December 15, 2001


First, and very briefly, the Web Standards Project(aka WaSP), which has been winding down for the past two years is either taking a break(2), going on hiatus, throwing in the towel or, as some would have you believe, closing its doorsAlas, poor WaSP, we knew ye well.  They done good work.

Amongst the lengthier mentions of note are are meryl's reaction to the sting, “Blowing it Big Time” at What Do I Know, and Cheers at xlab.

And here's what was said at Bitácora Tremendo:

“El Web Standards Project se vá a descansar por tiempo indefinido.
“Esta asociación ha peleado por años en hacer la Web un lugar más accesible y en hacernos la vida más fácil a los desarrolladores.  Merece un enorme crédito por concientizar al público y a las empresas creadoras de software para Internet, principalmente los navegadores, con respecto a la importancia de apegarse a los estándares.
“Ahora que la mayoría de los internáutas utilizan navegadores que se apegan decentemente a los estándares, la responsabilidad cae principalmente en nosotros los desarrolladores, de crear una Web compatible no sólo con el pasado sino -más importante aún- con el futuro. Si creas sitios Web, deja ya de crear código que se convertirá en basura con el paso del tiempo, utiliza los estándares ya.  ¿Qué esperas?”

The Web Standards Project jumped from nowhere to the number one spot on the DAYPOP Top 40 yesterday, giving some indication as to the level of interest in this matter.

In regards to large scale sites using standards compliant XHTML and CSS, Zeldman has pointed out the New York Public Library's Choices in Health Information as a fine example. This is a great showcase of what can be accomplished with these technologies.

And there is a terrific example of the kind of shoddy journalism that inevitably springs forth in the wake of announcements such as the one made by the WaSP over at Net World Fusion's Copmpendium. Here's a bit of Adam Gaffin's misguided tripe:

“Now WaSP is throwing in the towel, saying it just can no longer deal with stuck-in-the-mud Web designers and people too stupid to upgrade their browsers to take full advantage of glorious cascading style sheets...”

Over at CNET there's an interview with Zeldman which makes for much better reading.  Paul Festa, who did the interview for CNET, also wrote this article back in July which marked the change in philosophy at the WaSP, whereby they began to turn their attention away from the browser manufaturers and towards the makers of authoring software and Web developers.

For those of you who wish to travel further back in time, to the days just before the WaSP was born, check out this off-topic thread in the xml-dev mailing list archives.  There you can find a discussion involving some of the founding members of the WaSP, including Tim Bray, Steve Champeon and Simon St.Laurent.  The post in this thread which I enjoyed the most was this one, from self professed “little guy” Eric Eldred.  Some of his points are still dead on.

Rock on little guys!


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