W3Cx Introduction to Web Accessibility – New Online Course

3 December 2019 | Archive

illustration showing two persons looking at a computer; and WAI iconsOn the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, W3C and the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) launched a new W3Cx course: “Introduction to Web Accessibility“.

The course is designed for technical and non-technical audiences, including developers, designers, content authors, project managers, people with disabilities, and others. The course will start on 28 January 2020 and is self-paced.

Please, read our press release and blog post, and watch our short teaser video for more information about the course. Enroll now, and encourage others to, too.

W3C Recommends WebAssembly to push the limits for speed, efficiency and responsiveness

5 December 2019 | Archive

WebAssembly black and white logo The WebAssembly Working Group has published today the three WebAssembly specifications as W3C Recommendations, marking the arrival of a new language for the Web which allows code to run in the browser.

  • WebAssembly Core Specification defines a low-level virtual machine which closely mimicks the functionality of many microprocessors upon which it is run. Either through Just-In-Time compilation or interpretation, the WebAssembly engine can perform at nearly the speed of code compiled for a native platform. A .wasm resource is analogous to a Java .class file in that it contains static data and code segments which operate over that static data. Unlike Java, WebAssembly is typically produced as a compilation target from other programming languages like C/C++ and Rust.
  • WebAssembly Web API defines a Promise-based interface for requesting and executing a .wasm resource. The structure of a .wasm resource is optimized to allow execution to begin before the entire resource has been retrieved, which further enhances responsiveness of WebAssembly applications.
  • WebAssembly JavaScript Interface provides a JavaScript API for invoking and passing parameters to WebAssembly functions. In Web browsers, WebAssembly’s interactions with the host environment are all managed through JavaScript, which means that WebAssembly relies on JavaScript’s highly-engineered security model.

WebAssembly provides a safe, portable, low-level code format designed for efficient execution and compact representation. This technology enables the Web platform to perform more efficient execution of computationally-intensive algorithms, which in turn makes it practical to deliver whole new classes of user experience on the Web and elsewhere. Because WebAssenbly is a platform-independent execution environment, it can also be used on any other computer platform. Please, read our press release for additional information and acknowledgements.

W3C Invites Implementations of Publication Manifest and Audiobooks

5 December 2019 | Archive

The Publishing Working Group has just published a Candidate Recommendation for two documents, namely:

  • Publication Manifest – This specification defines a general manifest format for expressing information about a digital publication. It uses metadata augmented to include various structural properties about publications, serialized in JSON-LD, to enable interoperability between publishing formats while accommodating variances in the information that needs to be expressed.
  • Audiobooks – This specification describes the requirements for the creation of audiobooks, using a profile of the Publication Manifest specification.

The Group has also published an accompanying Working Group Note of Lightweight Packaging Format (LPF). This specification defines a file format and processing model for packaging into a single-file container the set of related resources and associated metadata that comprise a digital publication.

Candidate Recommendation means that the Working Group considers the technical design to be complete, and is seeking implementation feedback on the documents. The group is keen to get comments and implementation experiences on these specifications as issues raised in the the documents’ respective GitHub repositories (see the document headers for the exact references).

The group expects to satisfy the implementation goals (i.e., at least two, independent implementations for each of the test cases) by 31 March 2020.

W3C opens Technical Architecture Group (TAG) election

3 December 2019 | Archive

W3C TAG logoThe W3C Advisory Committee having nominated four individuals, is invited today to vote until 10 January 2020 for three seats in the W3C Technical Architecture Group (TAG) election.

The TAG is a special working group within the W3C, chartered under the W3C Process Document, with stewardship of the Web architecture. Some aspects of its mission include

  • to document and build consensus around principles of Web architecture and to interpret and clarify these principles when necessary;
  • to resolve issues involving general Web architecture brought to the TAG;
  • to help coordinate cross-technology architecture developments inside and outside W3C.

New version of the Roadmap of Web Applications on Mobile

2 December 2019 | Archive

Icon representing mobile life-cycleW3C has published a new version of its Roadmap of Web Applications on Mobile, an overview of the various technologies developed in W3C that increase the capabilities of Web applications, and how they apply more specifically to the mobile context.

