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Archive for March, 2011

WHATWG Weekly: Quiet Week

Monday, March 28th, 2011

A relatively quiet week this week.

Ian Hickson modified pushState to match the Firefox 4 implementation. More on this in the WHATWG email list.

Nicholas Zakas brought up a question on the scoped attribute of the style element, when the element is placed in an area expecting flow content. This triggered an interesting discussion about what works, as compared to what's valid.

Stefan Håkansson suggested that since the Peer-to-peer and Stream APIs are similar between what is proposed in the WHATWG spec, and a comparable spec written by Harald Alvestrand that one is adopted as a base for further work. Harold expressed willingness, but is concerned about embedding the API in HTML5.

Speaking of which, my favorite quote of the week comes from Michael Smith in the WHATWG IRC:

# [18:14] anyway, I'm happy until PHP starts getting called HTML5

Rumor has it that Starbuck's is coming out with an HTML5 brand of coffee—twice the caffeine with a hint of fruity, hot pepper notes.

On the W3C side, the discussion continues about HTML5 licensing.

The issue about longdesc has been re-opened and there was some fragmented discussion on this in the W3C HTML WG email list. This discussion on longdesc seems to have the most activity, but nothing has been decided.

What was decided was Issue 126 on the requirement to break RFC 2616 compliance with respect to backslashes not needed for legacy content. The co-chairs decided to leave the text in HTML5, unchanged.

The co-chairs also issued a decision on Issue 140. The co-chairs did adopt the proposal by Noah Mendelsohn to modify the text of HTML5 so that "conforming document" now becomes "conforming HTML5 document", and that the term only be applied to the HTML5 document, itself. This does necessitate changes to the HTML5 spec.

Another co-chair decision is related to Issue 139, which asked that the Microdata usability study acknowledgement be removed from the HTML5 specification, since Microdata is no longer contained in the HTML5 specification. Instead, the acknowledgement will be moved to the Microdata specification.

If I missed anything that should have been included, add a note in comments and I'll update this post. Otherwise, ta until next week.


The HTML to Platform Accessibility APIs Implementation Guide is up for first publication this week.

In addition, the HTML WG co-chairs asked for consensus on publishing eight other working drafts including HTML5.

Posted in Weekly Review | 1 Comment »

The WHATWG Forums

Monday, March 21st, 2011

First thing's first. Hi my name is Liam Hockley, I am a recent addition to the admin team on the WHATWG forums and I have been working on improving the site over the past couple of weeks. (

The first thing I did, was update the forum software from the severely outdated phpBB2, to the fresh new phpBB3. This process went fairly smoothly. Next I created a new forum section to facilitate the discussion of forums/website ideas and feedback. On top of this, the other admins and myself  have been working to make sure spam is not and will not be an issue moving forward.

The next step and what we are currently working on, is to try and get the forums more active. I would like to encourage you to use the forums and tell all of your friends. This could serve as a great base for compelling discussion and debate on the HTML spec.

In the future, I plan to try and implement integration of the twitter RSS feed and potentially an RSS feed of the WHATWG mailing list. There is also an effort in place on the part of phpBB, to modernize their markup to follow the latest HTML spec in upcoming releases. We will most certainly be taking advantage of that once it becomes possible.

Anyways, thank you for reading. If you get a chance, check out the forums and drop us a line.

-Liam "Xdega" Hockley

Posted in WHATWG | 3 Comments »

WHATWG Weekly: Device we hardly knew ye

Monday, March 21st, 2011

Hello folks, and welcome to my first WHATWG Weekly. In case you're wondering where Anne van Kesteren is, you can follow his adventures for the next three months at Anne, Tom, and Peter's Trip Weblog. Last time I looked, the gang is in Colombia. And there was something about beer.

peerConnection, <device>, and video conferencing

The biggest change last week was signaled by an email from WHATWG editor, Ian Hickson.

According to the email, Ian made the following changes to WHATWG HTML specification:

Two other WHATWG email list threads are also related to these new updates: one related to PeerConnection encryption, the other providing feedback on the new additions related to the Video conferencing and peer-to-peer communication section in the spec.

