– Mark E. Smith

Michael Surtees’s site has them. The lovely designer who knows so little about code it gets him into trouble has again displayed his misunderstanding of the Web by offshoring his comments to a service that just doesn’t work without JavaScript and Flash. The system either does or does not have a login identity for me, does or does not have my password, will or will not send me a password-reset E-mail, and will or will not permit login via OpenID. No matter what combination of the foregoing I use, I can’t post comments.

Then again, since I’m the only one telling Michael he’s getting by on his looks and can’t code his way out of a paper bag, maybe I’ve been banned.

In any case, Michael’s latest display of technical ignorance comes complete with the ungrammatical hed “Are renting fonts for a Web site a good idea?” (Is our children learning?) Ostensibly it’s all about how if he stops paying his Typekit bill, the Web sites he designed will revert to “default.” This sort of thing never happened with Trajan’s Column!

If one’s Typekit-licensed fonts aren’t available, the design will not revert to a “default” but to the next available specified font. If only Michael understood the CSS font stack. (If only he could write adequate CSS.)

Designers have no control over the type that is displayed on a user’s system, or even the page design. Designers only make suggestions. Neither Michael Surtees nor any other Web designer is engaged in inscribing something permanent when they create a Web site.

Why does he not know that?

Why isn’t Michael Surtees getting any better at what he does?

UPDATE (2009.11.19): What Surtees calls “harass[ment]” I call “accountability.” You’re working in public, Michael, and when your work sucks, the people who know what they’re doing are going to say so.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2009.11.18 13:20. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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