FEMA Disaster Site IE Only
I often wonder to myself why people are so reluctant to write standards compliant webisites. Is it that using CSS properly is way more difficult than hacking table together for presentation in IE? It can't be, because creating and using a style sheet, not using CSS inheritance, is much easier than messing around with trying to get padding, etc… to look proper in other browsers. I think the biggest problem is that the majority of web designers do not know how to properly design and build websites. Most of my friends even, they frequently reach right for some table, tr, and td tags when they are laying out their sites. Fireworks and ImageReady are no better. At least Fireworks gives you the option to use div tags and a stylesheet.
I think that it is a shame that FEMA, the patent office, and a majority of the government are still building IE only, standards to the wind sites. In the same amount of time it would take to cobble together a design using tables, and using browser sniffing scripts to tell people on a Mac or using Linux or any other variant of operating system that they are not interested in their help, they could have built a completely standards compliant site that would welcome all takers. It isn't like they couldn't use everyone's help with the aftermath of Katrina especially. I'd like to see more web designers and developers thinking differently. Instead of thinking, well we are reaching 87% of all computer users, it might be better to think, we are missing 13% of computer users. Let's figure out how to include them. Everyone has their reasons for using the systems that they do, and not everyone wants to use Windows. The sooner the computer industry realizes this, the better off we all will be. The future of the internet is devices, not computers or PC operating systems. Web TV was a great idea, and it's time will come. Mobile phone browsers are also coming of age. This site excludes all of these devices since they can't easily upgrade their browsers in the case of Web TV, and many cell users are using either custom WAP 2.0 browsers or Opera, or some other custom browser. This site could be accessable to them if it were designed properly. I also wonder about it's 508 compliance. But then again, I'm one of those standards freaks, but then again, I only have to build sites once.