Word From The WaSP: Here We Go Again

Word From The WaSP: Here We Go Again

A quote: "By fumbling the standards ball, and tantalizing developers with nifty proprietary features, Microsoft pretty much guarantees that the Web space will become more fractured (not less) and Web developers will either have to stop supporting some users, or work even longer hours creating page versions for each incompatible browser on the market.

It looks like the WaSP won't be invited to Bill's house for dinner any time soon.

But that's okay. We'll be working nights anyway."

In April of last year, I attended Thunder Lizard's Web Design '99 conference. Glenn Davis read the (emotional for me) State of the Web address on stage. I remember having wet eyes, hating the software industry for letting this happen, and feeling I had to do something.

I stood up and told Glenn that I wanted to support their effort, and offered WaSP all the money in my wallet (okay it was only $50) to help them fight the good fight. After all, they were going to need resources.

Glenn politely refused, saying if they accepted donations they'd have to file so much paperwork they'd never have time to fight the good fight.

A year later, and we still aren't there. There's so much hope: IE5/Mac, Mozilla and Netcape 6. Opera. But it's still not across the board, and FWIW, it might as well be nothing.

But then again... you'll have a browser on all the major platforms (Mac, Win and Linux) that do an excellent job of supporting standards. IE on the Mac, and Moz/Netscape on Windows and Linux. So is there hope? If we build wizzy sites using the standards and emphasize the benefit of using a standards-oriented browser, will consumers install those browsers?

We know they will on Mac and Linux, since Mozilla is the only free choice on that platform, and IE is bundled as the default browser on the MacOS.

But Windows! I think we have to hope the DOJ helps us there.

Written on April 12, 2000