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Buzz Archives: Web Standards (general)

Bad Form

There's an interesting article over at ZDNet about the future of forms on the web. Is the way forward Xforms? Or is Web Forms 2.0 the way forward? Or are we gonna find ourselves having to deal with both? Read the article and decide for yourself whether this is a ...

By Ian Lloyd | February 18th, 2005

There’s Nothing Mystical about Standards

Vincent Flanders writes on his Web Pages That Suck site that one of the biggest web mistakes of 2004 (actually, number three in the list) is the 'mystical belief in the power of web standards, usability, and tableless CSS'. He writes: There is nothing wrong with any of ...

By Ian Lloyd | February 17th, 2005

Celebrating Serious Bandwidth

25 million downloads is a very respectable figure by anyone's standards, and standards are what we know and love here. That's the figure for Firefox downloads since version 1.0 was released 99 days ago, and Spreadfirefox is celebrating/commemorating the milestone with some very limited edition Firefox coins. Personally, I'm over the ...

By Ian Lloyd | February 16th, 2005

MSN Gets Religion

WaSP Advisory Committee member Douglas Bowman has some nice things to say about MSN's new CSS-based look. And why not? While the XHTML Strict DOCTYPE is a bit optimistic, they come closer to achieving it than many high-profile sites. Quibbles or no, clearly someone on the MSN team 'gets it'.

By Chris Kaminski | February 1st, 2005

Once Bitten…

Sam Palmisano, the CEO of IBM, challenged his entire company to migrate to Linux for their desktop systems by the end of this year. Turns out things aren't going so well. IBM is running into this one tiny little problem. You may have heard of it, it's called Internet Explorer. See, ...

By Dave Shea | January 28th, 2005

Ground Up, Accessibility

In a Digital Web Magazine article this past week, a W3C web accessibility specialist Matt May offers up a short primer for web designers. The article, Accessibility From The Ground Up, gives a quick overview and answers key questions regarding accessible web design. Accessible design or authoring may seem ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | January 25th, 2005

Buzzwords, Web Design, and Me

There is a saying amongst engineers: “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” Making the rounds is an AP Wire story admitting that the stench hasn’t gone away: “Tech Marketing Words Getting Scrutiny.” At the very least, I can relate. As of the end of September, web site ...

By Ben Henick | January 17th, 2005

The perils of browser-specific code

Chad Dickerson, CTO of InfoWorld, calls developing IE-only web apps the 11th biggest IT mistake one can make: Many enterprises may not be able to avoid using IE. But if you make sure your key Web applications don't depend on IE-only functionality, you'll have an easier time switching to an alternative, ...

By Chris Kaminski | December 8th, 2004

What can we talk about now?

In his post What can we talk about now?, Andy Clarke notes how far we've come and ponders how much further we can go with web standards. So is this it? Have we pushed the current crop of browsers as far as they can go? Is Internet Explorer going to hold ...

By Drew McLellan | November 8th, 2004

oh that elitist smell

A great many discussions have taken place regarding the sense of elitism in the creation, implementation, and study of web standards. Here's what I've been thinking about that elitist smell that surrounds us, where it comes from, and how we can freshen the air. W3C The W3C often comes across as an ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | November 6th, 2004

What is a “web standard?”

The grand irony as we debate the importance of validation and what web standards are is this little bugaboo: Web "standards" aren't. The W3C provides specifications and recommendations which have been coined by practitioners as "standards" when they are not precisely standards, but de facto standards. ISO, for ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | October 26th, 2004

In Search of Validation…

Last week was great for chatter — not just about history or U.S. politics, though there was plenty of chatter about those things as well. Yes, folks, it’s official: validation is a must-have, as explained with a few friendly caveats in the latest Web Standards Project Opinion. In summary, it appears ...

By Ben Henick | October 18th, 2004

Penn State Group

To address a challenge, How to help others understand and use web standards, individuals at Pennsylvania State University have formed the Penn State Web Standards Users Group. Group membership includes people from various colleges within the university who meet monthly on campus to discuss topics and issues, share knowledge, and ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | October 12th, 2004

ASP.Net & Standards Part II

Wow. My post on ASP.Net and standards seems to have touched a nerve. I received a pile of feedback via email on that one, and with a currently crazed work schedule it's taken me until now to sort through all the good info provided. The upshot: yep, ASP.Net's built-in functions are ...

By Chris Kaminski | October 8th, 2004

It’s a standard world, after all

Andy Clarke just announced the standards-based redesign of Disney Store UK — and yes, folks, the new site even validates right out of the gate. The site's yet another compelling argument for how easily it is to build a high level of standards compliance and accessibility into a well-established brand. ...

By Ethan Marcotte | October 4th, 2004

Standard Slideshow System

Eric Meyer has released a second beta of his web standards-based slideshow system. I haven't mucked about with it yet, but having developed a couple of slideshows myself I'm cognizant of the issues involved. This promises to be a valuable, lightweight alternative to the omnipresent PowerPoint slideshows we all know and ...

