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Weblog Entry

Mike Industries

June 16, 2004

Mike Davidson is writing here. Mike who? Only the driving force behind a little site called ESPN, and their conversion to standards-based design last year.

Offering up tips and views on getting hired, storytelling, inspiring art projects and more, he’s off to a great start.

You may find plenty to disagree with about his take on validation. But then again, you may find he’s right on target. Mike is not a purist; he’s a realist. And that’s okay too.

Reader Comments

June 16, 05h

Yes, his view on validation was quite… interesting, but I must say that i do agree some of the things he points out.

June 16, 08h

It is also worth a look to jump out to his front page, at

Like the look and good to hear from another real world voice…

Nick says:
June 17, 05h

ESPN is standards-based now?
On my box at work (mozilla1.6/redhat 8.0), espn is one of the most mangled sites I’ve ever been too.
Usually the bottom of every story is cut off along with mangled headlines.
I thought it was just because it was a msn domain and it didn’t like my linux box.

Peter Zignego says:
June 17, 05h

Love the fact that you can choose (easily) what font and font-size to view body content in on his site.

June 17, 05h

Been watching Mike for a while, he does great work. It’s also nice to have all these book authors and developers of large sites giving so much back to development community.

Brian G says:
June 17, 06h

Wow, those ESPN guys are doing some fantastic stuff, and they’re so articulate! I totally agree with Mike’s validation comments.

I think it’s pretty easy to sit in your bunker and toss stones around at all of the “non-valid” sites, but there are so many circumstances behind why sites don’t validate including:

1: Not a priority to business owners (the site works, who cares, you’re going to spend HOW much money to make it validate??? Oh, it’s going to save us money? Will it save us XXX over YYY? Write up a business case for it and we’ll re-visit it in 3 months.)

2: A lot of people working on a site (your site is only as strong as it’s weakest link. Larger companies have ten or more people working on the site with various levels of competencies. Your web team might be the standards livingist group of souls ever met, but if just one of your content publishers put in an unescaped character, your whole site can be screwed).

3: History. Should we get rid of 7 years of historical content just because some of it doesn’t validate? What’s more important, history, or validation? As a rule, history doesn’t validate, and it takes time to “fix” it, provided of course that you can convince people it’s “broke” in the first place (see point #1).

Don’t get me wrong, I understand all of the reasons for validation, I love web standards and I support them whole heartedly, but the standards evangelizing community has to understand that we aren’t going to be able to flip a light switch and tranform the web overnight. Some days it’s hard enough to figure out how (and more importantly WHY) someone broke a site by omitting a div tag, or putting in an extraneous font tag, let alone figuring out why a page doesn’t validate.

June 17, 07h

I used to visit his site before but it was all flash. Looks like he just recently just changed it?

Leon says:
June 17, 07h

you are so right ESPN, not only mangled on lynx but looks different between fire fox and i.e., there is know footer in i.e. and it goes on for ever in fire fox. not to mention the archers of js code!

Nick says:
June 18, 10h

I must say, has improved recently.
Their is that infinte footer, and the headline overlap. But its not as bad as it was.

Still, with their Gamecast technology and content they have the best sports site out there.

Pascal says:
June 24, 02h

i really like mike’s site and especially his style-/theme-/size-switcher. great work over at espn as well.

i enjoyed his take on manipulating movable type with php the most and even motivated me to just go and try some things myself. and i got some nice results:

Mike D. says:
June 24, 08h

At the risk of offending the seven-nation-army of Lynx users out there, the main site just really isn’t for you. Sorry.

If you’re using Lynx or a portable device, please visit . That will be more to your liking…