Paul Ford explains the long road to HTML5 and the web standardisations process in the New Yorker.
In “Gathering of the Player Men at Buffalo,” the Music Trade Review described a heady scene in which Mr. P. B. Klugh, speaking for the Cable Company, said that it had adopted “the nine-to-the-inch scale” and that “they were not open to argument on the subject, as such a scale had given entire satisfaction.” Swayed, the manufacturers resolved the issue in favor of Klugh. As a result, we now live in a world where nine-holes-per-inch piano rolls are the standard. You would be a fool to build a player piano to any other metric.
Of course, the Web page is far more complex. It requires dozens of standards, governing words, sounds, pictures, interactions, protocols, code, and more. The role of Web parliament is played by the W3C, the World Wide Web Consortium. This is a standards body; it organizes meetings that allow competing groups to define standards, shepherding them from a “working draft” to “candidate recommendation” and “proposed recommendation,” and finally, if a standard has been sufficiently poked and prodded, granting the ultimate imprimatur, “W3C recommendation.”
Internet Explorer 6, listed by PC World as the eight worst tech product of all time has finally been inhumed.
"...the hope would be to allow a pool of information to develop which could grow and evolve..." Information Management: A Proposal is a brief technical paper first published on 12 March 1989. Within three years the author, Tim Berners-Lee, elaborated on the original proposal and created the WorldWideWeb. The W3C has launched a 25th anniversary commemorative website to mark the paper's birthday, and Berners-Lee will be giving a TED talk this weekend about the web.
ICANN, IETF, W3C, IANA -- along with all regional name registries across the globe have decided to cede oversight and control by the US Government's Commerce Department. A new global multistakeholder Internet Cooperation is to be formed to take its place at the helm of Internet Governance. Press Release from ICANN, Internet Governance Project article [more inside]
Web standards body W3C is considering a proposal to add Digital Rights Management to the next version of the HTML5 standard. Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee is fine with this. Others, like Cory Doctorow, have a different point of view, claiming it will have far-reaching effects that are "incompatible with the W3C's most important policies". Others have called it "impractical and unethical".
Is Webkit, the web browser engine used by Safari and Chrome, turning into IE6? Concern is growing that reliance on proprietry CSS features marked by vendor prefixes could be breaking the web.
The official W3C sanctioned HTML5 logo So, what do you think of the new, official W3C HTML5 logo? Or the official HTML5 t-shirt?
The <video tag>, as defined by the HTML5 spec, is an element "used for playing videos or movies". Which codec those videos or movies are in is currently undefined, with the two contenders being the free open source Ogg Theora and the proprietary H.264. With the unveiling of Internet Explorer 9 both Microsoft and Apple are supporting H.264 in their browsers, and comparisons of the standards seem to bear out H.264 as the better of the two. However Mozilla have taken a stance against incorporating H264 into Firefox on the grounds that it is patented and has to be licensed. Arguments are now being made for and against Mozilla sticking to its ideals. John Gruber of Daring Fireball points out that Firefox already supports proprietary formats such as GIF. Um, perhaps not the best example.
Only 4.3% of the web validates. Opera have finished a scan and validation check of the net using their new MAMA spider and have got an extremely interesting dataset. Did you check your website today?
Pentagon sets its sights on social networking websites From the fine folks that brought you the
Total Terrorism Information Awareness program, another wickedly-named branch of the NSA, the Disruptive Technologies Office (formerly ARDA), is funding research into the usefulness of the Semantic Web for combing through and profiling the 80 million members of MySpace.
When Wired News redesigned as nearly standards compliant xhtml in fall of 2002, it was cause for a great deal of celebration. Since then other prominent sites like ESPN and PGA have jumped on the standards bandwagon, as have countless personal sites. Today the SF Examiner launched a new site design which does validate as xhtml. More interesting to me are their category archives and date archives, which mimic a weblog's simple and useful layout. Heck, I even love the story pages which feature large leaded text (space between lines - the amount of "double spaceness") which is also blog-like, and makes for comfortable reading. As far as I know, SF Examiner is the first, but will this start a new wave of bandwidth-saving, well-designed newspaper redesigns? [via veen]
State of Validation 2003. Off the 430 W3C members, only 28 (6.5%) have sites that validate with the W3C validator as either HTML or XHTML! This represents an increase in standards compliance of 75.7% from the year ago tests. [via the big orange Z]
Unofficial competition to redesign w3c.org. In early December last year the w3c.org homepage released a redesign using XHTML and CSS. While everyone appreciated the cleaner use of markup the response was wholly underwhelming and most felt the design did a disservice to CSS. ...hence the competition, duh.
State of the Validation 2002. Off the 506 W3C members, only 18 (3.6%) have sites that validate with the W3C validator as either HTML or XHTML! 141 members' sites have definite markup errors. 342 members' sites don't even include the DTD, therefore they can not be tested. [via the big orange Z.]
The W3C's RAND Patent Policy commenting deadline has been extended. At first glance, the new policies seem to encourage software patents, but after reading the whole thing and the W3C's response to current comments, it looks, to my admittedly naive eyes, as though the W3C is trying to make it so that companies using proprietary software are going to have to make it available to other people for licensing. Why is this new structure potentially a bad thing?
W3C and Fee-based Standards for the Web The last call review period is over today. If you have an opinion that needs to be heard by the W3C, get it to them now. At last check, they had received 396 comments. What's your take on the proposed policy change? Will the W3C survive?
Third Voice may be gone but that ability will rise again, and this time it's going to be open source. How soon before I can subscribe to the Winerlog RDF stream annotating Scripting News?
The web is ten years old today! So how has it impacted our lives over the past decade? I'll point out that I am not working in a coffee shop to pay for my failing acting career. So there is one benefit right there (I make a lousy waiter than I do an actor). How has the web changed you life over the last decade? How has it changed society? Or just post your birthday wishes.
The W3C opens a can of whoopass on the browser manufacturers with this detailed list of bugs they'd like to see remedied. Will this result in any changes whatsoever, or will Microsoft and Netscape continue to ignore what they should be doing?