This is a sort of welcome to my more technolgically minded blog. Since many of you do not know me, and might feel you need to if you want to read on: Arve Bersvendsen, around 30, web developer, Oslo, Norway. I also write a personal weblog in Norwegian.
There are several factors that motivated me to create this blog. For many years, I’ve been quite active in numerous newsgroups, writing, answering questions, imposing my views on both the technical and ethical aspects of web development. I’ve grown tired. Not so much with trying to help people, but with having to state the same views over and over to a steady stream of new people, and with having to read, deal with, and dispose of some recurring trolls.
When I started my personal blog, I originally intended to write articles on web development in Norwegian, but I had also created demonstrations like this one. Server logs immediately showed that it, while quite unannounced, have steadily gained me visitors from countries where very few people understand Norwegian. So, at one point I decided to stop writing technical stuff in Norwegian, and went on to create this site.
I spoke of ethics earlier on, and my ethics are simple: As a web developer, I shall not and will not willingly see either visitors or customers get screwed. The practical upshot of this is:
I believe in standards. We need them so we actually can make indvidual choices about which software we want. We need them, so we can choose the right tool for the right job. We need them, so we can avoid artificially inflated costs in recreating something that could have been done correctly in the first place.
I believe in usability and accessibility. Especially for disabled people, but not only. Any visit to any site should be as short as possible. No, that doesn’t mean the site should have minimal content, with minimal interest. The information should be easy to reach, quick to read, and adaptable to the users need.
I believe in recommending the right tool for the right job. Rather than recommending the fanciest tool around, the tool that offers the best compromise between cost and day-to-day efforts, is the one that needs recommendation.
I believe in turning down jobs or get hired help when I cannot handle it myself. The omnipotent web developer does not exist, he never has and he never will.
There is also a bunch of stuff I don’t believe in. I’m just going to mention two of them for now.
I do not believe that free (as in both speech and beer) software (or OSS if that is your name for it) is the solution. Not because free software isn’t great – but because it is not a solution for everyone all of the time.
I do not believe that closed-source, proprietary software is the solution. For exactly the same reason I do not believe in omnipotency of Free Software. This is about choosing the right business model for the indvidual business. Neither are wrong, they are just more or less appropriate for different cases.
If you’ve read this far, I both suspect and hope you will continue reading this journal. I sincerely hope it will be of use to you in the future, that it may be a source of food for thought, a source of inspiration. I also hope that you will use the comments system actively, that you will keep your mind open for discussion. Welcome!