Internet standards for HTML

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is standardizing over 100 specifications for the open web, in at least 13 working groups. The CSS Working Group alone is in charge of 50 specifications. This does not include work on Unicode, HTTP and TLS.

New tag proposal.  Not really.

The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from

I was waiting to post this until the debate between W3C and WHATWG about the status of HTML5 scope was resolved. However, I have waited since February 2011. Consensus is that HTML5 is being inappropriately used as a catch-all for every standard supported by modern browsers. Modern browsers actually include much more: CSS3 styling, WOFF (web fonts), semantic web elements such as microformats, 3-D graphics including SVG, and performance enhancements. HTML5 tags are merely one part of semantic web support. As a result, terminology was modified by WHATWG. HTML is the new HTML5(more…)

Published in: on November 15, 2011 at 4:25 am  Comments (1)  
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YouTube copyright block icon

This is what YouTube returns if a video is blocked due to copyright issues. It was implemented as part of the new HTML5 version of the YouTube video player.

The icon is so sweet and endearing that I almost forget to be irritated because I wasn’t allowed to watch the video!

copyright block icon
This video contains content from MGM, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.
Sorry about that.”


UPDATE: Perhaps I should change that back to HTML in light of this: Meet HTML, the spec formerly known as HTML5.

Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 8:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Periodic Table of the Elements

Enjoy Josh Duck’s delightful Periodic Table of HTML5 elements!

Each of the 104 107 elements of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) working draft of HTML5 are present. There is even a combined lanthanide-and-actinide series insert. Josh refers to it as the “Embedding content” section. I annotated a small partial screen shot.

Embedded content elements represented as Lanthanide and Actinide series

Rare earth HTML5 elements

The dusty rose-colored block includes some of the most novel and appealing of the elements that differentiate HTML5 from HTML4: map, canvas and video.

Published in: on August 24, 2010 at 3:38 am  Comments (3)  
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Muro Drawing Application from DeviantArt

I saw a Twitter entry from Chris Messina about this a few days ago. Pardon me, he’s trademarked his name, let me try this: chrismessina™ .  Here is the link to the Muro drawing application, and the Ultimate Muro User’s Guide.

It is free, it is from Deviant Art, and anyone can have fun with it. No artistic training is necessary. I say this with confidence.  Prior to trying it, I’d relied almost exclusively on MS Paint as a drawing aid. I drew a snail using Muro. Here it is.

Interpretive Art by Ellie K

Snail Fantasy by Ellie K (Muro Drawing Application)

I think it is a beautiful snail. However, I will continue to restrict my public domain creations to screen shots and uploads from the Second Life™ interface by Linden Lab™ until I acquire a more refined aesthetic sensibility.

HTML Tip:  For that little trademark entityTM superscript, use this:


or the character decimal code:

 entity & # 8 4 8 2;

Note that the character hex code

 entity & # 2 1 2 2;

did not work. Perhaps WordPress is to blame? Also note that the extra spaces are mine:  despite many efforts, with much html, WordPress insisted on converting my source into page view.

UPDATE: For a more comprehensive description of Muro, and a very nice visual which is probably more aesthetically appealing than my snail, I’d suggest having a look at the CAD blog on Muro.

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 11:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Monetize Your Followers

As a statistician and mathematical modeling practitioner, I’m not a stranger to the concept of quantifying the value of intangibles.  In the ethical framework in which I studied and worked, such quantification might be applied to a concept such as negative dollar value of ill-will (per person) generated by denied boarding due to passenger aircraft over booking.  Yet I found myself rather unnerved today by TweetUp’s article today, How much is a follower worth?.  According to TweetUp analytics, the answer is $136.80, as of June 2010.

What is so troubling about this? I believe in free enterprise, von Neumann economic utility theory, liquidity, efficient capital markets, Keynesian economics,  freedom of choice for retail consumers, Adam Smith, and evolution.

Nomenclature confusion: Friends, family, followers versus customers?

I suppose I draw a distinction between the categories of “friends and family” versus “customers and clients”. I want to look out for the best interests of the first category. However, I’m willing to let the Efficient Frontier do its best for the rest, knowing that in the long-run, everything should work out.

Classification dilemma of FOAF

Friend, Fan, Follower or Something Else Entirely?

Twitter assigns two only two types of user roles: follower and following. Google’s Picasa photo application assigns roles of friend, fan and favorite, which is no less confusing.

Google Buzz is more flexible, allowing users to name categories of contacts without restriction. One may have family, friends, colleagues/ coworkers, business contacts and so on.

Facebook is starting to move in the right direction, with friends kept distinct from fans, the latter usually pertaining to organizations or public figures. However, there remains no ability to capture the nuances within the friend category.

I perceive these oddly and inconsistently defined user roles as a discontinuity embedded within the social networking model of Web 2.0. For many months, I could not articulate my unease with certain social networking applications, but not others. Now I understand. I balk at the logical inconsistency and behavioral proscription (as defined by my personal moral framework) in these follower/friend (but no family) role definitions.

My instinct is to avoid any entangling of ties between family/ friend/ loved ones and my customer base. Behavior that is required to achieve the goals of commercial FOAF *.gifenterprise is not appropriate for those with whom I am emotionally involved.

Perhaps the conflict can be resolved through better nomenclature. (more…)

Published in: on July 7, 2010 at 5:30 pm  Comments (2)  
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