (they will) - but because forward progress is so glacial, and so directionless. Things that stagnate die. Things that don’t continue to evolve (and evolve well) become extinct.

    What Zeldman missed is that it’s the W3C in a crisis of irrelevance and over-bureaucracy, not Web Standards themselves. There isn’t a web standards crisis yet, but the crisis in leadership and crisis of a lack of unified and relevant vision seems likely to lead to a crisis in web standards.

  17. 017 // Jeff Croft // 08.19.2007 // 1:45 PM

    However, we are not talking about software.

    I do understand that it’s not a perfect comparison. Still, it illustrates my point, which is that we’re moving too damn slowly, especially when there are competing tools (like Flash, which is software) that are moving much, much faster.

    Interesting job spec over at the W3C for a HTML and Web Applications Specialist, which sounds something like a web designer/developer to me.

    That’s good to see. Still, that would bring their total web developer representation to two and their total web designer representation would still be zero.

    My guess is the first requirement is on nearly all the jobs they put out. The majority of web designers and web developers I know don’t have that formal background.

    Indeed. An organization as important to the industry as the W3C is ought to realize that web designers aren’t going to meet that requirement most of the time, and change their job description, if they want web designers to apply. Or maybe they don’t want web designers to apply?

    You read ALL 66 Bios?!! Damn, you probably need a few beers now! :D

    Wouldn’t have felt right about posting this, if I hadn’t.

    @Matt Wilcox: Exactly. Very well-said. Thanks!

  18. 018 // Conor MacNeill // 08.19.2007 // 2:38 PM

    Doesn’t Andy Clarke do some CSS stuff with the W3C?

  19. 019 // Jeff Croft // 08.19.2007 // 2:42 PM

    Doesn’t Andy Clarke do some CSS stuff with the W3C?

    Not that I’m aware of. I know he works with WaSP, but I don’t know of him working with the W3C (although it’s possible, I suppose).

  20. 020 // Jeremy Keith // 08.19.2007 // 4:41 PM

    Andy Clarke is an invited expert on the CSS working group.

  21. 021 // Jeff Croft // 08.19.2007 // 5:49 PM

    Andy Clarke is an invited expert on the CSS working group.

    Definitely good to know. Still doesn’t seem to be speeding up the pace, though. :)

    Thanks, Jeremy!

  22. 022 // Nathan Borror // 08.19.2007 // 8:19 PM

    I don’t really agree with the Flash releases vs. HTML/CSS comparison. While there have been a lot in the last 10 years only two have been monumental, the move to Actionscript 2.0 and 3.0. So actually, they’re kind of moving at similar speeds. Adobe just appears to be moving faster because they’re profit driven.

    I do agree, W3C needs to start showing us some progress. It’s been a while. HTML 5 is on my christmas list :)

  23. 023 // Nathan Borror // 08.19.2007 // 8:26 PM

    Also… Faster release cycle equals more bugs. I would bet last months salary that Flash API has more bugs, documented and undocumented than CSS!

  24. 024 // Jeff Croft // 08.19.2007 // 8:59 PM

    So actually, they’re kind of moving at similar speeds.

    Even if you only want to call two releases monumental, Flash is moving a lot faster. There hasn’t even been one monumental release of CSS in the time since CSS 2 was released (I’d hardly call CSS 2.1 monumental).

    But, you’re right — the Flash comparison isn’t a perfect one. The fact that Flash is commercial and proprietary definitely makes it a different beast. It’s just meant to demonstrate that there are alternatives out there that are moving at a faster pace. It’s not as if we don’t have a choice.

    I would bet last months salary that Flash API has more bugs, documented and undocumented than CSS!

    Could be, but those bugs are a lot less annoying, since they’re all the same in every browser. :)

  25. 025 // Matt Grayson // 08.19.2007 // 9:01 PM

    Adobe just appears to be moving faster because they’re profit driven.

    There’s a lot to be said for profit as motivator. Adobe has to deliver a product that meets the needs and demands of their customers. The W3C doesn’t. If Adobe creates a product that no one wants, it hurts them where it counts - the bottom line. If the W3C delivers a standard that no one uses, how does it hurt them?

    I’m all for standards and am just as wary as anyone of putting all your eggs in the Adobe basket. But from a pragmatic standpoint, you use what works.

  26. 026 // Kris Khaira // 08.19.2007 // 9:29 PM

    A few of them have experience as “webmasters”. Doesn’t that count?

    I still agree the W3C needs to speed up though.

  27. 027 // Dave // 08.19.2007 // 9:32 PM
    But, you’re right — the Flash comparison isn’t a perfect one. The fact that Flash is commercial and proprietary definitely makes it a different beast. It’s just meant to demonstrate that there are alternatives out there that are moving at a faster pace. It’s not as if we don’t have a choice.

    Most popular Open Source products - or community built products - like Plone, Drupal, GAIM, Adium, Wordpress, Typo, and even releases of RoR, Django, etc - move faster because they know that there’s an entire community behind them, and that they also have a passion for their project that transcends any pay they may receive from… say… a sponsoring organization. You would think the W3C would in fact have that same motivation and drive.

    By the way - they unfortunately have to deal with lobbyists from the likes of MS, Sun, Novell, etc. I’ve always imagined the W3C being much like the floor of the Senate. Tons of hot air, very slow progress.

    I would bet last months salary that Flash API has more bugs, documented and undocumented than CSS!

    CSS doesn’t have bugs, the individual implementations of CSS in different browsers is where your bugs pop up. That said, you couldn’t (right?) release a single plugin like flash that would apply CSS identically to all browsers. Nice dream, though.

    It does suck, though. The speed of the W3C is only doubled by the wait brought on by browser adoption. WebKit has apparently decided to not wait for the W3C and just implement what’s there in CSS3.

    Although, standards organizations all seem to move really slowly. Just like 802.11g/n, you’ll start seeing browsers adopting things that are still in development - and that means more bugs, more cross-browser shit to deal with - but you still really can’t blame the browser devs for wanting their browsers to implement the standards you know will - one day - be here.

