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This Week in HTML 5 – Episode 34

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

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the encoding considerations, fragment identifier definition, and the text about recognising HTML documents are somewhat out of date and can be significantly improved by referencing HTML5 now."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.

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This Week in HTML 5 – Episode 29

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

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 30th is the addition of a synchronous database API to the Web Storage spec (which was split out from the HTML 5 spec a few weeks ago). This new API defines a DatabaseSync object whose methods return SQLTransactionSync objects. This directly mirrors the asynchronous database API, which had already defined a Database object whose methods return SQLTransaction objects. [r2958]

Another interesting change this week is r2921, which adds the placeholder attribute to the <textarea> element. I tracked the initial discussion of the placeholder attribute in episode 8 and noted its appearance in HTML 5 in episode 13. Previously you could only use the placeholder attribute on <input type=text>, <input type=email>, <input type=url>, and <input type=password>, but Thomas Broyer pointed out that Google Code (among others) uses placeholder text on <textarea> elements. Such sites could now theoretically migrate their current script-based solutions to HTML 5 markup.

Other interesting changes this week:

Around the web:

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

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