Monthly Archives: January 2011

The HTML5 logo again

In an earlier post, I questioned how W3C’s new HTML5 logo could help provide a “consistent, standardized visual vocabulary” when it stood for nothing in particular. Others have taken even stronger positions than mine, and W3C has backtracked. The HTML5 logo now stands for HTML5, not for HTML5, CSS3, H.264, and every other “cool” technology showing up on the web these days.

It’s still, as I noted, not a mark of conformance or certification, so its use on a website proves nothing, but at least now what it’s claiming to say is clearer.

SourceForge security incident and doppelgänger characters

This morning I got an email from SourceForge saying that all passwords had been reset because of a password sniffing incident. Naturally, I’m suspicious of all email of this kind, but I do have a SourceForge account. So rather than follow any of the links in the mail, I tried to log in normally and found that passwords were in fact reset. I followed the procedure for resetting by email and my account’s working again.

I’m sure some of you reading this also have SourceForge accounts, so this bit of reassurance may be helpful, especially if your phishing filters (philters?) kept you from seeing the notice in the first place. It’s likely some fakers will set up scams to take advantage of this issue, so always go to the SourceForge website by typing in the URL or using a bookmark, rather than by following a link from email. It’s easy to mistake a near-lookalike URL on a quick glance.

Worse yet (yes, this post has something to do with formats), there are now exact lookalike URL’s, thanks to the unfortunate policy of allowing Unicode in URL’s. There are numerous cases where characters in non-English character sets normally look just like letters of the Roman alphabet. Someone could, in principle, register sourceforgе.net, which looks just like sourceforge.net — but do a local text search for “sourceforge” in your browser, and you’ll notice the first “sourceforgе.net” (and this one) are skipped over. The sixth letter isn’t the ASCII letter “e” but the Russian letter “e,” which usually looks the same or very nearly.

If your browser doesn’t have a Cyrillic font, you may be seeing a placeholder glyph instead. Or if it views the page in Latin-1 instead of UTF-8, you may see a Capital D followed by a Greek lower-case mu.

With any email that offers to correct a password issue, exercise extreme caution, even though some are legitimate.

HTML5 logo

HTML5 logoW3C has a new logo for HTML5. The blog post says:

As you’re aware, the term HTML5 has taken on a life of its own; there has been significant confusion and debate both within the developer community and in the public at large as to what exactly HTML5 is when the term is used outside of simply referring to the spec itself. This variability in perception is what inspired the project – a group of developers and HTML5 evangelists came to us and posed the question, ‘How can we better communicate all of the technologies and potential that HTML5 represents?’ …and the resounding answer was, the standard needs a standard. That is, HTML5 needs a consistent, standardized visual vocabulary to serve as a framework for conversations, presentations, and explanations moving forward.

How it will do this when the logo stands for nothing in particular — it isn’t a mark of conformance, certification, or anything else, and anyone can use it under a CC license — isn’t clear.

LOC irony

The Library of Congress Digital Preservation Newsletter (latest issue, subscription page) has some very nice content, but it’s ironic that the newsletter is delivered with the nondescript file name of 201101.pdf and that (if JHOVE is right) it doesn’t conform to PDF-A. A PDF/A document can’t have external links, so its lack is excusable; it’s the meaningless file name that actually bugs me more from a preservation standpoint.

I can’t find an editorial contact address on the newsletter to mention this to.