standards - Dave's Blog


So Listen Carefully To That Song Of The Modem | Best Of MetaFilter

2012 Jun 3, 12:43

A thread about the sounds dial-up modems used to make prompted member Devonian to recall being a fly on the wall during the development of modem speed standards

PermalinkCommentstechnical standards modem

CSS Fonts Module Level 3

2011 May 10, 10:49Interesting standards disagreements showing up in specs: "Some implementers feel a same-origin restriction should be the default for all new resource types while others feel strongly that an opt-in strategy usuable for all resource types would be a better mechanism and that the default should always be to allow cross-origin linking for consistency with existing resource types (e.g. script, images). As such, this section should be considered at risk for removal if the consensus is to use an alternative mechanism."PermalinkCommentsreference web development font specification w3c css3

SRU: Search/Retrieval via URL -- SRU, CQL and ZeeRex (Standards, Library of Congress)

2011 Apr 18, 4:27"SRU is a standard XML-focused search protocol for Internet search queries, utilizing CQL (Contextual Query Language), a standard syntax for representing queries."PermalinkCommentsstandards search library metadata xml uri technical library-of-congress

Code Standards | Isobar

2010 May 2, 3:14"This document contains normative guidelines for web applications built by the Interface Development practice of Isobar North America (previously Molecular)." Glad to see coding styles and best practices for HTML, CSS, JS, associated HTTP headers etc etc etcPermalinkCommentscode css html html5 javascript web browser programming development technical via:kris.kowal

Cookies — Anne’s Weblog

2010 Apr 25, 3:32Anne van Kesteren compares the new descriptive HTTP cookie standard and the previous prescriptive cookie standards to HTMLs standards.PermalinkCommentscookie http standards technical

Widget Packaging and Configuration

2010 Mar 26, 2:28"Widgets are client-side applications that are authored using Web standards, but whose content can also be embedded into Web documents."PermalinkCommentsw3c spec widget web application technical

Thought Experiments and Design Principles

2010 Jan 29, 3:54

Raymond Chen has some thought experiments useful for discovering various kinds of stupidity in software design:

Tim Berners-Lee's principles of Web design includes my favorite: Test of Independent Invention. This has a thought experiment containing the construction of the MMM (Multi-Media Mesh) with MRIs (Media Resource Identifiers) and MMTP (Muli-Media Transport Protocol).

The Internet design principles (RFC 1958) includes the Robustness Principle: be strict when sending and tolerant when receiving. A good one, but applied too liberally can lead to interop issues. For instance, consider web browsers. Imagine one browser becomes so popular that web devs create web pages and just test out their pages in this popular browser. They don't ensure their pages conform to standards and accidentally end up depending on the manner in which this popular browser tolerantly accepts non-standard input. This non-standard behavior ends up as de facto standard and future updates to the standard essentially has had decisions made for it.

PermalinkCommentstechnical design principles software development

Metalink/HTTP: Mirrors and Checksums in HTTP Headers

2009 Nov 24, 5:51"Metalink/HTTP describes multiple download locations (mirrors), Peer-to-Peer, checksums, digital signatures, and other information using existing standards for HTTP headers. Clients can transparently use this information to make file transfers more robust and reliable."PermalinkCommentshttp metalink url p2p http-header cache redirect reference technical

Dive Into HTML 5 by Mark Pilgrim with illustrations from the Public Domain

2009 Aug 21, 3:26"Dive Into HTML 5 seeks to elaborate on a hand-picked Selection of features from the HTML 5 specification and other fine Standards. I shall publish Drafts periodically, as time permits." Lovely design.PermalinkCommentsvia:waxy reference programming howto design html5 typography mark-pilgrim html web development technical

Guidelines for Media Sanitization - Recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology

2009 Jul 29, 3:18PermalinkCommentssecurity computer storage nist erase technical system:filetype:pdf system:media:document

Standards Suck

2008 Oct 24, 9:29"Standards Suck publishes video podcasts made by Anne van Kesteren, Marcos Caceres, and Lachlan Hunt about Web standards. We want to give the community an insight into standardization by critically looking at what goes on behind the scenes at the W3C."PermalinkCommentsw3c blog video css html html5 xhtml web interview

URI Fragment Info Roundup

2008 Apr 21, 11:53

['Neverending story' by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. A framed photo of books with the droste effect applied. Licensed under creative commons.]Information about URI Fragments, the portion of URIs that follow the '#' at the end and that are used to navigate within a document, is scattered throughout various documents which I usually have to hunt down. Instead I'll link to them all here.

Definitions. Fragments are defined in the URI RFC which states that they're used to identify a secondary resource that is related to the primary resource identified by the URI as a subset of the primary, a view of the primary, or some other resource described by the primary. The interpretation of a fragment is based on the mime type of the primary resource. Tim Berners-Lee notes that determining fragment meaning from mime type is a problem because a single URI may contain a single fragment, however over HTTP a single URI can result in the same logical resource represented in different mime types. So there's one fragment but multiple mime types and so multiple interpretations of the one fragment. The URI RFC says that if an author has a single resource available in multiple mime types then the author must ensure that the various representations of a single resource must all resolve fragments to the same logical secondary resource. Depending on which mime types you're dealing with this is either not easy or not possible.

