WHATWG Weekly: Encoding woes and WebVTT
If you want to contribute to the WHATWG Blog or Wiki, join IRC (
#whatwg on Freenode). We had to shut down user registration unfortunately due to excessive spam. Welcome to another WHATWG Weekly. If it were themed, this would be about Sinterklaas.
In response to Faruk Ateş' plea for defaulting to UTF-8, David Baron explained the platform encoding problem. The problem is that currently the default encoding varies per user (depending on locale primarily) and sites rely on locale-specific default encodings. Such sites visited by a user using a Dutch computer and a user using a Chinese computer, will render differently. In particular, their byte streams will be decoded using a different encoding. The implication is that the web is less global than it should be. How exactly we are to overcome the platform encoding problem, without everyone explicitly opting in to an encoding using
<meta charset=utf-8> (please do so if you are a web developer), is still unclear. Ideas welcome!
Revision 6837 made it possible for WebVTT to be published as a standalone Living Standard. It will primarily be developed by the Web Media Text Tracks Community Group on the firstname.lastname@example.org mailing list. WebVTT is the platform's captioning and subtitle format (for HTML video) and its development can be tracked on Twitter via @webvtt.
The same revision that let WebVTT be published as standalone document, removed everything related to peer-to-peer connections and video conferencing. The W3C Web Real-Time Communications Working Group forked our work in WebRTC 1.0: Real-time Communication Between Browsers and we (the WHATWG) are okay with them working on it instead.
Yours truly added native JSON support to XMLHttpRequest. Just set
responseType to "
response will give you a JSON-decoded object once fetching is done.