Open Web Platform Weekly Summary – 2011-11-29 – 2011-12-04

The Open Web Platform weekly summary is about HTML5 oldies, shadows and intents, and protocols.


Yehuda Katz and a few others have started a discussion on Restoring PUT and DELETE in HTML5 forms (Issue 1067). The Ruby on Rails Web framework is currently using a hack for simulating PUT and DELETE.

The Web is an amazing big pile of history. border attribute on table elements didn’t have any units. Though people had a tendency to put units such as the wrong <table border="5px">. So browsers repaired automagically to take into account only the beginning of the string and ignore any trailing characters. Sylvain Galineau (Microsoft) raised an issue because he thought it would create issues for microdata values. Ian Hickson mentioned that the incorrect values were not valid but fixed by the browser if wrong.

INS and DEL elements which are used to track insertion and deletion of contents in HTML have a very simple model. So simple that according to Daniel Glazman (Disruptive Innovations), it is not easily implementable in any useful way for authoring tools.

A Community Group has been proposed to discuss ideas around the future of HTML and associated features.

Web Apps

Webkit has a proposed patch for the Network Information API. This is an interesting API because it allows to create apps which behave differently depending if the network is 3g, wifi, etc. For example, imagine a responsive Web design where images of adequate sizes are sent depending on the type of network which gives a good idea of what could be the bandwidth.

Rich Tibbet (Opera) has proposed a model for the Web intents work.

Simon Pieters (Opera) wanted an API to queue a task. After discussing about the opportunity of such a need, Glenn Maynard proposed a piece of code that finally Simon extended.

var queueTask = function(task) {
    var mc = new MessageChannel();
    var args = [].slice.call(arguments, 1);
    mc.port1.onmessage = function(){ 
        this.onmessage = null; task.apply(task, args); 
queueTask(function(arg) { console.log(arg, this) }, "test"); 

Dimitri Glazkov (Chromium team) has proposed a high level overview of Web Components for Web Developers.


The setAttributeNS() is implemented differently in IE, Firefox, Webkit and Opera. The discussion, which started on the mutability of attributes, led to discuss about simplifying the platform for HTML documents by removing the namespacing of attributes. According to Jonas Sicking (Mozilla), that would also improve browser performances. There would still be needed for XMLDocument interface.


When exchanging data in between client and server, there are a few techniques. One of them is XMLHttpRequest which helps inject a data flow into the page without reloading the full context. People often uses it to transfer JSON packaged data. Anne van Kestern (Opera) has added json response type to XMLHttpRequest.

When a client and server interact on the Web, the server answer to client requests with 3 number codes. These have very specific meanings. For example, 200 means that the server has successfully answered the client request. It is happening quite often that Web developers (specifically those developing Web APIs) lack some HTTP status code to have a richer interactions between the client and the server. Mark Nottingham has been working for a while on new HTTP status code.

HTTP/1.1 allows many types of characters. This has a tendency to create security issues when, for example in CGI/1.1, translating these characters into UNIX environment variables. Some of them are not valid and/or parseable characters. Yutaka Oiwa brought the subject on HTTPbis mailing list.


This week, the theme of Anne Van Kesteren’s report about Encoding woes and WebVTT.

This column is written by Karl Dubost, working in the Developer Relations team at Opera Software.

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