Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Demand Led Standards-based Development

I think Peter-Paul Koch's recent article on A List Apart
Evangelizing Outside the Box: Web Standards and Large Companies – ought to make more of the power that clients have in steering the progress of web standards.

The main thrust of the article, that high profile employees of large companies could and should be highly vocal evangelists for web standards in order to add momentum to the movement in general, is totally valid and I certainly wouldn't argue against it. Such evangelism is bound to have an influence on a significant number of developers who are yet to recognise the benefits of web standards.

But the incentives to adopt the good practices of their peers may not be strong enough to enduce most late adopters to put in the work to make the jump to web standards. Why should they bother if they can maintain a viable business using the same methods as they've always used?

However, if their clients demand the use of web standards, these same developers will have to adapt their methods or risk going out of business.

So its down to the larger companies (and everyone else) to educate their clients about the benefits of web standards so that, eventually, there'll be no demand for non-standards based development and anyone who doesn't adapt will become extinct.

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