Friday 10 March 2006

Help Free the Web with WaSP

We’ve stung, we’ve swarmed, we’ve buzzed. Sometimes we’ve failed to make our mark, other times we’ve been far more successful. But there’s one thing that’s certain, and that is as of Monday, March 13th, the Web Standards Project enters a new time in its history, opening the hive up to better include the communities and issues we’ve done our black and gold best to represent since 1998.


WaSP Task Forces, of course.

The first activity of WaSP’s open model is the WTF: Getting the Job Done Right panel at SXSW. This panel will review the activities of the Task Forces within WaSP. We’ll have the following Task Force representatives explaining their failures, successes and hopes for the future:

  • Kimberly Blessing (WaSP): Education Task Force (EduTF)
  • Molly E. Holzschlag (WaSP): Moderator, Acid2 TF
  • Matt May (WaSP): Accessibility Task Force (ATF)
  • Drew McLellan (WaSP): WaSP Strategy
  • Dori Smith (WaSP): DOM Scripting Task Force
  • Jennifer Taylor (Adobe): Dreamweaver Task Force
  • Chris Wilson (Microsoft): WaSP / Microsoft Task Force

WaSP Annual Open Meeting 1.0

While we’ve held our annual meetings at the SXSW event for several years, this year we’re holding the meeting in public, opening up the forum for anyone present to participate. The meeting will begin with opening remarks from WaSP co-founder Jeffrey Zeldman and commentary from Steve Champeon who guided WaSP through the early part of 2000. We will then introduce the current WaSP and WaSP Task Force members in attendance, as well as formally welcoming new WaSPs.

Then, things will get especially interesting as the meeting turns to your concerns. There will be four hot topics that we’ve gathered up from public feedback about WaSP activities presented for open commentary and public input. While the discussion will be moderated for the sake of time concerns, the discussion will focus on how we can better serve the public good, and how you as the public can participate in WaSP activities in inclusive and proactive ways.

Virtual Ribbon Cutting

While many WaSPs as well as WaSP supporters and critics will be present at this year’s SXSW, many cannot attend. What’s more, we want to make sure our open model extends into the future. To that end, we shall be cutting the virtual ribbon on the new WaSP Web site, which will have a fresh design and, something that’s been long overdue in coming, open comments so that this new, inclusive vision continues forward.

If you are attending SXSW, we hope you will join us for both the informative WTF panel and the open meeting. If you cannot attend, there will be live blogging of the event and while it is as of yet uncomfirmed, we hope to podcast the meeting. And of course, stop by to see the new site and add your voice. Together, there is no doubt in my mind that we can free the Web by promoting its core vision: Interoperability, accessibility and community.

Filed under:   general
Posted by:   Molly | 04:05 | Comments (22)

Comments (22)

  1. Great. Now I can’t wait to see the new design.

  2. I will not attend SXSW, but if I can voice one of the possible targets WASP could focus its attention on it would be education: Offer assistance through various means to educate future workers on the web (coders and designers) in the ways of standards and accessibility.

    Doing it right from the start is much easier than retraining people and would benefit us all in the future.

  3. I agree with Martijn. Education is the key here I think.

    I’d love to attend other WaSP Events and meetings but unfortunately there do not seem to be any local chapters nearby.

    But I too am looking forward to the new design and open comments. We’ll see you after SXSW.

  4. Agreed, open comments will be great. Thanks!

  5. Sounds fantastic. It’s great to see that still, 8 years after its’ formation, WASP is still steaming ahead. Long may it continue!

    Sadly, I won’t be attending SXSW this year but all the best to the lucky ones who are going.

    Any plans for something along similar lines for @media this year?

    Oh, and I can’t help but giggle at the Wasp Task Force acronym. Immature, moi?

  6. You know that I was always in favour of enabling comments on the WaSP site.

    Bring it on. 😉

  7. @ Martijn: The Education Task Force (aka eduTF) focuses on the higher education segment of our audience, to promote the teaching of standards. We maintain a long list of resources, support a mailing list, and more…

  8. I’m shouting “Hear! Hear!” for the comments of Martijn ten Napel. My thoughts exactly.

  9. Comments on these important topics will have to be monitored very closely, but should raise some interesting points. This is a definitely plus to the web development community.

  10. I’m sure the decision is final, but I’m afraid public commenting on posts will dillute the message of WaSP unless they are strictly moderated. I guess we’ll see.

  11. Nuts – I’m not at SXSW!! I’ll await the feedback then…

    Yeah, ‘comments overdue’ on the WaSP site…I was always surprised it wasn’t there already! (What took you guys so long on that one?!) 😀
    With the frequency of bloggers already in the WaSP Hive – I’m just amazed this wasn’t rolled out by now.
    I’m also intrigued by what ‘the new design’ might feature…but surely – the content is what it’s really about? You could probably dress the site in a brown paper bag look (ooh – I’m keeping that idea btw!)…and people will still visit it!

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  13. I feel a small pang of regret for the demise of the current WasP design, as I found it very inspirational, and borrowed(!) some of it’s ideas for the first real standards/css website that I coded all on my own :-)
    However, time moves on, and I also welcome the advent of comments on the WasP site.
    As a relative newcomer to the Standards scene, and still learning the tricks of the trade myself, I am always keen to see more on the Education Front, as complete newbies come to my own website, asking for advice and help in building their own first websites, and I try desperately to keep them away from WYSYWYG, nested tables and spacer gifs. This is however, something of an uphill struggle with some of my visitors who come straight from MSN Groups, and the more basic help that can be provided, the better.
    Looking forward to hearing all about SWSX, and maybe watching the podcasts. :-)

  14. Any ideas on good Hotels near the event Molly?

  15. I must say, it was entertaining to watch Jeffrey just say “Ummm… GO!” and have Andy put up the site on the projection screen. Very fun indeed.

    I’m already planning on hitting up Dori and Jeremy to get on the DOM scripting task force.

  16. Wasp Task Force (WTF)…. Oh I see a t-shirt in the making!! :)

    I am surprised by the colors of the new Wasp site though. Black and yellow… I can see you used the colors of the wasp however on screen it just doesn’t look really all that eye friendly IMO.

  17. I thought I?d check your site out.

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