  28. 028 // Nathan Borror // 08.19.2007 // 9:46 PM

    It’s just meant to demonstrate that there are alternatives out there that are moving at a faster pace.

    I still don’t see Flash as an alternative. Flash’s role is audio/video playback and immersive experiences. Rarely do I see or agree with it’s usage as a replacement for what could easily be accomplished with HTML. Flash is by no means giving HTML a run for its money.

    Could be, but those bugs are a lot less annoying…

    I dunno man, I’ve found them to be just as annoying. The Flash community isn’t as quick to publish materials about bugs as the CSS community is.

  29. 029 // Nate Cavanaugh // 08.19.2007 // 9:54 PM

    So, I thought I’d add something different that I would love to see, though I can’t comment on it’s possibility (doesn’t seem too out of the range of possibility):

    Why doesn’t Adobe build into it’s Flash plugin some CSS 3 normalization features?

    Talk about getting it’s product embedded, if they were to modify the rendering, which again, I could be off, would seem possible.

    Think of it this way: Dean Edwards has been building the IE7 javascript based normalization engine, and Flash can interact with the page.

    If Adobe were to take on the job of normalizing CSS in the browsers that it supports, it would not only win even more fans among the design and developer community (if that’s even possible), but would also allow developers to get to work actually building, rather than killing ourselves trying to hack our work ad infinitum.

    Adobe would practically become the layout and style rendering engine of the browser.

    Again, perhaps this is just a flight of fancy, but if free market capitalism can drive Flash to it’s current state of excellence (quick development cycles, new features, etc), then I would love to see what they can do with the rendering engine.

    Just a thought, but it would be interesting to see if it would be possible.

  30. 030 // Nathan Borror // 08.19.2007 // 10:15 PM

    @Nate - The only standard Adobe cares about when it comes to Flash is ECMAScript. CSS is irrelevant in Flash because of their Display API. The only time where CSS is actually used in Flash is for type.

  31. 031 // Jeff Croft // 08.19.2007 // 10:21 PM

    A few of them have experience as “webmasters”. Doesn’t that count?

    I don’t think anyone’s had the job title “webmaster” since about 1999. Personally, I don’t think working on the wen almost ten years ago really counts — but maybe that’s just me. :)

    Rarely do I see or agree with it’s usage as a replacement for what could easily be accomplished with HTML. Flash is by no means giving HTML a run for its money.

    I agree with you. Again, the comparison isn’t perfect. But, it still demonstrates that the W3C is damn slow.

  32. 032 // Matt Wilcox // 08.20.2007 // 3:28 AM

    Andy Clarke is an invited expert on the CSS working group.

    While true, I’ve never seen him post in the W3C HTML-WG. Having said that I can’t say I blame him for that. I’m also an “invited expert” and haven’t posted either. Why? Well, firstly because I can’t actually use the damned thing - for some reason there are absolutely NO instructions (that I can find) on how to set up your mail client to use the mailing group, and when I’ve tried, it’s not worked (mailing lists - in 2007? A good example of how far behind the W3C is. Use a forum). Secondly, I’ve not seen anyone that’s made arguments I agree with actually move anywhere. It’s a quagmire in there, where nothing seems to get resolved, but rather endlessly discussed, only to die with some techno-head calling for a definitive list of use-case examples that people don’t have the time to research and present. Experience counts for very little in there, and anyone can have an opinion that then has to be counter-proven. Instead, the onus ought to be on the person wanting to change the HTML4 spec to prove their use case. Instead, everyone’s busy trying to prove why HTML4 elements need to be kept as is just because someone with no understanding of real-world usage has decided to suggest ditching a pivotal bit of the spec.

    All in all, the mailing list itself is a good example of the failings of the W3C at this point in time.

  33. 033 // Matthew Pennell // 08.20.2007 // 4:05 AM

    Definitely good to know. Still doesn’t seem to be speeding up the pace, though. :)

    So basically the whole premise of this piece is flawed, then? If you weren’t aware that Andy Clarke is involved with the CSS working group, I think we can assume that it is likely that there are other web designers/developers on board that and other working groups - possibly even ones you haven’t heard of, imagine that! - and that therefore the reason for the ‘glacial pace’ is not our lack of representation at the W3C.

  34. 034 // HR // 08.20.2007 // 4:09 AM

    This is ridiculous!

    You blame W3 for taking 10 years to go from 2.0 to 2.1, but you forget to mention that, even today, Microsoft doesn’t have a web browser that fully and correctly uses CSS 2.

    They don’t need a web designer for the same reason you don’t take an interaction designer to a meeting where a new communication protocol is going to be defined.

    Flash is inefficient and not fully cross-platform; it is a binary format that hides the information inside the file. The goal of the web is information and knowledge, represented at will (fancy with CSS, aloud with an audio reader, plain text from Lynx, etc), not fancy flash animations.

    Anyway, do not forget that even if the W3C had gone from CSS2 to CSS 8.7, we would probably stuck with CSS 1.8 because Internet Explorer is crap. Also, I would say that there is no need at all to have a CSS spec version 9; specially if it’s not backwards compatible (try to play a Flash 9 file in an old computer…)

    PS: all this said, yes, they take their (too long) time, but it is better like this than when Microsoft and Netscape were doing spaguetti specs.

  35. 035 // Kr0n // 08.20.2007 // 4:51 AM

    I am so sorry, but your whole critic is based in a comparison between standards and software, which is completely unfair.

    Defining an standard is a ton more difficult than releasing a new software version, every developer or web designer should be aware of that.

    In the case of the W3C critic, you can better blame the responsable of implementing these standards (a.k.a. browsers vendors) instead of the people responsible of defining them. Again, where politics play in the field, things tends to slow down to death. That’s the advantage of a company delivering software, against an organization trying to define an standard which everyone has to like, and everyone has to work with.

    In the case of Flash, in my opinion the biggest problem is that Flash is inaccesible by definition, though they’re working hard on it right now.

