Congrats to Flickr on 2 Billion Photographs

It was just recently announced on their blog that Flickr has passed their 2 billionth photograph.  I want to personally congratulate the Flickr crew on this impressive milestone.

Flickr has helped me in so many ways.  I now feel like I can stay better connected through the photos of my family and friends.  I also feel empowered to instantly touch the other side of the world through someone’s photos.  It’s awesome!

*raises a glass to the Flickr crew*

What’s the coolest photograph that you’ve seen lately on Flickr?

Adding A Topic Page

For a while, I’ve been keeping a list of relevant posts that I’ve written about in certain areas so that I could see what i’d been writing about  and more easily refer to some posts in posts i’d be writing later.

Well I’ve decided to start exposing that list in a topics page

As with all things with me and this blog, it’s an experiment.  Hopefully it will give you one more view into the content I write… exposing you to content I’ve written that maybe you haven’t seen before.

Learning About W3C Test Suites

One W3C concept which I didn’t fully wrap my head around till recently is the idea of a test suite.  It is a set of files that each test a certain property or aspect of a specification (… being things like HTML, CSS, or SVG).

For example, there could be a test which makes sure that a browser can render bold text correctly.  That’s all it’d do.  You’d view the file in the browser and you can quickly tell that whether the browser passed or failed.

There are a bunch of test suites…

Test suites are important so that you can test that the specification was implemented properly.   What good is a spec unless it’s been implemented somewhere and implemented consistently?

Blogs at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

At the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Technical Plenary and Advisory Council week last week, there was concern that not enough people knew about the W3C blogs.

Well here is a list of some of the ones that I read…

There are probably more that I just don’t know about. Hopefully someone will send me those links

These blogs are a great opportunity to interact and have a conversation with those who have an influential role on the future of the Web.

Nick O’Neill Launches A New Blog – Social Times

Washington DC’s very own Nick O’Neill has launched another blog called Social Times.  He’ll cover all aspects of social media and social networking.  His blog also has an offline component where he’ll help to promote social networking related events. Nick also writes for All Facebook and his personal blog The Webpreneur.

It’s exciting to see more activity in the DC Web scene.  I look forward to tracking Nick’s success with this blog and many others.

W3C HTML Working Group Jam Session

W3C Sing-A-Long
Between discussions of data table parsing algorithms and web developer outreach, the HTML working group had an informal jam session. It was surreal (but awesome) to be singing Beatles songs with the key players would invented the World Wide Web.

(In the photo above is Dan Connoly, Ian Jacobs, Tim Berners-Lee, Janet Daly, Steve Pemberton)

Poll: URI vs URL… Do you know the difference? Is there a difference?

So I’m here at the W3C Tech Plenary.  I just finished a session on “URI-Based Extensibility: Benefits, Deviations, Lessons-Learned.”  I’m curious how many people out there, which aren’t in a W3C working group, know the difference between URI and URL.  How many of you had heard of the acronym URI?   Post your answer in the comments.

I’d think that by throwing around terms like URI without least introducing it as a concept you’re creating another barrier to entry.

W3C TPAC: Notes from “View from the Outside: Real World Perspectives on the W3C”

Notes: I’m at the W3C Tech Plenary. Here are the rough notes from the first session. I may or may not clean these up later. 😉  If I didn’t attribute one of the quotes properly, I apologize.  I was taking notes very quickly, while occasionally looking at an IRC channel.   If you have any corrections for quotes, drop me a comment. Intro by Molly H.

  • In the industry at large there has been an opening up. If the Web touches an organization, it must shift.
  • The W3C has been perceived as the ivory towers of the Web. There is the feeling of there being a disconnect.
  • There is an event in life that brings the wall down. It is often difficult to change but when we get through that process we can rebuild and renew.
  • Throughout the day we’re going to hear more about openess.


  • Matthew (MO)
  • Stephanie (ST)
  • Aaron (AG)
  • Patrick (PH)
  • Molly (MH)

Point 1 – What is the role of a specification or standard?

