WaSP Clarifies Role
WaSP, in its Expectations and Misunderstandings response dated August 11th, provides clarification of several positions that have been sorely misunderstood, especially regarding WYSIWYG editors, such as Macromedia Dreamweaver and Adobe GoLive.
Why do standards even matter? WaSP’s site explains it best in their faq, What are Web standards and why should I use them? I also think of my analogy about light bulbs suggested here before. Light bulb and lamp companies have agreed on standard sizes for their light bulb sockets and electrical currents. This doesn’t prevent the companies from creating a million varieties of light bulbs or lamps at all. Just look around your house or office. The standards provide guidelines for those creating the light bulbs and lamps, and also makes it easy for consumers. We’re asking for guidelines, too, so that we can create sites that work on the wide variety of browsers and platforms.
WaSP is not trying to have a war here. They’re trying to have meaningful, helpful communications to accomplish very positive benefits for everyone - browser users and all our clients and visitors, companies creating site creation tools and browsers, designers and developers, and the Internet experience. I have personally been astonished by the misinformation and thus lack of understanding even by web designers; therefore, I try to mention WaSP and its efforts often and suggest visiting their site and reading everything there first hand.
I’m also openly enthusiastic and pleased about WaSP’s accomplishments to date with browser companies and their efforts now with the WYSIWYG editor companies. It’s a downright scary thought to consider where we’d be right now if WaSP hadn’t been bringing standards matters to the attention of browser companies and others, especially thinking of even more workarounds and hacks. (We’ve had too many of those to deal with already!)
A couple of tidbits (also from WaSP’s response letter):
As the above WaSP response mentions, the state of Texas is now requiring sites to be standards compliant, and there are now federal regulations in place requiring U.S. government sites to support accessibility guidelines.
For those using Dreamweaver there’s a new extension to help you create standards compliant code and another one to help with the new 508 federal guidelines.