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Tuesday 5 July 2005

WaSP to Collaborate with Microsoft to Promote Web Standards

The Web Standards Project (WaSP) is collaborating with Microsoft to promote Web standards and help developers build standards conformant Web applications.

Today we formally announce the WaSP / Microsoft Corporation Task Force. WaSP’s goal is to provide technical guidance and advice as the company increases Web standards support in its products including Microsoft Visual Studio and ASP.NET.

“Standards are of increasing importance as Web developers strive to make their sites work across all browsers and accessible by the broadest set of customers,”
– Brian Goldfarb, product manager for Web Platform and Tools at Microsoft.

WaSP and Microsoft developers will work together to better understand and execute on Web standards as defined by standards bodies such as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Additional Information

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 01:30 | Comments (51)

Comments (51)

  1. May I ask if the IE team was considered as part of the task force, or if it will work hand in hand with the WaSP/Microsoft Corp Task Force?

    Because that would more than likely brighten the future of many.

  2. Wow – it seems that WaSP increases its tasks so rapidly! What’s next? 😉

  3. Are we talking about standards, or Microsoft’s idea of “standards”? If we’re talking about Microsoft re-inforcing and promoting existing and community-developed standards, great! If not, welcome to 1998 boys and girls, how would you like your web experience — with or without MS-sauce?

  4. Masklinn: Of course you ask the biggest question of all.

    Yes, we are talking with IE developers.

    No, I can’t make any predictions regarding IE’s future. Microsoft will have to comment on that.

    However, I will say that all the developers we’re talking with both inside the TF and as an extension of the TF are very, very interested, open to our suggestions and commentary, and it is overall in my estimation a really cool experience to be working with Microsoft as opposed to against them.

    In a perfect world, I’d have the magic bullet answer for you, but I don’t have that. We’re all doing the best we can with what we have. It’s not like improving standards support in .NET and Visual Studio is “bubkus” (Yiddish for “nothing”) 😉

    Kaz: Yeah, WaSPs have been quite busy! It’s a very exciting time. And yes, we do have something upcoming that’s rather mind-blowing in and of itself, too. Look for an announcement on July 15th 🙂

    Tony: W3C and open document standards specifically. We’re not involved in what Microsoft does with proprietary technologies, just how they implement open standards. Good clarification.

    Okay everyone, have at it – and as much as I know you want to ask the IE question, I have to tell you the answer is going to be exactly what I’ve said in this response.

  5. Cool,
    Good work all of you :-), any hints as to what is on the 15th 😉

  6. Woo! This is *fantastic*.

    Congratulations to everyone at WASP, this is exactly what you guys are great at: talking to companies, making things happen.

    Also, I think the fact that Microsoft has got to the stage where it wants your input is a huge vindication of your work over the last seven years. From a standing start, you’ve now managed to get the biggest of the big boys dancing to your tune. Or at least swaying its hips a little bit. *Kudos*.

    I’m very much looking forward to the fruits of your labour. It sounds like ASP.NET 2.0 is going to be an absolute quantum leap from version 1. That will make a huge difference to the quality of code being churned out. Here’s to a leaner, meaner future for HTML on the web.

    And once again: *great* job. Woo!

  7. Woo, additional TF’s! The WaSP expansions are excellent so far 🙂

  8. Molly this is fantastic news… at first i could not believe it!

    Small Paul: ASP.NET 2.0 is not that much of a quantum leap as many have hoped … or at least BETA 2 is not (which is supposed to be “feature complete”). The quality of the code has improved greatly, but they’re still using inline script, script within , inline css and ignoring semantics like there was no tomorrow. Their browser detection still only recognizes IE as a capable browser. *sigh*

    Anyhow, if this TF can get the ball rolling on IE/Standards again, then it is FANTASTIC news. Personally I’d much rather have IE updated and back in the game, than any improvements in VS/.NET.

    There are lots of alternatives to ASP.NET (if one cannot accept the output) that I can actively choose … but I cannot actively choose what browser users use to visit my sites … and a lot of them prefer IE.

    /me is keeping fingers crossed for IE

  9. Very very good news!
    I’m really eager to see where this will lead!

  10. >> Are we talking about standards, or Microsoft’s idea of “standards”?

    well, in a defacto way, MS has given us all things AJAX (XmlHttpRequest object) that only now is starting to become more mainstream. Then there’s behaviours (HTC) and so forth.

    from a distance, it looks like IE7 will be as “standard” as possible – good on ’em. I’m sure FF put the fear of “irrelevance” in them.

    They’ve got bigger fish to worry about with XAML (Vs MOZ’s XUL and RIA’s generally) and having a “consistant API” (web standards) to work with would be one less pain.

