Elsewhere on the 'Net - Standards/W3C

Standards/W3C elsewhere on the 'Net.


13 April 2009

EcmaScript Edition 5, formerly known as 3.1: Getting a new JavaScript

Ajaxian gives a useful overview of where we stand with regard to ECMAScript 5.

Core, Standards/W3C | Permalink

14 April 2008

HTML and DOM Standards Compliance in IE8 Beta 1

An overview of the W3C standards IE8 will and will not support. I'm gratified that the most serious bugs I found are present in the IE team's To Do list.

IE, Standards/W3C | Permalink

21 February 2008

DOM Scripting: A Web Standard

The deed is finally done: the WaSP DOM Scripting Task Force, mainly noted for its unnoticeability, has been disbanded.

Jeremy and I first discussed this back in October, and again in November. We were agreed that there was no more need for this Task Force, and several other members agreed with us.

Early this month I began to become a bit impatient. I decided to act on my own and sent a mail of resignation to the TF, only to have it rejected by the mail server because it was obviously Nigerian spam!

It was at that precise moment in time that I gave up on WaSP. Childish, I know, but it's a fitting symbol of what's wrong with WaSP.

I sent on my mail to Jeremy and Dori privately, and unsubscribed from the TF mailing list in a fit of pique. Now it turns out that they've done the right thing.

As Jeremy says, DOM scripting still needs a lot of work, but we don't need the Task Force for that.

WaSP | Permalink

28 January 2008

Me, IE8 and Microsoft Versioning

Molly disagrees not so much with the versioning switch, but rather with the secrecy in which the talks were held.

IE, WaSP | Permalink

12 December 2007

Go Molly! Go!

Alex talks about the upcoming IE release, and points out the cause of Microsoft's tight-lippedness (is that a word?): We have harshly (and rightly) rebuked MS in the past, and they don't want to make any false promises again. The easiest and safest way to do that is not making any promises at all. That's what's happening right now.

Alex also wonders about priorities for new browser releases, and he places innovation above standard support; that is, if a browser vendor has a great innovative idea, it shouldn't be forced to go through interminable W3C procedures before being allowed to implement it.

One can agree or disagree with Alex's thesis (I tend to agree), but the really important point is that the standardisation process has become kind of stuck. True, W3C has been mending its ways for the past year or so, but it's still going too slow.

And we all know what happens when there aren't any standards: browser vendors invent their own. Nowadays we can at least hope they'll pay attention to each other's efforts, but the essential problem is the same that plagued us during the Browser Wars.

Nonetheless, this situation has advantages as well as disadvantages. The most obvious advantage is a new wave of innovation, and that's always a good idea.

Will W3C and the web standards movement be cast in the role of opposing innovation in the name of the standards? That would be bad.

I feel that we're on a crossroad now. Standards support, though still important, isn't the be-all-end-all of everything Web any more. We've basicaly won the standards war—browser vendors now pay attention to us. Nonetheless, winning the war might have brought us a whole new set of problems, problems that are mostly centred on W3C being (or having been) so slow.

Which road do we choose? Strict adherence to the standards in all respects—which brings along a certain slowness; or a more innovation-driven approach—which may lead to proprietary extensions (in the sense that they aren't in the specs; but not necessarily in the sense that they differ from browser to browser).

Something's about to change. Something HAS to change.

But what?

IE, Standards/W3C | Permalink

4 December 2007

Email Standards Project

Excellent idea, especially as they already have done a basic test of the most important email clients. Surprisingly (to me, at least), most clients handle their acid test really well.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

15 November 2007

Thoughts on CSS Snapshot 2007

David Storey offers a way out of the CSS 2.2 vs. CSS Snapshot dilemma:

Any feature that has more than one implementation should be listed with a short justification why it isn't included or ready.

Now we just need a list of such features. Maybe, in the new year, when I have more time, I'll see if I can create such a list.

CSS, Standards/W3C | Permalink

28 October 2007

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Snapshot 2007

Back in May, Andy Budd proposed CSS 2.2 as a way of filling the gap between the 2.1 specification and the current browser implementations.

The CSS Working Group has taken him up on this by publishing the CSS Snapshot, which gives an overview of the CSS 2 and 3 modules that browsers currently (mostly) support.

Any himself indicated that this is not exactly the CSS 2.2 he envisioned. He'd hoped for

a list of all the selectors, properties and values that the working group felt were stable and ready for implementation. That way, browser manufacturers could start implementing and testing new features, under the knowledge that they weren’t going to change. Similarly, us web developers could start playing with these features and baking them into our more avant guarde projects.

