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ISO 23026 -2006

According to an estimate by the WorldWideWebSize there are over 50 billion web pages on the WWW today. Unless these web pages (and in effect websites) are properly engineered, managed and maintained over their life cycle, there are bound to be several frustrated web users out there who are unable to accomplish their goals and objectives when visiting a website.
Ever since the WWW started growing in leaps and bounds it was noticed that websites were being developed with very little consideration for the implications of website design or implementation realities. While there were sites that used state-of-the-art technologies that could only be used by most advanced devices as well as users, there were also websites that were not updated and were languishing in contemporary technologies and usage patterns. Both these result in poor productivity and user frustrations.

In addition, the exact life span of a website was difficult to estimate and, therefore, could ideally be considered to far outlive both the organizations for whom they were made as well as the vendors who made them. Particularly, websites that dealt with long standing institutions (like the UN) and those of public sector entities (like government department portals) could last for decades. This inability to estimate the life span of websites led to problems in tools and products used by developers; execution languages; and formats and presentations used for websites.

These were problems that needed to be nipped in their bud to prevent wide scale website failures. With this intention the Internet Best Practices working group of the IEEE started accumulating the best practices in website management in early 1990s. Their focus, then, was on site-wide issues of managed websites. These practices were expected to reduce the risks associated with investments in website development. The working group emphasized that "the value of web-based operations was delivering the right information and services to the right persons at the right time with the least amount of effort". Therefore, an understanding of the target-user community and their information needs was considered as the basic building block for web design and engineering as against the established notion of knowledge of technological advancements. By 1999, the working group had already selected a set of "recommended practices" which was formally transformed into an IEEE standard - IEEE 2001-1999

These practices were then extended to the websites on the WWW as well as corporate intranets  and extranets of collaborating organizations. This resulted in the creation of IEEE Std 2001-2002 titled "IEEE Recommended Practice for the Internet—Web Site Engineering, Web Site Management, and Web Site Life Cycle". This standard was intended to "improve the effectiveness of Web pages for users, Web page developers, and the value of the Web in corporate and organizational applications."

The International Organization for Standards (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) adopted this IEEE standard as the ISO 23026-2006 titled "Software Engineering — Recommended Practice for the Internet — Web Site Engineering, Web Site Management, and Web Site Life Cycle

Some more details of this standard in a subsequent post.

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