Posts Tagged ‘WHATWG’

Expanded Floats

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

This is a working-out of an idea I’ve had. I can’t think of any solution for it, besides perhaps a script, so I’m going to invent a CSS attribute.

Fluid Layouts

I’m a proponent of fluid layouts, and so I believe that a page with a large number of congruous containers is best laid out by floating the containers. This means they fit as many as they can on one line, and then wrap the rest to the next line. Someone with a small screen might see one or two items per row, while someone with a larger screen will see more. (The Embroidery House has a good example of this.)


Notice the empty bit on the right? Try resizing your browser and watch how the flow works.

Design Problem

There’s one serious design problem with this: If the width of the screen isn’t exactly the right width to contain a specific number of floated items, there’s going to be a gap to the side, up to the size of an item.


So, my idea is this: Add expand:x|y|both to the CSS. The renderer would take the active area to the side (the blank spot, minus padding and margins), and divide that, rounding down, into the number of floats. It would increase the width|height|both of each float by that amount, which would fill up the sides, minus a pixel or two for rounding errors.
No matter the width of the window, the items will fill their container.


If the window grows wide enough to fit another item, the items will snap back to their original size and will be reflowed.
That is, the parser first checks the width of the floats (it would have to keep current width separate from the ‘real’ width), and flows from there, and then alters the width to fill the rest of the container.
For the purposes of Webkit: the attribute would not accept -webkit-transition, because doing a regular width transition on the parent container would re-flow and re-expand the floats.


I see the following potential problems.

  • That rounding error sounds tricky. If it rounded up, the floats might wrap, which is why I was saying it would round down.
  • I obviously haven’t given the rendering flow much thought. I’d have to hear from an expert how that could fit into it.
  • Could it keep a size separate from it’s regular size? I suppose its size could be recalculated based on how float sizes are usually calculated.

I’d like to hear your opinions on this issue.

WhatWG Twitter account

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

We woke up today with a strange message from the @WHATWG twitter account: “fuck off”

There was some astonishment and a couple of small giggles, but I think we largely ignored it. Later, though, we got a few more strange entries.
I think some kid somewhere had stumbled upon the form, which was located on the front page of Just on the front page, with no password.

UI Fail to the extreme.

Anyway, there was a slew of messages as friends contacted friends and everyone realized they could tweet from the WHATWG twitter account. John Gabriel’s Greater Internet Dickwad Theory proved true. Almost everyone who posted to the account sounded like ten-year-olds.

There were a few gems in the pile, though:

  • We’re scrapping HTML5 in favor of HTML 4.5, a more modest update to the spec. Look for it this fall.
  • The HXTML 2.0 spec has been finalized with only one tag which is <text>.
  • <audio><video><disco>
  • Considering an <o rly=”ya”> tag.
  • Won’t someone please think of the children?!
  • My name is Robert’; DROP TABLE students;
  • </html> tag replaced with </kthnxbai>
  • Hello. I am WHATWG and I am EXCELLENT
  • WHATWG announce working group on emoticons. Homer says (_8(|) ~doh!

After ten minutes, it seems they ran out of API. Now it’s starting up again.
I’ve emailed Hixie, but I’ve no clue when he’ll wake up.

The @WHATWG channel started with over 1307 followers, and have since dropped to 1255.

More news in the future!

More as they come.

  • WHATWG to start work on “Bible5”
  • Trapped in twitter factory, send help!

Followers: 1207. I believe this will continue every hour until someone changes the site.

More edit:
This from the IRC channel:
# [16:33] <beowulf> i say abused, i think it’s important that people buy viagra
# [16:34] <gsnedders|work> Are we going to have to get “I abused @WHATWG” t-shirts
# [16:34] <miketaylr> I’ll take a size M
# [16:36] <Lachy> beowulf, did you really tweet about viagra on @whatwg?
# [16:36] <gsnedders|work> Someone did.
# [16:36] * gsnedders|work glares
# [16:36] <miketaylr> the twitter status is about to hit critical mass a la reply-all ‘stop hitting reply-all’
# [16:37] <svl> The follower count is going into freefall

Edit (19:00GMT):
After another round of spamming, which seems to have left them with 1166 followers, several measures have been taken. Everyone started spamming Twitter’s @spam account with details about the spam, I flooded @WHATWG with wrong passwords — which locked the account — and others mentioned in the IRC that they disabled the form.
So, it appears to be over.

CSSquirrel should do a comic on this! It was epic!

Installed Web-Apps

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

These past few days, there has been a topic in the WHATWG about somehow making web apps run in the background, so we can always have them on — the way you have your email always on.

While searching around for an answer, I realized I’ve basically been doing that very thing for a number of days: I have a web-page saved as an application using Google Chrome.

When you use Chrome’s “Create application shortcut…” option, you’re left with a shortcut that tries to look like it’s for an application. When you open it, you get a very minimal UI: A favicon (that can be pressed for options), the title, and the caption buttons. The rest of the window is there for the application.

This is basically just a redesigned tab. You can select an option to turn it back into a tab, and you can drag it back into the browser. But it remembers its size and position when you close it, and you can use Google Gears with some applications to store data on your system.

I’ve been using the Chrome applications with Google Reader. I know there are some feed readers that actually are applications, but I think Chrome is my favourite application. The width limit isn’t stupid like it is in TweetDeck, and the UI isn’t cludgy like it is in the Windows Live collection.
Google Reader opens up in a thin, tall window on the right side of my screen. In the title bar is the text, “Google Reader,” as well as the number of new feeds.
It checks for new feeds every couple of minutes, and I just need to look at the Taskbar button to see how many.

There are only two things wrong with this setup:
1) I have to look for it, which is fine enough for my reader, but wouldn’t be good for something like an IM client or email. It needs notification.
2) I have this big button sitting in the Taskbar when I’m trying to search through for folders I have open. I’d love if I could minimize it to the notification area, and it could notify me when it found new things.

As it stands, I would love for Google Reader to play a sound when it found something new. It could do that.

I might try to make some sort of web app, soon, that works well with the Chrome application shortcuts.