Comic Update: Manners After the XHTMLacolypseThursday, July 9th, 2009
Last week, it was declared that the XHTML2 WG was being discontinued, so the resources could be focused on HTML5. I briefly mentioned it here, and Jeffrey Zeldman spoke about it here. It’s a simple enough matter, and drew a lot of mixed responses. That in itself isn’t surprising.
What was surprising was how all of a sudden it seemed that it became open hunting season on insulting developers that used XHTML 1 (which is not XHTML2) and gloating over the corpse of the standard before it had even cooled. As two examples, Henri Sivonen produced an unofficial “Q&A” complete with snark, and Mark Pilgrim invented a taunting childish rhyme that reveled in the folly of those he disagreed with. Pilgrim in his case even named Jeffrey Zeldman directly in his taunts (and got even worse in behavior in his comments on that post.)
This sort of behavior annoys me on two levels. One, it’s not a great way to treat your professional peers, as it crosses the line from attacking a technology to attacking people. Two, it confuses (in some cases intentionally) XHTML and XHTML2, making it seem as if the death of the latter somehow invalidated the former, which isn’t the case at all.
Fortunately, good men didn’t let that sort of behavior slide. John Allsopp rightfully called some of the taunters out for their snark (as recorded in this tweet here), and that became the basis for today’s comic, which imagines a post-apocalyptic world where this sort of poor manners must be corrected by brave warriors in the wasteland.
Also helping correct misconceptions and bad behavior were good posts by Jeremy Keith and Jeffrey Zeldman. If you’re confused about the whole XHTML issue this week, take a look at what they’ve written. It’s instructive.
Was XHTML2′s death a good thing? I don’t know. I do know that we can discuss the technology in a fashion that doesn’t involve insulting the people involved, though. Keep it clean, folks.
Note: I wrote this in about eight minutes at the end of my lunch. As such, it might expand later when I have the chance to be more verbose and thoughtful.