Buzz Archive: March 2003

The Business Benefits of Web Standards

From DevEdge: More with less seems to be the mission impossible for web designers: Addressing more customers, a broader audience, more diversity in terms of browsers, more accessibility, users asking for more speed, while spending less to maintain or redesign a web site. Caught between a rock and a hard place, web designers face a formidable challenge. Yet they are finding an unsuspected ally in the battle: web standards.

Parlez-vous standards?

There's a new resource on the web for French-speaking developers with an interest in supporting web standards. Openweb has finally been unleashed by standards advocate Tristan Nitot, and offers a wealth of information about W3C technologies including XHTML, CSS, the DOM and web accessibility.

The site includes links to the usual W3C specifications alongside French translations, a handy style switcher, a regular news update and a range of fresh articles which have been graded according to level of expertise from beginner to expert. However, the content is not merely aimed at developers, many of whom already understand the benefits of adhering to standards - it is also aimed at convincing business-people that web standards are a "Good Thing".

As a partial French speaker, I cannot personally comment on the quality of writing, but the effort in making the traditionally US English documents available in French should be applauded. Having taken a good look at much of the site, it seems very thorough and with the addition of new articles and news updates will become a very useful French resource for web standards.

Made for all, live to all

Interested in web accessibility? It might be worth your while checking out a new site that has just gone live today entitled Made For All. The site kicks off the first issue with an interview with RNIB Campaigns Officer Julie Howell (brough to you by WaSP member Anitra Pavka) and a feature about accessible tables. The home page also doubles up as a regular news update which is also available as an XML feed, while other content is available for syndication on third party sites. The site validates as XHTML 1.0 strict and meets Bobby AAA compliance. And, hey, it still manages to look nice.

R.I.P. glasshaus, Peer

For all those who enjoyed books from glasshaus, Wrox, and Friends of Ed, it's time to pay respects and wave goodbye. Parent company, Peer Information, has gone completely belly-up. So, staff members are now out of jobs, authors are out of future creative opportunities (not to mention royalties), and we are all out of a great, standards-aware publisher.

All three imprints were unique, collaborative, sometimes refreshingly rebellious, and often visionary. Bruce Lawson, erstwhile brand manager for glasshaus, especially deserves a tremendous round of applause. Lawson and glasshaus published books with a focus on Web standards, usability, accessibility and tools during very difficult economic times when such information has proven both desirable and necessary for dedicated Web designers and developers everywhere.

Many current and past WaSP members worked as authors and contributing editors for various Peer imprints, mostly glasshaus. While we were aware that economic problems had hit the company, this total and sudden loss cuts deep.

WaSP thanks all of our friends and associates involved with Peer Information for doing such a great job to promote the very best of the Web.

The browser formerly known as Chimera

Camino 0.7 has finally been released.

Camino (formerly known as Chimera) is an open source browser for Mac OS X based on the standards-compliant Gecko rendering engine (the same engine used by Mozilla, Netscape 7, Phoenix, and Galeon).

This is the first major release of Camino since Apple released the first beta of their own browser, Safari, back in January. Although Apple is rapidly improving Safari, it still has a way to go to match the standards compliance of other Mac OS X browsers, including the open source Camino and Microsoft's Internet Explorer for Mac. There was some speculation that the Camino developers would abandon the project when Safari came out, but this release proves the project is alive and well, and we couldn't be happier.

When browser makers compete, everyone wins... especially when they compete on standards compliance.

WebAIM 2003 Online Web Accessibility Training Event

WebAIM is sponsoring an online training event this year. The 3-week event will take place between March 31 and April 18. Registration and information is on the WebAIM Online Web Accessibility Training Event 2003 Web site.