Web Standards Project Announces the DOM Scripting Task Force
Released: 18 July 2005
In an effort to boost the quality of scripting on the world wide web, the Web Standards Project (WaSP) today announced the formation of the WaSP DOM Scripting Task Force.
Recent web applications such as Flickr and Google’s Gmail have renewed interest in modern scripting techniques like AJAX and DOM scripting. Web developers recognize that the responsible use of these techniques can make websites far more usable, and that they are required for creating full-fledged web applications.
However, the deployment of DOM scripting is currently held back by outdated documentation and inaccessible, browser-specific, buggy example scripts. Web developers fear that implementing such scripts will alienate disabled visitors or users of alternative browsers and operating systems. This fear has hindered the adoption of DOM Scripting as an equal partner to XHTML, CSS and other standard compliant, accessible web development techniques.
“The skillset of a front end programmer is a three-legged stool: structure (XHTML) is the first leg, presentation (CSS) the second, and behavior (DOM Scripting) the third,” said Peter-Paul Koch, a prominent scripting expert and one of the founders of the task force. “These three legs should be equal, but at the moment the behavior leg is the shortest, least-valued and least-understood of the three, even though the DOM has been a W3C specification for seven years and enjoys relatively solid browser support.”
“It is time to add unobtrusive, accessible DOM Scripting to the bag of tools each standards-aware web developer must carry,” said task force co-founder Jeremy Keith.
Founded in 1998, The Web Standards Project (WaSP) fights for standards that reduce the cost and complexity of development while increasing the accessibility and long-term viability of any site published on the Web. We work with browser companies, authoring tool makers, and our peers to deliver the true power of standards to this medium.
Appendix: definition list
The WaSP DOM Scripting Task Force uses the following definitions:
- A scripting technique for silently loading new data from the server. Although AJAX scripts commonly use the soon to be standardized XMLHttpRequest object, they could also use a hidden iframe or frame.
An AJAX script is useless by itself. It also requires a DOM Scripting component to embed the received data in the document.
- An outdated scripting technique that is mainly characterized by the changes it makes to the
styleproperties of certain elements, and by the use of the browser-specific DOMs
- DOM Scripting
- A scripting technique to access and/or change the structure of a document by means of the W3C DOM. DOM Scripting covers virtually all scripting in web browsers, from simple form validation to complicated restructuring of the page after AJAX data have been received.
- The broadest and most general term, which encompasses all subsets mentioned on this page.
- Unobtrusive scripting
- A scripting technique that separates behaviour and structure and makes sure the user agent is capable of supporting the script before it is applied.
The Web Standards Project is a grassroots coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all.