CSS 2.1 emerges as official Web standard

Much of the Web world has moved on to CSS 3, but today the World Wide Web Consortium has declared the CSS 2.1 standard for Web page formatting to be done.

In W3C standards lingo, CSS 2.1 has reached "recommendation" stage. Phillipe Le Hegaret, leader of the HTML working at the W3C group, announced the milestone on Twitter today.

Browser makers, even longtime laggard Microsoft, have turned much of their attention to CSS 3, which offers glamorous new features such as animating the transition from one page to another, endowing boxes with rounded corners, and if … Read more

W3C officially opens HTML5 to scrutiny

The World Wide Web Consortium has reached an important point in the long journey to standardize HTML5, the next version of the Hypertext Markup Language used to describe Web pages.

HTML5 officially reached "last call" status this week, which means the W3C believes it's got a version of the specification mature enough for organizations to decide whether to express support. But changes still could come: "In practice, last call announcements generate comments that sometimes result in substantive changes to a document," the W3C said in announcing that HTML5 reached last call.

Hypertext Markup Language is … Read more

W3C: new members extend Web standards work

The World Wide Web Consortium announced 35 new members, a move it says signals growing interest in HTML and other Web technologies it standardizes.

Among the new members are: China Unicom, Comcast, Facebook, LG Electronics, NEC Corporation, Netflix, SanDisk, Sony, and Zynga.

This "more diverse community at W3C" will help bring Web standards to industries including mobile devices, television, publishing, and advertising, W3C CEO Jeff Jaffe said in a statement. "The immediate impact of new Web standards will result in more innovation, more powerful Web-based products and services, and economic opportunities for businesses and consumers alike." … Read more

W3C to develop peer-to-peer browser standards

The World Wide Web Consortium is to develop standards to enable direct peer-to-peer communications between browsers, without the need to go through centralized servers.

The standards could make it more difficult for repressive government action against Web communications, according to members of the W3C working group assigned to develop the standards. The group aims to define APIs that will let browsers communicate using audio, video, and "supplementary" real-time communications, the W3C said yesterday.

"W3C today launched a new Web Real-Time Communications Working Group to define client-side APIs to enable real-time communications in Web browsers," the W3C … Read more

Browser communication boost back on track

After a security problem derailed it last year, a technology to open a high-speed browser communications link is getting back on track again.

The technology, called WebSocket, is good for Web sites that involve time-sensitive communications--multiplayer games or real-time trading, for example. A security issue raised concerns about WebSocket led to reworking of the technology, but now supporters think they've fixed WebSocket.

"It seems like it will happen very soon," said Brian Albers, vice president of development at Kaazing, which commercializes Web Sockets. "There's a meeting of the IETF at the end of the month … Read more

New CEO wants faster, more relevant W3C (Q&A)

BARCELONA, Spain--Jeff Jaffe's job requires both patience and impatience.

Patience, because the World Wide Web Consortium--of which he's been chief executive for nearly a year--is an unwieldy standards group trying to encompass the disparate agendas of dozens of companies.

And impatience, because if the W3C doesn't move fast enough, the Web will move on without it.

It was clear from an interview with CNET that Jaffe is trying to strike the right balance. The W3C is tackling a range Web standards from the newer idea of augmented reality to the politically charged overhaul of HTML, the … Read more

Adobe proposes standard for magazine-like Web

Adobe Systems has proposed a standard that could make it easier to create Web pages with fancy layouts seen more often in magazines.

The company proposed a technology it calls CSS Regions (PDF) yesterday to the World Wide Web Consortium, which standardizes the Cascading Style Sheets technology widely used to control formatting on Web pages. Adobe also described the technology at a CSS Working Group meeting in Silicon Valley.

"This proposal is intended to support sophisticated, magazine-style layouts using CSS," said Arno Gourdol, director of engineering for runtime foundation at Adobe, in a mailing list posting.

The proposal … Read more

W3C: Microsoft anti-tracking idea worth exploring

The World Wide Web Consortium has approved and published a new browser privacy feature from Microsoft, according to a new IE blog post, opening up for discussion and debate whether the feature should become a Web standard.

Found in the recent release candidate of Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft's new Tracking Protection Lists offer IE users a type of "do not track" feature to help them block advertisers and Web sites from tracking and capturing certain data. The feature works via lists of Web site domains that are downloaded to the browser. If a domain name is on … Read more

HTML5 spec set for 2014 completion

It's been a work in progress for years, but there are a few more years to go yet before the next version of Hypertext Markup Language is finalized.

Specifically, the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML Working Group is set to announce today that it expects to anoint HTML5 as an officially recommended standard in the second quarter of 2014. That drawn-out schedule contrasts with another effort to make HTML a more fluidly updated "living standard."

"We started working [on HTML5] in 2007," Philippe Le Hegaret, the HTML activity leader for the W3C, told CNET. &… Read more

W3C tackles touch-screen Web apps

In the competition between native applications for mobile phones vs. Web applications, hardware support often makes native apps an obvious choice for programmers. But the World Wide Web Consortium is tackling one area, touch-screen support, in an effort that could help Web apps catch up.

The W3C published an editor's draft of a new touch-screen standard for Web apps today. The draft specification is designed also for devices such as drawing tablets that don't have a screen, but today's hot market for smartphones makes touch screens the more important focus.

A standard--if designed well and adopted--would make … Read more