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WHATWG Weekly: Event Constructors, Augmented Reality, and a new HTML5 Timeline

by Anne van Kesteren in Weekly Review

Still behind with most of the specifications I edit (as ever, really), but did catch up with what went down while I was away and tracked what happened during the week.

Changes to the specification

Errors in workers (the best place to write synchronous code) now propagate up all the way to window.onerror. In addition, self.location in workers now stringifies.

The postMessage() API became a little more complicated for forthcoming support of transferring ArrayBuffer objects. Instead of cloning the ArrayBuffer object this means that the sender ceases control of it. As cloning is no longer required using this functionality would be a performance win for applications. (And less memory usage.)

Mailing list

On the mailing list details of collapsed whitespace handling for the contenteditable attribute are hashed out, as well as getSelection() in the context of vertical writing modes, HTTP adaptive streaming of video, drawing with singular transforms and zero-sized gradients on canvas, and a few other things. There were also some requests:


The DOM Core specification gained support for event constructors. Once this is shipped in browsers you will be able to do var ev = new Event("yay"). You can set attributes via a second argument: var ev = new ProgressEvent("progress", {loaded:42}).

In W3C bug 10623 the future of exceptions on the web platform is being discussed. Whether we should continue using DOMException or a new approach that relies less on the awkward code attribute checking. Input appreciated!


Maciej posted a revised timeline for the W3C’s work on HTML5 (WHATWG develops a parallel edition of HTML that continuously evolves and has no version number). The W3C HTML5 draft is in Last Call which means your technical comments have to be filed by a certain date. That date is 3 August 2011. From that date onwards it is expected to take until new years until all feedback is addressed by the editors, and until end of April 2012 until the Working Group has verified. (At the moment the HTML WG charter calls for the HTML5 Candidate Recommendation draft to be published at that time. It seems likely however another Last Call draft is required first. Feedback has already resulted in substantive changes.)

Earlier Maciej also posted on editorial assistants that will help Ian out with dealing with the Last Call feedback.

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