Opera brings Web standards to classrooms worldwide

Browser company unveils complete curriculum for Web standards-based design and development

Oslo, Norway – July 8, 2008

Opera today launched a sweeping education initiative aimed at supporting and enhancing Web standards education and training in secondary schools, colleges, universities and businesses worldwide. The first planned step in this initiative is the Opera Web Standards Curriculum, a complete curriculum of learning material to provide a thorough understanding of client-side Web design and development from the ground up. These materials are available completely free under a Creative Commons license from http://www.opera.com/wsc/.

Aimed at both educational institutions and Web developers, these materials cover CSS, HTML, and background concepts thoroughly, provide good instruction on Web design theory (including typography, color, and information architecture), and deliver enough introductory information about JavaScript for the reader to be able to work with JavaScript when it is encountered, including debugging and writing simple scripts.

So far 23 articles have been published, with more than 50 planned in total. Authors contributing to this project include well-known Web developers such as Christian Heilmann and Mark Norman “Norm” Francis of Yahoo!, Peter-Paul Koch of quirksmode.org, Jonathan Lane, Linda Goin, Paul Haine, Roger Johansson of 456bereastreet, and Jen Hanen.

“Industry best practice demands standards-based Web development, but there’s very little foundation-level information available for students,” said Ben Buchanan, a prominent Web developer and speaker. “The average beginner tutorial is out of date and most standards-based articles are beyond beginner level. Opera’s new curriculum aims to fill that gap, with a set of articles showing how to build standards-compliant Web sites from the ground up.”

The Opera Web Standards Curriculum is also an ideal training course for businesses who want to promote good coding practices as well as enjoy the bandwidth savings, easier maintenance and enhanced innovation Web standards provide.

“As one of the world’s premier Web technology companies, Yahoo! prides itself on following best practices and building the Web the right way to enable us to become the starting point on the Internet for our consumers,” said Sophie Major, Manager, Yahoo! Developer Network International. “Therefore Yahoo! insists its employees be competent in their knowledge of Web standards. The Opera Web Standards Curriculum delivers exactly the spread of knowledge Yahoo! would expect a front-end developer to know.”

Educators and universities stand in support of the initiative:

“Web development and design are ever evolving professions. Anyone teaching these subjects must ask themselves if they are equipping their students with best practices or burdening them with impractical methodologies, said Glenda Sims, Senior Systems Analyst, TeamWeb – Information Technology Services University of Texas. “The Opera Web Standards Curriculum, developed by top industry professionals, is an excellent rubric for educators to review, affirm and enhance their current instruction. Indeed, all of us in this field can benefit from this resource and use it as a catalyst to further the W3C vision of ‘Web for Everyone. Web on Everything.'”

“The School of Computing, University of Dundee gives its full support to the Web standards curriculum from Opera. This will be an invaluable resource for the teaching of Web standards at all levels and will fill an important gap in the available resources about this important subject,” said Andrew Cobley, Lecturer in Internet Programming, Dundee University. “Opera’s choice of industry leaders for preparing course material emphasizes the importance of the material. This course will help students to learn the right way to implement Web design and will increase their understanding of the importance of Web standards for creating valid Web resources. University-level students will find the wealth of material in the course allows them to brush up on current knowledge, find new ways of doing old tasks and discover new technologies for implementing Web design. Dundee University intends to use material from the course in our undergraduate teaching to emphasize the right, modern way of doing Web design.”

“Opera has always fought to bring Web standards to a global audience,” said HÃ¥kon Wium Lie, CTO, Opera. “The new Web Standards Curriculum will reach many Web developers who are new to Web standards, arming them with the tools and information they need to deploy Web standards easily and efficiently. I’m proud that Opera can play an even greater role in spreading Web standards to developers all over the globe.”

Get Involved

Our developer community, http://dev.opera.com/, is a central hub to learn about Web standards, advanced Web development techniques and connect with developers worldwide. The Opera Web Standards Curriculum needs your support to help prepare the next generation of Web developers. If you would like to develop new articles or translate existing content to reach a global audience, we welcome your input. Visit http://dev.opera.com/ and http://www.opera.com/wsc/ to learn more.

Opera Education

Opera’s Web Standards Curriculum is part of Opera Education, a comprehensive initiative to promote Web standards and choice on the Web as a force for good. Opera Education encompasses university tours, lectures and materials for system administrators, students and educators at institutions of higher learning worldwide. Visit http://www.opera.com/education/ to learn more.