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Michael™ Smith gives HTML5 a report card; Knud Möller finds RDFa every­where; Mark Nottingham tells us a love story about browser caching; Michael™ Smith asks if HTML5 is ready for prime time; Jacqui Begbie & Neil King explain Australia’s Web Acces­si­bility Tran­sition Strategy; Gordon Grace gets government data online; Divya Manian is into active web devel­opment and Daniel Davis cares about widgets.

RDFa everywhere

How you can give meaning to every­thing
Photo of Knud Möller

Presenter: Knud Möller

RDFa is a W3C standard for embedding semantic metadata directly into HTML web pages. While early work on RDFa dates back to 2004, it recently gathered a lot of uptake and traction through the adoption by big players such as Google, Yahoo! and Facebook. This has put the Semantic Web into the attention of a much wider public, setting RDFa out the be the tech­nology to finally bring the Semantic Web into the main­stream. The language gained the status of a W3C recom­men­dation in late 2009 as RDFa 1.0. Since then, the RDFa working group has been estab­lished to improve and extend the standard. Even­tually, this work will result in a new version of the language, which is set to be released as RDFa 1.1 in 2011. In this talk, an overview will be given of the RDFa tech­nology in general, followed by an outline of its latest devel­op­ments, such as the RDFa API, or the defi­n­ition of RDFa Core, which prepares the standard to extend its scope beyond the context of web pages, by allowing it to be included into any other markup language than just HTML.

Australia’s Web Accessibility Transition Strategy

Photo of Jacqui Begbie Photo of Neil King

Presenter: Jacqui Begbie & Neil King

The Australian Government formally endorsed the WCAG 2.0 spec­i­fi­cation in February 2010. In June they released the Web Acces­si­bility National Tran­sition Strategy (www​.finance​.gov​.au) which sets the pathway for tran­sition to WCAG 2.0 for all government agencies. Achieving this will be the biggest acces­si­bility task ever embarked upon by the Australian government. Leading by example they hope to bring much of the private sector along too.

In this session, Jacqui will discuss the oblig­a­tions and require­ments to meet each of the three phases of the work plan. This in turn will ensure industry, devel­opers, and agencies create WCAG 2.0 conformant government websites to level A by 2012, and federal websites that conform to level AA by end of 2014. Neil will provide some prac­tical advice on the resources that are out there that will assist in addressing each of the phases, and insights on the core chal­lenges that need to be met.

HTML5 Report Card

Passing with flying colors or just barely making the grade?
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Presenter: Michael™ Smith

Remember how fun it was to do hands-​​on classroom projects together in kinder­garten? Well, this inter­active session is going to be like that, but just with bigger people.

In the first part of the session, I’ll hand out blank report cards, and each of us will — indi­vid­ually and based on whatever criteria we personally want to use — use those report cards to assign A, B, C, D, and E letter grades to particular new features that are part of HTML5 and related spec­i­fi­ca­tions that are supported to some degree in browsers.

Then I’ll collect those, and use the info to judge which HTML5 features to focus the discussion on during the second part of the session. During the second part of the session, we’ll make a handful of poster-​​side HTML5 Report Cards together, by taking a look at the HTML5 features we iden­tified during the first part of the session, and then assigning A, B, C, D, and E letter grades to those together — based on the current quality of the features/​implementations, and on criteria such as if/​how well the features actually work as expected, as well as on some criteria such as “plays well with others”, “areas where improvement is needed”, etc.

Active Web Development

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Presenter: Divya Manian

Web tech­nologies are evolving at such a frenetic pace that it becomes almost mandatory to learn on your own. A lot of us still depend on other people to do this learning for us, and we tend to use their answers to solve our everyday problems. Incon­sistent imple­men­ta­tions, rapidly evolving specs, ques­tionable perfor­mance impacts and main­te­nance impli­ca­tions mean we cannot always depend on others for answers but must involve ourselves actively in the process of devel­oping spec­i­fi­ca­tions for new Web tech­nologies. But how do we go about it? There are some simple rituals we can all do, which can have us be better-​​informed and also better inform the people and groups who are most directly involved in the devel­opment of new Web tech­nologies.

HTML5 Ready for Prime time?

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Presenter: HTML5 Panel

When the front page of daily news­papers carry stories mentioning HTML5, you know something’s afoot. But, despite all the hype, just how ready for prime time is it? Can you rely on it today? And if so, which parts? And how does it change the web for designers and devel­opers? Is it just a better way to build web sites, or does it promise a whole new level of sophis­ti­cation for the web?

In this round table discussion hear from stan­dards devel­opers, browser devel­opers, and prac­ticing web devel­opers. You’ll come away with a better under­standing of the direction HTML5 is taking the web, the chal­lenges you’ll face today using HTML5, and the possi­bil­ities it’s opening up for devel­opers.

Browser Caching and You (A Love Story)

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Presenter: Mark Nottingham

Over time, Web devel­opers have feared, hated and loved Web caching, at times trying to kill it, at others professing undying love. Mark Nottingham (chair of the IETF HTTPbis Working Group and author of its revised Web Caching spec­i­fi­cation) will examine how browsers (mis)-treat your content today, as well as where your rela­tionship with browser caching might go in the future.

Widgets – Why Should I Care?

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Presenter: Daniel Davis

When I was a young lad, I had the use of a computer for the Christmas holidays so I typed out my thank you letters and felt super cool. Unfor­tu­nately there was no printer. I wrote out by hand what was on the screen and got laughed at by my dad. Despite this, I felt I was ahead of the crowd and at the start of some­thing new and exciting. Thirty years later, I feel we’re at the same stage with widgets – at the start of some­thing new and exciting.

More than raw: government data online

Photo of Gordon Grace

Presenter: Gordon Grace

The USA and UK govern­ments have made signif­icant progress with linked, open data in recent months. Several funda­mental datasets from the Australian Government are on the cusp of being exposed as mean­ingful, reusable, machine-​​readable assets, further driving the adoption of linked data within and around government.

Making better use of online data offerings using a combi­nation of top-​​down policy and guidance, together with bottom-​​up devel­opment efforts from agency web teams, would seem to describe a sustainable, organic growth in linked government data.

Learn about the path to the first release of data​.gov​.au; a draft roadmap to future releases; the barriers to linked data and open public sector infor­mation (PSI); and the real-​​world ques­tions this tech­nology aims to solve.