Web Standards Project Shuts; Not Paying Attention?

The WaSP has closed its doors, with a post titled “Our Work Here Is Done“:

Tim Berners-Lee’s vision of the web as an open, accessible, and universal community is largely the reality.

If by the web you mean “the desktop web”, then things are undeniably much better than they used to be. But what about the mobile web? Opera just shifted to WebKit precisely because the vision of Tim and the Web Standards Project is not a reality. Did they notice that happening?

They later go on to almost say the opposite:

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.

When was it not, in the end, up to developers? It’s always been up to the developers, and it was the case that the WaSP helped them. Seemingly no more.

I also saw this news on the same day that Lawrence Mandel posted a call for help with the numerous problems we are having due to people coding mobile websites which assume “Android”. That needs to change, and you can help. Is Mozilla now the flag bearer for web standards? Former WaSPers, join us and help out :-)

4 thoughts on “Web Standards Project Shuts; Not Paying Attention?

  1. That’s funny that they stopped just a few days after I published a first version of my “MathML acid tests”

    https://github.com/fred-wang/AcidTestsMathML

    As I explain on a recent blog post, only Gecko provides a decent result and Webkit’s hegemony on mobile devices is especially worrying for ebooks… Do people realize that the Web was initially created by Tim Berners-Lee at the CERN for scientific exchanges? And that its main characteristics like openness and knowledge sharing are exactly inherited from science research?

  2. Well, I guess that’s it for the Acid4 test. Too bad for a while it looked like the only web standards test browser vendors took seriously. (until certain browser vendors took a stand against 100% Acid3 test compliance). Now everyone’s long forgotten about those tests and moved on to other benchmarks/tests that don’t really focus on properly implemented standards. So for the foreseeable future it’ll make far more sense for developers to code to the browser rather than standards.

  3. This post seems a bit harsh. There has been hardly any activity for a couple of years. I guess they could have made the post “we did a few things, but now we’re giving up”, but I can see why they wanted to focus on what they had achieved, given their project was basically dead anyway.

    As for WaSPers joining Mozilla, I think you have already acquired some…

  4. You miss the point. Everything isn’t perfect now, but the standards give us a good basis, and the browser vendors (one of whom I work for) support those standards very wel.

    “instead of being the work of a small activist group, it’s a job for tens of thousands of developers”

    those are the people who need to code to the standards. A small group of us hassling browser vendors and standards bodies was important; it isn’t now.