I'd like to let folks know about the Web Standard Project's new International Liaison Group
. Among the group's various goals is to promote standards around the globe, and do so by making resources and information available in multiple languages.
For those not aware, there's a new social networking medium called Twitter. Twitter is sort of a combo platter of SMS, Web, and IM messaging where individuals answer the question "What are you doing?" The network has taken off amidst a fair amount of criticism, but also with plenty of people testing it out and using it to see how it fits into their communication wants and needs.
Just a few days ago, several interface changes to Twitter launched a lot of feedback from its users, who complained they didn't like the changes. Changing an interface, particularly in an early-adoption mode of a Web application, seems to me to be a very "beta" thing to do. It also harkens me back to the days I was working with MSN Communities, where we didn't have the types of forward-facing communication opportunites we do today. Interface changes would be made on a regular basis, and community managers were not able to let users know about these changes in advance.
I'm wondering if others feel the concern that I do regarding interface changes on a live site or within a given Web app. Naturally, a site is going to change and evolve. But what can we as the developers, designers and others working on it do to offer our users a better transitional experience?
Don't miss this excellent podcast featuring Chris Wilson
, who discusses IE, Ajax and the W3C with John Udell. A must for anyone interested in browsers and standards as our living history, present, and future.
I've been reading comments and blog responses regarding the announcement yesterday that I'm working as a consultant to Microsoft in the area of standards. I must extend a warm thank you to everyone! The overwhelmingly positive response makes me feel that my instincts on this choice were spot-on, as they might say here in London.
Speaking of London, I attended a semantic markup meeting today at the BBC, where the development of internal technical standards are in the process of being refined and documented. It is absolutely fascinating to watch a large organization such as the BBC work with markup and CSS specifically.
Creating upwards of 6,000 documents per day on average is no easy task, and to manage all of that - particularly over time - takes real organization. The topics up for discussion are, for many people interested in semantics, quite familiar. Do we use only one h1 element per document? Do we reserve definition lists only for definitions? How many nests of lists are acceptable?
As familiar as these questions might be, and as seemingly clear-cut as the answers might seem to us individually, the realities of an organization such as the BBC make the justification for a given choice extremely subjective. The BBC itself has a responsibility to serve the public and to do so with accessibility and internationalization concerns always at the forefront. Therefore, decisions regarding best practices are very dependent upon the environment.
If I were to have taken one thought away from my experience at the BBC today, I would say that I've yet again been reminded that there is rarely "one true way" to do something properly in Web design and development. It's the content, the intent of that content, and the audience's access to that content that drive decisions, no matter the size of the sites on which we work.
I'll have additional materials in upcoming dailies as well as over the next months related to the BBC as it builds and opens up to the community at large its methodologies for dealing with cross browser compatibility, mass document management, organic growth and innovative solutions that other organizations will certainly find useful, too.
Your experiences, comments and thoughts are of course always welcome!
As you can see, this blog is being set up for The Daily Molly, a column in which I will cover news, tips & tricks, and items of interest to the Web standards and related communities.
I really look forward to having some fun here, as well as encouraging readers and participants to help work together to promote a better Web for all.