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Buzz Archives for October 2003

Gooey Standards

Microsoft's announcement of their new XML-based GUI language, XAML (pronounced 'zammel'), at their Professional Developers Conference has focused attention on XML-based GUI languages. This is an area that has seen a tremendous amount of activity over the past few years, mostly out of the spotlight. Here's a partial overview of ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Browsers, Web Standards (general)


Looking for the ultimate learning resource for CSS, Javascript, and the DOM? What about a remarkably complete listing of current support levels amongst the major browsers? Even a news source devoted to Javascript? Peter Paul Koch delivers, and how. Launched just today is his brand new QuirksMode, over a hundred and ...

By Dave Shea | Filed in CSS, DOM

W3C Calls for Invalidation of Eolas Patent

In the latest bout of activity surrounding the controversial Eolas vs Microsoft case, Tim Berners-Lee, director of the W3C and inventor of the World Wide Web, wrote an impassioned letter to the director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Acting on behalf of the HTML Patent Advisory ...

By Ethan Marcotte | Filed in W3C/Standards Documentation


Why is it that the question you think is stupid is usually the one that everyone else is dying to ask? So which one is better: HTML or XHTML? Seems simple in the midst of this flurry of acronyms such as XAML and XUL. The W3C wants to help you ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | Filed in HTML/XHTML, WaSP Asks the W3C

CSS-licious Mezzoblue menus

Fellow WaSP Dave Shea has recently implemented a gorgeous CSS-driven dropdown menu that demonstrates the flexibility and power of standards-based design.

By Ethan Marcotte | Filed in CSS

Dumb Browser Sniffing, Microsoft Style

We have mentioned this before: browser sniffing is stupid if you only end up getting it wrong. If you need more proof, try visiting Microsoft's Office section using Firebird 0.6 and you will see this gem: "Warning: Viewing this page with an unsupported Web browser. This Web site works ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in Browsers

Standards/Markup Article Round-up

Some good stuff that I've stumbled across that readers may find of interest. Bzzzzzz. Why Tables For Layout is Stupid - Whoa- that told you! Seriously, although the title of this presentation (from the Seybold 2003 in San Francisco) may seem a bit too admonishing for some, you cannot ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in CSS, HTML/XHTML, Web Standards (general)

Longhorn and XAML

A rumor popped up near the end of last week that Microsoft would be announcing a new markup language for building web applications, comparable to Mozilla's XUL. Today Microsoft made good on the rumor with a few bits and pieces from the distant Windows Longhorn release at its Professional Developer's ...

By Dave Shea | Filed in Browsers, Web Standards (general)

Putting The (Big) Cat Among the Pidgeons

So OS X 10.3 is now available, and it looks good to me. Fellow WaSP Mark Pilgrim has already compiled a useful 11-page site detailing all the new features, but there was one thing that struck me about the new OS - and that is the new version of Safari. Normally, ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in Browsers

More WaSPs in the Nest

Today, we extend a warm welcome to two new WaSPs, Dave Shea and Ethan Marcotte. Both have done exceptional work for Web standards, and we are really honored to have them join the nest. I'm sure you'll be seeing some great insights and action from both in future weeks ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | Filed in WaSP Announcement

He who casts the first stone

WatchFire, who bought out the Bobby accessibility checker last year, is back in the news with a new service called WebXACT, which rolls their old site checking service in with their new accessibility checker. The free online version lets you check single pages for quality, accessibility, and privacy issues; ...

By Mark Pilgrim | Filed in Accessibility

ALA Back from Extended Leave

It would be remiss of us not to mention that WaSP co-founder Jeffrey Zeldman's pet project from days gone by is now back up and a-running - A List Apart lives and breathes, ladies and gentlemen. ALA 3.0 gets a great kick-start with the following articles: Facts and ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in Web Standards (general)

It’s Bad Form to be Late

But better late than never, I always say, particularly when mentioning a new W3C official recommendation a week after it's announced. My bad. XForms 1.0 became an official recommendation on 14 October and is deemed an improvement over HTML for handling electronic forms as it has the ability to separate purpose, ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in W3C/Standards Documentation

Flash for Flash’s sake

Adrian Holovaty points out that ESPN's World Series 100th Anniversary site is a classic example of unnecessary Flash usage. Flash is certainly a popular choice for rich multimedia presentations, and when done right it can produce stunning results. But in this case, ESPN has chosen create the entire ...

