Opinions are split on whether the battle for web standards in won or not with many claiming that web standards are now no longer the vanguard but mainstream. Awareness is higher, laws exist to reinforce it and there is a good grass roots army of developers out there who will do their darnedest to built accessible standards compliant websites.
This is undoubtably a better situation than the dark days of the browser wars which saw fragmentation on such as scale that no one gained anything, expect for perhaps Microsoft’s Internet Explorer presiding over the collapse of Netscape.
Living in the UK and having been in the industry for ten years I can safely say that working practices and awareness is vastly improved. So much so in fact that the focus is now on ensuring that businesses build standards compliant websites properly (rather than at all) and that we focus on education within universities and colleges.
This is not the case everywhere. Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America all have a slightly different battle on their hands with raising awareness of web standards. China and Korea, for example are locked into using IE6 and ActiveX which is what most banking and e-commerce websites rely on (so mush so in fact the Google Chrome is considering supporting ActiveX so that it can get its slice of the market share in Korea). In addition to this resources in Chinese are scarce making it hard for people to get the information they need.
So what do we need?
Up to date, quality resources in multiple languages that can empower not only developers and designers but also bloggers, evangelists and advocates. As part of my work for the Web Standards Project we are looking at getting as many translations done and made available as possible, and this is where you come in. If you’re intrested in translating, have suggestions of articles you’d like to see translated or are in a position to spread the word via your networks be it Twitter, your blog, Facebook or anything else then let us know.
Details about getting involved in translating articles are available on the WaSP blog and by all means you can leave a comment here too.