He's right in that the Snapshot doesn't exactly provide such a list, but I'm afraid it's the best we're going to get right now.

CSS, Standards/W3C | Permalink

11 October 2007

Custom Attributes And Class Names

There is some discussion going on about using custom attributes. Alex Russell uses them in Dojo (and I myself have been using and promoting them since 2003). First Aaron Gustafson criticized him mildly, Aaron's main argument being that you can use a custom DTD.

Now Dan Webb weighs in. He goes further than Aaron: he doesn't want custom attributes at all. Instead, he points to the possibility of using good old class to store the data the scripts need. Possible, but when you've got a lot of data to store, it can become ugly in a hurry.

All in all, right now I tend to side with Alex, but I'll read the arguments of the opposite camp with care.

Maybe we can get around the problem by officially specifying a bunch of attributes that are expressly meant for storing script data. I'd like more than one; ideal would be something like:

<element scriptData1="retrospect" scriptData2="opaque" />

I don't think "scriptData" is the best name, but the idea would be that there's an infinite set of attributes to hold script data; and yes, that would mean that scriptData999999 would also be allowed.

Anyway, this discussion has hardly started up yet. I'm curious how it will proceed.

JavaScript, Standards/W3C | Permalink

14 September 2007

Alex Russell is not a heretic

Aaron Gustafson understands why Alex Russell has turned from staunch standards supporter to "the dark side", even though he doesn't quite agree with everything Alex is saying.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

Why we need standards support in HTML email

Excellent idea. This is the same guy who gave us A Guide to CSS Support in Email, so he knows what he's talking about.

(Via Roger.)

Standards/W3C | Permalink

2 September 2007


Some facts and thoughts about WAI-ARIA support in (X)HTML.

Accessibility, HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

17 August 2007

The HTML 5 circus: Why I left and rejoined the W3C HTML Working Group

Roger explains why he first left and then rejoined the HTML WG. This relates to the previous two entries, since HTML 5 is one of the hot issues of the moment.

So I’m giving this a second chance. The other day I rejoined the W3C HTML Working Group. This time around, however, I will be taking the opinions of people who seem to lack experience of real-world Web development and apparently are uninterested in actually improving the Web with a truckload or two of salt. Hopefully that will help me keep my temper.

That's exactly the problem right now; too many semi-professionals who can read specs but don't have any real-world experience.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

What crisis?

Zeldman reacts to Molly's post and points out there is no actual crisis. Besides, he'd like the critics to be more clear in what they don´t like about the current standardisation process.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

Dear W3C, Dear WaSP

Molly is concerned that W3C and WaSP aren't paying sufficient attention to what she considers the main problems of Web standards right now.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

17 July 2007

Corporate Web Standards

Interesting article about corporate web standards; i.e. corporate web sites that are standards-aware in principle, but not-quite-perfect in practice.

Basically, the message is that in a corporate environment you can't yet produce perfectly standards-compliant websites, but that a not-quite-perfect site is light years better than old-fashioned tag soup. I fully agree; for the moment this is the best way to make corporations and web standards live together in harmony.

Working in a large company, there are likely to be a lot of little things that keep you from producing—and more importantly, maintaining—a picture-perfect standards-compliant website. It’s not just one big issue, but multiple factors that contribute to a greater whole, and it can be a bit intimidating when taken altogether.

The answer is to take baby steps. Stop and have a look at all the problems that prevent you from doing the work you want to do, then start figuring out which ones need to be fixed first.

Spot on.

Business, Professionalism, Standards/W3C | Permalink

18 June 2007

On the WCAG Samurai errata

Bruce comments on WCAG + Samurai, pointing out a few of his best practices that go against the errata document. I disagree with his use of the noscript tag; see comment 5.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

Whither W3C?

Andy Budd gives an excellent overview of the strained relation between W3C and the web development community.

In addition he has some useful things to say about mailing lists. Although anyone can help the HTML and CSS WG's by subscribing to the public mailing lists, the traffic on those lists is so high that you really have to be a full-time spec writer in order to really follow the discussion.

Although I'm not sure that this is an intrinsic problem of mailing lists in general (I'm subscribed to a few low-volume high-quality lists), it's certainly true for the W3C lists.

Solution? I have no idea.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

15 June 2007

HTML5 differences from HTML4

Anne van Kesteren has gone through the trouble of describing the differences between HTML 4 and 5.

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

9 June 2007

The CSS working group is irrelevant

... says Ian Hickson, who's actually a member of said working group.

