When lack of standards compliance makes the news

 by Martin Belam, 20 January 2004

Yesterday I noticed a feature in The Independent which had escaped my attention before - "Sport On The Internet" by Andy Oldfield.

Shamelessly it was the word "blogging" that attracted my eye. He was examining the presence of the World Rally Championship and Rugby League World Sevens on the web. Along the way he took in Motorsport Mayhem from the Blogging Network, praising the concept, but questioning the potential popularity of the pricing model. And observing that:

"...many blogs are nothing more than exercises in vanity publishing".

Hmmm...moving swiftly on...

Earlier in the article I was pleased to see one of my favourite things in print - a corporate being castigated for lazy website design that renders it useless to a proportion of the audience. Of the official World Rally Championship site, Oldfield observes in the online version of the article:

"Some parts of the site, however, seem to need remedial attention. If you want to check out the on-site profile of Martin [Markko Märtin, the Estonian driver], you could be out of luck. Last week using the pull-down menu generated only error links on the latest versions of Mac browsers such as Internet Explorer, Netscape and Safari. Internet Explorer under Windows XP worked, which suggests using non-standards compliant technology and a lack of testing may be the problem."

I love the fact that Andy gives them the benefit of the doubt and suggests the trouble may only have been that 'last week' they weren't anywhere near standards compliant - but it was a shame that in print the last sentence was edited or sub-edited into the somewhat less forceful:

"Explorer under Windows XP worked fine, though."

Which I suspect sounds a bit more like "So that's alright then" than he intended.

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