Monthly Archives: August 2009

HTML 5 updated

There’s a new working draft of HTML 5 available from W3C. It still has the same warning as in April: “Implementors should be aware that this specification is not stable. Implementors who are not taking part in the discussions are likely to find the specification changing out from under them in incompatible ways.

But lots of sections have been marked “Last call for comments,” so perhaps it really is closing in on a stable version. Or perhaps not. The most widely debated issue is video codecs, and I get the impression there’s been little progress on them. The situation is, in principle, similar to the <IMG> tag, where browsers explicitly aren’t required to support any particular image format; but it would be a poor (or text-only) browser that didn’t support JPEG and GIF, at least. With video there isn’t even that much agreement. Granted, the situation is just as bad now, but HTML 4 doesn’t even address the issue, so it isn’t held back by format disputes.

I’m looking at the HTML 5 wars from a rather uninformed distance, so don’t expect expert analysis here, just impatience with how slowly things are going. According to the WHATWG Wiki, it may reach Candidate Recommendation stage in 2012. The fact that the HTML working group now has three co-chairs just strikes me as a bad sign.

Twiddling settings

I’ve made a few changes to the settings. As of now, anyone can comment, but all comments have to be approved by me. (WordPress doesn’t allow automatic approval of comments by registered users together with moderation of other comments, as far as I can tell.) Also, the feed now gives full articles instead of summaries.

FITS — a new tool set from HUL

An early version of FITS, a new tool set for identifying, validating, and extracting technical metadata for various file formats, is now available on Googlecode. It wraps several third-party open source tools, normalizes and consolidates their output, and reports any errors.

I’m not directly involved in FITS at the moment, but I’m involved in various ways around its edges.

Catching up

Here are a few of the news items I mentioned recently on the old blog, for your convenience:

  • A workshop on JHOVE2 will be held after the conclusion of iPres 2009 in San Francisco, on October 7, 2009. This will include, for the first time, a presentation of the prototype code.
  • JPEG XR, formerly known as Microsoft HD Photo, is now an international standard, as reported in a JPEG press release.
  • JHOVE 1.4 is now available on SourceForge. The main change is that PDF/A compliance is more accurately identified than before, and is based on the final standard rather than a draft.