Web Standards to the Rescue

Web Standards to the Rescue is a self-describing template for adopting the One NASA look and feel. This project is my way of giving back to NASA's web development community. In 2003 NASA launched their new web initiative, the NASA Portal. Shortly after its launch a directive went out for all NASA web sites to adopt a common look and feel based on this new initiative, including the sites I was to develop.

Although a set of traditional table layout templates existed I was unable to locate them. So, when I set out to develop my sites I abandoned traditional techniques, diving head first into the world of web standards and css. After my first site was successfuly completed several developers asked me to share my code with them. It was at that point I decided to develop a set of Web Standards and CSS templates for the One NASA look and feel that other developers could use.

First a goal, then a passion

Initially, my goal was to provide other developers at NASA the tools necessary to bring their web sites in line with the One NASA look and feel. As I got further into this project I began to see the real strength behind Standards based layouts and decided to use this web site as an opportunity to help explain the benefits of Standards based layouts over traditional layouts.

Just before the templates were launched I began advocating Web Standards by teaching its implimentation and benefits during different presentations within the agency. Eventually, I was invited to speak to an influential group of NASA scientists and developers at a yearly Webmaster Meet-up in northern Virginia. Whether it was my presentation at that meeting, my work, or something else that helped NASA make the switch to Web Standards I can be proud that I was part of that change at the agency. NASA launched their new look and feel (version 5.0) in 2008, which incorporated Web Standards, CSS, and a whole host of web 2.0 technologies.

Since then, I have joined a team of developers to develop the next set of templates based on my original Web Standards to the Rescue work. The templates are complete (Sun-Earth Day and the Space Weather Action Center both use them), and a team of developers is preparing them for launch. I do not know what form they will take, but I am pretty sure my original web site will be archived and a new one will take its place.

Web Standards to the Rescue

Unfortunately, these templates are only available to people within the NASA firewall. They had been available to the general public for a long time, but the NASA lawyers felt they gained too much exposure outside of NASA and have restricted the site due to copyright issues.

Web Standards to the Rescue