Phew – that’s me sighing in relief as I enjoy a leisurly browse through the new and improved Web Standards Project (WASP). For those who don’t know, the WASP describes itself as “a grassroots coalition fighting for standards that ensure simple, affordable access to web technologies for all“.
I, for one, am all for that. To me, nothing is as irritating as church members who want a polished, fast-loading and up-to-date web site, but tie our hands behind our back with their insistance on keeping their old browsers.
WHY? Not only are many of newer browsers free but they also give web servants, such as myself, the necessary target client platform at which to aim large, data-driven sites. Which in turns allows us to completely separate content from formatting. Which is the way all software and data is supposed to work if we want the data to be displayed on as many (compliant) platforms as possible.
Yet how will our users change if they haven’t heard ? And how will they hear if no one teaches them? And how will WE teach if we don’t have our facts straight?
This is where The WASP comes into play. It gives us the materials we need to convert our church members to web clients that will make the user’s browsing more enjoyable, while allowing us to concentrate on delivering data rather than hand-fighting versioning incompatiblities.