Rich Paste and execCommand

Two other lively discussions happened in the WHATWG email lists this last week. The first is one that started the beginning of March and is about the execCommand spec that Aryeh Gregor is working on.

The second is a new thread that started this week, based on a request for image paste capability. It seems this interest has been triggered by work on a patch for this functionality in WebKit/Chrome.

W3C HTML WG Decisions

The co-chairs over at the W3C HTML WG have been busy this week, publishing three new decisions in addition to starting straw polls for others.

In Issue 101, related to the ASCII Character set reference, the co-chairs decided in favor of the proposal to maintain the link to the free of charge ASCII reference (no spec change).

In Issue 125, related to breaking RFC 2616 compliance with respect to single quotes not needed for legacy content, the co-chairs decided in favor of altering the specification in order to comply with Anne's original proposal.

In Issue 128, related to the figure element within <p>, the co-chairs decided on the no-change proposal, leaving figure to be treated the same as <p> and <aside>.

That's it for this week. If I missed anything, let me know and I'll update this post. Otherwise, see you all next week.

update I missed five other W3C HTML WG co-chair decisions:

In Issue 56 on the alignment between HTML5 and IRI align on URLs, the co-chairs decided on restoring the removed text, which I believe maps to this change proposal.

In Issue 88, on meta/content and allowing multiple languages, the co-chairs decided on making Content-Language non-conforming, which does result in a spec change.

One of my issues bit the dust: In Issue 96, the co-chairs decided on the proposal to keep the progress element. This decision was not exactly a surprise.

In Issue 124 on allowing "nofollow" and "noreferrer" as rel values, the co-chairs decided on the proposal that would disallow these values.

In Issue 127, on whether attributes on <link> and <a> can have different effects, the co-chairs decided on the proposal to optimize the text..

So many issues, so little time.

Posted in Weekly Review | 4 Comments »

WHATWG Weekly: Return of the Layout Table

Monday, March 14th, 2011

This is my last WHATWG Weekly for a while. Shelley Powers will take over starting next week. Meanwhile my friend (and colleague these days) Karl Dubost has started writing similar summaries for the W3C Blog: Open Web Platform Weekly Summary. Hopefully this is just the beginning.

EventSource, Workers, and Progress Events

The W3C WebApps Working Group published three Last Call Working Drafts: Server-Sent Events (EventSource), Web Workers, and Progress Events. In theory Last Call is the final check before a specification is more or less done. In practice it can still take over seven years. Irrespective of theory and practice, the sooner you submit your comments on a specification the better. Specifications are implemented, then become used, and at some point become immutable in areas you might be displeased with. You want to beat that.

A restrictive datalist, inline lists, cross-origin databases, and drawWindow()

Over on the WHATWG mailing list Markus Ernst brought up restricting the color palette for the <input type=color> control. Using the datalist element you can suggest a palette, but you cannot restrict it any way. This discussion quickly generalized to all new controls as they have a similar limitation. Jonas Sicking pointed out that providing a good user interface might be difficult. I said that we should probably wait a bit until the existing functionality is implemented by most user agents before adding yet more features.

Jukka K. Korpela re-raised the question many have had since they learned HTML: What about paragraphs that contain lists? James Graham pointed out that the section element cannot be used. Markus Ernst suggested we introduce a new inline list element. Probably best to just not worry too much about it and carry on as we have done for the past decade.

Apart from markup, there were a few API requests too. Brett Zamir wants cross-origin databases. Erik Möller (with Opera) asked about making Mozilla’s <canvas>.drawWindow() part of the web platform.

Layout tables

The W3C HTML Working Group decided that when you put role=presentation on a table element it can be used (in a conforming way) for presentational purposes.

Posted in Weekly Review | 9 Comments » HTML Parser Version 1.3.1 Released

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

There is now a new release of the HTML Parser. The new release contains files that were missing from the previous release package by accident. It also contains one tree builder correctness fix and one error reporting improvement.

Posted in Syntax | Comments Off on HTML Parser Version 1.3.1 Released