When Webmasters Attack!

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CSS-Tricks scribe Chris Coyier wrote a great post titled What Beautiful HTML Code Looks Like where he outlined (with a great image, no less) how a great HTML/PHP file looks when proper programming practices are used. The post was so popular that the featured image was promoted to the Digg homepage. Then the webmasters logged out of their guild chat long enough to bless the Digg comments with their wisdom. I present to you...

When Webmasters Attack!

Also, what kind of web designer doesn't already know this? It's called being organized. However, all that white-space is going to add-up and waste bandwidth, which makes this "beautiful code" (a self-serving, inaccurate, subjective description) not-so-perfect.

What kind of web designer doesn't know how easy it is to GZIP content which compresses/eliminates all of the extra whitespace that makes code more maintainable?

I don't think <?php .. is valid HTML 5 either.

This isn't a "Hello Kitty" picture, Webmaster, so please don't comment. This will get parsed by PHP and output as HTML.

I link to one stylesheet. It works on firefox, safari and ie8.
If you can't be bothered to upgrade your browser, I can't be bothered with you.
None of this If IE>blabla shit.
Oh, and spare me the "but i need IE6 to use some of the software at my office". I DONT CARE! Use a more recent browser to surf the internet, and stop spreading viruses because you're too lazy.

I was going to ask you, Webmaster, about your clients' web visitors and the money they'd be losing by turning away persons with IE6 and IE7 browsers but then I realized I took them all from you. Apparently the order of importance goes: you, client, visitors. That's completely backward.

...The irony of this article is that it's one giant PNG image. Further proof that the most beautiful HTML is the nonexistent kind.

Apparently Chris should have used a JPEG?

Why I am not surprised to see a MacOS window?

Because you're a psychic? WTF is that supposed to mean?

PHP in a .HTML file?
change the title to "What Beautiful HTML Code Looks Like [infoFAIL]"

As long as you're going to ignore the main point of the post and be a smart ass about the PHP/HTML, I'll point out that Chris added a .htaccess directive to parse .html files as PHP. Ouch, sick burn!

No title attributes in the anchor tags. Since when does that make for beautiful HTML?

The article isn't called "What Beautiful SEO Looks Like".

This page has a story, a sidebar, and a footer. 'Real' websites are far more dynamic than this, and by 'real' I mean ones that people will go to. Complex websites have complex markup. You shouldn't be bragging just because you've passed your w3schools tests.

You're right. What he should really brag about are the dozens of thousands of RSS followers and his status within the community.

I get it but to some point it gets stupid. Stop accommodating specific browsers. If the web page loads properly then good but if it doesnt and looks broken then that tells he consumer to upgrade their fucking browser! It should be that simple.

Another lazy, ignorant idiot that doesn't understand that he isn't important -- his clients and their visitors are. This person clearly doesn't get it.

In the end...

Thank you again, Webmaster, for reminding me why I should be so proud of the work I do. Without you I couldn't pay for house, cars, and fine wine. Keep up the good work so I can keep up my fine life!

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  1. What about?

    “The author of the article probably jerks off to O’REILLY books.”

    That’s the most priceless one of all.

  2. @Chris Coyier: Yeah, I mean, I didn’t know you were into classy books. I would’ve guessed the cheaper ones like Packt.

  3. nice, i like all your post

  4. This is my favorite

    “thanks for the infor…

    but then again, i like to make my html a gobbly mess so noone can steal my html secrets.”

    hmm so that’s how you hide your secret marquee

  5. @Chris Coyier: Haha Digg users will find a way to tear down anything they can. What is funny is that at the current moment it has 745 diggs…. no easy feat if it was a bad article…

  6. Digg and Reddit users exist for this type of flaming. No matter how hard you’ve worked or how accomplished your feat, there’ll be a couple of cocky smart-a-holes that need to put you down. I’m okay when it’s justified criticism, but most of what they’re saying is just childish or incorrect.

  7. @James: Yep. I was priveledged enough to make the Digg homepage once and I got the same treatment. Annoying to say the least.

