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This Week in HTML 5 – Episode 26

by Mark Pilgrim, Google in Weekly Review

Welcome back to "This Week in HTML 5," where I'll try to summarize the major activity in the ongoing standards process in the WHATWG and W3C HTML Working Group.

The big news for the week of March 16th is this announcement from Ian Hickson:

I've now split out the Server-sent Events and Storage APIs out of HTML5, and I've removed the text for Web Sockets, which was split out earlier. By popular demand I've also done some tweaks to the styling of these specs.

HTML5
http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/
Server-Sent Events
http://dev.w3.org/html5/eventsource/
Web Storage
http://dev.w3.org/html5/webstorage/
Web Workers
http://dev.w3.org/html5/workers/
Web Sockets
http://dev.w3.org/html5/websockets/
http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-hixie-thewebsocketprotocol

It is my understanding that the desire is to publish the Server-Sent Events, Web Storage, Web Workers, and Web Sockets specs through the Web Apps working group, so that is what I put into the "status of this document" sections.

I would like to be able to put more permissive licenses (ideally MIT) on these drafts, rather than the W3C license.

The following sections still haven't been split out:

URLs
I'll remove this section as soon as DanC's draft is published.
Content-Type sniffing
I'll remove this section once Adam's draft is on a standards track.
Timeout API
This section is lacking an active editor.
Origin
I'm unsure what will happen with this section.

In IRC, Ian explained that all of these documents are generated from one master file:

# [21:02] <hixie> the source document is run through a bunch of scripts to generate the output documents
# [21:03] <hixie> from that one file i now generate one whatwg spec, four w3c specs, and an rfc

In other news, r2876 (WARNING: VERY LARGE) adds user stylesheets to the HTML 5 specification itself. If you view it in a browser that support switching stylesheets (such as Firefox, under the View → Page Style submenu), you can choose between "Complete specification" (default), "Author documentation only," or "Highlight implementation requirements." The "Author documentation only" stylesheet hides all of the client parsing algorithms and focuses on the elements, attributes, and scripting features that web authors need to know about.

For example, the "author documentation" of the <img> element highlights the required attributes, how to create a new Image() dynamically, and the detailed requirements for providing alternate text, while completely hiding any mention of how image fetching fits into the client's task queue, the gory details of how clients resolve image URLs, or the security risks of allowing pages on the public internet to attempt to load images on the local network. On the flip side, "highlight implementation requirements" highlights these exact issues.

Critics who complained that the HTML 5 specification should be "just a markup language" will be able to have their cake and eat it too. Those who complained that HTML 5 was "too bloated" will have a little less to complain about now that several parts of it have been published as separate documents. On the other hand, critics who complained about these things as a cover for other agendas will have to continue complaining a little while longer.

Tune in next week for another exciting episode of "This Week in HTML 5."

2 Responses to “This Week in HTML 5 – Episode 26”

  1. Ian Hickson says:

    In case anyone wonders why Mark jumped from the 23rd of Feb to the 16th of March, it took that long to get the changes he mentions in this post done.

  2. Indeed. I should also point out that I am not completely ignoring all the discussions that happened in that time. I will devote a future “This Week” post to several interesting threads from the mailing lists that have not (yet) resulted in spec changes.

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