One bias I see with web programmers (heck, all programmers) that is somewhat related to my post on the 9th is the belief that all users have ph4t boxen with which to view one's site (or run one's application). I see things like, "You should make sure your html code follows standards DOM and CSS when coding dhtml," but the banner-carrying standards-compliant browser, Mozilla, isn't exactly a skinny beast.

Here's my latest "enlightenment" with respect to the idea that "standards aren't standards in practice". I've recently started editing digital video a bit at home for fun (hang on; I'm getting there), and my not-quite-one-year-old-but-already-over-the-hill iBook only has 10 gigs of hard drive space (can you imagine saying "only 10 gigs" five or six years ago?). Once you've counted up your OS X partition and Classic partition and all your files and apps, you're getting close to 10 gigs even after trashing all your mp3s and Quake 3 (which actually runs okay if you turn all the video options to their lowest levels ;^D). Long story short, I don't have space to edit on the 'book when five minutes take one gig of space.

Re-enter the StarMax, my old Macintosh clone (that's right, a Mac clone. It's an old puppy). With a twenty gig hard drive with an empty 10 gig partition, I'm back in business with iMovie 2 on OS 9.

I'm also stuck with 96 megs of RAM (okay, okay, I could upgrade to 160, but all the slots are full and Max ain't getting more of my money). Mozilla is a bloated goat on this Mac, and I need RAM to run other goats, like Limewire. Since this box came out of mothballs, it's continually been online and turned on, so Outlook Express, AIM, etc are all back. And I need a browser.

Best answer is iCab. Still free while in beta, iCab on OS 9 has a skimpy 4.3 meg RAM footprint (compared to 40+ for Moz). But does any site render just right in iCab? These self-righteous folk who say dhtml must follow w3c try their stuff out on this browser that's quite popular on Mac Classic? No way.

And there's nothing wrong with that. I'm willing to trade some presentation for a smaller RAM footprint as long as web pages are viewable and functional. And that's all the web programmer needs to worry about.

So my point, since we've all forgotten it by now, is that coding to idealistic standards isn't the answer -- Mozilla isn't the only answer, and w3c supported "standards" don't always wear well in the "real" world. Sniff browsers, target specific platforms, even IE on Windows, when you need thick functionality in a thin client -- so as not to drive yourself mad -- and don't forget your 3.2.