  36. 036 // SEO // 08.20.2007 // 5:26 AM

    Well said Jeff,

    Regardless if the comparison between software and standards is “unfair” the whole web seems to be evolving while the W3C is not.

    A mechanic is only as good as his tools, and simply put why continue to work with 10 year old instruments when we have the capacity to do much better.

  37. 037 // Arjan Eising // 08.20.2007 // 5:37 AM

    Interesting job spec over at the W3C for a HTML and Web Applications Specialist, which sounds something like a web designer/developer to me.

    In the job spec I read:

    You are familiar with up-to-date Web technology, in particular with respect to the HTML language design, Web Application development, and current practices for Web design

    Well, in reality that means you have worked as an web designer or a developer.

    Could be, but those bugs are a lot less annoying, since they’re all the same in every browser. :)

    We are talking about the W3C, so why do you only use others as an argument?

    Andy Clarke is an invited expert on the CSS working group. While true, I’ve never seen him post in the W3C HTML-WG.

    What are you talking about, the CSS WG or the HTML WG?

    I also have thought about why the W3C asks for Computer Engineers. I think that might be because some web designers and developers might want to standardize something they like, but it also needs to be possible to develop. As an example I would use the href attribute that could be used on every element in HTML5. But some engineers from browser vendors said it was very difficult to implement.

  38. 038 // Arik Jones // 08.20.2007 // 9:59 AM

    W3C holds back the progress of web development. I wish our standards wasn’t decided by lack luster individuals who’ve had no influence on the web in their own right.

    If it wasn’t for Javascript, Flash and server-side development, I probably wouldn’t have anything to look forward to in my web development career.

  39. 039 // Jeff Croft // 08.20.2007 // 10:20 AM

    So basically the whole premise of this piece is flawed, then? If you weren’t aware that Andy Clarke is involved with the CSS working group, I think we can assume that it is likely that there are other web designers/developers on board that and other working groups - possibly even ones you haven’t heard of, imagine that! - and that therefore the reason for the ‘glacial pace’ is not our lack of representation at the W3C.

    It’s certainly possible that my entire premise is flawed. Perhaps if the W3C was more open about their process and politics (not requiring me to subscribe to some high volume mailing list in order to keep up and providing bios of working group members would be a start), I’d be more informed.

    On the other hand, even if there are designers and developers on the CSS working group, there still aren’t any on the W3C team itself, and it seems to me like there should be.

    Microsoft doesn’t have a web browser that fully and correctly uses CSS 2.

    I fail to see how this is relevant to the fact that CSS 3 isn’t done yet.

    I am so sorry, but your whole critic is based in a comparison between standards and software, which is completely unfair.

    I’ve acknowledged that the comparison isn’t a perfect one. Even without the comparison to Flash, you can’t deny that it’s moving slowly, can you? Zledman called it a “glacial pace.” In other words, it’s about as slow as something can possibly move and still be in motion.

    Regardless if the comparison between software and standards is “unfair” the whole web seems to be evolving while the W3C is not.

    Thanks for seeing the point through a less-than-ideal comparison.

    Well, in reality that means you have worked as an web designer or a developer.

    I acknowledged that it’s good to see this job description. Still,it’s only one job out of their 66 positions. It’s not enough.

    I also have thought about why the W3C asks for Computer Engineers.

    The W3C absolutely needs computer engineers. But they also need designers and developers. That’s all I’m saying. I’m not suggesting the engineers be removed at all.

    I wish our standards wasn’t decided by lack luster individuals who’ve had no influence on the web in their own right.

    Well, I don’t want to pick on individuals. It’s not personal. And, many of these people may well have had some influence that we aren’t aware of. The bottom line is that the design tools the W3 is responsible for (namely, CSS), are not up to par and don’t appear to be getting there anytime soon. I blame the organization for that, not any individuals.

  40. 040 // Matt Wilcox // 08.20.2007 // 11:10 AM

    What are you talking about, the CSS WG or the HTML WG?

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I mean the HTML-WG.

    CSS is all well and good, but the idea of a separation between content and presentation is a myth, and CSS is only one part of the web standards agenda. HTML is what CSS operates on top of, so it’s important that HTML stays a stable and useful technology. I’ve not seen Andy involved with the HTML-WG, which is perfectly understandable - but it’s people with his sort of knowledge that the HTML-WG need every bit as much as the CSS-WG.

    Currently, that doesn’t seem to be happening. What we have instead are hobbyists and/or tech-heads debating the specification. Designers and well qualified people that actually author good HTML day-to-day, for a living, seem to be few and far between. Yet it’s those people that have the greatest experience and the most to benefit from contributing to the spec. Those people are the rare ones, and they are also the ones that are constantly required to defend the existing HTML4 / XHTML1 feature set because someone with poor understanding of real world HTML has made a terrifying suggestion like dropping the ‘headers’ attribute. As I’ve already said, this causes serious headaches and feels very backward.

  41. 041 // Christian // 08.20.2007 // 12:52 PM

    CSS is all well and good, but the idea of a separation between content and presentation is a myth.”

    Not if you know what you’re doing.

    BTW, people here keep bogging things down with particulars. Jeff’s simple assertion that the W3C (none of whom have come here to defend their glacial pace) moves waaaaaay too slow is absolutely correct.

    And, off-topic, but, Jeff, I just finished reading your PNG chapter in the web creativity book. Looking forward to finally being to take advantage of PNGs now.

  42. 042 // Jeff Croft // 08.20.2007 // 1 PM

    Not if you know what you’re doing.

    I guess I don’t know what I’m doing, then.

    BTW, people here keep bogging things down with particulars. Jeff’s simple assertion that the W3C (none of whom have come here to defend their glacial pace) moves waaaaaay too slow is absolutely correct.

    Thanks, man! I tend to agree. It seems to be a common occurrence here at jeffcroft.com lately that commenters are more interested in picking apart particulars than seeing the big picture. Perhaps I need to change my writing style to include less particulars…

    Glad you liked the PNG chapter. Thanks for the comments. :)

  43. 043 // JR // 08.20.2007 // 6:34 PM

    I found a ton of people in computer science and IT. This representation is certainly useful and important — but should it really make up the vast majority of the W3C?”

