As I sit here in Austin, Texas munching a breakfast of bafflingly-termed foodstuffs like “eggs medium over-easy”, “white omlette” and incorrectly-pronounced tomatoes, I thought I’d update you on a few HTML5 tidbits.
The first is the news that Google will start indexing content marked up using microdata. No browser does anything with data it finds in pages, but the voodoo magicians that do SEO will presumably find the chance of extra googlejuice compelling.
I’m a lurking member of two W3C subgroups that work on the accessibility of video and canvas. We recently had two internal votes. The first was on what type of captioning format should be supported, and asked us to choose between the .srt format (a plain text file with time markers and text) or the W3C standard DXFP which, although minging, allows markup. (.srt seems to me to be as limited alt text on an image; it can’t contain markup or styling information). I voted for DFXP because, at its most basic it doesn’t need to be more complex than plain .srt, but has the potential for extensibility when browser implementations become more sophisticated. (My vote was a personal opinion and not an official Opera vote, by the way.)
The second vote that’s taking place is about extensions to canvas. There are two main proposals, one is for a new attribute called
adom (for “accessibility DOM”) that constructs a “shadow DOM” for assistive technologies can hook into – and which the author must ensure is in sync with the visual rendering. I’m uncomfortable with this proposal for reasons that I’m not quite able to articulate at the moment (but its author is at South By Southwest so I hope to be able to catch up with him for a chat).
The proposal that I like is to extend
canvas is “Improve image maps, don’t use @adom” which I favour because it uses familiar markup and reuses ideas from (and browser implementations of) HTML4. (Disclosure: the proposal was made by Chaals, Head of Standards at Opera, but that’s not why I prefer it.)
The Mighty Steve Faulkner also has a proposal Provide accessibility implementation for focus rectangle and caret, which I haven’t read yet. But it’s Steve, and his shit is solid.
Anyway, gotta go and shower my pits before booth-bunnying the Opera South By Southwest booth. It’s in row 300 of exhibition room 4. Why not stop by a chat, especially if you’re a gorgeous Web Standards babe, or have a black coffee for me? Alternatively, I’m first speaker at an HTML5 extravaganza on Sunday from 2 to 6 pm.