The Web exists because people wanted to connect to each others and share. They got involved. The first Web site was a kind of blog written by Tim Berners-Lee. People were experimenting, implementing, writing manual and tutorials. Tim was announcing the new servers that you could count each month on your fingers. You too can be part of it.
Just One Story Among Others
I have always known the W3C as a place to create and share. My academic background is not computer engineering. In 1991, I discovered the Web by chance on the computers of Physics Department of Montreal University and created my first two Web pages locally, page A and page B with just two links going from one to the other and back. I was really excited. In 1995, I was working in a Web agency in the Web design team: a biologist, a salesman, an english teacher, a lawyer, a journalist, a computer science student. We had the specifications such as Wilbur, HTML 3.2 codename, on our tables. Nobody was a specialist but everyone was helping each other. Some of us were translating in French the W3C specifications, others participating in forums, sharing quick tips.
On Going Discussions
Pointing fingers is sometimes necessary, but doesn’t necessary achieve what we wanted. It often creates walls when we wanted to open fields. There are a lot of discussions about W3C, HTML and CSS these days, negative and positive comments. Jeremy Keith and Jeffrey Zeldman framed the discussions
If designers and developers are more aware of the problems than of the fact that the W3C is working to solve them, it’s because the W3C is not great at outreach.
You want instant gratification, buy an iPod. You want standards that work, help. Or at least stop shouting.
In the comment Josh Stodola said
What can I do to help , Jeffrey?
I have written a few posts on this topic already and I will continue. Two days ago, I gave a link to the source code of an open source testing harness platform in PHP
fantasai will publish on the CSS Working Group blog, in the next few weeks, a series of articles on how you can help W3C on the CSS front. In the mean time, a short list of tips to define your actions.
- Pick up one thing you can do for W3C. You have a job, a life, etc. Do not do too much but select one item that you have time to finish.
- Help with your own competences. If you are not a programmer, do not try to implement a specification. If you are a graphic designer, help with drawings.
- Listen and share. It is a community, a team work, it means a lot of patience, accepting to not have everything you want, but collectively to move forward.
You can be part of it too.