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 Post subject: Interesting article
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:14 am 
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On the nature of online games

http://www.raphkoster.com/2007/04/23/th ... readmills/

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:15 am 
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Nice explanation, but it doesn't really suggest any ideas on how to solve these kinds of MMO design problems.

Also, the site is completely broken in IE and doesn't work too well in Opera either. There's a nice big button inviting you to get Firefox, though! You'd think a respected buisnessman like Raph Koster would need a website that worked, rather than just showed off his browser fanboyism and insulted 90% of the population.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:26 am 
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(mini-rant)


That's stupid. Things should work in Opera. Why? Because it's completely standards-compliant. WHY do we live in a world where you basically HAVE to get the non-standards-compliant browsers to render the majority of the content?

Because nobody gives a crap about interoperability. That's why. Nobody cares if things work for other people. They only care that they work for themselves. And so we beget companies like mine, that are hard-core IE addicts and REFUSE to support anything else, to the point that we'd rather drop a customer than change that.

I don't care THAT much about sites working in IE. It's never been a great browser, and yet it steals the market share simply because it's pre-packaged with the most popular operating system out there. But Opera SHOULD work anywhere, simply because things SHOULD be standards-compliant.

:roll:

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 3:44 am 
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Standards compliance is a fun buzzword for people to latch onto, but it's really not that simple. There are a ton of W3C standards, and no single brower uses all of them. Some of them aren't used by anybody. Some of them are poorly designed or make no sense. In some cases the standards are just documentation of pre-existing proprietary features, which every browser does have.

For example the XMLHttp object, the foundation of Ajax web applications, was originally created as an ActiveX object in IE 5. It was a good idea, so the other browsers copied it. And Mozilla actually came up with a better way to do it, so IE 7 copied it back, and now it's "standard". The closest thing in the W3C standards is DOM Load and Save, which was written in 2004 by some guy from Netscape and some guy from IBM and looks like a total mess to me. Nobody has ever used it.

It's been years since the W3C has created anything new that really caught on (HTML 4.1 was in 1999), so all the major players joined something called WHATWG to come up with a standard for HTML 5 and "suggest" that the W3C adopt it as their own. They've just recently finished it up and submitted it, so we'll see how that goes.

The point is, it isn't as simple as one or two browsers not following "the rules" and screwing everything up. There's always going to be debate over how the web should work, and nobody is right all the time.

Or, in short, the Web Standards Project people need to stop the pompous whining and get a life. They're the web equivalent of hemp-wearing vegans picketing a Burger King.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 9:54 pm 
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I realize it's not a case of browsers not following the rules...

Nevertheless, there are rules and they aren't being followed. Browsers don't come into this. They're not being followed by web content creators. By the people who design websites.


Just because W3C standards may or may not all be useful, doesn't mean they all AREN'T useful. There's some important stuff in there, including but not limited to the definitions for HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0, etc.


It's not something to be "oh, I'm better than you" about, but it's something that definately should be paid more attention to.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2007 11:43 pm 
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Exactly. We have web standards for the same reason we have standard grammar, spelling and word definitions. If you write a document with spelling and grammar so poor that it makes no sense, and use made-up words that no one else knows about, you cannot reasonably expect anyone to understand it. Similarly, if you write a web page full of missing closing tags, non-existent tags and attributes, and unescaped special characters, you cannot reasonably expect a browser to display what you intended.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 12:04 pm 
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But what I'm saying is, even if you do code your website following the relevant W3C standards exactly, there are still going to be problems, because none of the browsers understand the "definitions" of HTML, XHTML, or (especially) CSS and the DOM. If you're making a website, you're responsible for making sure it loads correctly in the browsers that people use, no matter how the W3C says they're supposed to work.

And the point of this WHATWG thing is that HTML5 is probably going to replace XHTML.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:38 pm 
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coyote wrote:
But what I'm saying is, even if you do code your website following the relevant W3C standards exactly, there are still going to be problems, because none of the browsers understand the "definitions".


This is a vicious circle. Until web designers follow the standards more closely, the browser developers will have no incentive to create code that renders such sites more accurately, and until browser support is more widespread, the average uninformed or lazy developer will have little reason to learn the standards and code to them.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:42 pm 
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coyote wrote:
And the point of this WHATWG thing is that HTML5 is probably going to replace XHTML.


Dude, that's WAY stupid. There's a REASON we've been going away from HTML to XHTML. Because HTML was a flaming mess. It was its very non-uniformity in structure that made it so darn hard for browsers to render things properly.


If HTML5 is going to act like XHTML, that's fine. But then it should be called XHTML 2.0.




It's a circular problem. We make non-standards compliant web pages because browsers have problems with the standards. Browsers have these problems because they're trying to render pages that aren't standards-compliant. One of these needs to change, because believe me when I say that settings standards and keeping to them is the only way to allow content to be interoperable.

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Well, unless they're playing video games, in which case heros die a lot too.


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