Four years ago, Jeffrey Zeldman said, "To Hell With Bad Browsers" and ended up changing the web. That's damned impressive.
I'd never really been a web geek before 1999 or so, and I started by reading the specs, so I actually only had one structural table and did all my styling with CSS for as long as I've had my blog. But I didn't get just how dramatic an impact the act of drawing a line in the sand would be. That article is the reason that Microsoft's homepage almost validates today, and that it's not even newsworthy when, say, McAfee launches a standards-compliant website.
It's a dramatic testament to the impact that a single person with an articulate voice, a passion for the subject, and a lot of patience can have on a discipline. Even better, Zeldman worked with many of the other leading lights of the time, who influenced the work, helped refine techniques, and collaborated with an amazing lack of contention. And today, it's made my job, and the jobs of nearly everyone I work with, a million times simpler, faster, and more satisfying.
Netscape 4, you are not missed.