Web Standards Project
|Key people||Jeffrey Zeldman|
The Web Standards Project (WaSP) was a group of professional web developers dedicated to disseminating and encouraging the use of the web standards recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium, along with other groups and standards bodies.
Founded in 1998, The Web Standards Project campaigned for standards that reduced the cost and complexity of development while increasing the accessibility and long-term viability of any document published on the Web. WaSP worked with browser companies, authoring tool makers, and peers to encourage them to use these standards, since they "are carefully designed to deliver the greatest benefits to the greatest number of web users".1
The Web Standards Project began as a grassroots coalition "fighting for standards in our [web] browsers" founded by George Olsen, Glenn Davis, and Jeffrey Zeldman in 1998. By 2001, the group had achieved its primary goal of persuading Microsoft, Netscape, Opera, and other browser makers to accurately and completely support HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0, CSS1, and ECMAScript. Had browser makers not been persuaded to do so, the Web would likely have fractured into pockets of incompatible content, with various websites available only to people who possessed the right browser. In addition to streamlining web development and significantly lowering its cost, support for common web standards enabled the development of the semantic web. By marking up content in semantic (X)HTML, front-end developers make a site's content more available to search engines, more accessible to people with disabilities, and more available to the world beyond the desktop (e.g. mobile).
Founding members of the project moved on in 2002 but continued to evangelize web standards to design and business audiences. In this period, the Web Standards Project became primarily an educational organization.
Project leaders were:
- George Olsen (1998–1999)
- Jeffrey Zeldman (1999–2002)
- Steven Champeon (2002–2004)
- Molly Holzschlag (2004–2006)
- Kimberly Blessing and Drew McLellan (2006–2008)
- Derek Featherstone, Aaron Gustafson, and Glenda Sims (2008–2013)
There were members that were invited to work on ad hoc initiatives, the Buzz Blog and other content areas of the site.
The group announced its own dissolution in a Buzz Blog post on March 1st, 2013. 2
The Web Standards Project hosted projects focused on bringing relevant organizations closer to standards-compliance, dubbed Task Forces.
- Adobe Task Force
- Focused on improving web standards compliance in products from Adobe Systems. Was named the Dreamweaver Task Force until 2008-03-10.3
- Education Task Force
- Worked with institutions of higher education to promote instruction of Web standards and standards-compliant public sites.
- Microsoft Task Force
- Worked with the Internet Explorer and Web platform tools team.
- Accessibility Task Force
- Worked with organizations, vendors and others to promote Web accessibility.
- International Liaison Group
- A member was "an active advocate for Web standards and best practices either in their country of origin or domicile."4
- The Street Team
- Organized community events to promote web standards.
The DOM Scripting task force became inactive before the group disbanded.5 Its purpose was to focus on interoperable client-side scripting, through explaining and promoting the DOM standards from W3C and the ECMAScript Standard, and concepts like progressive enhancement, graceful degradation and unobtrusive scripting.6 These best practice approaches have been called DOM scripting to differentiate them from earlier perceived bad uses of DHTML.
- The Acid1 test allows browsers and other rendering engines to test compliance with HTML 4 and CSS 1 specifications.
- The Acid2 test allows browsers and other rendering engines to test compliance with CSS 1 and 2 specifications.
- The Acid3 test allows browsers and other rendering engines to test compliance with CSS 2.1, DOM, and EcmaScript specifications.
- The Acid4 test, to be created at a later date, will allow browsers and other rendering engines to test compliance with SVG, CSS 3, and mixed namespaces.7 In the wake of the WaSP's closure, the status of this test is unknown.
- "WaSP: Fighting for Standards (WaSP mission statement)". Web Standards Project. 2006. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
- "Our Work Here is Done". Web Standards Project. 2013. Retrieved 2013-03-01.
- Announcing the Adobe Task Force - The Web Standards Project
- ILG Members - The Web Standards Project
- DOM Scripting: A Web Standard - The Web Standards Project
- Manifesto - The Web Standards Project
- http://www.hixie.ch/tests/evil/acid/004/ Ian Hickson on Acid4
- Official website
- The Web Standards Project Education Task Force
- Archive: The Web Standards Project's baseline standards proposal
- Archive: The Web Standards Project's historical "goodbye" page
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