Star Wars and Standards


Still from A New Hope. Leia inserts the disk into R2-D2.

I recently read Future Law - a book of essays about using popular culture to explain technological and legal concepts. One essay looks looks at GDPR issues experienced by Disney® Princesses. I thought I'd try my hand at something similar! So here's my (brief and incomplete) guide to Technical Standards in Star Wars! Where do…

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I have resigned from the Google AMP Advisory Committee


A lightning bolt logo.

As per the AMP AC charter, I have resigned with immediate effect. As I was a non-corporate representative, I will not be nominating a replacement. I have loved working with the AC. They are a team of brilliant individuals who are all committed to trying to make AMP better, and I'm sorry to leave them.…

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How do you raise a software bug with a book publisher?


HTML code - a span wraps the first letter of a word.

Recently, I bought an eBook which has a bug. I'd like to explain what the bug is, why it is a problem, and how I'm trying to get it corrected. Amazon sells eBooks in KF8 format. That is an ePub with some proprietary extras. ePub is a standard based off HTML5. You can read the…

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Should panoramic images be part of the HTML5 specification?


360 view of the inside of the concert hall.

Noodling thoughts. The humble <img> element is one of the oldest parts of HTML. It allows you to put a static image in a document. Later revisions allowed for animated images - like GIFs. And the <map> element made parts of the image clickable. But what about interactive images? Like panoramas and photospeheres? Here's a…

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Introducing the new HTML element - welcome <clippy>!


Hello! It looks like you're writing a blog post - would you like help with that? chuckles Me and my colleagues at Microsoft have decided that the world needs more Clippy - the adorable animated paperclip. To help with that, we're bringing a new feature to Edge 6.0. Web Developers can now use <clippy> to…

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Adding Sign Language to HTML5 video


Video with overlay.

I watched this video from my colleagues in NHS England - it's the first time I've seen a Sign Language overlay on a Twitter video. Need help fast, but not sure what to do? Go straight to https://t.co/8VfK81f9u3 . To find out more about NHS 111 including how to use the NHS 111 BSL interpreter…

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A report from the AMP Advisory Committee Meeting


A lightning bolt logo.

I don't like AMP. I think that Google's Accelerated Mobile Pages are a bad idea, poorly executed, and almost-certainly anti-competitive. So, I decided to join the AC (Advisory Committee) for AMP. I don't want them surrounded with sycophants and yes-men. A few weeks ago, a bunch of the AC met in London for our first…

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Why bother with What Three Words?


Two men are confused by a paper map

I'll be wording this post carefully as What 3 Words (W3W) have a tenacious PR team and, probably, have a lot more lawyers than I do. W3W is a closed product. It is a for-profit company masquerading as an open standard. And that annoys me. A brief primer. The world is a sphere. We can…

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Plot twist!


Doctor Who holding a glowing key

A mysterious woman, with a non-London accent and blonde hair, reached out her hand. She asked me a simple, yet terrifying, question - "Do you want to come on an adventure?" Sadly, Hadley Beeman does not have a TARDIS (Well, as far as any of us can tell...). What she does have is an interesting…

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Limitations of HTML's title element


The raw HTML displays in the tab.

How much do you know about the humble <title> tag? It has been there since the earliest HTML specification. The 1995 spec says: There may only be one title in any document. It should identify the content of the document in a fairly wide context. It may not contain anchors, paragraph marks, or highlighting. Remarkably…

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