I must say he’s 100% right, and I applaud him for taking a stand.
I’m a web developer for several years in one form or another. I’ve had a web presence for several years now. I started out just using Netscape Communicator and Claris Homepage for web site development. Not knowing ANY HTML. Slowly I learned.
Over the past 2 years now, I’ve become almost obsessed with writing “the perfect code”. A website that looks good in all browsers, is small, and works perfectly every time.
What I’ve found is that you can save tons of time by just using valid code. Since I’ve been an addict about validating my pages, I haven’t had rendering issues. I used to have many bugs that would drive me crazy. Fix one thing, and it breaks in another browser. It was a mess. Since I went with good valid HTML (I still prefer HTML 4.01/Trans with sparing use of CSS, since it breaks a little nicer IMHO in older browsers).
And being a Mac lover and Mozilla addict, means I’m also well aware of how webmasters ignore standards, as long as bad code breaks in a desired way in IE. It’s been driving me crazy for years.
I’m going to keep generating valid websites. I have no intent on going back to my ways of the past. Some pages will be invalid for some time until their backend is updated appropriately. But all new systems/pages written will generate valid HTML. And that’s my plan from here on out. Why? Because it’s faster than patching for eternity, it works, and it’s the RIGHT way of doing things. It’s cheaper really. Cleaner code is less bandwidth and more efficient business wise. Read here for more on that. Good companies want valid code as well.
I really hope some other webmasters beside myself start listening to Mr. Hyatt. He’s a wise authority on web development giving his experience in Mozilla and Safari. If there’s a webmaster out there that doesn’t monitor his blog(s), I encourage them to start doing so, and read up in his archive on his past posts (you can skip the pop culture ones if you want… but he’s got good taste in games, and especially TV i.e. HBO)
Perhaps he’s just started a revolution that will change the web? Perhaps he’s only enlightened a handful of webmasters. Either way… Thank you.