A web standard is a universal term for the formal standards and other technical conditions that defines and describes aspects of the World Wide Web. In recent years, the term has been more often associated with the trend of endorsing a set of consistent best practices for building web sites, and a philosophy of web design and growth that includes those methods. Many mutually dependent standards and specifications, some of which rule aspects of the Internet, not just the World Wide Web, straight or indirectly affect the development and management of web sites and web services. While any of these may be called “web standards,” advocates within the web standards movement tend to focus on the higher-level standards that most straight affect the accessibility and usability of web sites. Web standards, in the broader sense, consist of the following:
* Recommendations published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
* Internet standard documents published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
* Request for Comments (RFC) documents published by the Internet Engineering Task Force
* Standards published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
* Standards published by Ecma International (formerly ECMA)
* The Unicode Standard and various Unicode Technical Reports (UTRs) published by the Unicode Consortium
* Name and number registries maintained by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA)
* Recommendations for markup languages, such as HTML, XHTML, SVG, and XForms, from W3C.
* Recommendations for style sheets, especially CSS, from W3C.
* Recommendations for Document Object Models, from W3C.
* Web accessibility is normally based upon the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines published by the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative.
* Work in the W3C toward the Semantic Web is currently focused by publications related to the Resource Description Framework (RDF), Gleaning Resource Descriptions from Dialects of Languages (GRDDL) and Web Ontology Language (OWL)
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