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Paul Merrell

Microsoft Statement on European Commission Statement of Objections: Statement of Objections expresses Commission's preliminary view on the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows. - 0 views

  • REDMOND – Jan. 16, 2009 – “Yesterday Microsoft received a Statement of Objections from the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission. The Statement of Objections expresses the Commission’s preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law. According to the Statement of Objections, other browsers are foreclosed from competing because Windows includes Internet Explorer.
  • The Statement of Objections states that the remedies put in place by the U.S. courts in 2002 following antitrust proceedings in Washington, D.C. do not make the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows lawful under European Union law.
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    Microsoft's version of events, notable for the statement that DG Competition included a specific ruling that it is not bound by the U.S. v. Microsoft decision in the U.S. That only states the obvious, but is perhaps intended to forestall somewhat Microsoft arguments that the legality of its bundling was conclusively determined in the U.S. case. If so, it may have worked; Microsoft makes no such claim in this press release.
Paul Merrell

Update: EU hits Microsoft with new antitrust charges - 0 views

  • January 16, 2009 (Computerworld) Microsoft Corp. confirmed today that European Union regulators have formally accused the company of breaking antitrust laws by including the company's Internet Explorer (IE) browser with the Windows operating system. "Yesterday, Microsoft received a Statement of Objections from the Directorate General for Competition of the European Commission," the company said in a statement on Friday. "The Statement of Objections expresses the Commission's preliminary view that the inclusion of Internet Explorer in Windows since 1996 has violated European competition law." According to Microsoft, the EU claimed that "other browsers are foreclosed from competing because Windows includes Internet Explorer."
Paul Merrell

Anti link-rot SaaS for web publishers -- WebCite - 0 views

  • The Problem Authors increasingly cite webpages and other digital objects on the Internet, which can "disappear" overnight. In one study published in the journal Science, 13% of Internet references in scholarly articles were inactive after only 27 months. Another problem is that cited webpages may change, so that readers see something different than what the citing author saw. The problem of unstable webcitations and the lack of routine digital preservation of cited digital objects has been referred to as an issue "calling for an immediate response" by publishers and authors [1]. An increasing number of editors and publishers ask that authors, when they cite a webpage, make a local copy of the cited webpage/webmaterial, and archive the cited URL in a system like WebCite®, to enable readers permanent access to the cited material.
  • What is WebCite®? WebCite®, a member of the International Internet Preservation Consortium, is an on-demand archiving system for webreferences (cited webpages and websites, or other kinds of Internet-accessible digital objects), which can be used by authors, editors, and publishers of scholarly papers and books, to ensure that cited webmaterial will remain available to readers in the future. If cited webreferences in journal articles, books etc. are not archived, future readers may encounter a "404 File Not Found" error when clicking on a cited URL. Try it! Archive a URL here. It's free and takes only 30 seconds. A WebCite®-enhanced reference is a reference which contains - in addition to the original live URL (which can and probably will disappear in the future, or its content may change) - a link to an archived copy of the material, exactly as the citing author saw it when he accessed the cited material.
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    Free service spun off from the University of Toronto's University Health Network. Automagic archiving of cited internet content, generation of citations that include the url for the archived copy. Now if Google would just make it easier to use its search cache copies for the same purpose ...
Paul Merrell

HTML presentation markup deprecated - 0 views

  • Prior to CSS, nearly all of the presentational attributes of HTML documents were contained within the HTML markup; all font colors, background styles, element alignments, borders and sizes had to be explicitly described, often repeatedly, within the HTML. CSS allows authors to move much of that information to a separate stylesheet resulting in considerably simpler HTML markup. Headings (h1 elements), sub-headings (h2), sub-sub-headings (h3), etc., are defined structurally using HTML. In print and on the screen, choice of font, size, color and emphasis for these elements is presentational. Prior to CSS, document authors who wanted to assign such typographic characteristics to, say, all h2 headings had to use the HTML font and other presentational elements for each occurrence of that heading type. The additional presentational markup in the HTML made documents more complex, and generally more difficult to maintain. In CSS, presentation is separated from structure. In print, CSS can define color, font, text alignment, size, borders, spacing, layout and many other typographic characteristics. It can do so independently for on-screen and printed views. CSS also defines non-visual styles such as the speed and emphasis with which text is read out by aural text readers. The W3C now considers the advantages of CSS for defining all aspects of the presentation of HTML pages to be superior to other methods. It has therefore deprecated the use of all the original presentational HTML markup.
Gary Edwards

