Please leave your sense of logic at the door, thanks!

This Week in HTML 5 – Episode 2

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 biggest news this week is revision 2020, which standardizes the navigator object:

The navigator attribute of the Window interface must return an instance of the Navigator interface, which represents the identity and state of the user agent (the client), and allows Web pages to register themselves as potential protocol and content handlers.

Currently, HTML 5 defines four properties and two methods:

This is only a subset of navigator properties and methods that browsers already support. See Navigator Object on Google Doctype for complete browser compatibility information.

Next up: Content-Language. No, not the HTTP header, not even the <html lang> attribute, but the <meta> tag! As reported by Henri Sivonen,

It seems that some authoring tools and authors use <meta http-equiv='content-language' content='languagetag'> instead of <html lang='languagetag'>.

This led to revision 2057, which defines the <meta> http-equiv="Content-Language"> directive and its relationship with lang, xml:lang, and the Content-Language HTTP header.

In the continuing saga of the alt attribute, the new syntax for alternate text of auto-generated images (which I covered in last week's episode) has generated some followup discussion. Philip Taylor is concerned that it will increase complexity for authoring tools; others feel the complexity is worth the cost. James Graham suggested a no-text-equivalent attribute; similar proposals have been discussed before and rejected.

Switching to the new Web Workers specification (which I also covered last week), Aaron Boodman (one of the developers of Google Gears) posted his initial feedback. This kicked off a long discussion and led to the creation of the Worker object.

Other interesting changes this week:

Administrivia: "This Week in HTML 5" now has its own feed.

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

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