Hindering Standards Advancement

IMO, there are two ways to hinder the advancement of Web standards:

  1. To continue legacy practices, holding back on new, better ones; and
  2. To keep inconsistencies between Web developers and designers, and user agent, tool and software developers.

Legacy Practices

I still haven’t studied much about the endianness of character encodings, but it sure is one thing I’ve seen that exhibits a legacy practice recommended by W3C. I’ve been placing a Unicode Byte-Order Mark before the output of my WordPress themes since my text editor featured its control on UTF-8 encoded files. After subjecting it to the W3C Markup Validation Service, I encountered a warning that says:

The Unicode Byte-Order Mark (BOM) in UTF-8 encoded files is known to cause problems for some text editors and older browsers. You may want to consider avoiding its use until it is better supported.

I’ve actually tried placing the BOM because Google Webmaster Tools report my site to have been encoded in ASCII even though I have set the HTTP Headers to respond, and <meta/> elements to indicate otherwise. After doing so, Google Webmaster Tools reported about 50% of my site is on UTF-8 that I concluded it reads pages’ encodings using the BOM.

The first time I’ve read that warning, an insight immediately struck me regarding legacy systems and practices. So, I just want to ask: Why are they enforcing legacy practices to be continued by Web designers and developers instead of enforcing new and current standards to be implemented by user agent, tool and software developers?

Incomplete Implementation

I’ve written much of the above article about a week ago, but it just came short of publication. I thought my so-called insight is very limited with regards to the current issues between Web and software development that I decided to postpone publication. It still would be on draft status if not for Molly Holzschlag saying just recently, HTML5 and XHTML 1.1+ MUST Stop for Now. I was puzzled why one of the most famous standardistas I look up to said that. The title would seem to mean she has just begun to dislike the improvements to Web standards. But after reading the whole article, I totally agreed. BTW, she meant:

  1. COMPLETE HTML 4.1 [sic], XHTML 1.0 and CSS 2.1 in specs and browsers where applicable
  2. CALL for consistent implementation of these most basic specifications in all current browsers and devices to this point
  3. WAIT for future HTML, XHTML and CSS implementations until these implementations are complete
  4. FOCUS on JavaScript and DOM fixes and implementations as we come up to par with markup and style

The only way new Web standards would be supported is to implement completely the current and existing ones. This would also make legacy practices be needed no more. Molly didn’t say that the progression of Web standards should be stopped forever, but the terms for now should be emphasized as long as incomplete implementations exist—and she’s talking about no specific user agent as even Mozilla, Opera and Safari have no perfect support, just better ones. So … I question no more.

Not Only WP 2.2 will be Delayed

You’ve probably read that Matt Mullenweg announced a delay to the WP 2.2 release, which was previously due in 4 days, on your Dashboard already, but it still is worth blogging. As I am creating my new theme—now at a rough estimate of 75% completion after five [half] days of work—I think it would be better to delay the release of AjaLapus.com 4.0 as well.

New features from WP 2.2, including core Widgets support, integrated tagging system[1] and Atom 1.0 standard syndication feeds, would most probably make me revise my theme a lot more since I am planning to use them anyway. And since I still haven’t tried using nightlies, nor do I have time and patience to install AMP again on either my Linux or Windows installations to test and develop on a nightly, it’d probably be best if I would wait the couple of weeks out for the new WordPress to be released.

So far, I have the following completion percentages for the templates of the upcoming theme before I delay working on it:

  • Header, Footer, and Single post templates and styles at 100%
  • Homepage, Quasi-static Pages, and Sidebar templates and styles at about 90%
  • Archives [including Tag, Date, Category and Search pages], 404 page, and Page-specific templates at 0%

And, btw, I’ve already consulted Shari and Lexie about the theme and they seem to like it so far. That was a relief since Shari immediately turned down the first one I’ve made. Well, not that it all depends on them—I really just like positive feedback.

For those who were browsing yesterday late at night and have been [403] Forbidden from viewing any page, that was most probably be me doing some tests. Ugh. I really need a local LAMP/WAMP installation.

And, about the issue of ad serving using Google AdSense, I decided to stick to HTML-compatible XHTML Strict since I’ve encountered a FAQ from Google stating that AdSense code within an <iframe> would lead to PSAs or less targeted ads [probably the same case an <object> tag would produce] even though that method was approved by Google.

So, there you have it—just lame updates. I’m getting busy at school since I’m taking up my Math 321 this summer vacation.[2] I still do hope I’d have more fun before the vacation ends.

Footnotes:

  1. ^ As Dougal Campbell pointed out, it was pushed to 2.3 milestone—I wasn’t reading the wp-hackers list as well.
  2. ^ If you can’t remember, it’s because of this little problem.

On Thoughts

I can proudly say I’m a deep thinker. Most of the time I tend to keep silent, alone or not, thinking about so many things — just like now. Yes, my mind is full … let me change that … is overflowing with thoughts. I just can’t seem to write anything about them right now. But, yes, I am writing — about my thoughts about my thoughts. Read again if you find it confusing. Ehehe …

So, what’s on my mind (as well as everybody else’s) is a mystery, don’t you think? I definitely know you do not know it. I do not seem to know it exactly, either. But let me tell you this. Surprisingly, most of my thoughts come into being while I am in the shower. Mind you, those thoughts are clean even though I’m naked. They’re mostly ideas about things I do or want to do (e.g., computers and sports). Told you they weren’t dirty.

I really hope this starts even just a little discussion. What are your thoughts mostly about? Where do they usually come from? What makes you think about things? What do you do about those thoughts? Oh, I could go forever with this questions. You could just answer those or make up some other related topics you want to talk about. Hopefully, I could write something substantial later. Oh, and thanks if you find this one substantial. (Though you most probably won’t.) 😛