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Principles and Personalities

IN THE MACROMEDIA DREAMWEAVER NEWSGROUP, Stéphane Bergeron defends The Web Standards Project (WaSP) against the strawman arguments that have been levelled against it since Day One. Thank you, Stéphane.

Not all anti–WaSP arguments are without merit, of course. WaSP is as capable of mis–steps as any other group of human beings, and not all of our tactics have pleased everyone. No advocacy group can fight for change without overturning a few apple carts and making a few enemies in the process.

Frankly, even WaSP leadership has been divided on some of our tactics, notably the Browser Upgrade campaign. All the more reason for us to take some time off and regroup.

While we can’t claim tactical perfection, we stand by the notion that the web medium, like any other, requires technological standards if it is to advance instead of fragmenting; and that groups like W3C and ECMA are better poised to deliver those standards than any individual corporation, however well–intended.

We also feel that WaSP has become too closely identified with a few personalities (notably ours), and that this perceptual blurring has somewhat hurt the cause, since some may disregard WaSP’s message because they dislike its group leader, while others confuse our sites and endeavors with those of WaSP.

When WaSP returns in 2002, we will take care to include strong new voices so that the group does not remain so closely identified with any one individual.

22 December 2001

ISSN: 1534-0309

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