I've been a web developer since 1996, back when we called ourselves webmasters. The first web browsers I installed, from a CD provided to me by my ISP, were Internet Explorer and Netscape 2. By the time the version 4 browsers emerged, I had been introduced to the idea of web standards. I began evangelizing standards within the Dreamweaver community and somehow, despite my lack of qualification for anything, became part of The Web Standards Project (WaSP).

Through the people of WaSP I learned about how the standards movement had come about. I got to work with people whose resumes were far more impressive than mine, yet who treated me as an equal. Those early years set me on a path I still continue, my passion for and commitment to an open web platform was formed, twenty years on I'm still doing that work.

There are a few of us from those days who still write books, speak at conferences, and would be considered reasonably well-known in web development circles. Yet, many people who contributed in ways which still impact the platform today, have almost vanished from the collective memory of the industry.

Histories are told which mention the same names, and miss out many of the people I remember. Those who wrote the books we all learned from; who drove the movement forward, who spent time talking to browser vendors about the problems of competing on core platform features. And, as is so often the way, many of those who are vanishing from the conversation are those who are already under-represented.

The project permalink

I intend this site to become a place to gather the stories of the efforts to create an open web. I'm starting with some of the early stories, I hope to continue to interview folk and write stories up to the present day.

How you can help permalink

I am open to any contributions to this site. That might be a suggestion of someone to interview, some help completing the timeline or the biographies of folk who are mentioned. Find out more about contributing.

Or, drop me a line on me@rachelandrew.co.uk.

Thanks to permalink

  • Andy Bell and his Hylia project for saving me a lot of time getting the initial site up and running.
  • Jay Hoffmann and THe History of the Web
  • ALl of the folk who have been willing to be interviewed.

—Rachel Andrew (@rachelandrew)