The Struggle for the Soul of the Web: Flash and Silverlight challenge the Open Web - 0 views

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    Just because the web has been open so far doesn't mean that it will stay that way. Flash and Silverlight, arguably the two market-leading technology toolkits for rich media applications are not open. Make no mistake - Microsoft and Adobe aim to have their proprietary plug-ins, aka pseudo-browsers, become the rendering engines for the next generation of the Web.
Paul Merrell

Introducing the Open XML Format External File Converter for 2007 Microsoft Office System SP2 - 0 views

  • In other words, revising the Open XML Format converter interfaces by adding new functionality does not require any recompilation of existing clients. This guarantees backward compatibility as these converter interfaces are upgraded.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      But what does it do for forward compatibility? OOXML is a moving interoperabillity target.
  • In addition to allowing converters to override external file formats, the applications allow converters to override OpenDocument Format-related formats (such as .odt). For example, if you specify a converter to be the default converter for .odt, Word 2007 SP2 invokes the specified converter whenever a user tries to open an .odt file from the Windows Shell instead of going through the native load path for Word 2007 SP2.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      How wonderful. Developers can bypass the forthcoming Microsoft native file support for ODF. Perhaps to convert Excel formulas to OpenForumla?
  • Open XML Format converters for Word 2007 SP2, Excel 2007 SP2, or PowerPoint 2007 SP2 are implemented as out-of-process COM servers. Out-of-process converters have the benefit of running in their own process space, which means issues or crashes within converters do not affect the application process space. In addition, out-of-process 32-bit converters can function on 64-bit operating systems in Microsoft Windows on Windows 64-bit (WoW64) mode without the need for converters to be compiled in 64-bit.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      Pretty lame excuses for not documenting the native file support APIs. I.e., the native file supoort APIs already throw "can't open file" error messages for problematic documents without crashing the app. The bit about not needing to recompile converters for 64-bit Windoze is a complete red herring. This is only a benefit if one requires conversion in an external process. It wouldn't be an issue if the native file support APIs were documented and their intermediate formats were the interop targets.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      I.e., one need not recompile the Office app if a supported native format is added. The OpenDocument Foundation and Sun plug-ins for MS Office proved that.
  • ...3 more annotations...
  • To begin developing a converter, you should familiarize yourself with the Open XML standard. For more information, see: Standard ECMA-376: Office Open XML File Formats.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      Note that they specify Ecma 376 rather than ISO/IEC:29500-2008 Office Open XML. So you get to rewrite your converters when Microsoft adds support for the official standard in the next major release of Office.
  • External files are imported into Word 2007 SP2, Excel 2007 SP2, or PowerPoint 2007 SP2 by converting the external file to Open XML Formats. External files are exported from Word 2007 SP2, Excel 2007 SP2, or PowerPoint by converting Open XML Formats to external files. The success of either the import or export conversion depends upon the accurate generation and interpretation of Open XML Formats by the converter.
    • Paul Merrell
       
      Note that this is a process external to the native file support APIs and their intermediate formats. The real APIs apparently will remain obfuscated. Thiis forces others to develop support for Ecma 376 rather than working directly with the native file support APIs. In other words, more incentives for others to target the moving target OOXML rather than the more stable intermediate formats.
  • Summary: Get the details about the interfaces that you need to use to create an Open XML Format External File Converter for the 2007 Microsoft Office system Service Pack 2 (SP2). (16 Printed Pages)
Gary Edwards

