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Re: [tlug] linux/ms web page problem

On Sat, Jun 29, 2002 at 08:35:47PM +0200, wrote:

>  > > Use to validate your page and complain to the
>  > > manufacturer of publisher/front page for not complying to standards.
>  > 
>  > Do you really think that will make a difference with MS? They know damn
>  > well their products generate bad HTML. If they cared they would have
>  > fixed them a long time ago.
> I don't know those products or who makes them. I would never use them
> anyway, but if you don't complain about such obvious flaws, then they
> certainly won't be fixed. Just tell them, you will buy another
> product, which is of course no real threat when you are dealing with a
> monopoly :(.

Well, fortunately, Microsoft is nowhere near having a monopoly on web
development tools. And in principle I agree that people dissatisfied
with products should complain about them. I just really doubt that it
will do much good in this case. Given how well Microsoft implements
Internet standards when it suits them (Internet Explorer being a case in
point), and the number of representatives they have on W3C committees,
it is simply inconceivable that they are unaware of their products' being
non-compliant. I submit that they are deliberately producing
non-compliant products, because:

  * They want to pack their products full of cool features. Features
    make good demos, and demos sell products. The proprietary cruft they
    stuff into the HTML makes it easy to implement cool features that
    appeal to the guys with the checkbooks.

  * Obfuscated HTML impairs interoperability. Poor interoperability 
    drives businesses to "standardize" on Microsoft products.

Now if you think that a few noble developers' complaining to Microsoft
is going to change something, I can't prove you wrong. My feeling,
though, is that they know exactly what they're doing, and our time is
better spent providing alternatives and/or educating people about why
they should be using something other than Front Page or Publisher to
create web sites. As you suggest:

> Maybe if he tells his boss, about the validator (sounds official ;-)),
> he will see what kind of sub-standard product they are using.

Much more worthwhile than complaining to Microsoft, IMHO.

Matt Gushee
Englewood, Colorado, USA

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