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

Base64, model trains, Web Workers & the DOM, captions, …

by Anne van Kesteren in Weekly Review

Inspired by my friend Peter who writes summaries about the ongoing progress with WebKit I thought I should try writing such a summary about the WHATWG. If this works out you might see another one. Obviously a lot has been happening thus far so to not make this ridiculously hard I will restrict myself to everything that happened fairly recently.

Aryeh Gregor took it upon himself to write a specification for window.btoa and window.atob. These methods originate with Gecko and have been adopted by other browsers since, but have never been formally specified. This also explains why implementations are different. If you want to help out standardizing something take a look at companion specifications on the WHATWG Wiki.

The device element (see What’s Next in HTML, episode 1) continues to be discussed on the mailing list (subscribe). Though from sharing a video/audio stream the focus in the discussion has shifted towards allowing applications to interact with non-typical hardware and the implications to security thereof. Consider attaching certain sensors to your computer or maybe your model train set and wanting to interact with it directly from a web application without having to install plugins of any kind.

Web Workers and the DOM was discussed to quite some extent on the mailing list. Evidently developers want more out of Web Workers and are running into limitations. Web Workers do not have access to a DOM, because existing DOM implementations are not thread-safe. Various threads on the mailing list are about overcoming this hindrance.

Silvia Pfeiffer who apparently has been contracting for Google recently (congrats!) wrote a lengthy email: Google Feedback on the HTML5 media a11y specifications. I.e. feedback on WebVTT — the WHATWG way of doing captions — and the new track element. Mark Watson with Netflix wonders how captioning will work in an adaptive streaming context.

It does not stop here. Really:

Have a good week!

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