What Chrome means for Web start-ups | Webware - CNET - Bob Walsh - 0 views

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    Many stories focus on what Google Chrome means for Microsoft, Firefox, and the fate of the current online world. But what does it mean for up-and-coming Web start-ups? Here are six implications for the start-up world that I can see. These assume that Chrome lives up to its hype. T
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    Thanks for that one, Gary. It pushed me a bit closer to getting it about Web Kit. But I still see big issues with web app < > web app interop. E.g., how do we work around the fact that neither HTML 5 nor CSS 2 standardize markup for footnotes, footnote calls, and their counters? And how do we easily edit the content generated by one web app in another without such standardizing markup? Continue creating footnote markup manually and manually renumbering and reordering footnotes?
Paul Merrell

[ANN] Markup Validator 0.8.4 released from Olivier Thereaux on 2008-11-20 (www-validator@w3.org from November 2008) - 0 views

  • I am thrilled to announce today the release of a new version of the W3C Markup Validation Service, also known as "HTML Validator". Use it online http://validator.w3.org/ .... or download it: it is Free and Open Source http://validator.w3.org/source/ The new version, 0.8.4 may sound like a very minor step from the version 0.8.3 released in August, but this new release of the W3C Markup Validator brings some very important change: in addition to checking documents against etablished standards such as HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1.0, the validator can now check documents for conformance to HTML5, thanks to the integration with the Validator.nu html5 engine.
  • HTML5 is still work in progress and support for this next generation of the publishing language of the World Wide Web will remain experimental. The integration of the html5 engine in the validator should provide experimentation grounds for those interested in trying on authoring in this new version of HTML, as well as a feedback channel for the group working on building a stable, open standard.
Paul Merrell

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 released as Proposed Recommendation - 0 views

  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 covers a wide range of recommendations for making Web content more accessible. Following these guidelines will make content accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities, including blindness and low vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech difficulties, photosensitivity and combinations of these. Following these guidelines will also often make your Web content more usable to users in general. WCAG 2.0 success criteria are written as testable statements that are not technology-specific. Guidance about satisfying the success criteria in specific technologies, as well as general information about interpreting the success criteria, are provided in separate documents.
Paul Merrell

Standards, or Why Cloud Computing Isn't Ready Yet | eigenmagic.com - 0 views

  • How does this relate to cloud computing? Well, there aren’t few enough standard interfaces… yet. We have at least 5 major operating systems, 4+ database types and 3 or so browsers. We have Flash, and JavaScript, and Silverlight. Incompatibilities between them reduce the working combinations slightly, but what about the different versions, and their incompatibilities? Taking just these simple, core technologies, that’s 5 x 4 x 3 x 3 = 180 different technology combinations! That’s a lot of complexity to mask over if you want to provide the same general kind of service to everyone. Look at the number of variables you have to cater for when all you’re supplying is electrons-per-second! But it is possible.
Scott Hale

Ask MAMA what the Web is - 0 views

  • Opera Software has led a first-of-its- kind project to create a search engine that tracks how Web pages are structured on the World Wide Web. When released publicly in the coming months, this engine will help browser makers and standards bodies work towards a more standards-driven and compatible Web.Opera today announced results from its MAMA (Metadata Analysis and Mining Application) search engine, a brainchild of Opera engineers that indexes the markup, style, scripting and the technology used while creating Web pages. From the beginning, Opera has been a leading innovator and MAMA is proof of the company’s deep understanding of the Web.The MAMA search engine scours 3.5 million Web pages, and the resulting data can answer questions such as "can I get a sampling of Web pages that have more than 100 hyperlinks?" or "what does an average Web page look like?"—a dream come true for Web developers.
    • Scott Hale
       
      This is a great way to analyize general development trends on the web, etc. but will this really lead to a "search engine"?
  • For more information on Opera’s MAMA project, please visit: dev.opera.com/articles/view/mama/
Paul Merrell

