December 14, 2001

Whither (or wither) the WaSP?
Looks like the sting has gone out of WaSP. The pro-standards group has conceded that even if browser makers provide bullet-proof support for standards like HTML, CSS and the DOM the problem of a broken web is a much bigger nut to crack.

The argument used to be that the software companies provided broken browsers and hence developers couldn't build sites that work for most users. Now that we have better (but not ideal) browsers, the reality has hit that leading development tools (can you say Dreamweaver, Frontpage and Go Live) are generating horrible code. Designers and developers also don't know, don't test, and don't care. Validation? That's what you do for free parking, right?

Hopefully WaSP will be reincarnated in the future or some other group with a nasty sounding name wielding a sword of virtue will rise from the ashes and starting kicking some sense into development tool makers. I have great faith in market pressure, and I think WaSP focused a lot of the frustration that key customers of browsers were experiencing. They championed ideas for the causes of usability, accessibility and compatibility. Thanks made a difference.

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