As I read Chris’ latest blog post, Confessions of a compulsive view-sourcer, I could definitely recognise myself. Does it matter what is “under the hood” on a web page? Definitely if you end up having to maintain it and most probably if you are not using exactly the same browser as the site developer used to test it.
Messy code is often an indication that the page was generated with a WYSIWYG tool like Dreamweaver or Frontpage. The problem with this paradigm is that, unlike print based design where the output from the printer is what other people see, it is important to remember that, with web design, what I see is not necessarily what you get.
I try to test my pages on a number of browsers but I can’t cover everything – for example, there are an increasing range of mobile browsing devices and I also keep in mind the variety of visual impairments that affect what people can see even using the same set up as me. Therefore, the love of clean HTML which Chris and I share is not just us being geeky but also about putting our technical skills to work so that the web can function as a network of information for everyone.
Want to add something? Please join the conversation about this posting (nb. Yahoo! account required to log into Flickr).