    Yes.

    The W3C does much more than CSS, and C.S. people are the best trained for most of the standards they are in charge of.

    I do agree that there should be more designers there, but, yes, the majority should be C.S. people.

  44. 044 // Sam Feltus // 08.20.2007 // 6:35 PM

    HTML should be another browser plugin. Somehow in people’s minds it was elevated from a Web Display technology to being the internet itself. Any web display technology that can’t even display objects on an x, y grid is absurd.

  45. 045 // Eddie // 08.20.2007 // 6:37 PM

    Take it a step further… if the W3C can’t keep up with need, then those interested should form a new group where we address our needs. At the very least this might be enough for them to realize that the community that justifies their existence is demanding more of them.

    -e

  46. 046 // Jeff Croft // 08.20.2007 // 6:41 PM

    HTML should be another browser plugin.

    I actually had this thought in the shower today. It’ll never happen, but it’s an interesting thought. If the HTML/CSS/JS rendering engine was a plug-in that could pop into any browser — and there was only one of them — imagine where we’d be today!

  47. 047 // Sam Feltus // 08.20.2007 // 9:50 PM

    ”“It’ll never happen, but it’s an interesting thought.”“”

    Say a robust web display technology (#1) gets good hardware support for graphics cards and cracks the search engine barrier for text (searching audio/video is a red herring, no search engine is worth a flip at that). That seems like it will happen soon. HTML then becomes like Cobol or Fortran, a very important legacy technology. All you gotta do is look at a Papervision3D demo, it’s obvious HTML is vulnerable. The Clergy at the WC3 have no answers except the answers of any High Priests, just do what the Holy Books say. It wasn’t that long ago C was a dark horse, or Flash was a buggy toy.

    ”“imagine where we’d be today”“”

    We’d have more client side programming languages attached to real audio/video libraries? The client side ecosystem would be far more diverse? The web would be even stronger than it is today?

    (#1) Web display technology could be Flash/Java/Silverlight/JavaScript(attached to a new audio/video library/ or something else

  48. 048 // David Szymakowski // 08.21.2007 // 8:04 AM

    Good article, unfortunately it’s on a subject that we are hearing more and more on lately. The W3Cs lack of progress. Fact is W3C is an organization not a money making machine. We all know how much faster we complete a project we are getting paid for rather than a charity.

  49. 049 // Ian // 08.21.2007 // 8:57 AM

    Bravo, I am glad to see this post. I think it may be a rare web designer/developer who would be interested in such a job, but as big as our world is, you’d think they’d have SOMEONE. The WC3 is definitely not about innovation of momentum, that’s for sure. I for one would be bored to tears if I was a part of that staff…

  50. 050 // M. Jackson Wilkinson // 08.21.2007 // 9:24 AM

    As others have said, the constituent organizations provide most of the membership that actually drafts the standards. The W3C personnel mainly acts in an administrative and quality-assurance role, coordinating the activities and discussions of the one or two dozen members making most of the contributions.

    So the fact that there aren’t designers or developers there, while perhaps bad PR to folks like us, doesn’t necessarily make for a broken standards organization.

    What does make for a broken standards organization is the fact that working group participants (in almost all cases) are all nominees from member organizations. An organization must pay tens of thousands of dollars to become a member and have the right to nominate participants.

    In traditional standards organizations, where only large companies and universities have the resources to, for example, build a chemical lab to a given standard, this model makes sense. However, in the web community, many (most?) of the contributions are made by much smaller entities — often individuals.

    The HTML working group, of which I’m ostensibly a member, tries to break this model, and has been allowing outsiders in as “invited experts.” However, with hundreds of people, and no necessary level of qualification, it’s been quite the mess, and most well-meaning people have given up. I made a suggestion that was well-received by some, but completely ignored by the people who really control the group: the browser vendors. Others have met the same treatment or received much worse, and this has led to silence by some of the “invited experts” who have much to contribute.

    Oh, and the HTML-WG could use some of those accessibility guys — that topic needs a much stronger voice in the group.

    So yeah, the W3C needs changes, for sure. But it’s not necessarily the staff, it’s the process and the membership.

  51. 051 // Matt Wilcox // 08.21.2007 // 9:51 AM

    CSS is all well and good, but the idea of a separation between content and presentation is a myth.

    Not if you know what you’re doing.

    I know what I’m doing, and I agree with Jeff - it’s a myth. A great aim to have, and one I still work toward, but completely separating content from presentation is unachievable given current technology. Maybe if there was another layer of DOM - a POM (Presentation Object Model) if you will, with which to manipulate the position of elements purely for visual effect, and not actually touching the DOM itself. But that’s not the case, and as nice as it sounds it adds another layer of complexity.

    HTML should be another browser plugin.

    If the HTML/CSS/JS rendering engine was a plug-in that could pop into any browser…

    Now there’s a nice idea. Re-engineer the browser to be an application environment within which different engines can run. Sort-of like AIR I guess, which can do HTML or Flash in the one environment ‘natively’.

    However, with hundreds of people, and no necessary level of qualification, it’s been quite the mess, and most well-meaning people have given up. I made a suggestion that was well-received by some, but completely ignored by the people who really control the group: the browser vendors.

    I came to a realisation in the shower the other day. True distributed democracy doesn’t work. It’s the reason why things slow down so much - too many voices, and frankly, not everyone is qualified to have a valid opinion on all subjects. I guess that’s why in politics we elect leaders that we hope will represent our opinions and interest - because it’s the only way to keep things going. If everyone in the country had to vote on every issue nothing would ever get agreed on, nothing would progress.

    I agree - the W3C’s failings are not because of the staff, or the people trying to help - all of whom have the best of intentions (even if their experience isn’t the best). The problem is the structure of the organisation. It simply doesn’t work.