CSS, Standards/W3C | Permalink

15 May 2007

Another look at HTML 5

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

11 May 2007

Forward Towards the Past

Tommy Olsson disagress sharply with the current HTML WG activity that wishes to define the invalid markup currently being used. He has a point.

(Via Roger.)

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

Six Months Later: The New HTML Working Group

Finally a good summary of what's going on in the HTML WG. Contains an excellent overview of the current hot topics.

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

8 May 2007

Interview with Judy Brewer on WCAG 2.0

Some data on the ongoing WCAG 2.0 process.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink


Andy thinks it's time for CSS 2.2: an intermediate step between 2.1 and the proposed (and proposed and proposed) 3.

My fear is that the W3C has bitten off more than it can chew, and this is having a negative effect on the web. We currently live in a world of live texture mapping and rag doll physics. And yet as web developers, we don’t even have the ability to create rounded corner boxes programmatically. The W3C are so concerned with shaping the future, I’m worried that they may have forgotten the present. Forgotten the needs of the average web designer and developer.

This complaint is nothing new; but nowadays it comes from serious standardistas instead of fringe people. Although I completely agree, I feel that W3C may (ponderously, but still) be reverting to the right track; witness the new HTML WG that at least tries to do things differently. And trying comes before succeeding.

CSS, Standards/W3C | Permalink

Help keep accessibility and semantics in HTML

Roger is not happy with the accessibility knowledge level within the HTML WG.

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

11 April 2007

HTML5, XHTML2, and the Future of the Web

David "liorean" Andersson takes a look at HTML 5 and XHTML 2. Probably the most complete current overview of where (X)HTML stands right now.

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

16 March 2007

WaSP Street Team

A new WaSP initiative: the Street Team. Sign up if you want to do something practical for web standards in your neighbourhood. In fact, I'm going to need a few Dutch and Flemish Street Teamers for a project I'll give the details of later, so if you're Dutch speaking and want to get involved, please sign up!

WaSP | Permalink

9 March 2007

W3C Relaunches HTML Activity

The HTML Working Group is re-formed, as we've all been expecting. The charter looks fine, and the 10 % market share success criterion that the Safari team rightly objected to has been dropped.

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

14 February 2007

My two new sites with no valid pages

Bruce Lawson, whom nobody can accuse of being indifferent to web standards, decides to use an invalid attribute in order to combat an IE accessibility problem. As a result his latest sites use invalid HTML.

I wasn't aware of the problem, but now that I encountered it I completely agree with Bruce's line of thought.

As everybody knows I'm not above adding invalid or custom attributes whenever I see the need. My general rule is that I must be able to explain any validation error a page contains; that is, I won't use custom attributes just for the heck of it, but only if they serve a narrowly defined purpose that I can explain in two or three sentences.

Bruce's use of tabindex="-1" adheres to this de facto guideline of mine, so I'm all in favour of it. I assume that, other than the spurious tabindex, the HTML is clean and valid.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

11 February 2007

Letter to Tim Berners-Lee: Time to cancel WCAG 2

Joe Clark doesn't thing WCAG 2.0 is a good idea. In itself that's nothing new, but now he follows up by an official Open Letter.

Over on WaSP Derek Featherstone asks What to do with WCAG 2. A consensus seems to be that the document is impractical, but other than that there's no real agreement.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

4 February 2007

Working Together for a Better Web

From now on Molly will help the IE team maintain its standards compliance.

IE, Standards/W3C | Permalink

18 January 2007

HTML Standards Process Returning from the Grave

Apple's complaints about the new HTML Working Group charter.

Makes sense, doesn't it?

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

12 January 2007

You, me and the W3C (aka Reinventing HTML)

Chris Wilson turns out to be considered for the role of (initial) chairman of the new HTML Working Group, but Daniel Glazman disagrees. In this entry Chris responds to Daniel's points.

The main argument against Chris's chairmanship seems to be a fear for undue Microsoft influence on the new HTML spec. In other words: it's a trust and confidence issue. Although Microsoft's record in implementing standards isn't exactly squeakily clean, the past year or so has seen a significant reversal, and that's partly due to Chris.

I hope the trust issue gets resolved soon. If not, the new HTML working group will start on the wrong foot and nothing will be resolved.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

8 November 2006

Have Your Say about the Future of HTML

Now that the HTML Working Group is being restructured, it's time to think about what we want from the new Group. Does HTML have to change? If so, how? Please leave your thoughts and comments here.

