Open Web Platform Weekly Summary – 2011-03-07 – 2011-03-13

This is the second edition of our weekly summary about the Open Web Platform. The intent is to give an overview of the discussions, proposals, decisions which have happened during the last week around HTML5 and sometimes more broadly the Open Web Platform. This weekly summary covers events in multiple W3C groups, and some outside events as well. Feel free to chime in the comments and add information or ask for more details.

HTML Working Group Decisions

  • ISSUE-119 on repetition of rel value has been closed by amicable consensus.
  • ISSUE-120 on RDFa prefixes – poll closing on March 17
  • ISSUE-139 on Microdata – poll closing on March 17
  • ISSUE-140 on conformance terminology – poll closing on March 17
  • ISSUE-142 on poster alt – poll closing on March 17
  • ISSUE-146 on replacing <video auto=muted> with <video muted> – call for closing on March 18.
  • ISSUE-135 on providing a direct linl to W3C canvas 2d context specification – call for closing on March 19

ARIA section in the specification ISSUE-109

HTML5 specification is giving details about ARIA. An issue has been opened by some WG members worried about the accuracy of this description and the possible confusion. They were asking to leave these descriptions to the original ARIA specification. As a matter of fact, HTML5 is also citing some requirements of other specifications such as CSS or HTTP. A straw poll has been issued and it has been concluded that the specification should be changed accordingly to the change proposal: “Change the title of the WAI-ARIA section of the HTML5 spec and provide advice about ARIA scope”.

Structure of HTML tables explanation ISSUE-92

There was a disagreement in the group as to the appropriateness of the example that explains the structure of HTML tables in the HTML5 specification. Some people were thinking that the example was too complex and/or changing the original nature of displaying data. After the straw poll, it has been decided to adopt the change proposal: “Move table and examples to a separate section”.

Tables and HTML layout ISSUE-130

Should table elements with a role="presentation" be considered conforming? This issue has been focusing on this question. Tables are being used for a long time as a way to create layout on the Web. There is a majority of Web authors who want to move away from tables and accessibility document recommends to use tables only for data. Though these arguments were not decisive. It has been retained that a specification should not put the burden of change on Web authors and the solution which promotes a minimum effort for the authors is better. Following the straw poll, the decision to authorize to “use table for presentational purpose” has been made. The chairs offer tips for reopening the issue with meaningul data in the decision. Read it carefully before proposing changes.




  • The biggest news of the week is about CSS 2.1. The CSS Working Group has resolved all technical and editorial issues on CSS 2.1 specification. They are writing the disposition of comments to be able to enter in the Proposed Recommendation phase. Then a few weeks later, CSS 2.1 will probably become a W3C Recommendation.
  • CSS WG has also published a roadmap for new CSS specifications: template, grid, regions and floats
  • One of the major issues of many social networks is that they are highly centralized. They rely on only one company. There has been incentives in the community to create decentralized or federated social network. A Federated Social Web Incubator Group has been started at W3C to explore this area.
  • The version 1.3.1 of validator.nu HTML Parser has been released. This validator also powers the W3C HTML5 validation.
  • Internet Explorer 9 is being released on March 14.
  • Art Barstow has asked to publish the last call Working Draft of HTML5 Web Messaging
  • Poul-Henning Kam, the author of Varnish HTTP accelerator, has joined the HTTP WG mailing list.
  • HTTP WG has published new drafts of HTTPbis. They include large rewrites in Part 1 and 2 (PUT method, for instance), plus the absorption of the RFC 2817 CONNECT/Upgrade feature.

Hot Topics

I apologize for being late on this edition. I have been living and have relatives in Japan and I was preoccupied by the last events. This column is written by Karl Dubost, working in the Developer Relations & Tools at Opera Software.