If you search for “truth by consensus” on Google Images the first result might be this one, which questions whether Wikipedia should be considered a reliable source of information. The answer is, it shouldn’t. Wikipedia entries are truth by consensus and – like our mainstream media news reports – often neither all true nor all of the truth.
The Wikipedia entry on Responsive Web Design is a representative example. It starts out with an acceptable definition of the term…
“Responsive web design (often abbreviated to RWD) is an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).”
…but from the next sentence on it is effectively an advertisement for the client-side “device agnostic” approach which totally – and falsely – discounts the server-side “device aware” approach with artificial conflations, half-truths and outright lies like this one:
That’s an improvement over how this sentence read before we first called them out on their misrepresentations of responsive web design a week or so ago…
…but the unknown authors’ retreat from “completely unreliable” to “not so reliable” hardly constitutes a corrected assessment when – as our rebuttal supported – “…the real truth is browser detection was NEVER ‘completely unreliable’ and accuracy rates for mobile device detection can top 99.8%.”
Cremin and Passani cover all the bases except one: If you want RWD like this, you can forget about reliance on responsive web design testing that assumes an iframe is the same thing as as iPhone because your web page source will have to pass meaningful validations like these.
Image Credit: http://zengardner.com/wp-content/uploads/truth-lies1.jpg