    And, I definitely do not like the power browser vendors weild in the current state of affairs. Having said that - if they don’t push things forward we’d be forever waiting for the W3C. We need to regain a strong and focused leadership to which browser vendors are answerable. As that strong and focused leadership doesn’t exist, no wonder people are splintering off to do their own things.

  52. 052 // Andy Clarke // 08.21.2007 // 10:55 AM

    As has been pointed out, along with Tantek Celik, I am an invited expert to the W3C’s CSS Working Group. While I haven’t been able to participate as much as I would like in the tele-conferences and face-to-face meetings (around the world), the experience so far has been very interesting.

    One of the things that I have learned is that whereas before I might have been tempted to throw coins from the ring-side at the working group at the slow process of specification development, I now understand much more about that process and perhaps why the process seems glacial.

    What I have also learned is that there is a great deal of work going on, most of it I have to say at a very technical level (and a lot of it beyond my understanding, I have to confess). There are also the issues of test-suite development, liason with other working groups and other logistical factors than come into play.

    That said, I am as frustrated as many designers that I cannot yet or very soon use the fancy new toys planned such as Advanced Layout. But I do sometimes wonder this. If designers are so fired up about new CSS features, how come so many are resistant about letting go of, for example, the notion that designs should look the same in all browsers? The W3C and their browser vendor members must move on, and so must we.

  53. 053 // Jeff Croft // 08.21.2007 // 11:09 AM

    Thanks for the insight, Andy. Very well-said. Just for the record, I am not as all resistant about letting go of the notion that designs should look the same in all browsers. :)

  54. 054 // Dave Shepard // 08.22.2007 // 10:56 AM

    This is a very nice article, although I think I side more with Zeldman’s response. The time that it would take away from a designer’s paying job to participate in something like the disheveled, unorganized conglomerate that is the W3C just isn’t a feasible option a majority of the time.

    I appreciate all that the W3C has setup so far since their inception and the standards they have created, but I can understand the “glacial pace” they move at (not that its an excuse). Zeldman has a point in his article that this pace has given us time to really understand and appreciate all the architecture that is there already - and it isn’t any small amount. Yes, CSS 2.1 is really the only majorly accepted standard, but the progress in CSS3 has yielded a lot of very creative work in the world of JavaScript with libraries such as JQuery and the original, albeit quite old now, Prototype.

    I personally think that the true fault lies with the browser developers (especially Microsoft) who are truly controlling the acceptance of the already implemented standards. Internet Explorer has crippled progress for YEARS with Microsoft’s refusal to move forward and comply with tried and true implementations and standards that are already supported in every other browser.

    Here’s hoping that the changes made for IE7 and Microsoft’s usual aggressive (some would even argue, invasive) upgrade path that we can rid ourselves the dead weight of IE6 and encourage growth and movement in the world of web standards.

  55. 055 // Nate Cavanaugh // 08.22.2007 // 2:11 PM

    @Nathan Borror:

    The only standard Adobe cares about when it comes to Flash is ECMAScript. CSS is irrelevant in Flash because of their Display API. The only time where CSS is actually used in Flash is for type.

    I think you’re missing the point. Adobe, as a market driven, privately held company, is much more agile, and able to rapidly prototype, implement, and develop the CSS implementation. Also, because it’s profit-driven, it’s much easier for us web devs to influence the product development than it is for an oligarchy like the W3C.

    The reason why this is not feasible for Microsoft is because 1. the browser is too large and bulky, and fills too many requirements to make it to where they can quickly add, remove and change features, and 2. I think MS has been burned too much by it’s own innovation in the past to risk as much anymore.

    That’s why a plugin like Flash would be so perfect. It’s overall scope is much smaller than a browsers, and they’re able to innovate and deploy much more quickly.

    One question that may come up is if it is wise to base a css implementation on a plugin like Flash, that’s not super widely supported, and what I would respond is that Flash is much more embedded than CSS2 or 3.

    We’re dying here, and the people with the tightest grips on the webs development (MS and the W3C) either can’t or won’t fix things.

    Market demand is saying that we need richer apps, easier ways to style and control our HTML. Someone, somewhere will fill this void for us soon. I think it would be in Adobe’s best interest to not only attach themselves to ECMAScript, but also to CSS.

    And if you think about it, it makes sense.

    What’s the whole point of Flash? I don’t think it’s to just sell more copies of the software, though that’s a bonus. It’s to further gain control over the web application development environment. And by using the Flash plugin to normalize existing standards among the browser vendors, Adobe will continue to expand it’s market reach.

    Of course, what I am proposing could well be either impossible, or unworkable.

    But I have a feeling that someone will fill the gap by extending the browser, rather than waiting for the vendors to improve their rendering engines.

    Perhaps I’m just a boy with a dream….

  56. 056 // Matt Wilcox // 08.23.2007 // 5 AM

    Adobe, as a market driven, privately held company, is much more agile, and able to rapidly prototype, implement, and develop the CSS implementation.

    You make an interesting point, but while it’s correct for the moment it’s not indicative of corporations vs organisations. Take for example the world of Linux, specifically Ubuntu. There is an open project with hundreds of active contributors who all have opinions and discussions on a very similar level as the W3C in terms of complexity of issues. They have to negotiate with other software teams outside their control such as GNOME and KDE. And yet Ubuntu gets a new distro every six months. Conversely, Microsoft would be the analogy to your Adobe, focused and entirely able to control everything - and yet they only bring out a new version of their main OS every six years.

    It’s not about corporations having more agility by virtue of being a corporation - that doesn’t hold true - it’s about the organisation and leadership of an team. Ubuntu is a prime example of the speed at which a complex and large democratic team can get good work pushed out, there’s no reason why the W3C shouldn’t be able to move at the same pace.

  57. 057 // Dan // 08.28.2007 // 3:20 PM

    Hehe - slightly off topic here…

    I don’t think anyone’s had the job title “webmaster” since about 1999.

    My current position title is webmaster and while it’s a slight cause for embarrassment, (I usually comment on how ‘90s it sounds before anyone else gets the chance to) I actually can’t think of a more appropriate title. I’m more than a developer, with sides of designer, usability person, content manager, etc.