Cover Pages: Open Web Foundation Formed to Support Community Specification Development. - 0 views

  • The formation of the Open Web Foundation (OWF) was announced on July 24, 2008 at the OSCON 2008 Conference. OWF is "applying the open source model of seeing a common pain point and trying to patch the system by creating an 'organizational library' that makes it easier to go through a collaborative specification process and come out of it with clean IPR, leading to faster implementation and adoption.
  • According to the OWF web site: "The Open Web Foundation is an independent non-profit dedicated to the development and protection of open, non-proprietary specifications for web technologies. It is an attempt to create a home for community-driven specifications. Following the open source model similar to the Apache Software Foundation, the foundation is aimed at building a lightweight framework to help communities deal with the legal requirements necessary to create successful and widely adopted specification. The foundation is trying to break the trend of creating separate foundations for each specification, coming out of the realization that we could come together and generalize our efforts... The Open Web Foundation is made up of individuals who believe that the open web is built on technologies that are created in the open by a diversity of contributors, and which free to be used and improved upon without restriction."
Gary Edwards

Word 2007 XAML Generator - Home - 0 views

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    The OOXML <> XAML "fixed/flow" converter firs tappeared in the December 2007 MSOffice beta SDK. Now it's an easy to install MSOffice plug-in. So, where's that port of XUL to WebKit?
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    Project Description A Word 2007 Add-in that converts the Office Open XML (WordprocessingML) to XAML: For WPF, the document is converted into a FlowDocument element. For Silverlight 2 the document is converted into a StackPanel element containing TextBlock elements.
Paul Merrell

Fight over 'forms' clouds future of Net applications | Pagalz.com - Blog - 0 views

  • As Net heavyweights vie to define the next generation of Web applications, the Web’s main standards body is facing a revolt within its own ranks over electronic forms, a cornerstone of interactive documents.
  • “The W3C is saying the answer is XForms. Microsoft is saying it’s XAML. Macromedia is saying its Flash MX. And Mozilla is saying it’s XUL.
  • Though the success of one method or another might not seem to make much difference to the person filling out an order form, the fate of open standards in the process could determine whether that form can relay the data it collects to any standards-compliant database or banking system, or whether it can only operate within certain proprietary systems. The fate of a standard could also determine whether the order form could be accessed in any standards-compliant Web browser, or if it would be available only to users of a particular operating system–an outcome that has browser makers and others worried about the role of Microsoft.
  • ...5 more annotations...
  • browser makers still want a standards-based forms technology to help the Web steer clear of proprietary application platforms. They’re particularly concerned about Microsoft’s sprawling vision for Windows “Longhorn” applications built in the XML-based XAML markup language using Longhorn’s Avalon graphics system. Browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Apple’s Safari will be useless to access these Internet-based Windows applications.
  • “The WHAT approach works OK for small examples,” Pemberton said. “But actors like the Department of Defense say ‘no scripting.’”
  • HAT approach works OK for small examples,” Pemberton said. “But actors like the Department of Defense say ‘no scripting.’”
  • The evolution versus revolution debate over forms centers on the use of scripting–specifically JavaScript–to perform important tasks in forms-based applications.
  • “I understand where WHAT is coming from, but they are browser makers, not forms experts,” Pemberton said. “It is important to build something that is future-proof and not a Band-Aid solution. Forms (technology) is the basis of the e-commerce revolution and so it is important to do it right.”
Gary Edwards

