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 great post by Andrew Havis:
I have been using the Internet now for a long time. I first remember logging onto the web for the first time in school around 1996-1997, so I have been online now for over fourteen years.
Anyone who used the Internet in the mid-nineties will know that the web was a vastly different place back then to what it is now. Facebook didn’t exist. Twitter didn’t exist. In fact, not even Google, MySpace or Friends Reunited existed. People searched the web using Yahoo!, AltaVista or Lycos, and social networking was limited to e-mail, chat rooms, Usenet or ICQ.
So what’s happened to some of the popular Web 1.0 destinations?
We weren’t under physical lockdown like Jony Ive’s design group was then, or like the iPhone team would be years later. But unless you knew who to look for, you were never going to find us on campus. And if you did, it’s unlikely you could tell what we were doing unless you caught one of us actually running Safari — something we usually did with our office doors closed.
I wasn’t worried about talk either. Forstall certainly trusted me - that’s one of the many things that made him a great boss. And I trusted my team — otherwise I wouldn’t have hired them. None of us nor any of the internal beta testers at Apple were going to snitch. There were too damn few beta testers, but they were above reproach.
Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist then. Nobody at Apple was stupid enough to blog about work, so what was I worried about?
Server logs. They scared the hell out of me.
More: Keeping Safari a Secret.