  • AG: Gotta know who you’re audience is. Who are you’re writing for? People written for the implementers in the browsers. Certain ambiguities in the spec lead to different implementation. If you’re a developer, you can’t use the spec to learn and understand css. People read the spec and fall asleep.
  • ST: If you come from a country where English is not your native language, learning web standards is so very difficult.
  • MO: Web standards don’t affect me because the people I work with don’t use them. They’re a couple of steps beyond using font tags
  • MH: We were starting to talk about ontologies. MO didn’t understand the words.
  • MO: W3C uses nomenclature I don’t understand. I use this from a business stand point and how to implement this for a client. I have to work with this stuff everyday. Standards do affect me.
  • AG: The language does really have a cost. By not understanding the spec, the developers have to spend more time understanding what they have to do.
  • PH: I find myself getting lost in the spec. I have to understand things more that I care to.
  • ST: I am able to read specs and implement them. i have a bunch of junior developers I have to help train. Just for them to reach them level we want them to achieve. Who pays for them to learn the company or the client?
  • MO: Business folks are only willing to pay for what they understand.

Point 2 – Where is it most appropriate to compete: UI? Browser features? Spec implementations?

  • AG: Standards impelentations should just be something that’s there and not competed over. There should be a baseline with browsers. there were the dark days when I had to write JS for each browser.
  • There seem to be this misperception that standards inhibit innovation. It gives us the platform to innovate beyond.
  • PH: I have to hold back with what I want to do with a design because I can’t do it in CSS.

Point 3 – How can we improve the W3C process?

  • AG: The tools are there within the spec to innovate by outside people.
  • MH: There has been a real shift with HTML5 becoming open. There has been a real disconnect with the spec and implementations.
  • ST: There is info but it’s hard to find. There is a communication problem.
  • MH: There needs to be education & outreach. There is a historical issue there. The W3C has been dependent on other groups like WaSP.
  • AG: I’ve been sitting at the CSS WG for the last two days. Their strong suit is not marketing its writing the spec. The bloggers, implementers, teachers are marketing. There needs to be convo with the developers.
  • ST: The waterfall model doesn’t work.
  • MH: People ask…Will we ever see CSS 2.1 or CSS3?
  • There is a perception of it being ivory towers… but people see that the process is changing.

Point 4 – How do we create common goals and consistent priorities?(was reading IRC too much)Point 5 – How do we address the critical challenge of outreach & education?

  • PH: In the Univ setting, most are decentralized. It’s hard to get folks to talk together. When the specs are hard to understand it’s hard…
  • AG: I’m encouraged by the CSS WG is working with CSS Eleven. I’d love to see more of that. There needs to be more of a conversation.
  • ST: Are specs supposed to be a certain level? It is not about at a certain competency level… It’s about communicating with all the audiences.
  • MH: Within the TAG group there seems to be a lack of continuity between the various specs. We want groups not be working on their own but together.

Pathways to success

  • Create common baselines
  • Clarify ambiguous specifications
  • use transparent development cycles
  • keep an open dialog with the community
  • foster events and networking
  • for browsers, compete on the features and ui not the standard

Q – How much of the frustration is due to the spec and not the implementers keeping up with the spec?

  • MO: for me it’s the implementation, i’d be surprised if someone’s read it.
  • DanC: we need to manage expectations. pointing fingers isn’t where to start. standards orgs are about making the progress predictable.
  • MH: This is all constructive.

Q – Have the standards failed or is the education around them?

  • MH: problems in the specs… but there is a HUGE gap in education.

Q – David Baron (Mozilla): Who decides on the list of standards that we don’t compete on?

  • MH: We have to prioritize what people are using and asking for in the real world.
  • ST: In the marketing world, the highest used is e-mail campaigns. We use 3 levels of tables to get e-mails to render properly.
  • AG: I agree. It’s a chicken and egg. Do you implement before people use it? We need use cases instead of test cases.

Q – Howcome (Opera): We need to standardize the way that we test. There needs to be one acid test… like acid2 test.

  • MH: Acid tests should be done collaboratively and not by one company.

Q – Ann (Boeing): We need native support within the browser. Maybe the acid test.Q – Ian (W3C): We’re already working on a site redesign. We’re talking more and more with developers. We’re talking with a W3C blog. We can’t do all of the ed & outreach ourselves. I’ve been talking to W3C schools. I wanna talk to everyone.

Congrats to the OLPC Team on the Start of Mass Production

Mass Production Starts on OLPC XO Laptop

It’s so exciting to hear that One Laptop per Child has started mass production of their XO Laptop ($100 $200 laptop). Congrats to the whole OLPC team. You guys are heroes. I’m excited to see the effect that these efforts will have around the world.