The Web Standards Project » April Fools Working together for standards Fri, 01 Mar 2013 18:30:30 +0000 en hourly 1 Purpose of Conficker Worm Uncovered Wed, 01 Apr 2009 05:00:40 +0000 porter Late yesterday, members of the Internet Information Security Consortium (I2SecC) working in conjunction with a cadre of white-hat hackers from around the globe were able to identify the purpose of the Conficker worm, which has been able to infect a large number of unprotected computers. Starting today, April 1, this network of compromised hosts will begin a massive denial-of-service attack on Web sites that do not pass validation as being fully standards compliant.

In order to ensure you do not fall victim to the worm’s botnet, I2SecC recommends immediate validation of the markup and supporting stylesheets for any Web site that you maintain and correcting any errors that are uncovered. As yet, it is unclear whether the worm will target sites that make use of non-standard DOM scripting; however, a message found by I2SecC researchers in an online forum believed to be from the worm’s creator or a close associate hints that it will: “your document.all are belong to us.”

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New Initiative in Hyper-Localized Social Tagging Tue, 01 Apr 2008 05:00:37 +0000 porter Following on the heels of the highly successful Street Team bookmark initiative, The Web Standards Project is pleased to announce a new opportunity for you to spread the good word of Web standards to the people around you. It occurs to us that books don’t build crappy Web sites; people who read crappy books build crappy Web sites. While marking books was a great first step, we need to move beyond that to get at the root cause of the problems in our industry.

Now, leveraging the very latest in hyper-localized social tagging, you can help alert others to the people around you who are hurting the Web. Simply download the official WaSP Warning Labels, print them out, and you will be ready to tag the people around you who have yet to see the light. Whether it’s the stuffed shirt in your project meetings who keeps putting off talking about accessibility because, “No blind people use our site,” or that developer who still refers to a dog-eared copy of Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 3.2 in 14 Days, you’ll be able to tag them all.

Download now! (100KB PDF, Avery #3261 Large Label format)

Photos of your tags in action can be posted to our Flickr group.

The Web Standards Project accepts no responsibility for what users of these labels might choose to affix them to, or the ramifications — monetary, physical, or otherwise — resulting therefrom.

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Protecting the Children Sat, 01 Apr 2006 17:43:11 +0000 porter WaSP and PANIC announce new recommendation for Child-safe Hypertext Markup Language.]]> The Web Standards Project, in conjunction with the Parents Against Needless Injuries in Computing, is proud to announce today the Child-safe Hypertext Markup Language specification. CSHTML replaces the dangerously sharp angle brackets used in HTML with rounder, more friendly parentheses.

“This new recommendation is a critical step in stemming the tide of bracket-related injuries among young people today,” according to PANIC spokesman, Yul Putcher-Iout. “CSHTML will revolutionize the teaching curricula of computer classes in elementary schools. We believe this will make it possible to safely extend these classes to children as young as nine years old.”

Also removed in CSHTML are the slashes in element closing tags. In their place asterisks, or stars, are used. “We feel,” says Putcher-Iout, “that the repetitive slashing in HTML is far too violent for our children to be exposed to. Now, instead, every time a child closes a tag properly he or she will get a self-esteem-boosting star.”

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W32ValidXHTML.A On The Loose Thu, 01 Apr 2004 19:34:55 +0000 schampeo Antivirus software maker McAfee announced today that a new virus is making the rounds. The infection is spreading with ferocity among Web servers and desktop Windows systems alike, taking advantage of an obscure bug in the SMB file-sharing protocol that allows people named “Denis” to install software remotely without the hassle of messy passwords. A comment in the binary executeable contained the string “Netsky.Q is a wanky klooj. Shout outs to all my Web Standards peeps!”

Microsoft has denied any wrongdoing, but will issue a patch later today, and a Microsoft spokesman, who could not be reached for comment, blamed their Canadian subsidiary in a handwritten note shoved beneath the table in the diner where we did not officially meet to discuss the news.

The virus appears to do nothing harmful to your computer, does not install any registry keys or delete any vital software or install software that turns your machine into a zombie spam proxy. All it appears to do is scan both local and remote filesystems for HTML files (files with the extensions .htm, .html, .shtm, .shtml, and any file containing ‘<HTML>’ in the first 128 characters) and validate them, using the excellent CSE HTML Validator. If the file fails to properly validate to XHTML 1.0 Strict, it is deleted.

Antivirus engineer Torus Donut, of Finland’s F-Secure, says “we expect to see many variants of this bugger, validating everything according to different interpretations of the various standards; we’ve already seen a variant that tries to run a prototype CSS 3.0 validator, but it spends most of its cycles trying to decide where to install it. We’ve seen a variant that doesn’t like tables used for formatting, regardless of whether the document is valid or not. And we saw one variant that simply deleted Internet Explorer 5.5 – we figure the virus author to be a bitter ex-employee of one of the big bubble Web companies, like CKS or maybe iXL.”

Others in the industry have made guesses as to who the virus author (or authors) are; some suggested that it might be someone with a great deal of cross-browser DHTML experience, their mind unhinged by the ordeal; others suspect that the author may just be a bored and very bright devotee of Zeldman with a lot of Intel x86 assembler experience.

No matter who is responsible, however, the message is clear: don’t want your files deleted? Make sure they validate. And never execute unknown email attachments or run insecure operating systems and mail client software.

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March for Web Standards Thu, 01 Apr 2004 18:03:43 +0000 emarcotte As we code, we must make the pledge that we shall always code for the future. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of web standards, "When will you be satisfied?"

We can never be satisfied as long as our pages cannot avail themselves of child selectors. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodys, burdened by excessive spacer graphics and font tags, are inaccessible on even the least deserving handheld device. We can never be satisfied as long as trunks are locked, and ties smeared with ketchup. No, no, we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until DOCTYPEs roll down like waters and validation like a mighty stream.

The time is now. Rise up, and march for web standards.

(With apologies to the great Dr. King)

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Web Standards Perk Up More Than Your Site Thu, 01 Apr 2004 09:03:05 +0000 porter Scientists from Johns Hopkins University in conjunction with the W3C today announced the results of a study showing a strong correlation between the use of non-standard, proprietary markup and erectile dysfunction in Web developers. According to the senior researcher Dr. Ella Mensa-Lechter, “Subjects who kept their structure clean noticed a marked improvement in its ability to perform in a variety of presentations.”

The study was prompted by the revelation that the claims of developers “having a hard time with Web standards” had been dramatically misunderstood.

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The tables are turned Wed, 02 Apr 2003 04:35:32 +0000 mpilgrim Dave Hyatt: Safari to drop table support.

The next release of Safari will be fully embracing Web standards by dropping all support for tables. From now on, any pages that use tables will cause Safari to play a very loud raspberry sound and refuse to display the page.

Auto width tables will actually cause Safari to crash, accompanied by a loud explosion. Safari will then search your hard drive for all files that contain the word “table” and it will replace them with Egyptian hieroglyphics.

For all sites that attempt to nest tables more than four levels deep, Safari will play a loud flushing sound, and it will remove itself from the dock and erase itself from your system in order to protect itself from your bad taste.

Happy April Fool’s Day from all of us at WASP (“We Annoy Safari Programmers”).

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