    (they’re probably themselves sick of all the conditional hacks in asp.net’s DHTML controls to keep their developers sane…)

    eh, my 2c
    barry.b

  11. As someone just about to move to an ASP.NET shop from working with PHP for years I can honestly say that this should hopefully keep me sane.

    Any idea what the first fruits of this labour will be?

  12. Molly, first of all, this is fantastic and welcome news. Regarding the W3C standards that the Task Force is encouraging, does that also include the WAI’s ATAG and UAAG in any capacity? I know generating valid and properly structured markup is initially a more important step to take, is the idea to take this any further?

    Also, at this point, are you able to say any more about the Office XML formats?

    I’m amazed at the progress WaSP have made over the past six months. Its encouraging.

    Now that you’ve also kidnapped the cream of the crop of UK accessibility talent, things are looking extremely upbeat.

  13. this is great news for developers!

    for answers to the burning IE7 question I recommend keeping an eye on the IE7 blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/default.aspx

  14. Really, really welcome news. When I read the excerpt in FeedDemon I thought it’s a trick of some sort. 🙂
    Eagerly awaiting to see the fruits of ths collaboration, whatever they be.

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  18. I will have to keep one eye on the skies now looking out for for flying pigs 😉

    This is fantastic news – first Microsoft announce support for RSS and now this – is someone at Microsoft now listening to us?

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  22. Richard says:
    > any hints as to what is on the 15th

    Nope, and I’m going to make you wait, domineering woman that I am.

    Small Paul says:

    >Also, I think the fact that Microsoft has got to the stage where it wants your input is a huge vindication of your work over the last seven years.

    Thank you for that. Somewhere I think Zeldman just got choked up a bit. Of course, we’d be nowhere without the fantastic developers and designers (YOU!) that have brought the realities home.

    Gareth says:
    >Any idea what the first fruits of this labour will be?

    We’ve already helped with some implementation issues in Visual Studio beta, and also have been talking about accessibility, section 508 and WCAG, and how they are each different things in reality! I expect that we’ll announce progress via WaSP from time to time.

    Isofarro says:
    >Does that also include the WAI’s ATAG and UAAG in any capacity?

    See above.

    Isofarro also says:
    >Office XML formats?

    Difficult to say just yet. Like I said, it’s a starting point, and a very good one at that. Tools are critical.

    And Isofarro added:
    >Now that you’ve also kidnapped the cream of the crop of UK accessibility talent, things are looking extremely upbeat.

    Not that you’d know a thing about that 😉

    Tom: Watch out for those flying pigs. You’ll want to avoid fallout …

    It’s funny to me how many people are saying “I thought it was a joke.”

    It’s no joke.

    The thing we have to remember, I think, is that Microsoft developers are our peers, not our adversaries. Microsoft as a company has historically had its own agenda, and will always have its own agenda. But we’re talking about people who make software, and who do in fact take pride in their work and want to do the best job they can in their given environment. Our peers at Microsoft deserve a lot of credit. Possibly even combat pay 😉

    M

  23. The Scottish ATF?

    …Mc TF

    🙂

    This is great news (I appreciate this is echoing some previous comments here) – and what an ideal opportunity to bring web standards to a far greater audience and range of applications than previously achieved.
    I know you’re friends with Dean (Edwards) – I wonder what his reaction to this news would be?…(especially regarding his IE7 project).

    Microsoft are also doing a very good thing by aproaching WaSP for a collaborative venture – they are recognising the team’s strengths and trying to do something about their own poor record of web-standards friendly apps.

    Note: Malarkey’s post on StyleGala tipped me off about this news before I saw it on your site – (but I knew there’d be more gossip here!)

  24. Molly: I’ve just posted about it on my site to try and get the word out….see:

    http://www.preople.com/?r=personal&id=2576&blogid=863&blog_comment=1

    🙂

  25. Thanks Matt!

    Dean Edwards is a WaSP. AND a member of the WaSP / Microsoft Task Force.

    M 🙂

  26. Molly: Huh, I never knew he was in WaSP too (makes a lot of sense though!)

    Okay, I’m so thrilled with this news – that I’ve been telling lots of people frantically (including B. Adam Howell, John Oxton, and the BBC among others!)…I want as many people to know as possible! 🙂

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  28. Great news,
    Congratulations all I hope that works fine.

  29. By the way thanks for putting me on your list, But I don’t actually think that I’m better than you 😉

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  34. It seems crazy but hopefully the standards will be loosely based upon open standards.

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  36. Great to hear WASP is helping Microsoft!

    I hope that FrontPage coding will be addressed as well. It’s not developer level, of course, but so many individuals use FP for personal sites…so many governments *require* its use (go figure-?)…so many small businesses do their own sites with it…etc.

