I started this site almost 20 years ago and learned about web standards a decade later. The web was a completely different beast back then, and organizations such as the Web Standards Project (WaSP) were needed to bring order to chaos.
It was recently announced that WaSP was shut down. After 15 years they stand victorious on the battlefield of browser standards and dismiss themselves as their work is done. This follows on the heels of Opera’s recent decision to use WebKit instead of their own rendering engine. It’s a powerful reminder of how far we have come since the medieval age of the web.
Yet in a way I feel sad for the death of an era. I guess most web developers of today have never even heard of WaSP. And while that’s perfectly fine from a pragmatic perspective, it’s still useful to know the history of your craft. As the old cliché says, without learning from our mistakes we are bound to repeat them.