In December 2005 we did an analysis of a sample of slightly over a billion documents, extracting information about popular class names, elements, attributes, and related metadata.
Some interesting things I picked up from the study are:
- A whole slew of people are specifying the xml:lang attribute, which will have absolutely no effect (no HTML processor will look at that attribute; it’s an XML attribute).
- Of the top twenty most-used attributes on body, fourteen are purely presentational.
- The br element is a simple one, yet used on so many pages that it is the 8th most-used element. It is used more than the p element. There are very few legitimate semantic places to use this element (addresses and poems are the canonical examples), which means that most uses are probably presentational.
- In our data sample there were twice as many pages that used the table element but didn’t use the td element
- The script element was used on roughly half the pages we checked.
Google Code: Web Authoring Statistics
Backlash and confusion have dogged Google’s plans to scan millions of books, and, while continuing with its efforts, it has opted for a name change from Google Print to Google Book Search.
“We don’t think that this new name will change what some folks think about this program,”
“But we do believe it will help a lot of people understand better what we’re doing.”
Do you believe them? I sure as hell don’t. Why does
Gator… er, I mean Claria spring to mind?
Plenty of people have been talking about whether or not those that refuse to adopt web standards in web design should be entitled to call themselves web professionals.
While I agree that those who design should be looking to learn web standards, I also feel that not everyone has the same learning curve when it comes to standards. Some people need more time to learn than others. I especially didn’t like one particular quote from John Oxton (certain words censored):
What I want is HTML that kicks up a royal f*****g stink if it isn’t treated properly. HTML that takes no s**t, with a built in big flashy message (GO AWAY AND LEARN ABOUT ME!) for people who refuse to take the time to learn this super simple language and who refuse to refine their understanding.
I think some people seem to forget that it’s not a ‘super simple language’ to everyone. That quote is like a typical ‘RTFM’ response you’d get on a forum. Don’t slate someone just because they don’t know as much as you. I’m sure you wouldn’t like the same response from someone who knows more about another topic than you.
Read Jakob Nielsen’s report on the Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005.
1. Legibility Problems
2. Non-Standard Links
4. Content That’s Not Written for the Web
5. Bad Search
6. Browser Incompatibility
7. Cumbersome Forms
8. No Contact Information or Other Company Info
9. Frozen Layouts with Fixed Page Widths
10. Inadequate Photo Enlargement
How many does your site fall short on?
Jeffrey Veen is giving away a free download (pdf) of his book – The Art and Science of Web Design