I’ve started sending out a (maybe bi-)monthly “web technology news” mail at work, I’ll repost these here (excluding items/ remarks that are specific to my employee off course) hoping someone actually finds this useful.
1. The web wants to kill Internet Explorer 6, MS won’t
- msie6 (° 2001) is causing web developers headaches (it requires a lot of specific, non-standard code). some high-profile sites (such as youtube and digg) have announced they’ll stop supporting msie6 (cfr. http://www.wait-till-i.com/2009/07/14/did-digg-and-youtube-just-spell-the-end-of-internet-explorer-6/). web developers are mounting actions to urge users and IT-departments to upgrade (cfr. http://hey-it.com/, http://www.ie6nomore.com/, http://ie6update.com/ and others).
- microsoft confirmed however that they will continue to support msie6, according to the bbc even until 2014 (cfr. http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2009/08/10/engineering-pov.aspx and http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8196242.stm)
2. HTML5: the web is growing up (but not fast enough, see previous paragraph)
- The same Microsoft (finally) joined discussions on the specifications for HTML5 (a new version of the language used to create webpages). It might be some time before Internet Explorer has the same level of support for the (draft) spec as Safari, Chrome, Opera and Firefox, but hey, talking is an important first step, no? (cfr. http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/webware/~3/iXVRC6Myrus/8301-1001_3-10305822-92.html)
- Google bought On2, a company specialized in video encoding formats and owner of a number of patents of the VP6-codec which is used in Flash Video (flv). Analists suspect Google will open source the codec so it can be used in html5, which supports video without Flash (cfr. http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/2/hi/technology/8185910.stm). This could solve (or worsen) discussions in html5-land about what codecs are to be supported (cfr. http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/07/decoding-the-html-5-video-codec-debate.ars).
- 2 great articles about why html5 is important (and esp. for the mobile web) can be found here: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/cloudfour/~3/-PtLhQmkuhw/ and http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/16/html5-and-the-future-of-the-web/
- According to research by an American company, interest in iPhone application-development is still very strong. More surprising might be the take-up of development of mobile applications for Google Android-base devices (cfr. http://gigaom.com/2009/08/10/the-battle-of-the-apps-google-vs-apple/). Looks more and more like Android is a serious iPhone-challenger (lots of Android-based phones are expected to arrive in Q4).
- Jakob Nielsen, the usability-pope, wrote a great article about usability of the web on mobiles here: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/mobile-usability.html, a must-read!
- Google published the specs and a reference implementation of “pubsubhubbub”, a light-weight semi-realtime communication mechanism for web-applications which is considered as one of the buildingblocks of what will become the “realtime web” (cfr. http://feeds.dashes.com/~r/AnilDash/~3/8TkbODhCEu0/the-pushbutton-web-realtime-becomes-real.html and http://code.google.com/p/pubsubhubbub/)