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Buzz Archives for June 2003

End of Free IE Not the End of Web Standards

The WaSP sympathizes with the anxiety Web developers have expressed regarding Microsoft’s recent announcements. In the space of a few short days, we learned that Internet Explorer for Macintosh and Windows would cease to exist as free, standalone products. Instead, they will be integrated into MSN for Macintosh and the ...

By WaSP Member | Filed in Opinion

Browsers Come and Go, Standards Endure

The demise of the free, standalone versions of Internet Explorer has caused a great deal of anxiety on the Web. It shouldn't have. Microsoft's announcements just underline the importance of developing to standards: browsers come and go, standards endure. As well, Microsoft has promised to release bug fixes for the free ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Browsers

Walking the talk

There are a growing number of resources available which appeal to the selfishness of the individual designer or producer in selling the advantages of Web standards, but concise case studies and finished, live sites built around standards are still something of a rarity. Simon Willison points out today a case study ...

By Ben Henick | Filed in Web Standards (general)

FrontPage to Improve Standards Support?

There are encouraging signs that Microsoft might be addressing one of the biggest problems with its FrontPage software - that being the dire quality of the markup that it generates. In a CNet news article entitled Microsoft aims higher with Web software, Melisa Samuelson, a Microsoft product manager is quoted ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in Authoring Tools

Setting the Record Straight

In a recent interview with Jeffrey Zeldman, Meet the Maker's Brian Alvey complains that his role in WaSP “always gets overlooked.” Zeldman suggests that Alvey just might be overestimating his influence, but despite that lil' snipe, goes on to set the record straight about the history of WaSP and ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | Filed in Web Standards (general)

The Web Standards Project is a grassroots coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all.

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Our Work Here is Done

By Aaron Gustafson | March 1st, 2013

Thanks to the hard work of countless WaSP members and supporters (like you), Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the web as an open, accessible, and universal community is largely the reality.

When The Web Standards Project (WaSP) formed in 1998, the web was the battleground in an ever-escalating war between two browser makers—Netscape and Microsoft—who were each taking turns “advancing” HTML to the point of collapse. You see, in an effort to one-up each other, the two browsers introduced new elements and new ways of manipulating web documents; this escalated to the point where their respective 4.0 versions were largely incompatible.

Realizing that this fragmentation would inevitably drive up the cost of building websites and ran the risk of denying users access to content and services they needed, Glenn Davis, George Olsen, and Jeffrey Zeldman co-founded WaSP and rallied an amazing group of web designers and developers to help them push back. The WaSP’s primary goal was getting browser makers to support the standards set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

In 2001, with the browser wars largely over, WaSP began to shift its focus. While some members continued to work with browser vendors on improving their standards support, others began working closely with software makers like Macromedia to improve the quality of code being authored in tools such as Dreamweaver. And others began the hard slog of educating web designers and developers about the importance of using web standards, culminating in the creation of WaSP InterAct, a web curriculum framework which is now overseen by the W3C.

Thanks to the hard work of countless WaSP members and supporters (like you), Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the web as an open, accessible, and universal community is largely the reality. While there is still work to be done, the sting of the WaSP is no longer necessary. And so it is time for us to close down The Web Standards Project.

Many (if not all) of us are continuing to work in the world of web standards, but our work is now largely outside the umbrella of WaSP. If you are interested in continuing to work on web standards-related projects along with us, we humbly suggest you follow these projects:

  • A List Apart – The magazine “for people who make websites” is run by WaSP founder Jeffrey Zeldman and is a consistent source of forward-thinking articles and tutorials.
  • HTML5 Doctor – A solid resource and discussion forum on all things HTML5, brought to you by Bruce Lawson and his team.
  • W3C Community Groups – If you have a passion for a specific web technology, you can help make it better by participating in one (or more) community groups. In particular, you might be interested in one of these: Core Mobile Web Platform, Responsive Images, Web Education, and Web Media Text Tracks.
  • WebPlatform.org – A fantastic web standards resource, providing up-to-date documentation, Q&As, tutorials & more. Chris Mills, Doug Schepers, and a number of other standards advocates are involved in this project.
  • Web Standards Sherpa – An educational resource founded by WaSP which continues to operate under the leadership of Chris Casciano, Virginia DeBolt, Aaron Gustafson, and Emily Lewis.
  • Web Standards + Small Business – An outreach project started by WaSP that educates small businesses about why they should care about web standards. This project is overseen by Aaron Gustafson.

The job’s not over, but instead of being the work of a small activist group, it’s a job for tens of thousands of developers who care about ensuring that the web remains a free, open, interoperable, and accessible competitor to native apps and closed eco-systems. It’s your job now, and we look forward to working with you, and wish you much success.

Nota bene: In the near future, we will be making a permanent, static archive of webstandards.org and some of our other resources like WaSP Interact to preserve them as a resource and to provide a record of our 15-year mission to improve the web.

Bruce Lawson and Steph Troeth contributed to this post.

Filed in WaSP Announcement | Comments (89)

More Buzz articles

Title Author
Call for action on Vendor Prefixes Rachel Andrew
An End to Aging IE Installs Aaron Gustafson
Beyond the Blue Beanie? Stephanie (Sullivan) Rewis
The Sherpas are Here Aaron Gustafson

All of the entries posted in WaSP Buzz express the opinions of their individual authors. They do not necessarily reflect the plans or positions of the Web Standards Project as a group.

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