Next to @WHATWG, we now have +WHATWG. Hopefully ⸮WHATWG is next. Not to dispair, WHATWG Weekly will remain right here, without funny characters preceding it.
HTML is big, so follow what interests you!
Ian Hickson announced a new system on the mailing list that allows people to subscribe to specific sub-topics in the HTML specification, such as
<canvas> or the HTML Syntax and Parsing sections. You can do so right from the specification itself. If you are interested in topics that are not yet a sub-topic, please let us know.
XMLHttpRequest is now developed as a single specification again, to reduce confusion, and make it easier for everyone to look at the same copy. Some subtle changes have been made as well, such as allowing
responseType to be set before invoking
open(), and restrictions on synchronous usage outside a worker context are planned. Synchronous in the main thread is bad, and you will not find any new
XMLHttpRequest goodness there real soon now.
Because not everyone writes sites in a way that prevents future specifications from breaking them, Cameron McCormack has thought up a proposal that should help to make API design less restrictive. Karl Dubost pointed out that using
GET when you mean
POST is a bad idea.
Ryosuke Niwa is still working on the UndoManager and DOM Transaction specification and posted about a re-introduced
AutomaticDOMTransaction interface. He also announced an updated draft and summarized the changes thus far.
You can now put a fullscreen in your fullscreen. Brought to you by Fullscreen. This is the WHATWG Weekly, not quite weekly, but you are still welcome.
Revision 6827 introduced the new
time element. The one that also allows for years, yearless dates, durations, and so on. It is based on extensive research by Tantek Çelik. That same Tantek is now battling the
HTML WG co-chairs to get everything synchronized again. I am not privy of what is going on, as it happens behind closed doors.
Half a decade later we finally might get the short names for
querySelector() that we actually wanted. Or not, it remains to be seen how compatible they are. In any event, Jonas Sicking started a thread on
findAll()'s return value. An ECMAScript
Array with some extra features.
Ojan Vafai proposed a
tabindexscope attribute for better control of tabbing behavior in a widget that is part of larger application. A little before James Graham suggested constructors for HTML elements.
new HTMLButtonElement(), you name it. Michael A. Puls II briefly explains the difference between plugins and native support when it comes to attributes. Gavin Kistner found an oversight in data URL origin determination due to added support for CORS.
Kinuko Yasuda started a long thread on how drag-and-drop of folders is to be supported in the platform. Jonas Sicking suggested nothing much new is needed for that, though Glenn Maynard foresees problems reusing the current API. And on it goes.
Rafael Weinstein suggested a
template element that would have special parsing behavior. Basically making the nested elements not do anything (e.g. not fetch images, execute scripts).
A long week
Filled with people and meetings
Last week the W3C held its yearly TPAC conference. See Unorganization for an impression of the event written by me. Karl wrote down some technical details. What follows is my brief technical takeaway.
<time> and again
time element comes back and its new design will be heavily influenced by the research done on the Time element wiki page. In short, the API will be removed, and support for years, months, birthdays lacking a year, and durations will be added.
The remainder of the discussions in the HTML WG were by and large non-technical (or rabbitholing about the
longdesc attribute), leading yours truly to suggest that maybe we should call it a day and move on to the next thing.
Several meetings were had on components (formerly XBL) trying to get a sense of where we should be heading. Although not everyone could be present at every meeting, some progress was made. Components with a public API will likely be required to inherit from a single element type and components will always be bound in an asynchronous manner to ensure developers will not rely on them being synchronously bound.
The new mutations model for the web was hashed out among the people working on it and the other day I put the mutations IDL in DOM4 as a start for the new standard.
It was my impression that people operating at various levels of the W3C were more open for change. To improve standards development similarly to what we are trying to do within the WHATWG. It remains to be seen what comes out of it, but it encouraging to see that this is a topic of conversation, with Tim-Berners Lee and Jeff Jaffe (W3C CEO) actively participating.
Despite that all the text of the W3C HTML5 is available under a license that permits forking (namely the WHATWG text), the W3C Members keep denying the W3C HTML WG’s desire for a license that allows forking. People were puzzled.
Revision 6695 made HTML attribute values match in a case-sensitive manner as far as Selectors are concerned. This approach was favored over having a hardcoded list of HTML attributes whose values had to be matched case-insensitively. Revision 6701 removed
selectedOptions from the
input element, a vestige from the Web Forms 2.0 era. Welcome to the weekend (jetlag) edition of the WHATWG Weekly.
The major news today is that since revision 6783 we have a new element:
data. We also lost an element:
data element represents a piece of human readable data that is made machine readable by its required
value attribute. It can either be used for Microdata or as an element to help out scripts, in similar fashion to the
The reason the
time element has been replaced is that its primary use has been for marking up machine-readable times and dates in Microdata vocabularies, which is a use that has been requested for many other types of data as well (currency, numbers, location). The
data element addresses these use cases in a generic fashion and provides yet another hook for scripts to play with.
The same revision also removed the HTML-to-Atom conversion algorithm. Authors can use a schema.org Microdata vocabulary instead.
As reported earlier Simon Pieters did some research into timestamps. He now complemented that with research into separating cues. As a result of this parsing of WebVTT was made more forgiving. Newline handling was made more predictable.
There were many other changes of significance:
- Since revision 6710
MutableTextTrack are identical.
TextTrackCue became mutable in the next revision.
- Revision 6717 aligned the parsing rules for non-negative integers with those of integers.
- Revision 6718 turned the
HTMLDocument interface into an extension of the
Document interface. The plan is to do the same with the
SVGDocument interface down the road and no longer introduce specific
Document interfaces as you really want to have access to all their combined members if you deal with multiple languages at the same time.
- In revision 6727 the HTML standard gained yet another joke, this time in the form of a comment in the source code:
Welcome to crazy town. Population: The Web.
- Now there is a draft for a URL API, we removed
navigator.resolveURL() in revision 6745 as it would become redundant.
- Revision 6754 clarified the scope of attributes defined in the HTML standard. They are only applicable to HTML elements. This includes e.g. Microdata, which for that reason does not work on MathML or SVG at this time.
And even more than those, which you can look up for yourself by going through the HTML5 tracker or by following us on twitter: @WHATWG.
Should we introduce an
isWhiteSpace attribute for
Text nodes, and if we do, what would you use it for? Anyway, WHATWG Weekly, brief one this week.
The big news last week was renewed activity on Gecko:FullScreenAPI, a proposal by Robert O'Callahan to make fullscreen work for the platform. Yours truly made an initial attempt at formalizing it in terms of the DOM and HTML as Fullscreen.
The details of Fullscreen are currently being discussed on the WHATWG mailing list and IRC channel. As a reminder, both are open for anyone to join.