Week Notes 2

by @edent | , , , , | 2 comments | Read ~117 times.

Covering 2 weeks of holiday and 1 week of work. This is how I've spent my time...


The lovely folk at JS Oxford invited me to talk about my recent experiments with SVG.

Headlining the bill was the brilliant Nicky Thompson with her talk about CSS shapes.


Mostly deleting emails, as is appropriate after a holiday. As for the rest...

  • Bugs in publishing.
  • Better ODF guidance.
  • Dual publishing for ODF.
    • I've been going around speaking to departments to make sure they know that they have to use ODF. Some are now publishing in both XLS and ODS! Brilliant!
  • Welsh.
    • GDS has a statutory obligation to support the Welsh language. However, I've noticed that the HTML5 attribute lang="cy" is inconsistently applied. That can make it hard for screen-readers and other tools to realise they're looking at a different language. Issue raised, hopefully fixed soon. Rwy'n gobeithio y gall cyfrifiaduron ddarllen y Gymraeg yn fuan!
  • Unicode.
    • The Open Standards Board originally fixed our approved standard as Unicode 6.2 - we wanted to update it to Unicode 11. This is about more than emoji - there's a bunch of internationalisation stuff which is really useful. Board approved the change, so now we're just updating things and communicating the change.
  • W3C stuff.
    • Having done a huge bunch of editing on HTML5.3, I'm now taking a small step back. I need to get more people in government interested in joining working groups.
  • Job interview.
    • I like to apply for interesting looking jobs - even though I'm happy where I am. It's a good excuse to brush up my CV. I'm enormously grateful to the people in my office who gave me a mock interview. I highly recommend getting friends and colleagues to practice with.

Reading List

I took a fortnight off. Literally all I did was read books and binge-watch Doctor Who. Bliss. Here's my reading list. I tend to alternate between fiction and non-fiction. Amazon affiliate links ahead...



  • Early Riser - Jasper Fforde
    • An orphan, living in a quirky Britain, takes on a perilous quest, with quirky characters, and quirky dialogue, and quirky footnotes. A pleasant read - but nothing new for Fforde fans.
  • The Dark Forest (The Three-Body Problem Book 2) - Cixin Liu
    • Epic sci-fi. It had been too long since I read the first book, so I struggled a bit to remember the complex plot. The second half is superb, absolutely breathtaking.
  • Hag-Seed - Margaret Atwood
    • Astonishing. Just the most ridiculously fun mix of madness and prison caper.
  • Lock In - John Scalzi
    • I usually love Scalzi's work - but this fell a little flat with me. In a world where people can take over other bodies, detectives struggle to solve a case. Spoiler - someone took over someone else's body.
  • The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - Imogen Hermes Gowar
    • Perfect! A delightful blend of historic accuracy, bawdy tales, and mystical revelations. Reminiscent of Tracy Chevalier in the way it mixes fact and fiction - and that's no bad thing. And I've just realised that Imogen, Tracy, and I all went to UEA - albeit at different times.

If you've written a book - let me know!

2 thoughts on “Week Notes 2

  1. Kai Hendry says:

    Whoa whoa WHOA! Why are you peddling the crazy complex ODF format?

    We are much much better off using HTML and for spreadsheets, yeah, you have a point, but certain XLS formats are well understood.

    1. @edent says:

      I agree that HTML should be used everywhere. And CSV for tabular data.

      But for editable documents ODF is a less complex spec that OOXML - it's also compatible with more software. You can read about the decision (taken before I started) at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/open-standards-for-government/sharing-or-collaborating-with-government-documents

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