    A good chunk of the future web could be a lot prettier place, if FrontPage would produce standards-compliant code, without any of the extraneous cr*p it throws in without mercy.

    I *do* applaud both WASP and MS for working on this together, but think that Visual Studio and ASP.NET only represent part of the complete overhaul that MS should accomplish, not only to *actually* make the web a better place, but to *demonstrate its commitment* to W3C standards. Putting aside its own self-serving proprietary methods would be the best Public Relations investment MS could make.

  37. Ah, yes. The WTF-MS.

    Cool! Hopefully, MS will work in earnest with you. I look forward to seeing the results.

    Interested in what’s coming on the 15th. Can you tell us if it has anything to do with this announcement? Hint?

  38. Keith That… has got to be the most outstanding acronym I have ever seen.

    WTF-MS: The WaSP Task Force for Microsoft?

    Thank you. I’ll be giggling randomly for the rest of the day.

  39. So, to be fair, it should probably be noted that there are a LOT of people inside Microsoft here (I am one of them) that have been championing standards for some time now. While I think it’s great that Microsoft is finally recognizing that working with orgs like WaSP, our work on getting standards adopted inside the company goes back much further than this announcement. In many ways, this announcement is a confirmation of all the cajoling, influencing, and advocacy that have gone on inside the company for years now.

    Just wanted to make sure that the people who have worked quietly inside the company to get this to happen got some recognition for it.

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  41. You got owned! Why don’t we say MS just bought WASP? Wasp is now going to start pushing MS products? Where will impartiality and objectivity go? Can’t MS figure out the standards on their own? Aren’t they a member of W3C? Is Wasp just an MS front now? I am very suspicious of all this.

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  43. I am still very much skeptical of Microsoft’s real intentions here.

    Microsoft did not do a single thing to improve W3C web standards compliance in their MSIE 6 product since March 2001.
    Microsoft said many years ago:

    “Microsoft is committed to working with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to implement W3C-approved HTML standards, and has confirmed its pledge to work through W3C and other standards bodies on enhancements to HTML and other key Web technologies.”
    http://www.microsoft.com/standards/intro.asp

    but then they removed that file from their website many years ago.

    Just 3 weeks ago, Markus Mielke
    “Using rounded corners with IE today”
    https://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/06/23/431980.aspx
    wrote:

    “we have no plans to do native rounded corner support in IE7 (CSS3 feature)”

    What he’s proposing instead? We should learn how to position images of round corners. That’s the Microsoft way of dealing with web standards issues.

    MSDN is probably the best overwhelming proof that they never really cared about web standards. You will not find a single webpage that is strict DTD and that passed W3C markup validation. And these webpages have lots of articles about web design, coding practices, lots of documentation webpages with examples and all of them would fail a markup validation test, etc..

    In other words, Microsoft
    – does not have a CSS 2.1 compliant browser and it had all the time and resources possible to do so
    – does not have a documentation compliant with web standards, does not have resources site promoting web standards practices, sane, sound coding practices. Microsoft can not preach what Microsoft does not do for itself to begin with.
    Microsoft had years and all the resources available to do all that.

    After years of waiting, MS-Front Page still can not output valid markup code, does not have a real markup validator built-in, does not have a real CSS validator, etc… MS-Front Page still does not provide all the tools and documentation to their users to write, to edit and to create valid markup code to begin with. If Microsoft really wanted to start solving the huge mass of invalid webpages on the web, then it had to start by creating a real useful HTML editor doing just that. MS-Front Page has been the problem of web standards compliance.

    After years of waiting CSS 1 bugs and CSS2.1 bugs and support, they are still very far from convincing me that they will do all the necessary efforts needed and justified to reverse this situation.

    Gérard

  44. as long as in the process microsoft has it pounded through thier thick skulls that html is a dead standard, and has been ince january 2000, when the w3c released the xml / xhtml standard for website design.

    since microsoft’s frontpage is the worst offender at non standards compliant code ( even when html was the standard ) and thier browser is the worst at rendering standards compliant code. they are the one’s who have to wrap thier heads around the standards the most.

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  46. I’m very excited about IE7 new CSS improvements as I just finished a design theme for csszengarden.com
    You can have a look at http://www.celebrityblog.net/zengarden/zengarden-sample.htm

  47. So, to be fair, it should probably be noted that there are a LOT of people inside Microsoft here (I am one of them) that have been championing standards for some time now. While I think it’s great that Microsoft is finally recognizing that working with orgs like WaSP, our work on getting standards adopted inside the company goes back much further than this announcement. In many ways, this announcement is a confirmation of all the cajoling, influencing, and advocacy that have gone on inside the company for years now.

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