Widget spec is now Widget Specs

In an effort to expedite the standardization of widgets, the Web Application Formats Working Group yesterday decided to split the Widgets 1.0 Specification into three (or more) specs:

Other specs may also follow, particularly:

Other documents are still under development too:

We are aiming to have all these done (ie. Last Call) by October. However, now that the document split has happened, I should be able to get the packaging format done fairly quickly.

We have more or less now settled on the configuration language format. The elements are going to be:

  • <widget width=”” height=”” id=””>
    • <title: the title/name of a widget
    • <description> a description
    • <author email=”” url=””> some details about the author
    • <license> paste your GPL here! 🙂
    • <icon src=””> the icon
    • <access network=”true|false” plugins=”true|false”> if your widget need to get online
    • <content src=””> some file in the widget archive

Only <widget> and <content> are mandatory at this point.

The processing model for the XML is going to be quite forgiving. The only thing that will cause an error, is not having a well-formed document.  For example, the following the following would result in “The Awesome Super Dude Widget” as the title:

<widget xmlns="http://www.w3.org/ns/widgets">
     The <blink>Awesome</blink> 
     <author email="dude@example.com">Super Dude</author> Widget</title>

The unrecognized elements are simply ignored, but their text content is extracted. This makes processing more forgiving and allows for extensibility and some graceful degradation. I also want to push that the widget should function if the namespace is omitted.

We are also currently investigating how we are going to deal with internationalization in the configuration document format. We are looking at following ideas from the Best Practices for XML Internationalization.

WAF and WebAPI are dead. Long Live WebApps Working Group!

The charters of both  the W3C Web Application Formats and WebAPI Working Groups have now expired (as of the 15th of November, 2007) meaning they are effectively dead (although still twitching!). From their ashes will rise a new merged working group called the Web Applications Working group… hopefully by the 31 of January.

According to the new proposed charter, the missions of the new working group is to:

…is to provide specifications that enable improved client-side application development on the Web, including specifications both for application programming interfaces (APIs) for client-side development and for markup vocabularies for describing and controlling client-side application behavior.

The new Web Applications Working Group is chartered with the continual development of the following specifications:

Specification FPWD LC CR PR Rec
ClipOps spec 2007-Q2 2008-Q4 2009-Q2 2009-Q4 2010
DOM 3 Core bis spec          
DOM 3 Events spec 2007-Q2 2008-Q2 2008-Q4 2009-Q4 2010
Element Traversal spec 2007-Q2 2007-Q4 2008-Q2 2008-Q4 2008
Access Control spec 2006-Q2 2008-Q1 2008-Q3 2009-Q4 2010
File Upload spec 2007-Q2 2008-Q2 2008-Q4 2009-Q4 2010
Language Bindings spec 2007-Q2 2008-Q2 2008-Q4 2009-Q4 2010
MAXIM spec 2008-Q1 2008-Q3 2008-Q4 2009-Q2 2009
Network API spec 2008-Q2 2009-Q1 2009-Q3 2010-Q2 2010
Progress Events spec 2007-Q2 2008-Q2 2008-Q3 2009-Q2 2009
Selectors API spec 2007-Q2 2007-Q4 2008-Q2 2008-Q4 2008
XHR Object spec 2007-Q2 2008-Q2 2008-Q4 2009-Q4 2010
Widgets spec 2006-Q4 2008-Q4 2009-Q1 2009-Q3 2009-Q4
Widgets Requirements 2006-Q3 2008-Q4 2009-Q1 2009-Q3 2009-Q4
Window Object spec 2007-Q2 2008-Q2 2008-Q4 2009-Q4 2010
XBL2 spec 2006-Q2 2010 2011 2013 2013
XBL2 Primer 2007-Q3 2010 2011 2013 2013

Another cool thing about the new working group is that it is modeled on the HTML Working Group, meaning that is open, transparent (no secret chats on the members list) and anyone will be able to participate via the public mailing list.

I’ll continue to edit the Widget Spec and Requirements, and possibly continue to help out with the XBL Primer.  I’ll continue to be part of this new working group for a least 1 year, as I my PhD program ends in March 2009… and hopefully longer, if someone gives me a job to continue working on specs! 😉

June Wrap-up

June was a fairly busy month:

July is also going to be pretty intense:

  • will try to get the First Public Working Draft of the XBL Primer by the 13th of July.
  • Presenting my PhD confirmation on the 25th.
  • Going to Melbourne on the 26th to work with Cameron McCormack for two days on a model for the XBL 2.0 Test Suite.
    • After I come back from Melbourne I go to Oslo for a WAF Face 2 Face to be held at Opera Software.