...and we welcome Microsoft aboard

Today the Web Standards Project and Microsoft have announced the formation of a collaborative Task Force that will provide technical help in moving Microsoft products like Visual Studio and ASP.NET closer to web standards.

Since these products often generate HTML code on the fly, and since this code until now was a hodgepodge of bad practices, outdated techniques, and even worse practices, the improved standards support of Visual Studio and ASP.NET will surely promote the use of good markup, good CSS, and maybe even modern DOM Scripting.

Added to the recent standards drive of the Internet Explorer team, this announcement clearly shows that Microsoft is serious in its desire to adhere to the W3C standards, even though many technical issues remain to be solved.

I, for one, welcome Microsoft aboard, and hope that these new developments will mean the end of yet another batch of browser incompatibilities.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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1 Posted by Tino Zijdel on 5 July 2005 | Permalink

Well; they just recently posted this on their blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/06/23/431980.aspx so somehow I remain a bit skeptical...

2 Posted by Small Paul on 5 July 2005 | Permalink

Tino: Oh, come on. Microsoft have actually started working with the Web Standards Project to make their development tools create good code, and you're complaining because they're not supporting rounded corners in IE7? Let's try and remember how unimaginable a collaboration like this would have seemed two or three years ago.

Given that the alternative is sticking with ASP.NET as it is now (and as a client-side web developer who's worked with it for the past two years, I can confirm it's *horrible*), this news is nothing less than fantastic.

3 Posted by Tino Zijdel on 5 July 2005 | Permalink

Small Paul: it isn't so much the fact that IE doesn't support rounded corners, but more the kind of 'solution' they propose there. Let's just hope Mr. Mielke is not involved in this ;)

You shouldn't take my remark too seriously either, I was partly being cynical. Offcourse this is good news, but anyhow I always have an attitude of 'wait and see'. Microsoft has a history of being 'excited' about almost every little thing and showing 'commitment', but the last four years or so they don't have much to show for. It's just the same reservations I have about IE7: I just don't think they will and can commit themselves to true webstandards on such short notice. And if they do; well, than that would just be a nice surprise :)

Sure, any improvement is welcome, but in my opinion it is mostly 'too little, too late'.

4 Posted by Fuzztrek on 5 July 2005 | Permalink

I think this is good news, but at the same time I agree with the "wait and see" comments. What are they going to do - upgrade all of their web products to produce standards-compliant code first, and then fix their browser? Seems a bit backwards to me but at least *something* is happening.