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Buzz Archives: Opinion

HTML5 logo: W3C takes a step in the right direction

With a little back-pedalling, the W3C has moved away from their blanket characterization of modern web tech as “HTML5”.

By Chris Mills | January 28th, 2011

Web standards in China

En plus des versions anglaise et chinoise, l'article est désormais également disponible en français. Merci Armony In early October I was lucky enough to spend some time in China talking to web professionals and students alike about web standards and their current status. It was an interesting couple of weeks that ...

By Henny Swan | November 24th, 2008

What the Target settlement should mean to you

It's a question many of us in accessibility have been waiting for years to be answered. Does the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to the web? Sadly, accessibility's ultimate cliffhanger once again reaches an awkward denouement, leaving us deflated, and looking at yet another boring sequel. The National Federation of the Blind ...

By Matt May | August 28th, 2008

WaSP Round Table: IE8′s Default Version Targeting Behavior

One week ago, several WaSP members took the time to have a virtual sit-down with Chris Wilson of Microsoft to talk about IE8′s proposed default behavior of having to opt-in for the browser’s new standards mode.

By Aaron Gustafson | February 24th, 2008

The good, the bad, and the ugly – iPhone edition

The iPhone has had a tremendous impact on the web, eliciting impassioned testimony from supporters and detractors alike. What does it mean for the web standards? What about the rest of the mobile web? And (how) should we design for it?

By Aaron Gustafson | August 22nd, 2007

Current browsers and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

In web accessibility, you’ll often hear emphasis being placed on the duty of web authors to create accessible content. However, this is only one part of the web accessibility equation.One that has been particularly close to me, or rather one that has provided me with a lot of opportunity to ...

By Patrick Lauke | May 20th, 2007


By Bruce Lawson and James Craig. (German translation) Microformats are a great idea. They allow the embedding of parsable, semantic data (like contact information and event details) into regular web pages. With the right plug-in, that information can be saved directly to your calendar program or address book. Like Microformats, a ...

By James Craig | April 27th, 2007

Have Your Say about the Future of HTML

This article has been written on behalf of the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) and has been cross posted on The Web Standards Project, Lachy’s Log, and 456 Berea Street. There’s been a lot of discussion about the W3C’s recent decision to continue the development of HTML ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | November 7th, 2006

All aboard the PAS 78 gravy train

With the extensive media coverage following its launch, a large number of businesses, education establishments and government agencies with a stake in the UK online market should be aware of PAS 78 - Guide to Good Practice in Commissioning Accessible Websites. Partly due to the cost associated with this document, ...

By Patrick Lauke | May 11th, 2006

Lessons that the standardization process can teach us

Over at Six Apart they’re working to turn Trackback into a standard, and WaSP emeritus Anil Dash shares some of the wisdom he’s gained from the process. Some of the points he makes have bearing on the things we’re trying to accomplish over here at WaSP…

By Ben Henick | May 1st, 2006

Committed to Sincere Progress, Not Perfection

Last week a standards friendly redesign of the ABCNews site was announced, only to be met with criticism on the homepage of the Web Standards Project site. An obvious conflict emerges from what we see in the redesigned site under discussion, and in the point of the argument made ...

By WaSP Member | October 18th, 2004

End of Free IE Not the End of Web Standards

The WaSP sympathizes with the anxiety Web developers have expressed regarding Microsoft’s recent announcements. In the space of a few short days, we learned that Internet Explorer for Macintosh and Windows would cease to exist as free, standalone products. Instead, they will be integrated into MSN for Macintosh and the ...

By WaSP Member | June 27th, 2003

New Members, New Directions

We're trying something new here at the Web Standards project. Instead of griping and complaining about poor support for standards, and giving people tools to discriminate against users of non-compliant browsers, we're going to focus on helping site builders deliver sites that work everywhere. In every browser. On any platform. ...

By WaSP Member | February 14th, 2003

It’s Spring

The garden has masses of flowers, the tank tops have come out of storage, and the other day, I was walking a friend through some excellent, beautifully-done, just-created pages over the phone, and we weren’t seeing the same things. “Oh, she said, in an embarrassed tone. It’s just stupid old ...

By WaSP Member | June 10th, 2002

Expectations and Misunderstandings

A response to Eric Ott and Al Sparber THE WaSP HAS TAKEN SOME GRIEF lately, both for wanting things that we've asked for and for wanting things that we've never asked for. All we've ever asked is for web developers and designers to have a choice: that if they want to create ...

By WaSP Member | December 10th, 2001

Of Web Standards & Patents

WaSP urges all Web developers to read the Patent Policy draft and mail comments to the W3C before the 11 October cutoff date. Our own opinion follows. WaSP to W3C: Remember your Charter and Mission The WaSP would like to commend the W3C for taking the initiative to make explicit its ...

By WaSP Member | September 10th, 2001

Reply to Mozillazine

Yesterday, David Flanagan of O'Reilly published an article claiming that the standards compliance of the upcoming Netscape Navigator 6.0 browser was seriously compromised, and requesting that the company postpone the final browser release until it more robustly supports open standards. Mozillazine's Chris Nelson responded with a rant that blasted Mr. Flanagan ...

By WaSP Member | November 7th, 2000

For the Good of the Web: An Open Letter to Netscape

TWO YEARS AGO, when your market share was still high as a kite, you pledged to fully support five key standards in the next version of your browser. Having urged you to do this very thing, we praised your decision to everyone who would listen. Developers and the trade press ...

By WaSP Member | July 20th, 2000

Here We Go Again

On 27 March, we hailed Microsoft for shipping IE 5/Mac, the first browser to Do The Right Thing with HTML and CSS. Naturally, this pleased our Microsoft friends, while convincing thousands that we were whores of Redmond. On 10 April, we flamed Microsoft for previewing IE 5.5/Windows, a browser that strikes ...

By WaSP Member | April 11th, 2000

Does The WaSP Hate Microsoft?

Does The Web Standards Project hate Microsoft? Are we out to get them? Do we punish them for small faults while praising competitors who offer inferior products? Are we secretly siding with Netscape, Sun, Apple, (insert name here)? The perception has come up from time to time, usually in the wake ...

By WaSP Member | March 20th, 1999

Where’s the beef?

Greetings gals and guys! Pretend for a moment that it's 1996 again. It was a good year for the web and things were looking better. Microsoft was making bold pronouncements. Do you remember these words? "The Web has been starved for well-designed graphical layout and presentation extensions. We've had ...

By WaSP Member | October 1st, 1998


I know, fellow travelers. You're hearing the theme from Dragnet just like I am. It's time for The WaSP to take a look at the latest out of the mouths of Microsoft and Netscape. It's actually been a good week for the Web. On the 18th the W3C released ...

By WaSP Member | August 21st, 1998

Whatever happened to CSS-1?

Greetings fellow travelers! As you may have guessed it's been pretty busy around WSP headquarters this week. If you've read the press surrounding The Web Standards Project you may have noticed a few discrepancies. I know I did. The first thing I saw was Microsoft trying to sound superior in their ...

By WaSP Member | August 14th, 1998

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)

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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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