Web spotting roundup: the WASP lead edition

We spotted three interesting writings by some of the past and present Web standards community leaders this week: three voices among a large community that cares about HTML.

Kimberly Blessing read the craft of HTML and follows up with good questions. If HTML is a craft, how do we train the future master craftsmen and women. How do we make this craft an interesting and valuable career path? Professionals, Web developers, designers and managers, are invited to share their insight.

Meanwhile, over at Molly Holzschlag’s site, two posts and subsequent long comment threads discuss how the development of the next version of HTML could be done better. Ben Boyle, a participant to the discussion, shares his way of getting involved in a constructive way, by not only discussing about HTML, but also reading the specification and providing feedback on the spec itself: I’ve found taking the time to sit down and read parts of the draft to be well spent. […] For every blog post you read about another blog post about HTML5, read a portion of the HTML5 spec. For every comment you make on such a blog post, make a comment on the spec. Try it.

Jeffrey Zeldman gives the standardization of HTML and CSS a good look, and asks What crisis?. Choosing neither to fall for blind optimism nor doomsday panic, he lists a few issues he notices, but ultimately notes: if there are problems, clarity — not drama, in raising the issues is what will help fix them. In the post and the comments, the speed of the standardization process is mentioned as a concern. Fair point, although it’s worth remembering that this consensus-driven process is one reason anyone can give input on every specification. Better use that feature of the process, and use it well.

For all of us Web developers, this adds up to an interesting, if challenging, program: Read the specs, get involved in making them better, learn the craft, and help teach it to others.

Coming next: a guide to giving feedback on the HTML5 specification (early editor’s draft, for now).