Lacking community support for its much maligned OOXML file format, Microsoft decided earlier this week to fake it. In yet another bid to fast track the OOXML format for ISO certification, Microsoft has posted an online petition positing grassroots support for OOXML, which has thus far seen very little support outside the walls of Redmond.
Mark Taylor, the founder of the Open Source Consortium, tells ZDNet UK, “in the open-source world, there’s clearly a massive grassroots thing.” Taylor thinks that Microsoft is trying to apply the old adage if you can’t make it, fake it.
Earlier today I ran across an interview with Ian Hickson, former Opera developer, now at Google, about the future of X/HTML 5.0. Hickson is the editor the X/HTML 5 spec which is not to be confused with XHTML 2, the successor to XHTML 1.0.
Hickson has some interesting comments and outlines some of the goals for the development of X/HTML 5. Hickson also mentions a study he worked on at Google that sampled of several billion web documents and found that more that 78 percent of them had HTML errors.
“And those are only core syntax errors — (the survey) didn’t count misuse of HTML, like putting a p element inside an ol element,” he adds.
Microsoft has received another couple of setbacks in its bid to control office document formats. Microsoft’s Open Office XML document format has been challenged by a number of international groups.
The International Standards Organization (ISO) will soon begin evaluating the feedback of member countries regarding the proposed spec. Reportedly, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and UK are submitting contradictions to OOXML, which may derail a proposed fast track process.
Wednesday’s tutorial touched on how semantically correct XHTML helps search engine spiders “read” your pages, but spiders aren’t the only reason for semantics. Semantics also help people with disabilities by making an element’s context clear to assistive devices like JAWS.
But while semantics are a good start, they aren’t the end of the story when it comes to accessibility. There is in fact an entire W3C spec on accessibility and there are many ways that you can improve accessibility in your code (note that these tips are good whether you’re using HTML or XHTML).
Yesterday we looked at creating semantically correct XHTML. Today’s tutorial takes that idea and goes a step further into what’s know as microformats.
Microformats allow browsers and other user agents to “understand” certain chunks of data, for instance hCard, a microformat based on the vCard standard, tells a browser that the information contained within the hCard tags is an address card.