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
includes information about the many standards set by the W3C.
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.