Working together for standards The Web Standards Project

Buzz Archives for July 2004

Netscape Lives!

It doesn't have the cryptic appeal of 'Frodo Lives!' scrawled on a subway station wall, but it does have the advantage of being true: an updated version of Netscape — version 7.2 — is due on August 3rd. Based on version 1.7 of the Mozilla suite, Netscape 7.2 won't be ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Browsers

Defenestrating Tables

Fellow WaSP Douglas Bowman has posted a analysis of the benefits of tableless design. It's based on his presentation at Digital Design World in which he made-over Microsoft's home page using only CSS for layout. What's makes this post especially interesting is Bowman's focus on real-world business benefits: I thought it was ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in CSS, Training

The Value of Samaritanism

Inspired by the Odeon debacle, former WaSP extraordinaire Jeffrey Zeldman holds forth on the value of good samaritans who build accessible, standards-compliant versions of popular web sites for free. Zeldman also gives an excellent analysis of the accessibility and usability problems with Odeon's official site and how samaritan Matthew Somerville addressed ...

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

CSS to Go

CSS guru Eric Meyer has announced the release of the CSS Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition. My copy of the first edition is among the well-worn pile of books I lug around in my laptop bag on all extended trips. Looks like it's finally going to get a well-earned leave of duty.

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in CSS

Web GUIs: Brendan Eich and Miguel de Icaza on Avalon & XAML

Jon Udell recently discussed XAML and Avalon, Microsoft's next-generation GUI development technologies, with chief Mozilla architect Brendan Eich and Ximian, Mono and GNOME leader Miguel de Icaza . XAML and Avalon represent the future of Windows applications. The fact that XAML is a declarative markup language — an implementation of XML, ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Web Standards (general)

Adaptive accessibility

IBM has a new service called WAT that promises to help make web sites — even those that aren't standards-compliant — more accessible. WAT accomplishes this feat by manipulating web pages before they are displayed to the user. SeniorNet, one of the organizations working with IBM on the service, has ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Accessibility

Popular Magazine Not Cool with Us

Family Circle Magazine's Web site gives you the upgrade your browser message when viewing it in Mozilla v1.7, Safari, or FireFox v0.92. Opera v7.5, however, does work. Ah, after more than double my coffee in take due to a bad night's sleep, I have woken up to why it doesn't work. ...

By Meryl K. Evans | Filed in Browsers

Honey. Vinegar. Flies.

While I'm quite sure this post won't be seen by the folks who most need to read it, I feel the need to speak up. In a post discussing his new fan site, Robert Scoble notes the surfeit of vitriol directed at the IE Team in the comments to their blog. ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Browsers

Web Standards and IA: A Match Made in Heaven?

Christina Wodtke and Nate Koechley have done an admirable job describing how today's web technologies make sense for process as well as application. In their recent presentation at WebVisions 2004 (which from all reports was a fantastic conference), Wodtke and Koechley describe how standards-based development with semantic markup and CSS ...

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

XHTML 2.0 Draft Update, Debate Ensues

The W3C has released the sixth (that's right, sixth) draft of XHTML 2.0. Despite its draft status, the release re-ignited the ongoing HTML vs. XHTML debate. Here's a simple little fact: You don't have to use XHTML if you don't want to! The point isn't that XHTML is wonderful and ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | Filed in HTML/XHTML

IE SP2 Preview

Release Candidate 2 of IE for Windows XP SP, Microsoft's security-minded update of IE, is available. The update promises tighter security, which means potential knock-on effects web developers will need to account for. IE Team member Tony Schreiner has details.

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Browsers

Blogging IE

The recently-reconstituted Internet Explorer team has a new blog. Not much there at the moment but the usual fluffy first posts, a smattering of links to blogs belonging to various IE team members and mentions of the ever-popular IE Wiki. No doubt that'll change soon enough, though. Definitely worth ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Browsers


The W3C would like to take a moment to clear up some frequently asked questions. In a brand new FAQ, they address the differences between HTML and XHTML, and what they mean to content authors. If you've ever wondered why XHTML changed things that used to work in HTML, this ...

By Dave Shea | Filed in W3C/Standards Documentation

The Clue Stick

After viewing their browser-restricted redesigns, Eric Meyer swings the clue stick at Feedster and Scott Johnson's response in the case of Feedster is, in effect, "we don't have the resources to support all browsers."Yes, you do. It actually costs less to support all browsers. Well said. Apparently Mr. Johnson thought so, ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Accessibility

That’s Sir Tim to You, Peasant

Via Dan Gillmor: Congratulations to W3C founder and 'father of the web' Tim Berners-Lee. TB-L was recently knighted for "services to the global development of the internet." Well met indeed, Sir Tim.

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Web Standards (general)

Macromedia Jumps on the SVG Bandwagon (sort of)

/. is reporting that Macromedia will support SVGT in it's mobile player. An article from Macromedia explaining the decison has drawn fire from O'Reilly's Antoine Quint for what he perceives as inaccuracies in Macromedia's article. I don't know the technology well enough to know whether Quint has a point or not, ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Web Standards (general)

Happy Anniversary, Moz!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the Mozilla Foundation, Happy Anniversary to you! Mozilla has been around for a long while, though the Mozilla Foundation is one year old today. It has been a great year for the project. On their anniversary page today at Mozilla...It's already been a year ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | Filed in Browsers

Desperately Seeking Clue

About a year ago, UK web accessibility activist Matthew Somerville worked up an accessible, x-browser version of UK cinema chain Odeon's web site. His work won acclaim from such disparate sources as the Guardian and snarky IT industry newsletter NTK. Even Odeon themselves seemed pleased, as they allowed Mr. Somerville ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Web Standards (general)

All Music Lovers, Listen Up!

If you've visited recently, you may think you're experiencing a flashback to the 1990s. (Remember those "Best Viewed in Browser X" notices?) Check out their recent redesign using something other than IE 5.5 or above on Windows and you'll get this browser alert message: "Notice: You are accessing with ...

By Kimberly Blessing | Filed in Web Standards (general)

WHAT’s going on?

Over on the WHAT WG front, Ian Hickson has posted an update on the progress of WHAT WG in their efforts to develop backwards-compatible extensions to HTML. Ian’s post includes some very interesting background to the formation of WHAT and the impetus behind their efforts. Joe Gregorio has some other ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Browsers, HTML/XHTML, W3C/Standards Documentation, Web Standards (general)

What’s in a namespace?

Following up on Anders Pearson's Safari post, Dave Hyatt has decided to use namespaces for the Apple's HTML extensions. The move seems to have largely satisfied Eric Meyer and Tim Bray, though Eric would still like to see a different DOCTYPE used. Personally, I agree with their ultimate conclusion: things ...

By Chris Kaminski | Filed in Browsers, HTML/XHTML, W3C/Standards Documentation, Web Standards (general)

safari extensions

Dave Hyatt and the Safari team have been busy lately adding support for a number of extensions to html to be used by the upcoming Safari RSS reader and Dashboard. On the list is IE's contenteditable, along with a slider widget, search fields, a composite attribute on the <img/> ...

By Anders Pearson | Filed in Browsers

Tell it to the IE Team!

Ever wished you could give your opinion directly to the IE team at Microsoft?Here's your chance! They're making themselves available for an online chat Thursday, July 8, at 10:00 am Pacific. See you there?

By Dori Smith | Filed in Browsers

What’s that object?

The object element has long been a subject of mystery and frustration. How do we use it? How well is it supported? As part of the WaSP asks the W3C project, we consult the W3C about the correct way to include multimedia elements such as sound, animation and video into our ...

By Steph Troeth | Filed in WaSP Asks the W3C

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.

This site is valid XHTML 1.0 Strict, CSS | Get Buzz via RSS or Atom | Colophon | Legal