The results are now in.
Findings & Analysis
Interesting to Me
A few of the findings surprised me:
- Three percent of respondents never validate their sites while 70% frequently or always do.
- Ten percent of respondents say they use
<table>s for layout, while over 90% use CSS.
Based on my personal experience, I would've guessed the percentage of folks who don't validate would be much higher. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't encounter invalid web sites, and I can't tell you the number of folks I've talked to who think validation is unnecessary.
Same with using
<table>s for layout (which I already ranted about).
But I'm sure the respondent pool is reflective of a relative minority of professionals. Those folks who don't validate or rely on
<table>s probably won't take the survey. In fact, they probably didn't even know about the survey.
This seems to be a common "problem" in our field. The people who are invested in standards are the ones who seem to shout the loudest, attend and/or present at the major conferences, take these surveys, etc.
But the people who need to be convinced and educated about standards aren't. They are likely blissfully ignorant, cranking out invalid,
<table>-based sites and charging clients an arm and a leg for them.
What surprised me the most (in an entirely unpleasant way) were the findings for use of HTML elements:
- Seventeen percent use
- Fifteen percent use
Seriously? Someone please explain this to me.
One finding that made me quite happy is 33% of respondents say they use microformats in their markup. I would've guessed the number would be lower, so that is a pleasant discovery.
But along with this sorta positive data, comes the reality: 18% of respondents didn't know what microformats are. Even though this is a comparatively smaller percentage. It still concerns me.
At the same time, it reinvigorates my own commitment to spread the good word about microformats with my Getting Semantic With Microformats series (for which I'm working on a few more articles). And I'll be doing a few presentations on microformats this year. Every little bit helps (I tell myself).
As Mark Twain wrote:
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
So take some time yourself to review the results and analysis, and then draw your own conclusions.
And even though data and statistics can be easily misinterpreted and skewed, do not mistake my pragmatism for cynicism. I believe the more information we have about our industry, the more it helps us as professionals.