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The Web Standards Project (WaSP) Shuttered 64

Posted by samzenpus
from the so-long-farewell-auf-weidersehen-goodbye dept.
hypnosec writes "Aaron Gustafson and two of his fellow contributors, Bruce Lawson and Steph Troeth, have announced the closure of The Web Standards Project (WaSP). It was formed back in 1998 by Glenn Davis, George Olsen, and Jeffrey Zeldman to get browser makers support the open standards established by World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The project described itself as a 'coalition fighting for standards which ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all.' Founded at a time when Microsoft and Netscape were battling it out for browser dominance, WaSP aimed to mitigate the risks arising out of this war – an imminent fragmentation that could lead to browser incompatibilities. Noting that '..Tim Berners-Lee's vision of the web as an open, accessible, and universal community is largely the reality' Aaron noted that it was time to 'close down The Web Standards Project.'"
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The Web Standards Project (WaSP) Shuttered

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  • congrats (Score:5, Insightful)

    by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @12:48PM (#43062291)
    they won. time to move on, find a new way to improve the world.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      They won? Really? Browsers are as incompatible as ever and the standards are an even greater mess. If anything, it's web developers who have started paying more attention to interoperability, but I don't really see the situation getting any better in principle.

      • by otuz (85014)

        No, browsers nowadays are the least incompatible ever, and it becomes better year by year, when outdated IE versions drop off the considerable target lists. Getting rid of IE 6 was one of the greatest milestones of a decade, soon to be followed by IE 7 and IE 8.

        • Getting rid of IE 6 was one of the greatest milestones of a decade, soon to be followed by IE 7 and IE 8.

          I know exactly when we can expect that to happen. Windows XP is the last supported Windows OS whose IE can't be upgraded past 8. Once Windows XP dies in April 2014, we can assume Windows Vista and Windows 7 users are on at least IE 9. At that point, the biggest problem will become Android Browser in Android 2.2 (FroYo) and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). Like Windows XP, Android 2.x's built-in SSL stack doesn't support Server Name Indication, which is essential for shared web hosting using SSL.

          • by KiloByte (825081)

            Once Windows XP dies in April 2014

            Why would it "die"? I don't see Vista, 7 or 8 used anywhere but on laptops. At least around here, companies replace the buggers on new computers with XP, for several reasons (valid or not).

            They notoriously don't run updates (thank Microsoft for regression) so nothing will change when support is dropped.

            Let's hope Microsoft kills Windows completely (like it does with 8) before companies finally decide to move on :)

            • by tepples (727027)

              They notoriously don't run updates (thank Microsoft for regression) so nothing will change when support is dropped.

              A few high-profile cases of remote pwnership should do the trick.

          • I know exactly when we can expect that to happen. Windows XP is the last supported Windows OS whose IE can't be upgraded past 8. Once Windows XP dies in April 2014, we can assume Windows Vista and Windows 7 users are on at least IE 9.

            While still over a year away, my large (75k) international technical company still uses XP on all laptops and just recently started a program to upgrade to Win7 and Office 2007 which will take until 4/14 to complete. It was just last month I suggested to an engineer/pm that they upgrade their IE6 to something a little more recent.

            We've used XP since around the time I started (a little Win2000 overlap I think) years ago and we will likely not move past Win7 till after my retirement even longer in the futur

            • OS's have matured and there's not much reason to upgrade anymore for.

              But have commercial off-the-shelf proprietary desktop operating systems matured to the point where they no longer need security updates?

              we will likely not move past Win7 till after my retirement even longer in the future.

              Windows 7 support [microsoft.com] ends on January 14, 2020. Do you plan to retire before then, or does your company plan to open its network to intrusion through holes that will inevitably be disclosed on January 15 of that year?

    • For example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_desktop [wikipedia.org]
      "To foster interoperability between different implementations and publish standards, the community around the NEPOMUK project founded the OSCA Foundation (OSCAF) in 2008. Since June 2009, the developers from the nepomuk-kde communities and xesame collaborate with OSCAF to help standardizing the data formats for KDE, gnome, and freedesktop. The NEPOMUK/OSCAF standards are taken up by these projects and Nokia's Maemo Platform. ..."

      But, that is really j

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Sunday March 03, 2013 @12:55PM (#43062325)

    The Web Standards Project is the organization that put together the ACID, ACID2, and ACID3 browser-compatibility tests. There has been talk for some time of an ACID4 in development. Will that be done via some other group, or is it canned?

    • by AaronGustafson (2855777) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @02:02PM (#43062761)
      We were hoping ACID4 would come together under our leadership, but we could not get it to materialize.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        We were hoping ACID4 would come together under our leadership, but we could not get it to materialize.

        What would you say was the basic problem?

        Sorry. I literally couldn't resist.

    • by BZ (40346)

      The problem was that ACID3 ended up testing a bunch of things that ranged from irrelevant to actively bad for the web, so it actually made the web worse in a number of ways.