The Omnigoogle | Rough Type: Nicholas Carr's Blog - 0 views

  • It’s this natural drive to reduce the cost of complements that, more than anything else, explains Google’s strategy. Nearly everything the company does, including building big data centers, buying optical fiber, promoting free Wi-Fi access, fighting copyright restrictions, supporting open source software, launching browsers and satellites, and giving away all sorts of Web services and data, is aimed at reducing the cost and expanding the scope of Internet use. Google wants information to be free because as the cost of information falls it makes more money.
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    Nick Carr gives us an insight into the future of the Web from the perspecive of Google's business model. No doubt the Chrome "omnibar" is revolutionary in th esimple way it leverages Google search and index services to extend web surfers experience. Truly great stuff tha tNick ties back into the basic business model of Google. What Nick doesn't cover is how Chorme is desinged to bridge that gap between Web surfing and next generation Web Applications (RiA). Microsoft is in position to dominate this next generation, while Chrome represents Google's first step into the fray. Sure, Google dominates consumer applets and services, but RiA represents a model for enterprise and corporate business systems moving their core to the Web. It's a big shift. And Google has some serious catching up to do.
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    It's this natural drive to reduce the cost of complements that, more than anything else, explains Google's strategy. Nearly everything the company does, including building big data centers, buying optical fiber, promoting free Wi-Fi access, fighting copyright restrictions, supporting open source software, launching browsers and satellites, and giving away all sorts of Web services and data, is aimed at reducing the cost and expanding the scope of Internet use. Google wants information to be free because as the cost of information falls it makes more money.
Gary Edwards

Sun Labs Lively Kernel - 0 views

  • Main features The main features of the Lively Kernel include: Small web programming environment and computing kernel, written entirely with JavaScript. In addition to its application execution capabilities, the platform can also function as an integrated development environment (IDE), making the whole system self-contained and able to improve and extend itself on the fly. Programmatic access to the user interface. Our system provides programmatic access from JavaScript to the user interface via the Morphic user interface framework. The user interface is built around an event-based programming model familiar to most web developers. Asynchronous networking. As in Ajax, you can use asynchronous HTTP to perform all the network operations asynchronously, without blocking the user interface.
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    "The Sun Labs Lively Kernel is a new web programming environment developed at Sun Microsystems Laboratories. The Lively Kernel supports desktop-style applications with rich graphics and direct manipulation capabilities, but without the installation or upgrade hassles that conventional desktop applications have. The system is written entirely in the JavaScript programming language, a language supported by all the web browsers, with the intent that the system can run in commercial web browsers without installation or any plug-in components. The system leverages the dynamic characteristics of the JavaScript language to make it possible to create, modify and deploy applications on the fly, using tools built into the system itself. In addition to its application execution capabilities, the Lively Kernel can also function as an integrated development environment (IDE), making the whole system self-sufficient and able to improve and extend itself dynamically....." Too little too late? Interestingly, Lively Kernel is 100% JavaScript. Check out this "motivation" rational: "...The main goal of the Lively Kernel is to bring the same kind of simplicity, generality and flexibility to web programming that we have known in desktop programming for thirty years, but without the installation and upgrade hassles than conventional desktop applications have. The Lively Kernel places a special emphasis on treating web applications as real applications, as opposed to the document-oriented nature of most web applications today. In general, we want to put programming into web development, as opposed to the current weaving of HTML, XML and CSS documents that is also sometimes referred to as programming. ...." I agree with the Web document <> Web Application statement. I think the shift though is one where the RiA frames web documents in a new envirnement, blending in massive amounts of data, streaming media and graphics. The WebKit docuemnt model was designed for this p
Gary Edwards

