Molly Holzschlag recently wrote a blog post entitled W3C Validators in Jeopardy in which she pointed out that “As many folks who follow the W3C are aware, financial and bureaucratic issues have challenged the organization for many years“. Molly went on to describe how “It’s come to pass that the funding necessary to maintain and grow validation services at the W3C has become overwhelming to the W3C’s operational budget. As such, the validators are in jeopardy.”
A donation system has been set up which is described on the W3C Validator Donation Program page.
As Molly says “we’ve had the use of validation tools via the W3C for so long and without cost has been a significant component in the teaching and evangelism surrounding Web standards and best practices“.
But who will have the resources to support this request? And if funding for the validators is uncertain, what next? Is W3C in a position in which the long term sustainability of its standards can be guaranteed? And didn’t we feel that open standards brought about freedom from the uncertainties of commercial pressures? It’s time for the risk assessment of standards organisations, I feel, and not just the providers of networked services.