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This Week in HTML 5 – Episode 34

by Mark Pilgrim, Google in Weekly Review

In last week's episode, I mentioned that the HTML 5 specification now includes a media registration for text/html. Ian Hickson explains why HTML 5 re-registers text/html: "The main thing that needs updating is the removal of the permission for sending syntactic profiles of XML as text/html. In addition, the encoding considerations, fragment identifier definition, and the text about recognising HTML documents are somewhat out of date and can be significantly improved by referencing HTML5 now."

This addition has not been without controversy. For example, Julian Reschke believes that "RFC 2854 applies to all HTML vocabularies (and references them), while HTML5 just describes the 'current' language." [ensuing discussion] I personally disagree that HTML 5 needs to define all elements and attributes of previous HTML versions in order to "earn" the right the re-register text/html, but it is true that HTML 5 does not do so. Or didn't, before r3683 added a definition of the <meta scheme> attribute and a definition for the <head profile> attribute. So there's that.

In other news:

Interesting discussion of the week: Web Storage: apparent contradiction in spec. At issue is how much freedom browsers should have to manage their client-side state, including cookies, local databases, and local storage. On one side is Linus Upson, project manager of Google Chrome: "It is important that all local state be treated as a cache. User agents need to be free to garbage collect any local state. If they can't then attackers (or the merely lazy) will be able to fill up the user's disk." On the other side is Brady Eidson of Apple: "One key advantage of LocalStorage and Databases over cookies is that they *do* have a predictable, persistent lifetime, and the browser is *not* allowed to prune them at will. ... [O]nce the data is stored, it should be considered user data - as 'sacred' as a user's file on the file system." Linus responds: "If the spec requires UAs to maintain local storage as 'precious' it will be the first such feature in HTML 5. Everything else in the spec is treated as volatile." It goes on like that for a while. Schuyler Duveen presents some use cases. Boris Zbarsky (Mozilla) thinks it's a matter of trust. The entire thread highlights the multiple trains of thought for what local storage is for, what it means, and how it should be treated.

2 Responses to “This Week in HTML 5 – Episode 34”

  1. drawImage is defined as void in the IDL, so always returns undefined. If the image isn’t ready, drawImage does nothing and createPattern returns null.

  2. Hi there,
    Few comments not on this entry but an entry given sometime back(14th September 2007 to be specific).

    The blog entry is http://blog.whatwg.org/the-longdesc-lottery

    Few comments on that.

    [quote]
    In August 2007, Ian Hickson analyzed a sample of 1 billion
    elements in Google’s index. Approximately 1.3 million (0.13%) had a
    longdesc attribute.
    [/quote]

    It doesn’t cite a blog entry or link of the actual study done, what parameters were given and stuff like that. Just giving some conclusion without proper background and stuff is meaningless.

    The other comment is about one of the links given in that post

    [quote]
    Meanwhile, the very people advocating for keeping the longdesc
    attribute have recently conducted some user testing.
    [/quote]

    the user-testing link gives a 404
    http://www.cfit.ie/html5_video/final/ the actual URL seems to be now
    http://www.cfit.ie/html5_video/

    Could you or the powers that be could rectify that link. While I do understand about link rot but entries like those have to be preserved.

    Lastly, I saw that something called ARIA-describeby is supposed to be a challenger to the longdesc attribute. If there is an article/blog entry can that be linked to the article per se.

    Looking forward to your comments and actions on the same. :)

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