      This considerably soured people on an ACID4, unfortunately.... Getting it to happen will involve finding a way to pick the set of things to test that avoids the mistakes of ACID3.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, 2013 @01:03PM (#43062373)

    The Mobile Web Standards Project. Right now, the standard is WebKit. That's not good for the future of the mobile web. Mozilla and even Microsoft have important roles to play. We've seen before that homogeneity is bad for the web, and we should not let it happen to the mobile web.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by davester666 (731373)

      What exactly do MS and Mozilla bring to the web that they can't do within WebKit? They can have different Javascript engines, implement different UI, have different 'extensions' to HTML [attributes, elements, css features, etc].

      Homogeneity is NOT bad for the web. Having developers need to test their site on a bazillion different browsers is NOT a good thing. Having users switch from one browser to another, and have the same page do slightly different things or work slightly differently is NOT a good thi

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, 2013 @02:29PM (#43062885)

        Developers rarely intentionally write web pages so that they follow the standard, they just aim for that it works on web browsers. Standards-compliant website most likely looks good on all web browsers that follow the standards.

        If there's just one web browser engine, websites will start to rely on the behavior of exactly that engine. If there's any ambiguity in the displayed data, the page can break horribly if some other engine tries to display it.

        As an example from another field, Microsoft's Office has reached such monopoly that some documents rely on the rounding errors of floating point calculations. This happens quite easily if you try to squeeze something to fit exactly one page. A "page" is not defined in the data format and pagination is done dynamically, so even small differences in rounding can lead to the document layout breaking. Users won't blame this on the writer of the document, they blame it on the program they use.

        • Developers rarely intentionally write web pages so that they follow the standard, they just aim for that it works on web browsers.

          I must be an exception, then. I'm not very good at the artistic aspect of web page design. My speciality is the back-end. Since I'm not dealing with the in-and-out quirks of browsers and web pages every day, I don't have them memorized and I do my work by referencing the standards documents. Then and only then do I start tweaking for browsers.

        • by devent (1627873)

          The problem with web developer is that you want your page pixel perfect.
          That was never the indented purpose of HTML and CSS. HTML and CSS make only "wishes", how you want it to be rendered and lay out, not how it shall look like. It was a big mistake to add in CSS absolute units like px.

          HTML was always a device-neutral format. The web page should put together a markup of the structure of the page, that can be rendered differently on different output devices. Device-neutral can easily be achieved by using re

      • And when webkit goes bad or dies off we're just going to re-write everything? Writing to standards and not relying on homogeneity is the only real option for the web.
        • It's open source. It only 'dies' if everybody stops using it, or everybody takes their own private branch and stops taking/submitting fixes to the project.

          And webkit is only a part of a browser. Chrome and Safari are both based on it, but look, work and implement a different set of features. Opera's new browser based on webkit will have a third set of features, different from both Chrome and Safari. If everyone were to switch tomorrow to using it, we'd still have to test our work in each browser to make

      • And I hope the moderators come to their senses.

        I've noted this before, but rather than just parrot my previous comments

        http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3457941&cid=42884767 [slashdot.org]

      • If you aren't intelligent enough to understand why a standard is better than any particular organizations interpretation of a standard, now matter why point I make you will still not get it...
  • Great work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lisias (447563) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @01:05PM (#43062383) Homepage Journal

    I'm sure they will be remembered, but hopefully not missed! :-)

  • WaSP? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Did they ever explain what the "a" stood for?

    • Re:WaSP? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 03, 2013 @01:51PM (#43062703)

      it stood for "our acronym wouldn't be as cool without it"

    • by Maritz (1829006)
      Was going to ask this. What's going on in that acronym...? Web stAndardS Project..?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "We Are Sexual Perverts", "We All Smoke Pot," "We Are Satan's People," "We Are Satan's Preachers," take your pick. When asked directly Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P answered "We Ain't Sure, Pal."

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      They could have called it the "Web Accessibility Standards Project" very easily.
      Except people would have assumed it dealt with vision or motor-impaired navigation of the web, not accessibility in relation to standards compliance on browsers so they can all use the web page equally.

  • Shouldn't this be filed under the "mission-accomplished" dept. as there's still a lot of work to do?

    • by petsounds (593538)

      Pretty much this. Do they expect web standards to never change again? There must be something else going on...lack of interest, internal politics, funding, et al.

  • by devent (1627873) on Sunday March 03, 2013 @04:38PM (#43063515) Homepage

    Too bad the W3C is now working on DRM for the web.
    Encrypted Media Extensions [w3.org]

    It is not possible to have an open web and have DRMed content. You cannot give me the keys and the encryption scheme and to expect DRM to work.

    Microsoft, Google and Netflix want to add DRM-hooks to W3C HTML5 standard [boingboing.net]
    The BBC Petitions the W3C to Implement DRM for HTML5 [goodereader.com]

    It's just like Flash or Silverlight but with the blessing of the W3C.
    Open source browsers and open source systems like Linux cannot support the Encrypted Media Extensions, without binary blobs.

    • by Meneth (872868)
      Oh, let them have their fun. Then, when they're done, we can break the DRM in 2 days and have our fun! :)

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