By going naked, my blog stands with thousands of others who recognize and honor the hard work of web design. I honor not just those who make our blogs and sites pretty, but those who set the those who set the standards we use on the web to make our sites pretty, usable, and accessible.
I honor the web designers who “walk the walk” and volunteer their time to ensure those standards grow with the web not against. I honor web browser developers who understand the need for standards and thus work with them, also not against them, for our web browsing pleasure, helping designers design well and avoid all the hacks and customizations on a per-browser basis.
I honor the founders of the web, the great minds who looked into the future and said, “Everyone must have access to this.” They meant everyone. Every person on any computer using any method to access the web. In their minds, they wanted to have people on different computer operating systems be able to share data. Today, this has stretched to include access for the blind and visually impaired, disabled, deaf, Mac user, Windows user, Linus user, cell phone, web TV, big screen, little screen, all the various methods the web is accessed so the data can flow both ways with ease.
I also honor those who give so much of their creativity to the WordPress Community, while setting a standard in web design around the world. Thank you to all who understand that a free WordPress Theme is a resume. A business card. A portfolio of your work. By giving, you are showing the world what you are capable of. It’s a way to give back to the WordPress Community which gives so much of its time to volunteering to support WordPress through their work on WordPress Plugins, donating and writing articles for the WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress Users, and volunteering their time in the WordPress.com Forums and WordPress Support Forums to help others.
For those who make a living off of the free WordPress blogging platform, I honor you for giving back to that which helps you pay your rent or mortgage. The WordPress Community is a fantastic free school of education for coders, programmers, designers, writers, and hackers. Thank you for volunteering your time and skills towards the improvement of WordPress and WordPress development.
Honoring – and Challenging – Web Developers to Break the Last Barrier
In honor of celebrating the web designers, I also honor those who are working behind the scenes to break the last major barrier on the web: language. This is the year, folks, that we have to start breaking the language barrier to make the web truly accessible by all.
Sure, there are translation programs online. They are improving in machine translations, but they are in the wrong place. It takes too much work to copy the URL or page content and take it to another page in order to generate the translation. Who wants to bother with that much fuss?
Putting the pressure on websites and blogs to provide machine or human translations of their content is also a time waster. It puts the onus on the web owner, consuming bandwidth, database, and server access to provide translations. They do it because they know the future and want to reach out to everyone across the language divide, but we can do better. And we can do it now.
I call out to web browser developers to start working on putting language translation – instant language translation – into the web browser. Yes, it will consume resources, weight down the program, but where there is a will, there is a way. No matter what you may think today, the language barrier must come down. I visualize Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Matt Mullenweg standing at the virtual web wall, each picking up a piece of stone, and shouting, “Browser Developers, tear down this wall!” Okay, so maybe not them, but it has to happen. Why can’t they be among the first to proclaim the wall must come down?
I want to know what Sing Hio has to say in Japan on her blog. I want to read what Paulo is doing in Brazil at his favorite dance club. I want to read about the tough day Boris had at school in St. Petersburg. I want to share the love of a good book across the languages with Angelo in Mexico City. Why can’t I? Why should I be restricted by a language not my own? Why should we make them learn our language in order to communicate?
We must break down the final barriers on the web. We’ve crossed the data barriers. We’ve embraced web standards for design. We’ve put the peer in social networking. Now it’s time to truly cross the final frontier.
Consider yourself challenged.