Bruce Lawson’s personal site

Chris Mills’ Web Standards Curriculum

I should say “Opera Web Standards Curriculum“, and share some glory but—displaying the self-effacing modesty that is so characteristic of humble me—in reality this is all Chris Mills’ blood sweat and tears.

Millsy describes it as

a course designed to give anyone a solid grounding in web design/development, no matter who they are—it is completely free to use, accessible, and assumes no previous knowledge. I am mainly aiming this at universities, as I believe the standards of education in web standards to be somewhat lacking at many universities. I’ve heard tales of students being marked down for using web standards in their coursework, because the marking schemes are so outdated; I’ve also heard tales of employers despairing because when they interview university graduates for web–related positions, they find out that the graduates really don’t have a clue about real world web development.

I’ve known Mills a long time; he was there at the start of glasshaus publishing when we tried to persuade the world that web standards were the way forward. We went spectacularly bankrupt, but not before all 10 of us who worked there and all 20 of those who bought our books got the web standards evangelism bug.

Mills says

I wanted to do my bit to help make the Web a better place, and I think this comes back to education, whether that’s teaching people how to collaborate and have more respect for one another, or teaching them how to make their web sites work across platforms and devices, and be accessible to people with disabilities. Web standards are key to the latter, so I decided to try putting my time and energy into something that would help increase the adoption of web standards on the Web today and in the future. It has been floating around my head for a while now, but it has finally come to fruition at Opera—many thanks to my wonderful employers for paying me to do this! One of my dreams has finally been realised.

Of course, it’s not all altrusim from Opera, it’s a long-term plan. What hurts Opera is when big name sites don’t work in the browser. This happens not because there’s anything wrong with the browser but because the website is “optimised” for a less standards-compliant browser. If everyone coded using standards, David-not-Dave Storey could put his feet up and not open the web, one site at a time. So if we can train future web developers in the right way to develop, it’ll enhance Opera’s utility, as well as make the web a better place. Give us the child, and we’ll give you the semantic, standards man.

Well done, Millsy—and now, dear Reader, go and study the Web Standards Curriculum!

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