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Yarmulkes for Geeks

Yesterday Douglas Vos, founder of Facebook’s Designing With Web Standards Group, rallied his troops, urging supporters of better Web standards to show their unity by donning blue beanies for a day.

His post:

Monday, November 26, 2007 is the day thousands of Standardistas (people who support web standards) will wear a Blue Beanie to show their support for accessible, semantic web content.… Don a Blue Beanie and snap a photo. Then on November 26, switch your profile picture in Facebook and post your photo to the Blue Beanie Day group at Flickr.

While his word was “semantic” not “semitic,” Standardistas share something with religious Jews — beyond the distinctive headgear.

Like Jews, they have a moral vision, and they can be sticklers when it comes to following rules. Adhering to the strictures of the Web Standards movement can entail many extra hours of behind-the-scenes work — much of which will never be noticed by the average user — to make a site more usable for those with visual disabilities or technical limitations (sometimes related to income levels, as the less well off sometimes don’t have the latest software). Indeed, Web Standards has been likened to a religion by some designers and developers, with accessibility becoming almost a spiritual goal.

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