Modern Web Standards

Mark Nottingham

Modern Web Standards


Why are Web Standards Important?

An Information Space and application platform that is...

User Agent

"Neutral Broker" that makes meaningful guarantees to users:

Web pages are guests on our computers.





Photo: Basil D Soufi

The WHATWG was founded by individuals of Apple, the Mozilla Foundation, and Opera Software in 2004, after a W3C workshop. [They] were becoming increasingly concerned about the W3C’s direction with XHTML, lack of interest in HTML and apparent disregard for the needs of real-world authors.


Web Standards is Trying to Put Itself Out of Business.

Web Components

Succeeding in Web Standards

Start Small.


Build Relationships.

Standards are social; face-to-face time is important.

Be Patient.

Timescales in standards are long; in fact, they are never done.

Stay Backwards Compatible.

The Web is huge; don't break existing content. Progressive Enhancement through extensibility is a primary tool.

Standards Do Not Guarantee Success.

Running code wins - there are no standards police.