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! 😉

Hard disk crash

The hard drive in my laptop decided it had had enough today and decided to crash (with only two days before I depart to Boston for a W3C meeting!). Luckly I was able to recover all my PhD stuff and work I had been doing today on Widgets. I’m currently in the process of reformatting my drive with Windows XP. I was able to recover almost everything using BartPE, which creates a cd-bootable stripped down version of Windows. BartPE is very useful as it allows you to map network drives. To get my data, I just copied all the stuff that I could onto one of our development servers. It took me about 2 hours, as BartPE kept crashing trying to copy files.

Tomorrow I’ll have to waste time reinstalling all my apps and testing the system to see if it is stable enough to take to the US… otherwise, it’s “off to the shop” to for a new hard-drive 🙁 If all else fails, my girlfriend has offered to lend me her new MacBook which I will happily take over my PC any day 🙂

Update: went to get a new 160GB hard drive, but once I started reinstalling Windows the installer kept crashing with IRQL_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL (new  BSoD error, which I had not seen before). Did a google search and all evidence pointed to either that the RAM or CPU was overheating. One of the IT guys here at QUT ran a memory tester and we discovered that it was infact one of the RAM chips that was fried. Sucks, as I only bought the new RAM  about  one week ago 🙁 . Anyway, all seems semi-stable now… currently reinstalling Windows XP. I made a 40Gig partition to install Windows Vista  so I can agian play with SideBar Gadgets. I previously unistalled Vista because I found it so shockingly bad to use and unstable.

Creative Industries Network Alert Widget

CIF Network Alert WidgetFinally finished the Creative Industries Network Alerts Widgets (CIAlerts.widget Yahoo! flat-file, ~250k). Its purpose is to allow system administrators at QUT, where I work, to send out network alerts to staff and students when things go wrong on any of the servers.

You are free to download it, but be warned that you probably wont see very much (if anything) because it requires that someone send out an alert; and only Admins at QUT, where I work/study, can do that. The widget’s dynamically loaded source code is also available.

The widget is accompanied by a website from which the alerts are sent. Network admin can send three kinds of alerts: “Please Note”, “Attention”, and “Very Important”; each kind of alert comes with its own color (as seen above and below).

CIF Network Alert Widget in Please Note state CIF Network Alert Widget in Very Important state

Using XMLHttpRequest, The widget works by periodically polling the server for new alerts. The alerts are sent as a JSON header string and processed in the widget. The widget features:

Dynamic BootStrapper (bootstrap.js):
…details coming soon.
Custom Animation Engine:
…details coming soon.
Custom event subscription model:
…details coming soon.
Alerts database:
…details coming soon.
Simple Dock manager:
…details coming soon.