What's Next for the Standardistas?

June 6, 2006

Web standards showcases and galleries are closing right and left. The Weekly Standards is gone. Stylegala is for sale. Last month the Web Standards Awards closed up shop. Web standards are more accepted than they've ever been. The tide has begun to turn for CSS. But is this, as Simon Collison has said, "the end of an era...The galleries themselves are now little more than windows into a transitional era of web design"? If you read Cameron Adams' farewell announcement for the Web Standards Awards, you'd be tempted to say yes--"Effect or not, we feel that our mission is complete, that Standards have now ensured their rightful place in the process of Web design. So, it's time to hang up our spurs and focus our attention where it's needed most." I don't know if their place has exactly been "ensured." Not out here in the real world hustle-and-bustle of everyday web design. Sure, there's a whole cadre of designers who've been converted to standards, but there's a lot of work still to be done. So, what are the standardistas up to? Exactly where is it that their attention is "needed most"? Andy Budd, who helped found the Web Standards Award, gives us a clue to what the standardistas may be up to next: Dealing with their own lives and the flood of new business that converting the world to standards has created. "My problem was finding the time to go through all the suggested sites and pick a winner. I struggled on with my workload, but after a while just had to give up," he says. "As the other weekly judges workloads increased, the quantity of awards decreased. We tried to get some fresh blood on-board, but everybody we approached were too busy with their jobs, blogs and other commitments." You mean the standardistas have private lives and real jobs, like everyone else?! I think many standards gurus will be around for a good while longer. But some of them feel the toughest part of the battle is over. Time to lay down their arms and go home to hug the wife and kids and tend the farm. And why not? It's been a long fight. They have every right in the world to reap the benefits won through their efforts. The standardistas have done their part. Now maybe it's time for the rest of us to take up the cause.