RDF W3C Writing

It’s a beautiful fall and I’m stuck inside

he fall has been nice, but I haven’t been able to take advantage of the decent weather and pretty scenery. I have a book deadline next week for my new book for O’Reilly, The JavaScript Cookbook.

I can’t do much anyway, because my car is doing very odd things, and I no longer trust it for longer out of town trips. I know there’s a short somewhere, but every time I take it in, it costs me $500.00. But I’m getting a relay click in the dash, the battery light comes up, briefly, every time I start the car (and it’s a new battery), and the speedometer went crazy on one trip. All of this combined is wiring, and wiring seems to be beyond car repair people.

I save the longer trips for the weekend when I can drag my roommate, and my roommate’s car, about. His car isn’t possessed.

I rejoined the HTML WG. Again. The group has come up with a change procedure/process that I can support. There was confusion before about whether HTML WG members could issue formal objections, since supposedly we’re part of the group making the original decisions. The new procedure, though, reserves us the right to submit a Formal Objection if all other avenues are blocked. I’m more comfortable being part of the group, now. I even have a first change proposal assignment, due after the book deadline.

Good news from the group: the HTML+RDFa document is now a published draft. However, the work on distributed extensibility is slow going. It’s difficult to split off the technical concerns from the knee jerk reactions.

You may, or may not, have noticed that I don’t post links to my main feed, or this site, for my Just Shelley site. That site is very personal, and a lot of people who read my stuff are more interested in my more impersonal writings, such as tech. Of course, I haven’t been writing at any of my sites lately. Too busy with the book.

I did get a Wave invite–thanks to whoever sent me it. And yes, I’ve given out all of the Wave invitations I have.

What do I think of Google Wave? I think it’s too much for me, though I did have a fun exchange with Marius Coomans, as he was sailing the ideal waters around Australia. We exchange emails and twitter messages, but there’s something different about seeing a message being typed out by someone who is on a boat, and watching them make corrections, as they’re watching you correct your own mistakes. And you’re on opposite sides of the planet, and different hemispheres. It’s not earth shattering, but it is a bit uncanny.

So what else is there to say about Wave. The user interface sucks, but that’s not unusual for a Google application. The performance is sluggish, but it’s alpha. And it performs better than Twitter. Other than that, though, I’m just not sure about the usability of the service. I know that others like the tool, such as Laura Scott who had a nice write-up.

Frankly, though, I’m really getting burned out on the whole social media thing so I may not be a good judge.

There was another instance where I wrote one thing, and it was interpreted as the opposite. I supported what Kurt Cagle wrote on HTML5, but based on a intense Twitter exchange I had with another person, Kurt interpreted my reaction to be opposite of what it is.

Twitter is useless as a tool for doing more than pointing out a link or talking about what you had for breakfast.


Celebrating the first day of SVGOpen

Wordle Image of RealTech front page, captured using Skitch and saved as PNG.

PNG file opened in Inkscape, and Trace Bitmap applied. Bitmap options: Multiple Scans, Colors, 5 Scans, with options to stack the scans, and remove background.

SVG finished by running Scour, saving 52.1% of the SVG file size. SVG made cross-browser friendly, via SVGWeb.

HTML5 Specs

Microsoft’s proposed namespace distributed extensibility in HTML5

Per Sam Ruby, Microsoft has submitted a proposal for distributed extensibility in HTML5, which features the use of namespaces.

The proposal uses reverse DNS names, but other than those ugly sons-of-bitches, it looks promising. There are some issues, including no support for innerHTML on namespaced elements, because they would end up defined as Element, not HTMLUnknownElement, but I don’t think that’s going to be a real problem in the wild. More importantly, I believe the proposal would handle the problems I noted in my last writing, about the valid use of namespaced elements and attributes in SVG. The issue with namespaced elements in SVG isn’t a made-up problem or one that is unlikely to occur: it is a real problem, it will occur in the future, and it does require real solutions. The problem is not going to go away because Ian Hickson clicks ruby shoes together and murmurs “There’s no such thing as namespaces…there’s no such thing as namespaces…” This absolute refusal to acknowledge something that has existed on the web for a decade is, frankly, unconscionable.

I wish I could say that the happy campers of the HTML WG are willing to at least enter into an open and unbiased discussion on the proposal, but I stopped believing in fairy tales, a long time ago. There is contention on this issue (namespaces for distributed extensibility), as noted in the past, in the current discussion, in the HTML WG bug database, related to the new RDFa-in-HTML proposal. Needless to say, the WhatWG members have responded in their typical, open and mature manner.

But here’s some cold, hard reality for Ian et al: this isn’t a proposal from folks like me, who have little say, and no power. This proposal comes from Microsoft. Microsoft, who still maintains a dominant position when it comes to browser use in the world. The HTML5 editor cannot simply ignore the proposal, pretend he doesn’t understand it, or rubber stamp it WONTFIX. Not this time.