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Buzz Archives: Legal

BSI British Standards invites comments on new draft standard on accessible web content

BSI British Standards is inviting all interested parties, and in particular marketing professionals and disabled web users, to review and comment on the draft of a new standard on accessible web content. DPC BS 8878 Web accessibility – Building accessible experiences for disabled people – Code of Practice is ...

By Patrick Lauke | December 1st, 2008

What the Target settlement should mean to you

It's a question many of us in accessibility have been waiting for years to be answered. Does the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to the web? Sadly, accessibility's ultimate cliffhanger once again reaches an awkward denouement, leaving us deflated, and looking at yet another boring sequel. The National Federation of the Blind ...

By Matt May | August 28th, 2008

Opera complains to Europe over IE lock-in

Opera Chief Technology Officer and co-inventor of CSS, Håkon Wium Lie has written an open letter to the Web community explaining the reasons that Opera has filed an antitrust complaint with the European Union to force Microsoft to support open Web standards in Internet Explorer and to unbundle Internet ...

By Bruce Lawson | December 13th, 2007

Will Target get schooled?

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California certified the NFB lawsuit against Target as a class action on behalf of blind Internet users throughout the U.S. and ruled that websites like Target.com are required, under California state law, to be accessible.

By Aaron Gustafson | October 5th, 2007

A review of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, May 2007 Working Draft

In last month's Interview with Judy Brewer on WCAG 2.0, we read that:WCAG 2.0 went through several Public Working Drafts in recent years, and a Last Call Working Draft in 2006. Each Working Draft was sent out for public review — altogether to hundreds of individuals, organizations, and lists around ...

By Patrick Lauke | June 11th, 2007

Target sighted – a hit but not quite a bullseye

The accessibility case against Target.com moves on to a new stage just when Target had really hoped it would actually be dropped. Bad news for the company, perhaps, but is it all good news for web accessibility advocates as some have read it to be?

By Ian Lloyd | September 14th, 2006

All aboard the PAS 78 gravy train

With the extensive media coverage following its launch, a large number of businesses, education establishments and government agencies with a stake in the UK online market should be aware of PAS 78 - Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible Websites. Partly due to the cost associated with this document, ...

By Patrick Lauke | May 11th, 2006

NFB vs. Target in perspective

Since the National Federation of the Blind sued Target Corp. for the inaccessibility of its Web site, many people have taken sides, vilifying Target and/or lionizing NFB in turn. I think it's too early for that, if it's necessary at all. In terms of US law, this was a suit ...

By Matt May | February 14th, 2006

Staying on Target

A lot can happen in 24 hours. In the time since yesterday's post, Taking Aim at Target(.com), the Target.com web site has been changed to address at least the image based submit buttons on the Target Pharmacy sign in page. It no longer requires a mouse click to submit the forms. They ...

By Derek Featherstone | February 10th, 2006

Taking Aim at Target(.com)

With a name like Target, you would almost think they would have seen it coming, wouldn't you? The US National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has brought legal action against Target corporation (a major US-based discount retailer which operates more than 1,300 stores in 47 states) because their web site is ...

By Derek Featherstone | February 9th, 2006

Accessibility Settlements by Priceline and Ramada

The New York State Attorney General's Office [published a press release][1] this Thursday announcing that [Priceline][2] and [Ramada][3] had agreed to make their sites more accessible to visually impaired visitors: >Under the terms of the agreements, the companies will implement a range of accessibility standards authored by the Web Accessibility Initiative ...

By Porter Glendinning | August 21st, 2004

It’s Over for Eolas

In what hopefully will be the last time we ever have to hear the name, Eolas is in the news again. The US Patent Office has heeded the call of the W3C and invalidated the patent. Eolas has 60 days to appeal, but we'll keep our fingers crossed that they ...

By Dave Shea | March 5th, 2004

Microsoft’s Patent Tricks

More patent news to report. On Tuesday, Microsoft was granted a patent on the “method and apparatus for writing a Windows application in HTML.” Though Microsoft is quoted in the article as “having no plans to enforce it,” one is forced to wonder how this will extend to the recently-uncovered XAML, ...

By Dave Shea | December 10th, 2003

Validity of Eolas Patent To Be Reexamined

Apparently (and thankfully) swayed by the W3C's impassioned appeal, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has agreed to reexamine the validity of the Eolas patent: “A substantial outcry from a widespread segment of the affected industry has essentially raised a question of patentability with respect to the 906 patent ...

By Ethan Marcotte | November 12th, 2003

Click Here, You Idiot

Trust me, you will feel like an idiot for visiting any web page that forces you to click OK to continue loading elements on the page. But get used to it, because it is - or is very likely - going to happen, thanks to the recent ruling in the ...

By Ian Lloyd | October 8th, 2003

ISO Plans Could Harm Web

While everyone is trying to take in the implications of the Eolas vs Microsoft case, there are other clouds forming on the horizon that could either develop into a full-blown hurricane or dissipate quietly. Over-dramatic? Only time will tell. The cause of this storm - a tentative proposal from the ...

By Ian Lloyd | September 22nd, 2003

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

Recent Buzz

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)

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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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