Overview Enormous growth, stiff competition, new technologies, and market instability are all terms associated with the Internet and the World Wide Web. What is the best way to control all of this chaos? The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) attempts to do just that. By creating standards for the Web, without commercial bias, the W3C is able to steer certain aspects of the Web in a “desirable” direction. There is a great deal of information about the W3C available online.

W3C History and General Information What is the W3C and when was it formed? Who are the W3C members and who controls the organization? You can find answers to these common questions by reading the W3C definition pages found at Wikipedia.org. If you can’t find the answer to your W3C questions on the Web pages mentioned above, visit the FAQ pages found in the article “An Outsider’s Guide to the W3C”. This article also contains the history and development of the W3C. The W3C Information Page provides you with further reading about W3C history and its current membership and procedures. The article “W3C Recommendation Brings New Life to Graphics” by Thor Olavsrud offers a look into the operation of the W3C including the types of issues that are typically addressed.

W3C Resources The article at www.acm.org/crossroads/xrds6-2/w3site.html is a more detailed resource than the ones mentioned above. It includes an excellent description of the groups that form the consortium. You can get W3C information “straight from the horse’s mouth” by visiting their home page (www.w3.org). On this home page is the “CVS Repository” (found at dev.w3.org/cvsweb), which is a collection of source code that can be used by developers. The site www.w3schools.com includes information about the many standards set by the W3C.

W3C Validation Services Do you want to verify that the Web content you are developing is W3C compliant and valid? If so, there are free tools on the Internet that can analyze your code (including HTML, XML, and CSS) and verify its compliance with W3C standards. Some of these utilities will even suggest improvements to your code. You can validate your HTML at validator.w3.org, your XML at www.cogsci.ed.ac.uk/~richard/xml-check.html, and your CSS at jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator.