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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Reality Check: Beyond the hype of Web standards"

Presenting my piece
Download my presentation.

Well, it was definitely a good experience at the second Web Standards Group meetup. I was the first to present and think the audience responded well to what I had to say.

My chosen topic was "Reality Check: Beyond the hype of Web standards". It came to mind right after the first meetup. After some casual conversation with other attendees, I realised that many seemed to have the wrong idea about standards or were so caught up in the fervour that they may not be ready for the actual work.

So I thought that it would be good to remind everyone at the start about what we're in for when we say that we comply with standards. Sure, my presentation would have pissed people off, but I think it's the bitter medicine that they needed to take in order to become better.

I was getting quite anxious about it as the day drew nearer. Right up till last night, I was still revising my slides, sometimes because of something I had read, mostly because what I had prepared didn't sit well with me. I spent almost two hours each night deleting slides and creating new ones.

All of my jokes and one-liners fell flat, yet an unintended one got the most laughs. It was in response to someone asking about standards-compliance among content management systems. I said, "I wanted to include content management systems in my presentation, but I thought that it would be too much content."

*loud laughter*

I think I handled the Q&A pretty well too. And I'd like to take a moment to correct myself: Ivan Chew had asked why developers who comply with Web standards charge more for their work. My answer was partially right in that standards-compliant developers require extra time to test their work.

The complete answer is: complying with Web standards includes adhering to accessibility guidelines. These require even more time to test for compliance. Because of the extra hours, they have to charge more.

The rest of the meeting consisted of a demonstration of some useful Firefox tips, including extensions, and a five-minute introduction microformats.

Personal acknowledgement:
I'd like to give a shout-out to two colleagues (one of whom was my department head) for attending. I had invited the tech team to attend, thinking that it (the whole meeting, not just my presentation) would be beneficial to their work. I also cc-ed my boss, who then forwarded it to the rest of the company.

Incidentally, this blog saw a small spike in traffic from the same IP address range. I had forgotten that the email contained a link to it, so now all of my colleagues know about my little area on the Web.



draco said...

Presentation wouldn't download ;( Please check! Thanks!

Yuhui said...

Yeah, checking it now with my web host. Thanks for your patience!

draco said...

Working now ;-) Thanks. Mail'd you some comments, lemme know what you think!

red said...

good job, man

Yuhui said...

Thanks, red!

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