Open Web Platform Weekly Summary - 2011-12-05 - 2011-12-11

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The Open Web Platform weekly summary is about love for the open Web, about the work we do together, about the hours we spent every day to create a better Web. I can work in this domain, because others gave an open environment for working. Let’s keep it open.


The specification has been modified to allow two syntaxes for the time element. You may write time with a T or a single space separator between the date and the time.

<time>2011-12-24 23:59</time>

XML documents have a UTF-8 default encoding. Kornel Lesi?ski asked if it would be possible to do that for documents with an HTML5 doctype. Henri Sivonen (Mozilla), who is also developing the HTML5 parser for Firefox, rejected the suggestion. It would introduce more incompatibilities and more specific behaviors than the already existing explicit mechanisms.

HTML Rich Content

Sometimes Web developers need to extend their content with a richer semantics by adding simple data structure to their markup. A first Working Draft for RDFa Lite 1.1 has been published. For example to specify that this column is written by a human and not a cow.

<p vocab="" 
   This blog post is written by 
   <span property="name">Karl Dubost</span>.</p>

The purpose of this group is to develop a common specification in OWL for structured and unstructured annotations on Web documents, based on prior work developed by the Annotation Ontology ( and Open Annotation Collaboration ( efforts.

You are invited to support the creation of this group:

Video Tracks

The WebVTT format (Web Video Text Tracks) is a format intended for marking up external text track resources. WebVTT has escaped HTML5 to be developed by the Web Media Text Tracks Community Group. They also have a twitter account. Anne van Kesteren has created a WebVTT Validator and published the source code on bitbucket. The syntax is a very simple text file.


00:11.000 --> 00:13.000
<v Roger Bingham>We are in New York City

00:13.000 --> 00:16.000
<v Roger Bingham>We're actually at the Lucern Hotel, just down the street

Web Apps

If humanity had an UndoManager API we might have been able to fix a lot of mistakes. Ryosuke Niwa (webkit) is working on such an API for the Web and he is asking feedback. A long list of use cases has been outlined to better understand what do we need to solve.

Dominique Hazaël-Massieux (W3C) has been giving a summary of the Standards for Web Applications on Mobile. He has published an update for November 2011.


The new methods for append, prepend, … that we mentioned a few weeks ago have been addred to the DOM 4 specification in the mutation methods section. This triggered a new syntax requirement for WebIDL, which has not yet been completely defined. Anne van Kesteren (Opera) has also started to define Mutation observers.


An update has been published for CSS Image Values and Replaced Content and a new editor draft for CSS3 Grid Layout. As a kind reminder, these are drafts and then not stable. If the implementations change them or drop these features, you will have to eat your own hat :)

Web Architecture

A tendency in Web development has emerged a little while ago. Web developers started to push hash sign in their URIs not to define an anchor in the document but the state of an application. The W3C Technical Architecture Group has summarized best practices for handling hash signs URIs.

The W3C TAG is working on a few topics in parallel. You could participate constructively to the discussions by subscribing to the www-tag mailing list.


You can now buffer this number, RFC 6455, in your memory lane. The WebSocket Protocol is accepted. Though be careful, because there might still be a bit of breakage depending if your browser has released a version of the implementation but disabled by default. Check your preferences.

In the discussion about extending HTTP status code, Roy Fielding (Adobe) gave an interesting rule for knowing how/when to extend the list of codes.

When extending HTTP status codes, the question that needs to be asked is “how will a client process this response differently than any of the existing status codes?”


  • Move The Web Forward is the new kid in town. It gives a long list of resources to help Web developers stay informed about what’s going on the Open Web platform.
  • Redbot, the HTTP validation tool developed by Mark Nottingham, now supports HTTP over SSL and TLS

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

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