    In fact, web director might be a better title.

    Good post, by-the-way.

    Without much knowledge of how the W3C works, it seems to me from the list of participants of the HTML working group that there might be too many chiefs and not enough indians (or vice versa, even). I understand the need for as wide a representation as possible across the industry (for fairness, accountablilty, etc.) but I can’t help thinking that it must be difficult to reach any sort of agreement or to move forward at any great pace with such a large group.

    Where is the HTML 5 skunkworks? :)

  58. 058 // Karl Dubost, W3C // 08.30.2007 // 9:01 AM

    Hi Jeff,

    Interesting post. It seems we have more work to do to explain what is the W3C, how it is working, what is the staff and its role inside the organization. The post you have written mix many things of different levels.

    I would love to give a better explanation to you and your readership and answers your questions. How about a series of questions, that I could answer? I see already a lot of them here and there in your text and in the comments. But there is so much more to say.

    I also wonder if you have seen the HTML Weblog

    Please send me an email. I’ll try to reply in time. Don’t forget I’m living in Japan.

  59. 059 // Shaal // 09.05.2007 // 7:06 PM

    Isn’t it like all the men working in Microsoft don’t know how to operate Windows~ but hey who cares as long as its going on~

  60. 060 // Matt // 02.15.2008 // 9:24 AM

    During the last years they have been busy monetizing their site by selling links. Who needs new standards anyway? Making money online is the latest hot thing LOL

  61. 061 // ArticlesGarage // 02.18.2008 // 8:16 AM

    Matt: what you mean by WC3 selling links? I am afraid I missed that..

  62. 062 // Pedro R Andrade // 02.19.2008 // 6:26 PM

    Very good viewpoint on the issue.

    Jeff dixit: “I actually had this thought in the shower today”. Matt dixit: “I came to a realisation in the shower the other day”. Ergo: Clean people always have the best ideas.

    I, for one, shower on a daily basis, and say: Though it it true that the standards are slow to surface from the W3C, it is also true that the existing standards suffice for most cases with nowadays technology. They are solid and allow you to present accuratelly almost everything. If not, plugins exist for many things (take Flash for one). Notice: I’m not stating the existing standards are perfect!

    Maybe the problem is not so much with the rhythm of the W3C WGs draft production (though it is slow, i guess) but more with the lack of really creative approaches to technology. Without really innovative ideas to implement, what can one standardize about?

    Also, and about the slice of Web designers/developers vs. enginers aboard the W3C WGs: I don’t think that 1 web designer is to few, I think that 66 persons in a workgroup is to much. The working model is plain wrong!

    As with every aspect of human work it is not feasible to have consensus about virtualy anything with more than a few persons debating. It’s matemathical. People must create a hierarchy to function, otherwise the debate will be too cumbersome for anyone to follow.

    As a sidenote: there must first be a true revolution on the desktop/network/technology interaction model so that new, “real world”, standards start popping like mushrooms. If not, the task of superceding the existing ones is not a light one, even more so to correctly and widely implement them.

    P.S.- Jeff: Great, clean, design. And nice underlying code. But you DO implement an IE CSS workaround, which does not go well with “letting go of the notion that designs should look the same in all browsers”. I guess you meant that and “as long as the browsers do correctly implement the standards”.

  63. 063 // Max // 02.19.2008 // 9:41 PM

    What am I missing? Why can’t html be a browser plugin???

  64. 064 // Timmy // 02.25.2008 // 6:41 AM

    U guys are serious? When did W3C sell links? Is that true?Or is the type of “advertising” links we find on all the sites in the footer?

  65. 065 // Pedro R Andrade // 02.25.2008 // 3:24 PM

    Max: Come ON!!!! Think a little! What’s the purpose of a browser???? Remember???? RENDER HTML!!!!

  66. 066 // James Burt // 02.27.2008 // 7:05 AM

    hi timmy, I think they are refering to the “W3C Supporters Program” where donation of $1000 and above for a link to their website. It is kind of sponsorship program for W3C.

  67. 067 // Jason // 05.07.2008 // 4:46 PM

    Wow, I’m very surprised at this as well. You would definitely think that people on the W3C committee would have experience in the field to at least some extent. While it’s difficult to compare the evolution and adoption of newer versions of web standards to Flash versions, you would think that much more significant improvement would be made in that timeframe.

  68. 068 // Timo // 05.08.2008 // 8:03 AM

    Very nice article, thank you very much for this.

  69. 069 // Jim // 06.05.2008 // 11:14 AM

    This is a really good point that you bring up here. Web standards should be evolving a lot quicker, and W3C needs to step it up a bit. I’m sure there is some resistance and issues with moving too fast as well, but you would think that we would be further along than we are at this point.

  70. 070 // mmorpg // 06.16.2008 // 5:33 PM

    Pretty crazy that only 1 out of 66 were web developers.

  71. 071 // Jake // 06.23.2008 // 1:18 PM

    I would think that we would have more web developers working on the web standards… Very surprised to see this. I suppose it does take quite a while to push forward with HTML standards over updating another type of program or language, but this is a snail pace.

  72. 072 // Prego // 06.24.2008 // 7:48 PM

    This is a great writeup on W3C, I had no idea they were not web developers. There tools are outdated it seems and irrelevant. I see that one of the W3C team commented what did he come up with?

  73. 073 // Nate // 07.25.2008 // 2:28 PM

    Wow, can’t believe that more of them aren’t designers or developers on this committee. That sux because it should be progressing faster with better communication and implementation from people that have real-world experience.

  74. 074 // Michael Web // 07.26.2008 // 1:36 PM

    Nice article, and a really great blog, thank you guys.

  75. 075 // Plushpod // 08.08.2008 // 12:21 PM

    It is interesting that none of the team members are developers or designers… hmm? Interesting… on a positive note I’m starting to hear things about HTML5 and different features it is going to have.. sounds really cool.