By Mark Pilgrim | Filed in Accessibility

The Old Dinosaur Gets a Makeover

For those who haven’t already found out, there are two great pieces of news about Mozilla. First up, there’s a new version of the excellent power user-friendly browser – now at version 1.5. Find out about the new features here. The second bit of good news is that the Mozilla site has had a re-working by Dave Shea (of CSS Zen Garden fame). …

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in Browsers

Separation of Presentation and What?

Fellow WaSP Doug Bowman wonders: Are They Really Separated? His thoughtful weblog post offers some interesting points regarding the separation of presentation and “content,” questioning whether the two are really separable at all. From a markup purist's perspective, the issue isn't about presentation and content, rather presentation and structure. ...

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

There Are Standards, and Then There Are Standards …

What are standards? Well, as far as the WaSP is concerned, ‘web standards’ are a whole bunch of interrelated standards that form the basis of most of the web pages that you visit every day: HTML/XHTML, CSS, DOM, ECMAScript and so on. These are all documented and owned by the W3C and serve as a reference point for anyone and everyone who wants to conform to the standards. But these are not the only standards …

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in Web Standards (general)

Mobile Graphics Contest, W3C

A Mobile Graphics with Standards contest is currently running at the World Wide Web Consortium. Announced September 30th, 2003 by the SVG working group at the World Wide Web Consortium(W3C) the SVG Mobile Competition is underway. There is still time to submit entries, though the deadline is November 3, 2003. The challenge: ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | Filed in Design, Mobile, Web Standards (general)

Teaching You How To Float

News from Sydney: Russ Weakley from Max Design tells about a new tutorial to add to the already excellent and much linked-to Listamatic and Listutorial - the Floatutorial. As the name suggests, it illuminates that black art of CSS web design that makes table-free web pages possible by careful use ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in CSS

Standards On The Move

Microsoft and Vodafone are getting their heads together to frame and promote mobile web service standards based around XML. The companies are looking for industry engagement for their plans for greater PC to mobile web convergence. Bill Gates was hauled out for this announcement at the ITU Telecoms World 2003 ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in Mobile

You Old Dog, You!

Well, perhaps not that old - HTMLdog was launched last week and aims to put HTML and CSS training under people's noses while not making a great song and dance about the standards compliance. "The underlying philosophy behind this website is to focus standards-compliant HTML and CSS ... but ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in CSS, HTML/XHTML, Training

We Are the Standard!

I'm often hearing people at my place of work talk about doing things to Microsoft's standards, and am very quick to point out that there is not a 'Microsoft standard' as such - there are agreed standards (or 'recommendations' to use the correct term) laid down by the W3C to ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in Web Standards (general)

AOL Captions Streaming Media

America Online has announced the availability of closed captions on the service for select multimedia content that will enhance the online experience for members who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. While this might be reason to celebrate, I've heard horror stories about AOL Broadband and we know AOL itself isn't the ...

By Meryl K. Evans | Filed in Accessibility

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 | Filed in Browsers, Legal

Cingular – Please Attend to your Own Customers

For the past few weeks, we have been subject to the occasional email from Cingular customers, complaining that they can't pay their bills online without a standard browser. At least once, we received mail from someone who had questions about his Cingular bill. Our mail to the Cingular webmaster bounced, ...

By Steven Champeon | Filed in WaSP Announcement

How Not to Get On the WaSPs Good Side

In fact, the best way to get on our bad side is to email our abuse account, which since we put it on our abuse page has received several hundred messages from spammers. People have tried to sell us DIY Web Site Solutions (complete with popup window warning us that their ...

By Steven Champeon | Filed in WaSP Announcement

Tableless Layout Generator

Firdamatic is an online tableless layout generator that allows you to create and customize layouts easily only by completing forms. Create 2-column and 3-column layouts with the online application. [Link: Webreference]

By Meryl K. Evans | Filed in CSS

A ‘Rally’ Good Read

For the past month, almost all of my free time has gone to writing presentation material for the advanced training session of AIR-Austin. So writes James Craig of Cookiecrook about his Accessibility Internet Rally 2003 Advanced Training Material. And what can I say, other than it was time very ...

By Ian Lloyd | Filed in Accessibility

CSS-P in Current Browsers

In this month's WPDFD, Joe Gillespie puts a batch of browsers through to the test to see how well they coped with Cascading Style Sheets layouts. See his results.

By Meryl K. Evans | Filed in CSS

CSS Primer

The Bare Bones, No Crap, CSS Text Control Primer, by Wendy Peck. If you've tried looking at one of the many other CSS tutorials but felt like you missed the intro, this may well be the one for you.

By Dori Smith | Filed in CSS

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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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