Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

Buzz Archives for December 2002

Happy New Year!

Philosopher Bertrand Russell said that "War does not determine who is right - only who is left." For web designers and developers, it's been browser wars that have made our lives very difficult. In some ways, those difficulties have sent less committed web creators running into the night. Those of us ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | Filed in WaSP Announcement

Counting Down One More Time On W3C Patent Policy

Tomorrow is the deadline for the Call For Comments phase of the latest World Wide Web Consortium Patent Policy Working Draft. Needless to say, this version - based on royalty-free licensing - is perceived as more agreeable than its predecessor, which was based on a reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing model.

By Ben Henick | Filed in Web Standards (general)

Dear Web Developers: Browser Sniffing is Stupid

...especially if you do it poorly, basing decisions on user agent strings and assumed capabilities, rather than on actual capabilities. Two alert readers sent in sad examples of this in action just this week. First, the recently redesigned HotBot, which does make a tremendous effort to support standards and provide ...

By Steven Champeon | Filed in Browsers

The Lifecycle of Accessibility

evolt has just published a fine article by Italian Web developer Antonio Volpon, discussing the lifecycle of Web accessibility, a refreshing change from the simplistic advice to just add alt attributes to your images. Volpon talks about the phases all Web sites go through, and in the tradition of Mark ...

By Steven Champeon | Filed in Accessibility

Is there a draft in here?

The third XHTML 2.0 Working Draft was published yesterday. It is largely a corrective release, fixing some problems that were introduced in the second Working Draft, which was made public last week. As the W3C points out, XHTML 2.0 is a relative of the Web's familiar publishing languages, HTML 4 and ...

By Porter Glendinning | Filed in HTML/XHTML, W3C/Standards Documentation

Opening Day

Opera Software's "Open the Web" project asks Opera users to contact the owners of sites that fail in their browser or deny them entrance. "Let them know you would like to see the site work with all browsers, including Opera." If you're developing a site and are considering refusing access ...

By Porter Glendinning | Filed in Browsers

Getting the Last Word

Web standards gets the last word in an article written by Grant Butler for Globe Technology News. While best for those readers with a general rather than deep awareness of web standards, the article, All Browser Code Not Created Equal, is noteworthy because it explains in easy terms some ...

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

WaSP Asks the W3C

In an effort to assist developers and designers in understanding detailed issues when working with web standards, WaSP and the W3C kick off a new project today. The project, "WaSP Asks the W3C" involves WaSP Steering Committee members culling questions from supporters and asking members of the W3C's Quality Assurance ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | Filed in WaSP Asks the W3C

W3C Does CSS

With its newly redesigned home page, the W3C tossed any remaining table layouts out the window and committed completely to CSS for page layout. The new home page is in general written for newer, standards-compliant user agents in XHTML 1.0 strict. Check out the W3C's updated look.

By Molly E. Holzschlag | Filed in CSS

Take Two

Mozilla 1.2.1 was released yesterday. This version addresses a bug introduced in the 1.2 release that, among other things, was causing problems for sites using document.write() calls to generate page content.

By Porter Glendinning | Filed in Browsers

Another Hall-of-Shame Entry

Check out Aventis - but only if you're running IE6 or Netscape 7. Their challenge, they say is life; on the evidence the challenges include basic standards citizenship. On a sidenote, once you do get into this site, the baroque menu structure is a good argument for some of the ...

By Tim Bray | 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.

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.
  • – 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 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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