Web standards Charter

Paul Boag

Robert Nyman and Vlad Alexander have published An Open Letter to WaSP, in which they call for a unified way of promoting web standards through a web standards charter.

At first glance this seemed like a great idea, but I have to say after some consideration, I am not so sure. I would like it to work, but then I would like there to be a single browser that is perfectly compliant! Doesn’t mean I am going to get my wishes.

Just another thing to disagree about!

Take for example the issue of accessibility. The majority of disagreements come from the interpretation of the WAI guidelines, which were created to bring a standard approach to website accessibility. Surely, a WASP charter is just going to replicate the problems we see in this area.

Unless the charter becomes a massive unreadable legal document it is going to be open to interpretation and so people will be arguing about this in the same way as they argue about W3C guidelines.

Disagreement is inevitable

For better or worse, the web is full of people expressing opinions and they are going to disagree. I do not believe that a "charter" will prevent that.

The reality is that there are many ways of implementing both web standards and accessibility. In fact, it is fair to say there is no single "right way" of doing things. It depends on many factors from target audience to available budget! If a charter took these different approaches into account it would leave itself open to interpretation.

I really wish a charter could help bring clarity but I am just not sure it will.