Google Chrome: Bad news for Adobe « counternotions - 0 views

  • Agree with much of what Kontra said and disagree with many who mentioned alternatives to JavaScript/Chrome. The main, simplest reason Adobe will be in a losing fight in terms of web platform? The Big Two - Google and Microsoft - will never make themselves dependent on or promote Adobe platform and strategy.
  • Luis, I think that’s already in play with HTML5. As I pointed out in Runtime wars (2): Apple’s answer to Flash, Silverlight and JavaFX, Apple and WHATWG are firmly progressing along those lines. Canvas is at the center of it. The glue language for all this, JavaScript, is getting a potent shot in the arm. The graphics layer, at the level of SVG, needs more work. And so on.
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    "What's good for the Internet is good for Google, and the company says its strategic proposition for the newly introduced Chrome browser is: a better platform is needed to deliver a new generation of online applications......." This is one of the best explanations of why Google had to do Chrome i've seen thus far. Kontra also provided some excellent coverage concerning the Future of the Web in a two part article previously published. Here he nails the RiA space, comparing Google Chrome, Apollo (Adobe AiR/Flex/Flash) and Microsoft Silverlight. Chrome is clearly an Open Web play. Apollo and Sivlerlight are proprietary bound in some way. Although it must be said that Apollo implements the SAME WebKit layout engine / WebKit docuemtn model as Google Chrome, Apple Safari-iPhone, Nokia, RiM and the Iris "Smart Phone" browser. The WebKit model is based on advanced HTML, CSS, SVG and JavaScript. Where Adobe goes proprietary is in replacing SVG with the proprietary SWF. The differences between JavaScript and ActionScript are inconsequential to me, especially given the problems at Ecma. One other point not covered by Kontra is the fact that Apollo and Silverlight can run as either browser plugins or standalone runtimes. Wha tthey can't do though is run as sufing browsers. They are clearly for Web Applications. Chome on the other hand re-invents the browser to handle both surfing mode AND RiA. Plus, a Chrome RiA can also run as a plugin in other browsers (Opera and FireFox). Very cool. The last point is that i wouldn't totally discount Apple RiA. They too use WebKit. The differnece is tha tApple uses the SquirrelFish JavaScript JiT with the SproutCore-Cocoa developers framework. This approach is designed to bridge the gap between the OSX desktop/server Cocoa API, and the WebKit-SproutCore API. Chrome uses the V8 JiT. And Adobe uses Tamarin to compile JavaScript-ActionScript. Tamarin was donated to the Mozilla community. If there is anythin that will s
Gary Edwards

Chrome's JavaScript poses challenge to Silverlight | Tech News on ZDNet - 0 views

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    "The biggest rival for Microsoft's next-generation Silverlight web technology will be JavaScript, not Adobe's ubiquitous Flash, according to experts speaking at Microsoft's TechEd conference in Sydney on Friday. " Good article capturing Microsoft's early response to Google Chrome. Not surprisingly they try to pit Chrome against Adobe AiR, and argue that Chrome is a bigger threat to Microsot's XAML-Silverlight RiA than Adobe Flash (AiR). I posted a comment to this article, Divide and Conquer".
Gary Edwards

The Future of the Web | Freebase and the Parralax Browser - 0 views

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    Excellent review of the Freebase project that includes a video of the Parralax Browser in action. Incredible stuff! Great video Google is essentially a media company - as Tom Foremski succinctly points out here - logging your actions for Ad Word generation like a supermarket rewards card program while leveraging brute force search of the indexed web as you search for your keywords and phrases. Wikipedia is essentially a single destination site, which means lots of laborious single issue searching. The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing and combining information on the web.
Paul Merrell

Google Open Sources Google XML Pages - O'Reilly News - 0 views

  • OSCON 2008, Gonsalves made the announcement that, after several years of consideration, Google was releasing Google XML Pages (or GXP) under the Apache Open Source License.
  • At OSCON 2008, Gonsalves made the announcement that, after several years of consideration, Google was releasing Google XML Pages (or GXP) under the Apache Open Source License.
  • Originally developed as a Python interpreter that produced Java source code, gxp was rewritten in 2006-7 to be a completely Java based application. The idea behind gxp is fairly simple (and is one that is used, in slightly different fashion, for Microsoft's XAML and Silverlight) - a web designer can declare a number of XML namespaces that define specific libraries on an XHTML or GXP container element, intermixing GXP and XHTML code in order to perform conditional logic, invoke server components, define state variables or create template modules. This GXP code is then parsed and used to generate the relevant Java code, which in turn is compiled into a server module invoked from within a Java servlet engine such as Tomcat or Jetty and cached on the server.
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