otsukare Thoughts after a day of work

Be Strict To Be Cool

Be Strict To Be Cool was my mail signature when I was working at W3C. It was a "clin d'œil" to the Robustness principle (Postel Law), which is basically when you send a message to someone (or a software), be very strict in the syntax and grammar of your message, when you receive a message be flexible enough to deal with bad messages as long as you can interpret it. It is what I called once the Hear-Write Web.

Opera's Open The Web is the initiative to help Web developers to fix their Web sites. It is also a way for customers to identify when Opera browsers specifically, but sometimes others such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and IE, do not work with a specific Web site. The ODIN team is then looking at what could be the origin of the issue. Armed with curl, View Source, and the wonderful opensource DragonFly, we explore, analyze and figure our next actions.

Sometimes, it is really a browser bug, which is being taken care of by implementers at Opera. But most of the time, the issue is related to bad server settings, bad user agent sniffing, javascript mistakes, rogue server side libraries, etc. Some cases are mind boggling. Proxy and routers introduce their own share of issues too. The most difficult task is not being to analyze the issue but to find the right contact for the Web site. A person who will understand what you are talking about. The communications and marketing departments of big companies are more responsive and very helpful. Something going wrong on their Web site is less customers.

\ Looking at this daily pile of bugs and issues, I thought today that it might be interesting to collect them little by little and explain them. The goal is not to create a wall of shame, but to help Open The Web by giving hints to Web developers on what has been done wrong in their settings, developments, etc. Often, they just do not realize because it is a case that they never experienced. Everyone is making mistakes. What I'm interested in is how collectively, we leverage our knowledge for creating a better Open Web. \