The November 2019 snapshot refreshes the list of technologies under incubation in Community Groups or on the standardization track in Working Groups. See the Change history since April 2019 for details. New standardization proposals have notably emerged, including:

  • WebTransport, an API similar to WebSocket but closer to UDP and based on QUIC, described in Network and Communications;
  • WebCodecs to expose media encoders/decoders to web applications, described in Media;
  • WebGPU, described in Graphics and Layout, which has made significant progress in the past few months;
  • Input for workers and worklets, described in User Interaction;
  • Various low-level specifications for Performance and Tuning, such as isInputPending, the <virtual-scroller> element, and Audio Device Client in Media.

Former proposals under incubation in Community Groups have moved to the standardization track since April 2019. For instance, media specifications such as Media Capabilities, Picture-in-Picture, and Media Session are now being standardized by the Media Working Group (see Media). Similarly, the CSS Animation Worklet API has been adopted by the CSS Working Group (see Performance and Tuning).

Still in the performance ballpark, WebAssembly has made quick progress on the standardization track and was moved to well-deployed technologies in Performance and Tuning.

On top of specifications, the November 2019 snapshot also reflects on implementation progress. For instance, Resize Observer shipped in Firefox and Safari (see Device Adaptation), Background Fetch shipped in Chrome (see Application Lifecycle) and the <datalist> element defined in HTML shipped on all main browsers (see Forms).

Sponsored by Beihang University, this project is part of a set of roadmaps under development in a GitHub repository to document existing standards, highlight ongoing standardization efforts, point out topics under incubation, and discuss technical gaps that may need to be addressed in the future. New versions will be published on a quarterly basis, or as needed depending on progress of key technologies of the Web platform. We encourage the community to review them and raise comments, or suggest new ones, in the repository’s issue tracker.

First Public Working Draft: TTML Profiles for Internet Media Subtitles and Captions 1.2

28 November 2019 | Archive

The Timed Text Working Group has published a First Public Working Draft of TTML Profiles for Internet Media Subtitles and Captions 1.2. This specification defines two profiles of [ttml2]: a text-only profile and an image-only profile. These profiles are intended to be used across subtitle and caption delivery applications worldwide, thereby simplifying interoperability, consistent rendering and conversion to other subtitling and captioning formats. This specification improves on [ttml-imsc1.1] by supporting contemporary practices, while retaining compatibility with [ttml-imsc1.1] documents. It provides one new feature, which permits external font files to be referenced explicitly. One existing feature has been clarified, and no features have been deprecated in this version.

First Public Working Draft: Use Cases and Requirements for Decentralized Identifiers

28 November 2019 | Archive

The Decentralized Identifier Working Group has published a First Public Working Draft of Use Cases and Requirements for Decentralized Identifiers. This document sets out use cases and requirements for a new type of identifier that has 4 essential characteristics:

  • decentralized: there should be no central issuing agency;
  • persistent: the identifier should be inherently persistent, not requiring the continued operation of an underling organization;
  • cryptographically verifiable: it should be possible to prove control of the identifier cryptographically;
  • resolvable: it should be possible to discover metadata about the identifier.

Although existing identifiers may display some of these characteristics, none currently displays all four.

High Resolution Time Level 2 is a W3C Recommendation

21 November 2019 | Archive

The Web Performance Working Group has published High Resolution Time Level 2 as a W3C Recommendation. This specification defines an API that provides the time origin, and current time in sub-millisecond resolution, such that it is not subject to system clock skew or adjustments. High Resolution Time Level 2 replaces the first version of High Resolution Time.

CSS Containment Module Level 1 is a W3C Recommendation

21 November 2019 | Archive

The CSS Working Group has published CSS Containment Module Level 1 as a W3C Recommendation. This CSS module describes the contain property, which indicates that the element’s subtree is independent of the rest of the page. This enables heavy optimizations by user agents when used well.

Verifiable Credentials Data Model 1.0 is a W3C Recommendation

19 November 2019 | Archive

The Verifiable Claims Working Group has published Verifiable Credentials Data Model 1.0 as a W3C Recommendation. Credentials are a part of our daily lives; driver’s licenses are used to assert that we are capable of operating a motor vehicle, university degrees can be used to assert our level of education, and government-issued passports enable us to travel between countries. This specification provides a mechanism to express these sorts of credentials on the Web in a way that is cryptographically secure, privacy respecting, and machine-verifiable.

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