W3C releases a Web Compatibility Test for Mobile Browsers

This is really cool.  The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) has just release as Web Compatibility Test for Mobile Browsers. It tests against compatibility with twelve different Web technologies.

Point your phone’s browser to: http://dev.w3.org/2008/mobile-test/test.html.

If you see twelve green boxes, your mobile browser has passed the test.

Here’s hoping that this compatibility test will cause the same level of competition among mobile browser vendors as the release of Acid 3 did for desktop browser vendors.

The W3C Published The First Public Working Draft of HTML 5

HTML 5 just released its first public working draft

There was a lot of big news today in the world of Web standards.  Today the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) published the first public working draft of HTML 5.  It’s the next generation of thinking around the future of HTML, which is the lingua franca or building blocks of every Web site.

Some of HTML 5 is great… some of its meh… but it’s a start, which is AWESOME.

Yes, just to be clear… HTML 5 is far from done.  If you follow the timeline set forth by the chairs of the working group who have taken up this endeavor, this may be wrapping up in 2010.

But… what this first public working draft is is hopefully a starting point of even more community discussion and participating in what will be the future of the Web.

Now, just to warn you.  The HTML 5 specification draft is pretty heavy… as in the language is tough and if you were to print it off and drop it on your toe, you’d probably break your toe.  The main audience of the spec is browser makers (Microsoft, Mozilla, Apple, Opera, etc.)

If you wanna work your way up to reading the spec, I’d recommend checking out the document “HTML 5 differences from HTML 4” which was also released today for first public working draft by the W3C.  You could also check out the A List Apart article written by Lachlan Hunt, “A Preview of HTML 5.

Complacency – One of the biggest enemies of HTML 5 (and I guess standards development in general)

I have been on the W3C HTML Working group for about a month now.  The big initiative we’re working on is the development of HTML 5.

Since I joined the working group, I’ve been out there talking with people, listening to folks, reading comments, and reading blogs.  Noted JavaScript expert Jeremy Keith summed up a common collective feeling that i’ve heard so much from people…

The present isn’t that bad. HTML is good enough.

I really think that complacency is one of the biggest enemies of HTML 5.

People generally don’t know what’s wrong with HTML 4 or why HTML 5 is better so they don’t pay attention or get involved.

The thing is we need HTML 5.  The Web and how the world uses the Web has changed a lot since HTML 4.  More on this later…

Let’s Advance WCAG 2.0

Shawn Henry of the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative recently wrote a blog post entitled “Is WCAG 2.0 almost done?!” Well after reading the document, I say let’s advance the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 to it’s next stage.

Like Shawn, I’ve been following the development of WCAG 2.0 for a while and I think that this is one of the working group strongest drafts yet.

I’m going to start using WCAG 2.0 when making Web sites.  Will you join me?

W3C Publishes Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as a Last Call Working Draft

Well today the World Wide Web Consortium has just published the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 as a Last Call Working Draft. For those of us who’ve followed the development of WCAG 2.0, getting things to this stage is definitely a long time coming and we’re all very excited to see what the WCAG Working Group has come up with.

According to the WAI document “How WAI Develops Accessibility Guidelines through the W3C Process…“, Last Call Working Draft means the following:

When a Working Group believes it has addressed all comments and technical requirements, it provides the complete document for community review and announces the Last Call. For example, see the WCAG 2.0 Last Call Announcement and Extention e-mail. (Note that after the Last Call comment period, it can take weeks or months for a Working Group to formally address all comments, document the resolutions, and make necessary changes.) If there are substantive changes, the technical report would go through another Last Call Working Draft before moving to the next stage.

According to the Call for Review, “The WCAG Working Group hopes that it has resolved all substantive issues with this draft, and looks forward to progressing to the next stages in completing WCAG 2.0.”

Sweet!

If you’re going to review WCAG 2.0, make sure that you also check out the following updated documents…

I’m going to be doing a detailed review of WCAG 2.0. I’ll be publishing my thoughts here as soon as I get time to sit down with the document.

Stay tuned…

Get “A Preview of HTML 5”

Yesterday, W3C HTML Working Group member Lachlan Hunt had an article published in the Web magazine A List Apart called “A Preview of HTML 5, which you all should read.

It covers some of the new features in HTML 5 like the header, nav, and footer tags.  It also touched on the video and audio tags and how Opera and Apple are already experimenting with how they’d implement them.

If anything, I think the article is a sort of “call to action”.  If we want to make HTML 5 a reality then it needs to be a community effort.  It can’t just be a few folks in the working group.  The HTML Working Group needs your help.

Do you think we need a new version of HTML?  What features would you want to see in it?

Do the features that are currently listed in the spec make sense or do they have the potential to be abused or misused as much as what’s layed out in HTML 4? (I guess we won’t know the answer to this question until its implemented.)

Read the article and please share your thoughts.

W3C HTML Working Group Publishes First Draft of Design Principles

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the language of the World Wide Web but it’s been a while since it’s been updated to where the world is today. At the W3C, there is a working group which is looking at the future of HTML.

As we move forward, there needs to be a set of principles which guides the decisions we make. This is why the HTML Working Group published a first public working draft of the HTML Design Principles.

Here’s my summary and translation…

  1. Be backwards compatible. Don’t break existing Web content.
  2. When a new feature isn’t supported by a browser, degrade gracefully.
  3. Consider what already exists before trying to make something new
  4. Look at what current best practices already exist
  5. It’s better to evolve a standard because then you don’t have to reteach and redo everything.
  6. Don’t do something for the sake of doing it.
  7. Don’t make the Web insecure
  8. Have HTML elements behave in ways that authors can depend on
  9. Be simple in creating a solution
  10. The Web is filled with tag soup.  Show how to deal with those errors.
  11. HTML should work across devices, environments, and platforms.
  12. Be publishable in the world’s languages
  13. Be accessible to people with disabilities.

Was anything missed?  The HTML Working Group needs your feedback.