Tag Archives: W3C

W3C link roundup

DOM4 draft updated.
First draft of CSS device adaptation.
Ink Markup Language (InkML) recommendation.
Widget Packaging and XML Configuration recommendation.
XSL-FO 2.0 updated.
Namespaces Module and Selectors Level 3; First Draft of Selectors Level 4.
CSS Fonts Module Level 3 Draft.


W3C has announced an upcoming conference on “HTML5 and the Open Web Platform”. The total information currently available is:

W3C, the web standards organization, is holding its first conference.
If you are a developer or designer wanting to hear the latest news on HTML5 and the open web platform, and your place in it, save the date. This event will be held in Seattle and live streaming to the world on November 15-16.
More details soon…

This is very short notice for a conference, but the topic is interesting.

W3C link roundup

There are a lot of announcements from W3C that are format-related, and I’m not always sure what to do with them. For the moment, I’ll put a bunch of recent links into this post, and perhaps will do the same occasionally to keep up to date.

First Draft of Efficient XML Interchange (EXI) Profile Published
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) 1.1 (Second Edition) is a W3C Recommendation
Last Call: CSS Speech Module
Three CSS Drafts Published; First Draft of Conditional Rules Module Level 3
CSS Values and Units Module Level 3 Draft Updated
CSS Image Values and Replaced Content Module Level 3 Draft Updated

W3C community groups

W3C has announced the creation of community groups “as a place for developers to collaborate on next generation Web technologies. Our stakeholders have told us that a lightweight environment for innovation is necessary because the market evolves at such a rapid pace. We have designed Community Groups to lower barriers to participation, while at the same time maintaining our Working Groups for building broader consensus around technologies that are mature enough for standardization.”

Some related posts:

XML Schema’s designed-in denial of service attack

Recently there was a discussion on the Library of Congress’s MODS mailing list, pointing out that the MODS Schema uses non-canonical URI’s for the xml.xsd and xlink.xsd schemas. The URI for xml.xsd simply points to a copy of the standard schema, but the xlink schema points at a modified version.

A person at LoC explained that the change to the XML URI was needed because the W3C server was being hammered by so many accesses by way of the MODS schema. Every time a MODS document was validated, unless the validating application used a local or cached copy, there would be an access to the W3C server. We’re told that “W3C was complaining (loudly) about excessive accesses and threatening to block certain clients.” The XLink issue is more complicated and not fully explained in the list discussion, but one part of the problem was the same issue.

The identification of XML namespaces with URI’s creates a denial-of-service attack against servers that host popular schemas, as an unintended consequence of the design. Since you can’t always know which schemas will become popular, this can create a huge burden on servers that aren’t prepared for it. The URI can never move without breaking the namespace for existing documents. I’ve written here before about this problem but hadn’t known it was so severe it was forcing important schemas to clone namespaces. This causes obvious conflicts when a MODS element is embedded within a document that uses the standard XML namespaces.

The only solution available is for applications either to keep a permanent local copy of heavily used schemas or to cache them. Unfortunately, not all applications are going to be fixed, and not all users will upgrade to the fixed versions. So we’ll continue to see cases where schema hosts are hammered with requests and performance somewhere else suffers for reasons the users can’t guess.

EXI is W3C recommendation

Efficient XML Interchange or EXI, the controversial binary representation of XML, is now a W3C standard. Unlike approaches which apply standard compression schemes to XML (e.g., Open Office’s XML plus ZIP), Efficient XML represents the structure of an XML document in a binary form. For some, this adds unnecessary obscurity to a format based on (somewhat) human-readable text. Others consider it a necessary step to reduce the bloat and slow processing of text XML.

The press release says: “EXI is a very compact representation of XML information, making it ideal for use in smart phones, devices with memory or bandwidth constraints, in performance sensitive applications such as sensor networks, in consumer electronics such as cameras, in automobiles, in real-time trading systems, and in many other scenarios.”

There are some things that can be done in XML but not in EXI. The W3C document says: “EXI is designed to be compatible with the XML Information Set. While this approach is both legitimate and practical for designing a succinct format interoperable with XML family of specifications and technologies, it entails that some lexical constructs of XML not recognized by the XML Information Set are not represented by EXI, either. Examples of such unrepresented lexical constructs of XML include white space outside the document element, white space within tags, the kind of quotation marks (single or double) used to quote attribute values, and the boundaries of CDATA marked sections.” Whether this is important will doubtless continue to be the subject of heated debate.

HTML5, just three years away

According to the latest version of the HTML Working Group Charter, HTML5 will become a W3C recommendation in 2014.

Smart money is on the AES audio metadata schema being made public first, but I wouldn’t be too sure.

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.

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.