Politeness Call For WSG Members

“Their list is the best place to subscribe if you’re interested in web standards”

Peter Firminger of the Web Standards Group (WSG) mailing list - list dad to many - has posted an email to all members. On my birthday as well. This is a topic I’ve mentioned a number of times here and I’m definately one who has been reticent to ask questions on the list for this very reason. In fact I’ve sent people to the list for advice and they’ve been shouted down by a minority of well intentioned people who have generally turned the output into an elitist commentary. I once asked a question related to an assignment for university and my only response - to a genuine question - was to be told they wouldn’t do my school work for me. Fair enough I guess but hardly an “educate the world” philosophy.

That being said their list is the best place to subscribe if you’re interested in web standards. Its only a minority of probably less than 20 individuals who are hardcore and I think its good Peter is addressing the well known reluctance of people to ask anymore. Its been an issue for some time. Politeness costs nothing and courtesy is a common tender among all countries and beliefs.

So I guess all that’s left is to blockquote Peter’s email in full and ask anyone who’s interested in finding more about all web standards to subscribe and ask freely. There aren’t silly questions just degrees of answers. The whole point is to educate and discuss issues. So I’ll leave you with Peter’s email…

The Web Standards Movement as a whole has lost it’s manners. I am not pointing this at anyone in particular, and it extends way beyond this list and way beyond good manners for that matter.

Good intentions progressed to self-righteousness and have gone past being cocky and many standardistas (first and last time I’ll use that word) now think they are web gods and that lesser beings are not worthy of an opinion.

You are not. Not even the best of us (and by that I mean far better than me) get by without mistakes, or think exactly the way everyone else does.

Example:
I hate XHTML. That doesn’t mean I hate you for using it, but my reasons are valid in my line of work. It also means you don’t attack me for the statement. You may want to argue the virtues of it and as long as you’re polite, brief and honest, it’s a valid discussion (don’t bother starting that one, I’m not biting).

The Web Standards Group is a community where people come for help. We are ALL on the same side here. I don’t know of any member that signed up to this list to sell the other side of the story. Many “newbies” lurk here for fear of humiliation (and are often apologetic when they ask their first question) and frankly, I don’t blame them.

If you have anything nasty or even slightly rude to say, say it in the mirror, not on the WSG list. No more warnings.

Feel free to have spirited discussions, but stay on topic, don’t repeat yourself to try and win an argument and, most importantly, respect everyone on the list as you would expect them to respect you.

So, it’s newbie week here at the friendly WSG list. If you’ve been lurking and have some standards-related questions, now’s the time to ask. Any web gods that feel they’re too good to cope with newbie questions, you can leave the list any time you like, or sooner if you attack anyone.

Have a nice weekend.

Peter Firminger
Web God (I mean List Dad)

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