By Chris Kaminski | October 3rd, 2004

Standards Frustration of an ASP.Net Newbie

As I mentioned in my previous post, my employer has adopted Microsoft's ASP.Net as their server-side technology of choice. For the most part, this decision has only tangential impact on me: I spend most of my time on client-side development, project management, IA and the odd incursion into the worlds ...

By Chris Kaminski | October 3rd, 2004

C|net Discovers Browser Incompatibilities

As part of a series on IE, C|net has an article on the problem of browser incompatibilities.

By Chris Kaminski | October 2nd, 2004

The Web as Platform

In my last post, I observed that the action on the web in the next few years would be its development as a platform for developing and deploying applications. In fact, the fun has already started.

By Chris Kaminski | October 1st, 2004

Chiefly Standards

Zeldman has announced another Happy Cog redesign. This time, they've worked their magic on the Kanas City Chiefs' site, and have supplied a before image and a discussion of the work. Too bad Zeldman & co. don't remake defenses, too. ;-)

By Chris Kaminski | September 21st, 2004

Keeping your Balance with ECMAScript

Paul Bellows has revisited the even-height CSS columns question discussed in a couple of previous posts. Paul's method uses ECMAScript, the DOM and some non-standard properties to work it's magic. Personally, I'm not a big fan of using ECMAScript for basic layout. Neither is Paul, truth be told. But at the ...

By Chris Kaminski | September 13th, 2004


More sites jumping on the CSS + structural markup bandwagon: Firtst, Happy Cog Studios has redesigned the Amnesty International USA site. Jeffrey Zeldman discusses the challenges of working with a large site on a tight budget and his experience with the dreaded 3rd party problem. He also has a more complete ...

By Chris Kaminski | September 11th, 2004

CSS + XHTML Template Competition

WestCiv is holding a competition on developing CSS + XHTML templates for their StyleMaster web development applicaion. StyleMaster is the brain child of John Alsopp, a former WaSP CSS Samurai. Hat-tip: Jeffrey Zeldman.

By Chris Kaminski | September 6th, 2004


While I wasn't looking, Tantek Çelik, formerly a prime mover behind erstwhile CSS standard-bearer IE 5.x for Mac, has redesigned Technorati and Election Watch 2004 using structural markup and CSS. Though Tantek too has been bitten by the dreaded 3rd party problem, his markup is still a treat. Tantek gives a peek ...

By Chris Kaminski | September 5th, 2004

Think CSS

WaSP D. L. Byron recently observed that Macworld has hopped on the CSS layout bandwagon. It's a nice design, and largely well-crafted, but is let down in the end by advertisement markup littered with FRAMEBORDER and MARGINWIDTH attributes and a mess of unencoded ampersands in various links. Looks like the ...

By Chris Kaminski | September 5th, 2004

Realty Redesign

WaSPs Meryl points to a slick new RE/MAX design, featuring valid XHTML and a (mostly) tableless, CSS-driven design. A few of the sub-pages need some work, but most of the problems seem to derive from external service providers over which RE/MAX has limited control. Such 3rd party problems are all too common, ...

By Chris Kaminski | September 5th, 2004

Standards and Web 3D

Via /.: Former VRML heavyweight Tony Parisi has posted a thought-provoking article on the XML-based, ISO-backed standard for real-time-3D-over-a-network, X3D. While X3D isn't one of our 'core' web standards, Tony has been working on standards — and on making them commercially successful — long enough to have some good insight on ...

By Chris Kaminski | August 29th, 2004

Heading in the right direction

Nearly two years ago, a new design of the home page was met with near universal contempt from the web development community. Jeffery Zeldman took them to task for their gratuitous font tags, and Mark Pilgrim heavily criticised their terrible accessibility. Fast forward to today, and the site has had ...

By Simon Willison | August 28th, 2004

Web Standards a Campaign Issue?

No, not really. But lefty überblogger Kos gets in a good rant about them anyway: Until browser developers learn to embrace web standards and allow for a uniform browsing experience, people like me will write code which will break on someone's browser, somewhere. Of course, Kos is still slogging along in <table> ...

By Chris Kaminski | August 26th, 2004

(Not So) Heavy Chevy

Chevy has received glowing praise for cutting weight and adding polish to their new C6 Corvette. Now they've taken the same approach with their redesigned web site: it's both slimmer and easier to use thanks to semantically-sound, standards-compliant markup. Oh, there's the odd typo here and there, but dig into ...

By Chris Kaminski | August 25th, 2004

SEO + Standards = ?

Well, that didn't take long. In his follow-up to his 'Silly Expert Opinions' post, Eric Meyer ponts to a test run by Peter Janes. The early results aren't necessarily encouraging. My next question: in the comments to the post, Shari Thurow insists that CSS does matter to Google. As proof, ...

By Chris Kaminski | August 19th, 2004

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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