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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

W3C Marks Second Anniversary of W3Cx with New Training Offerings for Web Developers

25 April 2017 Archive
logoJust two years after launching its first HTML5 course on W3Cx, W3C is expanding its program offerings with an introductory level course in JavaScriptdevelopment, created in partnership with University Côte d’Azur. Additionally, W3C is launching a “Front-End Web Developer” Professional Certificate on, which consists of a suite of five W3Cx courses on the three foundational languages that power the Web: HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. All courses, designed to build or advance critical skills in Front-End Web development, are open for enrollment and will start on May 30. This second anniversary also includes the milestone of exceeding enrollment goals with nearly 400,000 students from every world country. Read more in the press release.

Call for Review: XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 3.0 Proposed Recommendation Published

18 April 2017 Archive
The XSLT Working Group has published a Proposed Recommendation of XSL Transformations (XSLT) Version 3.0. This specification defines the syntax and semantics of XSLT 3.0, a language designed primarily for transforming XML documents into other XML documents. XSLT 3.0 is a revised version of the XSLT 2.0 Recommendation published on 23 January 2007. The primary purpose of the changes in this version of the language is to enable transformations to be performed in streaming mode, where neither the source document nor the result document is ever held in memory in its entirety. Another important aim is to improve the modularity of large stylesheets, allowing stylesheets to be developed from independently-developed components with a high level of software engineering robustness. Comments are welcome through 19 May.

QB4ST: RDF Data Cube extensions for spatio-temporal components Note Published

18 April 2017 Archive
The Spatial Data on the Web Working Group has published a Group Note of QB4ST: RDF Data Cube extensions for spatio-temporal components. This document describes an extension to the existing RDF Data Cube ontology to support specification of key metadata required to interpret spatio-temporal data. The RDF Data Cube defines CodedProperties, which relate to a reference system based on a list of terms. QB4ST provides generalized support for numeric and other ordered references systems, particularly Spatial Reference Systems and Temporal Reference Systems.

Monday, April 17, 2017


Meeting room
The European Commission (EC) recently launched the  Web Accessibility Directive Expert Group (WADEX). This group has the mission “to advise the Commission in relation to the preparation of delegated acts, and in the early stages of the preparation of implementing acts” in relation to the EU Directive on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies.
More specifically, the focus of this group is to advise the EC on the development of:
  • methodologies for monitoring and reporting of compliance of accessibility requirements for websites and mobile apps;
  • technical specifications for accessibility requirements for mobile apps (and websites);
  • statements of accessibility;
  • user experience / user experience design.
This relates closely to the development of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, which is expected to provide improvements for mobile accessibility. It also relates to several other W3C resources on web accessibility, including the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) and its Report Generator, as well as Involving Users in Evaluating Web Accessibility.
I am delighted to have been appointed as an expert to the WADEX sub-group, to represent W3C. With this effort I hope we can further improve the harmonization of web accessibility standards and practices across Europe and internationally, also in line with the EC objectives for a single digital market.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

W3C responds to UNESCO concerns about Encrypted Media Extensions

screenshot of title and logos for sdbpUNESCO recently published a letter and an article about Encrypted Media Extensions. Since we didn’t have an opportunity to set the record straight with them, we are responding here.
The spirit of the letter is anchored in UNESCO’s values and the concept of Internet Universality. We agree on the concept of Internet Universality. We even believe that those who are trying to restrict movies from the Internet are violating the concept of universality by preventing certain content from being on the Web.
We note that EME does in fact provide improvements in privacy, security and accessibility over the alternatives.
  • The alternative to EME allowing interaction with copyrighted content in Web browser plugins is abandoning the Web. Without in-browser decryption ability, content providers would use their own native application, which will have much more leeway to spy on the user, and possibly infect their machine.
  • With EME, the browser can protect the user from the worst effects of the DRM system, by putting it in a processing “sandbox”, such that access to network, user’s data or machine is only permitted as allowed by the sandbox, thus offering protection against things like the root kit problems and privacy breaches we have had in the past.
  • Regarding accessibility, analysis and testing confirmed that the specification’s approach to captions, transcripts and audio description does not block access to this accessibility information. Moreover, since EME recommends that accessibility information is transmitted without any encryption, it is particularly suited (EME and accessibility) for accessible and legal fair use where accessibility is concerned – including accessibility adaptations to the video stream itself.
When UNESCO suggests that laws such as DMCA are against UN principles, we note that their colleagues at WIPO have been a motivating force behind such laws. We would urge UNESCO to use its own weight to insist that Member States’ laws on the Internet are always reasonable and proportionate and respectful of human rights. We are a technical standards organization but litigating the laws of a single country or many nations (like the WIPO treaty) is the role of legal advocates such as the EFF or UNESCO.
EFF has, as a member of the Consortium, initiated a move to get the members of the working group developing EME to agree to a covenant that they would not sue under the DMCA, but the proposal was rejected by the Members. Following that, the Consortium is considering a strawman broader Best Practices document W3C Security Disclosures and Privacy Best Practices to protect Security researchers and others from the overreach of the law. We invite the public, experts, W3C Members and interested parties to advocate and get consensus on any changes needed to better help support researchers in security and privacy.
We intend to continue to address the public discourse with an update to our March 2016 Information about W3C and Encrypted Media Extensions.


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