Net Neutrality: This is serious

Net Neutrality: This is serious

Tim Berners Lee writes in his blog

“When I invented the Web, I didn’t have to ask anyone’s permission. Now, hundreds of millions of people are using it freely. I am worried that that is going end in the USA.

I blogged on net neutrality before, and so did a lot of other people. (see e.g. Danny Weitzner,, etc.) Since then, some telecommunications companies spent a lot of money on public relations and TV ads, and the US House seems to have wavered from the path of preserving net neutrality. There has been some misinformation spread about. So here are some clarifications. ( real video Mpegs to come)

Net neutrality is this:

If I pay to connect to the Net with a certain quality of service, and you pay to connect with that or greater quality of service, then we can communicate at that level.

That’s all. Its up to the ISPs to make sure they interoperate so that that happens.

Net Neutrality is NOT asking for the internet for free.

Net Neutrality is NOT saying that one shouldn’t pay more money for high quality of service. We always have, and we always will.

There have been suggestions that we don’t need legislation because we haven’t had it. These are nonsense, because in fact we have had net neutrality in the past — it is only recently that real explicit threats have occurred.

Control of information is hugely powerful. In the US, the threat is that companies control what I can access for commercial reasons. (In China, control is by the government for political reasons.) There is a very strong short-term incentive for a company to grab control of TV distribution over the Internet even though it is against the long-term interests of the industry.

Yes, regulation to keep the Internet open is regulation. And mostly, the Internet thrives on lack of regulation. But some basic values have to be preserved. For example, the market system depends on the rule that you can’t photocopy money. Democracy depends on freedom of speech. Freedom of connection, with any application, to any party, is the fundamental social basis of the Internet, and, now, the society based on it.

Let’s see whether the United States is capable as acting according to its important values, or whether it is, as so many people are saying, run by the misguided short-term interested of large corporations.

I hope that Congress can protect net neutrality, so I can continue to innovate in the internet space. I want to see the explosion of innovations happening out there on the Web, so diverse and so exciting, continue unabated.”

Dear Tim 

I just wanted to say I could not agree with you more and have you my full support by doing what ever I can as an American to support your idea.

Feeling validated

Feeling validated

The W3C validator is a great tool. It allows developers to quickly and easily find and fix the inevitable problems that creep into any markup document.

As well as the quick and easy version, the advanced interface allows you to get a more verbose output. Until recently, one of the options was to view an outline of the document being validated. I found this feature very useful: I could see at a glance whether or not the order of my headings (H1, H2, etc.) made sense.

A little while back, the outline functionality disappeared. This was not deliberate, but it turns out that it was due for deletion anyway. There is actually a different dedicated service for examining the semantic structure of documents: the semantic data extractor. This tool will do outlining and more. Personally, I think it is a bit of a shame that validation and outlining have been split into two different services, but both services are immensely useful in their own right.

For a quick and easy way to validate the current document in your browser, drag this bookmarklet to your bookmarks bar and click on it whenever you want to run a check:

Validate this

Here is a bookmarklet to do semantic data extraction:

Extract semantic data

If you need to do batch validation, check out this desktop validator, which is available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.

But do not forget that the W3C validator is there for your benefit. If you think it can be improved in any way, be sure to give your feedback. Consider joining the mailing list, or simply hanging out in the IRC channel, #validator on the freenode network.

If you can contribute to the ongoing improvement of the validator, you’ll be in good company. Sir Tim Berners-Lee recently said:

The validator I think is a really valuable tool both for users and in helping standards deployment. I’d like it to check (even) more stuff, be (even) more helpful, and prioritize carefully its errors, warning and mild chidings. I’d like it to link to an explanations of why things should be a certain way.

The W3C validator is already a great tool. With the help of developers like you, it can become even greater

The New Voyagers – Find Information about Web standards

From the W3C Quality Assurance blog

The New Voyagers – Find Information about Web standards

Voyager 1, already the most distant human-made object in the cosmos, reaches 100 astronomical units from the sun on Tuesday, August 15 at 5:13 p.m. Eastern time (2:13 p.m. Pacific time). That means the spacecraft, which launched nearly three decades ago, is 100 times more distant from the sun than Earth is.

It is often quite difficult to find information related to your domain of activity. Weblogs are pouring information about technologies: opinions, rants, technical details, jokes, everyone is taking a part of it. But you need a probe to travel from planet to planet, some Web sites are aggregating this content. Here comes a list a of resources we are using:

  • HTML and CSS
  • Mobile Web Initiative
  • Apache: HTTP (for this one it would be good to fix the links.)
  • Semantic Web
  • Semantic Web (French)
  • SVG
  • Mozilla

Web Standards Project

Web Standards Project

Founded in 1998, The Web Standards Project (WaSP) fights for standards that reduce the cost and complexity of development while increasing the accessibility and long-term viability of any site published on the Web. They work with browser companies, authoring tool makers, and our peers to deliver the true power of standards to this medium. Click on the link to learn more about this great group of individuals.

Web Standards Group

Web Standards Group

The Web Standards Group is for web designers & developers who are interested in web standards (HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS, XSLT etc.) and best practices (accessible sites using valid and semantically correct code). We aim to:

  • Provide web developers and designers with a forum to discuss issues and share knowledge (via our discussion list and regular meetings)
  • Provide web standards information and assistance to developers
  • Promote “web standards” within the development community

They currently have 4063 members from 107 countries including me!

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