HTTP. In HTTP when URIs are used, the fragment is not included. The General Syntax section of the HTTP standard says it uses the definitions of 'URI-reference' (which includes the fragment), 'absoluteURI', and 'relativeURI' (which don't include the fragment) from the URI RFC. However, the 'URI-reference' term doesn't actually appear in the BNF for the protocol. Accordingly the headers like 'Request-URI', 'Content-Location', 'Location', and 'Referer' which include URIs are defined with 'absoluteURI' or 'relativeURI' and don't include the fragment. This is in keeping with the original fragment definition which says that the fragment is used as a view of the original resource and consequently only needed for resolution on the client. Additionally, the URI RFC explicitly notes that not including the fragment is a privacy feature such that page authors won't be able to stop clients from viewing whatever fragments the client chooses. This seems like an odd claim given that if the author wanted to selectively restrict access to portions of documents there are other options for them like breaking out the parts of a single resource to which the author wishes to restrict access into separate resources.

HTML. In HTML, the HTML mime type RFC defines HTML's fragment use which consists of fragments referring to elements with a corresponding 'id' attribute or one of a particular set of elements with a corresponding 'name' attribute. The HTML spec discusses fragment use additionally noting that the names and ids must be unique in the document and that they must consist of only US-ASCII characters. The ID and NAME attributes are further restricted in section 6 to only consist of alphanumerics, the hyphen, period, colon, and underscore. This is a subset of the characters allowed in the URI fragment so no encoding is discussed since technically its not needed. However, practically speaking, browsers like FireFox and Internet Explorer allow for names and ids containing characters outside of the defined set including characters that must be percent-encoded to appear in a URI fragment. The interpretation of percent-encoded characters in fragments for HTML documents is not consistent across browsers (or in some cases within the same browser) especially for the percent-encoded percent.

Text. Text/plain recently got a fragment definition that allows fragments to refer to particular lines or characters within a text document. The scheme no longer includes regular expressions, which disappointed me at first, but in retrospect is probably good idea for increasing the adoption of this fragment scheme and for avoiding the potential for ubiquitous DoS via regex. One of the authors also notes this on his blog. I look forward to the day when this scheme is widely implemented.

XML. XML has the XPointer framework to define its fragment structure as noted by the XML mime type definition. XPointer consists of a general scheme that contains subschemes that identify a subset of an XML document. Its too bad such a thing wasn't adopted for URI fragments in general to solve the problem of a single resource with multiple mime type representations. I wrote more about XPointer when I worked on hacking XPointer into IE.

SVG and MPEG. Through the Media Fragments Working Group I found a couple more fragment scheme definitions. SVG's fragment scheme is defined in the SVG documentation and looks similar to XML's. MPEG has one defined but I could only find it as an ISO document "Text of ISO/IEC FCD 21000-17 MPEG-12 FID" and not as an RFC which is a little disturbing.

AJAX. AJAX websites have used fragments as an escape hatch for two issues that I've seen. The first is getting a unique URL for versions of a page that are produced on the client by script. The fragment may be changed by script without forcing the page to reload. This goes outside the rules of the standards by using HTML fragments in a fashion not called out by the HTML spec. but it does seem to be inline with the spirit of the fragment in that it is a subview of the original resource and interpretted client side. The other hack-ier use of the fragment in AJAX is for cross domain communication. The basic idea is that different frames or windows may not communicate in normal fashions if they have different domains but they can view each other's URLs and accordingly can change their own fragments in order to send a message out to those who know where to look. IMO this is not inline with the spirit of the fragment but is rather a cool hack.

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RFC 5147 - URI Fragment Identifiers for the text/plain Media Type

2008 Apr 16, 6:42The URI fragment for text/plain is finally a Proposed Standard!PermalinkCommentsuri fragment mime web rfc standards

A List Apart: Articles: Accessible Data Visualization with Web Standards

2008 Apr 9, 8:26"I'm going to cover three basic techniques for incorporating some simple data visualization into standards-based navigation patterns."PermalinkCommentscss web visualization chart html via:swannman

Martian Headsets - Joel on Software

2008 Mar 19, 11:30Excellent rant on the history and state of IE8's decision to default to super-standards mode vs IE7 mode.PermalinkCommentsbrowser internet browser-war ie microsoft history w3c standard standards html css joel-on-software

Channel9 Wiki: InternetExplorerStandardsSupport

2008 Mar 8, 11:54Wiki on Channel9 where folks lodge standards complaints against IE.PermalinkCommentsmicrosoft ie browser standards wiki

GML | GeoRSS :: Geographically Encoded Objects for RSS feeds

2008 Mar 4, 12:27A description of GeoRSS: "Geography Markup Language (GML) is an XML grammar written in XML Schema for the modelling, transport, and storage of geographic information"PermalinkCommentsgeorss rss feed atom geo reference standards xml

IEBlog : Microsoft's Interoperability Principles and IE8

2008 Mar 3, 3:24Actually, we're going to default to the new super standards mode after all. Didn't see that coming -- did ya?PermalinkCommentshtml ie ie8 microsoft internet browser standards blog

Web's Builders See Too Much Fuss Over Standards, Not Enough Innovation

2007 Dec 21, 11:46My saving of this article does not necessarily reflect anything on my team or company.PermalinkCommentsarticle internet standards web

IANA | Permanent Message Header Field Registry

2007 Apr 2, 1:31The IANAs list of headers for HTTP and mail.PermalinkCommentsemail http iana internet reference registry rfc standard standards
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