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

1 November 2006

Tim Berners Lee and reinventing HTML

Despite the title the larger part of this article is about WHAT-WG and how it came to be. Furthermore Isofarro believes SVG is dead (agree) and XForms might profit from an increased interest in HTML that allows it to be backward compatible (agree).

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

28 October 2006

Reinventing HTML

Tim Berners-Lee replies to the recent critique on W3C and announces the formation of a new HTML Working Group.

The plan is to charter a completely new HTML group. Unlike the previous one, this one will be chartered to do incremental improvements to HTML, as also in parallel xHTML. It will have a different chair and staff contact. It will work on HTML and xHTML together. We have strong support for this group, from many people we have talked to, including browser makers.

An excellent reply. I look forward to the first incremental improvement.

HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

25 September 2006

W3C Change: Full Independence

Eric proposes:

Transform the W3C from a member-funded organization to a financially independent entity.

The best idea of his series, but it'll likely be the most difficult one to implement.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

18 September 2006

W3C Change: Working Groups

Eric continues his proposals for W3C reform. This time he talks about the organisation of a W3C Working Group.

So that’s how I’d reform WG membership and leadership: participants need to be active; WGs need a minimum membership to continue; and WGs should be able to remove their own chairs when necessary.

Interesting ideas, all in all. It'd also be interesting to see if W3C officially reacts to these ideas beyond "We'll take in into consideration but at this moment we can't say anything more."

Standards/W3C | Permalink

15 September 2006

W3C Change: Outreach

Eric proposes that every W3C Working Group appoint an Outreach official who's responsible for communication between the Working Group and the general audience.

The main advantage would be more clarity: if people understand why a certain feature cannot be implemented, they'll start thinking along with the WG and maybe propose a viable solution. Right now, they can only guess at the reasons for not implementing the feature, and that's not good.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

14 September 2006

W3C Change: Introduction

If W3C becomes slower and slower, what's the alternative? Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question.

Eric feels W3C does not need to be replaced, provided it mends its ways. He'll continue to explore this topic in future entries. I, for one, am curious.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

23 August 2006

More W3C Controversy

David Baron on the W3C controversy. Very interesting explanation of how W3C works and how it should work.
'It's time for the Web browser community to stop using up its resources attacking specifications that we're not interested in implementing.'

Standards/W3C | Permalink

14 August 2006

Angry, Not: Zeldman, Meyer, and Fair Concerns About the W3C

... and Molly reacts to Eric's article.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

Angry Indeed

Eric takes Jeffrey's side in the W3C controversy. Does W3C still serve the practical needs of web developers? Jeffrey (and now Eric) say No, while Molly, on behalf of WaSP, says Yes-ish.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

27 July 2006

Ambition No.3 (CSS-WG)

Andy Clarke enters the W3C CSS Working Group as Invited Expert on design. Excellent idea.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

Misplaced Anger: A Rebuttal to Zeldman’s Criticism of the W3C

Molly disagrees with Zeldman's critique of W3C.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

18 July 2006

An angry fix

Zeldman gets annoyed at W3C.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

17 July 2006

Breaking news: w3c specs are not Word of God

About definition-list-fundamentalism, float-exegesis, and other undesirable offshoots of the Web standards revolution.

CSS, HTML, Standards/W3C, Theory | Permalink

3 July 2006

Designing With Web Standards, 2nd edition

...and the Father of Modern Web Design brings us gifts, too...

Books, CSS, HTML, Standards/W3C | Permalink

13 June 2006

Promoting the responsible use of JavaScript: writing, teaching and presenting

What the WaSP DOM Scripting Task Force has done this year.

JavaScript, Linkdumps, WaSP | Permalink

26 May 2006

To Hell with WCAG 2

Joe Clark explains why the upcoming WCAG 2.0 specification is wrong.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

15 March 2006

Designing for: The Web Standards Project

Andy Clarke about the WaSP redesign.

WaSP | Permalink

WaSP redesign

WaSP redesigns.

WaSP | Permalink

30 January 2006

WCAG 2: The difference between a level and a priority

... or why WCAG 2.0 will be useless and incomprehensible.

Accessibility, Standards/W3C | Permalink

24 November 2005

Web API Working Group Charter

Although W3C is the tiniest bit late in jumping on the web application bandwagon, it seems to be determined to catch up. The charter looks good: if features collaboration with WHAT-WG and specifications that will describe actual current browser implementations.

Standards/W3C | Permalink

3 November 2005

WaSP Microsoft Task Force Update

What can we expect from Microsoft? A few more facts about IE 7 and other subjects.

IE, WaSP | Permalink

This is the linklog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also visit his QuirksBlog, or you can follow him on Twitter.

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