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Web standards are principles, established by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
and other standards organizations. These principles are used to create and interpret web-
based content and are designed to future-proof documents published on the Web and to
make those documents accessible to as many users as possible. The World Wide Web
Consortium (W3C) was founded in 1994 and is an international conglomerate where
member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop web
standards. W3C's mission is “To lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by
developing protocols and guidelines that ensure long-term growth for the Web”.W3C's
primary means of accomplishing its mission is by creating web standards and guidelines.

Mr. Tim Berners-Lee was the founder of W3C in 1994 after he invented the World Wide
Web in 1989 (“Internet pioneers: Tim Berners-Lee”).

Why use web standards?

The benefits of constructing websites to web standards are that the site will tend to be
(Johansson, 2006):

• Less bandwidth intense
• Future-proof
• Extensible
• Easier to maintain
• Compatible with newer browsers

Chapter 11 – Web Standards

165

E-Learning Concepts and Techniques

• Better accessible - Sites built with web standards find it easier to conform to
disability legislation.
• Better print facilities
• Increased speed – using web standards should produce cleaner code and smaller
files, which download quicker increasing the speed of the site.
• More flexibility - Since design is controlled by a small set of files, it is possible to
quickly and easily change the look of the site without completely rebuilding.

What is WaSP?

The Web Standards Project (WaSP) was founded in 1998 with the mission of fighting for
standards that reduce the cost and complexity of development while increasing the
accessibility and long-term viability of any site published on the Web. To accomplish
such tasks, WaSP works with browser companies and authoring tool makers.

11.1 References

• Internet pioneers: Tim Berners-Lee. ibilio: The Public's Library and Digital
Archive. Retrieved April 8, 2006 from http://www.ibiblio.org/pioneers/lee.html
• Johansson, Roger (Updated 2006, March 12) Developing with web standards:
Recommendations and best practices. 456 Berea Street. Retrieved April 8, 2006
from http://www.456bereastreet.com/lab/developing_with_web_standards/
• The Web Standards Project. Retrieved April 8, 2006 from
http://webstandards.org/
• Quittner, Joshua (1999, March 29) Tim Berners-Lee. Time. Retrieved April 8,
2006 from http://www.time.com/time/time100/scientist/profile/bernerslee.html
• World Wide Web Consortium. Retrieved April 8, 2006 from
http://www.w3.org/Consortium/

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