  76. 076 // Alejandro Seo // 08.12.2008 // 1:45 PM

    really great it is really interesting to read your blog, Pretty crazy that only 1 out of 66 were web developers.

  77. 077 // Francois Beauregard // 08.15.2008 // 2:22 PM

    I am coming more and more to the idea that there is a deliberate sabotage from the companies funding the W3C. When you see that in 10 years, nothing has come to a final spec, it is impossible without a deliberate sabotage.

    It is said that there isn’t enough people working full time on the specs. It seems that there isn’t even one person working full time on it. So, you have companies making billions of dollars per years, but they don’t have enough money to hire 10 or 20 people to conceive and write the specs. It’s incredible. No, there isn’t enough people because those companies want the specs to progress at glacial pace. So, they will be able to propose a proprietary alternative. Something like Silverlight, or Air, etc…

    People need to say f..k to the w3c and write their own specs, and make them open source. In fact, we need a group that not only makes open source specs, but have an open development too, with anybody wanting to participate being able to do it.

    So, maybe we will finally have something moving to a normal speed.

  78. 078 // Azura // 09.16.2008 // 10:49 AM

    I was just hearing something about HTML 5, so hopefully that will be coming around soon… but yeah it seems kinda crazy that it doesn’t move faster. I’m really surprised to hear that there aren’t any actual developers on the W3C committee!

  79. 079 // Kontaktanzeigen // 10.17.2008 // 8:57 AM

    Very interesting information. I think a lot of people don’t know, that the W3C just has 1 ex Web Developer in their team…

  80. 080 // SEO Blog // 10.26.2008 // 6:56 AM

    Didn’t know these facts about the qualification of the W3C Members… Great article…

  81. 081 // Baugeld // 11.11.2008 // 12:02 PM

    Come to Germany and you will find both! :)

  82. 082 // Detektei // 11.19.2008 // 6:24 AM

    Webdesign and webdeveloppment is the same?

  83. 083 // Matratze // 11.21.2008 // 6:09 AM

    I wonder how a organization with such a few of competence became so popular… ;-)

  84. 084 // earth4energy // 11.28.2008 // 9:24 PM

    During the last years they have been busy monetizing their site by selling links. Who needs new standards anyway? Making money online is the latest hot thing LOL

  85. 085 // Vibrationsplatte // 12.01.2008 // 1:52 PM

    @ earth4energy: you are so right! Making money is the most important for every normal person!

  86. 086 // Christine Gruber // 12.03.2008 // 5:47 AM

    You are familiar with up-to-date Web technology, in particular with respect to the HTML language design, Web Application development, and current practices for Web design

  87. 087 // Werbeagentur Graz // 12.05.2008 // 12:09 AM

    During the last years they have been busy monetizing their site by selling links. Who needs new standards anyway? Making money online is the latest hot thing LOL

  88. 088 // Seitensprung // 12.06.2008 // 9:46 AM

    Amazing, when thinking that they did this all without web designers and developers…

  89. 089 // Mobile SEO // 12.11.2008 // 5:41 PM

    They are very popular, successful and well known with their services. I think they did their job very well without webdesigners and without web developers.

  90. 090 // Partnersuche // 12.13.2008 // 8:46 PM

    For my opinion the W3C did a great job the last years and set some popular and important standards for web programming. It’s not important who is in the team. I think it’s important, what these people are/were able do do/did…

  91. 091 // Kontaktlinsen // 12.15.2008 // 7:24 AM

    I think that every Webdesigner should be a webdevelopper at the same time. It´s becoming more and more important to have not only nice websites but also valide codes etc.

  92. 092 // Abhörschutz // 12.29.2008 // 2:22 PM

    Good article, unfortunately it’s on a subject that we are hearing more and more on lately. The W3Cs lack of progress. Fact is W3C is an organization not a money making machine. We all know how much faster we complete a project we are getting paid for rather than a charity.

  93. 093 // Wordpress Themes // 12.30.2008 // 7:24 PM

    A very strong and valid point there. More people need to get involved in this for W3C to progress.!

  94. 094 // Webdesign Heidelberg // 01.02.2009 // 8:51 AM

    Jeff, i will thank you very very much for this great artikel!

  95. 095 // Baby on Board // 01.06.2009 // 4:10 AM

    WC3 is sometimes a problem becaus microsoft… :o)

  96. 096 // Brads // 01.06.2009 // 2:13 PM

    During the last years they have been busy monetizing their site by selling links. Who needs new standards anyway? Making money online is the latest hot thing LOL

  97. 097 // Conner - Photostock Expert // 01.07.2009 // 11:37 AM

    Nice article, and a really great blog, thank you guys.I really enjoyed it. I think that you are not alone and many people worry about it. It is really good advice in our case. Hope it might be helpful to others like me. 

  98. 098 // Freezer conversions // 01.07.2009 // 10:07 PM

    Great post.. Kudos for sharing this out.

  99. 099 // outdoor antenna // 01.08.2009 // 6:32 PM

    Yes…10 years was an awfully long time till something new came around!

  100. 100 // Russland // 01.10.2009 // 3:05 AM

    It´s being very difficult to find good webdesigners and developpers who know all those tricks. W3C seems to be very important for good rankings in the search engines.

  101. 101 // Ecksofa // 01.12.2009 // 2:40 AM

    To my opinion webdesign and developpment has became so complex that I would find it ok if some developpers and designers do not offer both services.

  102. 102 // Harrison - Emo Girl // 01.14.2009 // 2:39 AM

    usually developpers are programmers and programmers usually have too mathematical type of thinking to be have good abstract imagination to create beautiful things…. that’s the problem I think!

  103. 103 // Rachel - Software Recovery Reviewer // 01.15.2009 // 6:04 AM

    fully support your point of view Harrison! so often it appears as you say: whether a person is a great programmer or a talented designer, but i’s so difficult to find double-perfect…

  104. 104 // Evie - Software Recovery Reviewer // 01.20.2009 // 4:54 AM

    nice word “double perfect”! you know the thing we are talking about is like head&shoulders…; just 2 in 1… but web design is a little bit more complicated than washing hair))

  105. 105 // Grant // 02.05.2009 // 3:41 AM

    I was looking for this info in google. Thankfully I finally found it. Thanks. I’ve bookmarked your site.

