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Buzz Archives: Web Standards (general)

SEO Redux

Reading through the comments to the article, it seems they contain the beginnings of an interesting, if occasionally heated, dialogue between the SEO and standards worlds. That's a pure good, IMNSHO. If the message of the SES crowd in the comments is indeed what they were preaching at the ...

By Chris Kaminski | August 18th, 2004

SEO tomfoolery and Eric Meyer share a laugh at the expense of the panelists and organizers of SES 2004. Some samples of the SEO silliness, as paraphrased by quotation removed due to doubts about accuracy I must say, I've worked with a couple of SEO outfits recently and neither of them spewed ...

By Chris Kaminski | August 18th, 2004

A Web Standards Checklist

Once again, Max Design provides a great resource for the standards world: A Web Standards Checklist. The list is meant to help folks understand the breadth of standards and provide a tool for developers. The list examines six distinct areas of interest as follows: Quality of code. This section hones ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | August 13th, 2004

You Said the ‘S’ Word!

Vincent Flanders apparently thinks 'standards' is a dirty word. Vincent takes WaSP member Douglas Bowman to task for not including a link to the finished work in his post about a table-free redesign of Microsoft's home page. He has a point. That is, until he flies off into bizarro world ...

By Chris Kaminski | August 13th, 2004

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

WaSP co-founder and emeritus Jeffrey Zeldman writes: “I’ve seen people debate whether ‘leading’ web designers are all using the h1 header element exactly the same way on their personal sites. The question isn’t meaningless but it feels small and slightly beside the point. Likewise, the same ancient arguments about XHTML keep ...

By Ben Henick | August 12th, 2004

Moz gets XForms

Via /.: the Mozilla Foundation is teaming up with IBM and Novell to implement XForms on the Mozilla platform.

By Chris Kaminski | August 11th, 2004

Do DOCTYPEs Matter?

A short time ago, Anne van Kesteren and our own Molly Holzschlag had a brief back-and-forth regarding DOCTYPEs. Anne makes the point that whatever DOCTYPE you use, all browsers will treat your markup as 'tag soup' (aka HTML) unless you send it with the correct MIME Type. That is, it's ...

By Chris Kaminski | August 9th, 2004

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 | July 28th, 2004

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 | July 27th, 2004

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 | July 25th, 2004

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 | July 21st, 2004

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 | July 21st, 2004

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 | July 15th, 2004

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 | July 13th, 2004

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 | July 10th, 2004

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 | July 10th, 2004

JavaScript and Accessibility

I have never done that well with JavaScript in general, much less properly integrating JavaScript into my work. I think that the WCAG 2.0 Scripting group might be just the solution I need. The group emerged today to help make the use of JavaScript more compatible with accessibility. I ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | June 30th, 2004

All in the zlog

zlog has just published an excellent interview (no longer online) with our very own Drew McLellan. Drew discusses some of the finer points of web standards, stressing some intelligent, real-world approaches to semantic markup. He also alludes that all's not as quiet on the WaSP front as it may seem, ...

By Ethan Marcotte | June 24th, 2004


Every article ever written on web standards article, in one place. Okay, so that's a bit of an exaggeration since most of the links are from the past year or two. But it's safe to say that Dan Cederholm and his readers have managed to generate the most comprehensive listing ever ...

By Dave Shea | June 23rd, 2004

Ten Questions for Molly Holzschlag

In the latest of its 'Ten Questions' series, the Web Standards Group gets down to the bone with WaSP's own Molly Holzschlag. Covering such issues as the importance of web standards, teaching CSS, and the market relevance of Movable Type, Molly discusses her current ventures, where she's headed and hints at ...

By Drew McLellan | June 21st, 2004

The IE Team Is Listening

Robert Scoble has provided a helpful list of places you can give your feedback to the Internet Explorer team. Feedback like, say, areas where IE's standards support could use a bit of TLC. This is a great opportunity to provide some polite, useful feedback to the IE team. Stuff like lists ...

By Chris Kaminski | June 17th, 2004

The Real Reason

Andrei Herasimchuk explains the real reason you should care about web standards. Buckle up, it's a long read but worth your time (especially if you're an Isaac Asimov fan.)

By Dave Shea | June 13th, 2004

W3C Log Validator updated

A new version of the W3C Log Validator was announced by Olivier Thereaux yesterday on the W3C's validator mailing list. The new version (v 0.3) has added features, bug fixes, and two new modules - CSS Validation and an experimental survey module. Do you need to convert a large web site ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | June 9th, 2004

Web Standards Survey

Read all about it! We have launched a WaSP Survey and a press release today, “Web Standards: Who Cares Anyway?” Here is your chance to let our project team members know who you are and which challenges you encounter when working with or using web standards. Don't be Shy. ...

By Holly Marie Koltz | June 8th, 2004

…and answered.

So, after the gloom'n'doom of the previous post, what is the future of web standards, anyway? Exactly what the WaSP has always said it is: to help web developers do more with less, and pass those savings on to our customers. Want proof? D. Keith Robinson has it. Keith breaks down ...

By Chris Kaminski | June 2nd, 2004

Question asked…

In a recent post to his blog, John Allsopp of WestCiv, StyleMaster and CSS Samurai fame asks who cares about web standards? The post is a terriffic then-and-now of standards, and does a nice job of summing up the state of browser support circa spring 2004, and has sparked a ...

By Chris Kaminski | June 2nd, 2004

Where’s WaSP?

This week, the Web Standards Group interviews Simon Willison, who sheds light on a question we've been challenged with in recent months: Where's WaSP? Simon helps explain: “We're still buzzing away. There's been something of a changing of the guard, with older hands moving in to retirement and fresh blood (such ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | June 1st, 2004

Bookmarks for Standards Testing

In the linkdump to end all linkdumps, Joe Clark has posted a massive list of bookmarks for standards and accessibility testing. With links covering everything from color deficiency to progressive enhancement, Joe's bookmarks are worth poring over for an hour or eight — an excellent, exhaustive resource.

By Ethan Marcotte | May 27th, 2004

No Peeing in the Pool

Last week, Google reignited the syndication wars by relaunching Blogger with support for the Atom syndication format and API in the free service, but RSS support only in the paid Blogger Pro. A few days later, the W3C fanned the flames by offering Atom a home. Some, including Microsoft über-blogger ...

By Chris Kaminski | May 16th, 2004

Webby Award Validation Woes

If content is king then valid pages must be the poor suckers down in the dungeon. The Webby winners were announced today, and while certainly some of the most content-rich, culturally valuable, and technically helpful sites are on the roster of winners, there is only one valid home page among ...

By Molly E. Holzschlag | May 12th, 2004

The New Blogger

Blogger, Google's popular weblogging service, has just been thoroughly redesigned — and after looking under the hood, it becomes quickly apparent that they've drunk deeply from the web standards kool-aid. In their own announcement of the redesign, Blogger notes that their new blog templates are all CSS based, standards compliant, ...

By Ethan Marcotte | May 10th, 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)

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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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