  8. Well.. digg was at a time a worthy community in tech news, now it is invaded by teens and funny pictures.

    Anyway, any self respecting front-end developer already read atleast one Chris Coyier article and would not write that kind of crap, not surprising these kids utterly fail at demonstrating any HTML knowledge..

  9. senshikaze

    I liked the article, chris! I try to hit your site everyday.
    David, thanks for the tour de stupid. It’s nice to know there are people like you who aren’t idiots. Obviously the Digg network has gone down a few pags in the IQ department.

    Though i do have to say:
    IE 7 and below sucks. It sucks to have to support them, and it sucks even more since I don’t actually own windows (linux). Thankfully i am not a professional web designer and do all the things i do for myself. I would have to hurt someone or thing if i had to beat my head against ie6 everyday.

  10. senshikaze

    also, is there a way to disable the topbar? it is a little annoying.
    and adding a feedback form would help since you wouldn’t have to search comments for feedback on site (unless i am blind)

  11. @Cedric Dugas: I agree with you on this point. The number of interesting items that I come across on Digg have begun to dwindle, and I only subscribe to the tech categories… Yet I still find myself with stupid pictures and tabloid headings.

  12. @senshikaze: I work with IE6 daily, it is a pain, but what’s even worse is to see some of the “solutions” developers come up with to solve projects.

  13. @Chris Coyier: I thought all web designers jerk off to O’REILLY books. It’s like a gang initiation activity. I heard there’s even a secret handshake, but that may just be hearsay.

  14. Mobiwalsh

    Hopefully the handshake is before…

  15. Listen2Me

    I was inspired by CSS Tricks article. I’m amazed the Digg’s users felt so threatened by it. I think the more exposure articles like this get the better it will make the web. Good on you David for ripping a new one for the lazy webmasters on Digg who spend more time surfing the web than they do actually writing content for it.

  16. Do anchor tags no longer need a title attribute to pass w3c validation (if coding to the highest standard – strict in html 4) in html 5?

  17. @David Walsh: A good rant. So many idiots on Digg thinking they know everything, we all need a rant now and then. Hopefully these guys will be shamed, more likely that they will just flame you on their blog, which nobody will ever read.

    @Alex Crooks: Anchor tags do not NEED a title tag, the title tag should only be used to provide extra information about a link if the content of the tag is non-descript. People that automatically copy the content into the title attribute are fools and are making the experience considerably worse for screen-readers while adding no benefit to anyone, not even SEO.

  18. Jillian Nichols

    Hahahaha, this is awesome! I don’t know where these people get off criticizing one of the most notable and helpful web designers out there.

  19. Fred Head

    Why are you wasting time responding?

    No matter how wrong (or right) some of the comments are, take it on the chin (or at least respond politely).

    The guy who retaliates in the fight in a football game is always the one who gets flagged.

  20. This made my morning. Well done, sir.

  21. ROFL! Brilliant, David.

    I spewed coffee on my keyboard when I read the “guild” comment. Didn’t know there were so many trolls in our profession.

    Rock on, Chris!

  22. What you aren’t realizing David is that webmasters don’t have clients. That’s why they can’t develop for all browsers … nor do they have visitors. So it’s a logical necessity that they put themselves first.

  23. People can post comments on Digg??!! :)

  24. @Louis: Not “people”, only “idiots”! :)

  25. @david walsh About your comment regarding no title tags for links being for SEO, what about all your users who visit your sites with screen readers. They need title tags for links, and alt tags for images in order to use your sites effectively. Would you not therefore consider these of great importance?

  26. Two comments first, if the Digg crowd knew who Chris was, they would immediately respect him for his contributions to the web community. Second, I freaking love your breakdown of comments. More posts like this please :-)

  27. Har Har

    I don’t know which is more irritating – the ‘trolls’ which criticise business practices or ‘trolls’ here who think they are elite because they have a heart attack when they see inline CSS. Of course the attitude of the comments on Digg were amusing, but so is the attitude of this article and the comments!

  28. Ryan Florence

    … or perhaps the cowardice of anonymous commenters.

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