  106. 106 // Andy Munter // 02.19.2009 // 7:01 AM

    Looking for just that! Thanks a lot for the effort of posting!

  107. 107 // micky // 03.14.2009 // 3:53 AM

    Nice article

  108. 108 // Gold Price Blog // 03.22.2009 // 6:35 PM

    I still don’t see Flash as an alternative. Flash’s role is audio/video playback and immersive experiences. Rarely do I see or agree with it’s usage as a replacement for what could easily be accomplished with HTML. Flash is by no means giving HTML a run for its money.

  109. 109 // Duschgel // 03.31.2009 // 5:36 AM

    Very nice article!

  110. 110 // Free DSi // 04.03.2009 // 3:45 AM

    I dont think many people want to be web designers because it means sitting with sums etc for prolonged periods of time. And there is quite a ‘nerdy’ stigma that goes with it

  111. 111 // Online identity fraud // 04.07.2009 // 5:03 PM

    For my opinion the W3C did a great job the last years and set some popular and important standards for web programming. It’s not important who is in the team. I think it’s important, what these people are/were able do do/did…

  112. 112 // Garagenbau // 04.08.2009 // 7:26 AM

    Thanks for this article…

  113. 113 // diabetes // 04.16.2009 // 1:57 PM

    I think W3C did a good job last year, too. Some great programming. It’s not important who you are, it’s important what you do.

  114. 114 // Webdesigner Rostock // 04.21.2009 // 5:12 AM

    Glad I found this article, thank you!

    By the way, this page has a nice design!

  115. 115 // Notebook Handyvertrag // 04.25.2009 // 12:38 PM

    Webdesigners should be programmers at the same time.

  116. 116 // michael // 04.30.2009 // 5:11 AM

    Very Intresting. Great Post. Thanks

  117. 117 // sem // 05.08.2009 // 12:41 PM

    hey they are just trying to make long-living standarts…

  118. 118 // Matratze // 05.13.2009 // 4:39 AM

    The W3C has already taken repeatedly bad decisions.

  119. 119 // Custom Logo Design // 05.22.2009 // 10:40 PM

    The fact that Flash is commercial and proprietary definitely makes it a different beast. It’s just meant to demonstrate that there are alternatives out there that are moving at a faster pace. It’s not as if we don’t have a choice

  120. 120 // michael. s // 06.04.2009 // 5:54 AM

    Great article, thanks a lot.

  121. 121 // DatingYep // 06.07.2009 // 7:52 PM

    They are all theoretical experts

  122. 122 // Rieger // 06.26.2009 // 10:32 AM

    Definitely good to know. Great article. Thanks.

  123. 123 // Umwelt infos // 07.06.2009 // 2:21 AM

    Very Good Article . Thanks a lot

  124. 124 // Kinderbücher // 08.05.2009 // 6:10 AM

    Thanks for this good article. I think a valid code is as important than a good looking website.

  125. 125 // Buy PSP Go // 08.16.2009 // 9:49 AM

    A valid website is not needed, so many large sites (see google, wordpress etc.) don’t adhere to the code so why do they expect the little guys to?

  126. 126 // Webdesign Fachmann aus Berlin // 09.25.2009 // 11:31 PM

    Hm never thought about that. Of course the W3C members should be members from the industry! And every designer should know (at least a solid basis) about developing. How else could the W3C respect the wishes and needs of real designers and developers?

  127. 127 // Free Gadgets // 11.04.2009 // 5:22 PM

    The W3C really haven’t moved with the times. I suspect they are in such a comfortable position where results aren’t expected that they can just sit around pondering the next ‘innovation’. A good alternative is needed to put them under pressure.

  128. 128 // Garden lawn mower // 11.08.2009 // 7:59 PM

    that’s why it’s a joke to worry about W3C compliance. They don’t know. They’re bureaucrats.

  129. 129 // Alleinunterhalter // 11.09.2009 // 1:42 PM

    Definitely good to know. Great article. Thanks.

  130. 130 // s.holstens // 12.03.2009 // 1:48 AM

    Thanks alot for this nice article :D I love your sites!

  131. 131 // decorating games // 12.04.2009 // 2:01 PM

    Very true. I imagine it would make some difference to the overall pace of events if anybody on the team had to deal with the CSS and HTML.

  132. 132 // Viannyflaky // 12.04.2009 // 5:09 PM

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  133. 133 // acitutbip // 12.16.2009 // 1:36 PM

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  135. 135 // Volker // 12.18.2009 // 10:19 AM

    Ein Kompliment für diese tolle Seite. Eigentlich bin ich durch Zufall darauf gestoßen und dachte mir, einen netten Eintrag und viele Grüße zu hinterlassen. __ \!!!///_ ___( ô ô )__ ooO-(_)-Ooo Vielleicht schauen sie mal auf meiner Homepage vorbei!

  136. 136 // BrianK // 12.25.2009 // 7:25 PM

    Hello! I’m newbie in Internet, can you give me some useful links? I know only about Yahoo Yahoo http://yahoo.com Yahoo

  137. 137 // NFL jersey // 01.13.2010 // 7:16 AM

    Very true. I imagine it would make some difference to the overall pace of events if anybody on the team had to deal with the CSS and HTML.

  138. 138 // Baugeld // 01.29.2010 // 2:26 AM

    I do not think that a webentwickler also like a good webdesigner is. Since one should distinguish clearly. But it should always be a good webdesigner in webentwicklerstecken. The same is also true imgedreht ;-)

  139. 139 // Maxda // 03.02.2010 // 10:31 PM

    In my view, the profile of a web designer differs significantly from that of a Web developer. Designing is more creative.

  140. 140 // slant fin humidifier // 03.08.2010 // 6:42 PM

    @maxda why would designing be more creative than web developer? I think they are both creative.

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