Google Ramayana – Chrome Experiment

Google Indonesia started Chrome experiment that reimagines the story of Ramayana for the digital age.

 

The script is written in Bahasa Indonesia, the characters Ram, Sita, Hanuman and Ravan are using modern web tools like Google Talk, Maps, Docs, Gmail and even Web Search to plan their strategy, Jatayu is a blogger.

When you start the story you might be surprised to find new Chrome windows popping up as characters such as Rama and his wife Shinta use Google products like Talk, G+, Blogger, product search, and Google Maps to communicate, find info, and begin their journey to beat the evil Ravana.

Enough of my explaining. Head to Ramaya.na to try it yourself,

New IE9 Offers Geolocation, Privacy Controls and More Speed

Microsoft has released the first release candidate for its coming Internet Explorer 9 web browser. IE9 is a major overhaul, bringing much needed speed improvements, better support for web standards, privacy controls and tighter integration with Windows 7.
Overall IE9 RC1 is a huge leap forward for Microsoft, embracing web standards and speeding up the browser. […]

Microsoft has released the first release candidate for its coming Internet Explorer 9 web browser. IE9 is a major overhaul, bringing much needed speed improvements, better support for web standards, privacy controls and tighter integration with Windows 7.

Overall IE9 RC1 is a huge leap forward for Microsoft, embracing web standards and speeding up the browser. When IE9 is released web developers will finally be able to stop using CSS hacks and start using HTML5 with more confidence. Of course IE8 and IE7 will still be with us for some time to come, but things are looking up.

Curious developers running Windows can download the release candidate from Microsoft. This version of IE9 expands support for semantic HTML5 elements (like <nav>, <section> and <article>), adds more CSS 3 properties and introduces support for the geolocation API.

The additional geolocation support rounds out Internet Explorer’s new HTML5 features. While IE9’s competitors have implemented some of the more experimental APIs (like Web Workers and offline cacheing), IE9 does close the feature gap considerably and is leaps and bounds beyond where IE8 left off.

When it comes to CSS 3 the new IE offers nearly full support, though it still doesn’t understand text-shadow (which is actually been around since CSS 2.1) or the new CSS 3 multi-column text layout tools. On the bright side, IE9 does render border-radius, 2D transforms and new CSS 3 selectors like :first-of-type. For a full rundown of IE9’s HTML5 and CSS 3 features, see our earlier coverage. Also, be sure to head over to the IE9 Test Drive website for some demos that show off IE9’s new standards support.

IE9’s CSS 3 support handles border-radius rules

The new IE9 release candidate adds some privacy controls similar to those Mozilla and Google have been adding to their browsers. IE9 will support the Do Not Track HTTP header [Update: Microsoft says that IE9 does not support an HTTP header at the moment, but does offer Tracking Protection Lists which can block cookies, beacons, pixels and more]. IE9 also supports cookie-based blacklists to stop advertisers from tracking your movements around the web.

If you’ve been using the beta releases of IE9, you’ll notice several changes to the look of IE9, including the ability to put tabs back in their own row, rather than next to the address bar, which is the default setting. To give your tabs a bit more breathing room, just right click on the tab bar and select the “Show tabs on a separate row” option.

Top: the default tab arrangement; Bottom: tabs in their own row

This release also adds a new security feature which allows you to turn off ActiveX for all sites and then re-enable it on a site by site basis. ActiveX, a Windows-only “enhancement” that allows webpages to install code on your PC, has long been an excellent way to load up your Windows machine with viruses and other malware. The new controls mean you can turn off ActiveX entirely and avoid malicious code being installed.

Microsoft is also touting IE9’s hardware acceleration improvements in this release. According the IEblog, the release candidate is 35 percent faster than the previous IE9 beta. Indeed, in our informal testing IE held its own with Firefox 4 and Chrome 11. Pitted against stable releases like Firefox 3.6 or Chrome 9, IE9 fares even better.

Microsoft has not yet set an official release date for IE9, though the company’s web-centric MIX conference, which starts April 12, has historically been host to major IE announcements.

See Also:

Meet HTML, The Spec Formerly Known as HTML5

It won’t be an unpronounceable symbol, but HTML5 is getting a Prince-style name change. From here on out HTML5 will simply be HTML — according to the WHATWG anyway.
Just a day after the W3C unveiled its new HTML5 logo, the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) has announced that it will drop the term […]

It won’t be an unpronounceable symbol, but HTML5 is getting a Prince-style name change. From here on out HTML5 will simply be HTML — according to the WHATWG anyway.

Just a day after the W3C unveiled its new HTML5 logo, the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) has announced that it will drop the term “HTML5,” stop the versioning of HTML altogether and instead treat the evolving specification as a “living standard.”

While eliminating the version number from HTML has been part of the WHATWG’s plan from the beginning, the timing of the change is clearly related to the W3C’s attempt to embrace the term “HTML5.” The W3C recently showed off a new HTML5 logo, but the accompanying FAQ used the term HTML5 to cover everything from the actual spec to only tangentially related tools like CSS 3, WOFF and SVG. Many developers saw the W3C’s nebulous use of the term HTML5 as a sign that the term had become, like “AJAX,” just another marketing buzzword.

The W3C has since rewritten its FAQ to clarify and more sharply define just what HTML5 is and is not, but before that happened Ian Hickson, the WHATWG’s editor, announced that the WHATWG was renaming its spec to just HTML. Hickson says the WHATWG was “going to change the name last year but ended up deciding to wait a bit since people still used the term ‘HTML5′ a lot.”

Hickson then makes a not-so-subtle jab at the W3C, saying HTML5 “is now basically being used to mean anything Web-standards-related, so it’s time to move on!”

The W3C has long had a tenuous relationship with the WHATWG. Technically the W3C is the standards body charged with publishing the HTML spec. The WHATWG — a consortium of browser makers — grew out of the W3C’s neglect of HTML and its misguided decision to pursue XHTML 2. Now that both groups are working on the same spec, in theory, their goals are the same. In practice, however, the two groups often butt heads. In other words, just because the WHATWG has decided to abandon the term HTML5, don’t expect it to disappear overnight.

The W3C will continue to work toward “snapshots” that reflect stable milestones of the ever-changing WHATWG version of the spec. For now at least, that means the term HTML5 will be alive and well at the W3C, as the group works through its standard practice of issuing working drafts, holding last calls on changes and finally publishing the spec as a “recommendation.”

Since browser makers have long been well ahead of the W3C when it comes to implementing the latest and greatest parts of the HTML5 spec, they will likely focus on the WHATWG’s HTML spec, which will, like Google’s Chrome browser, follow a “rolling release” schedule.

No doubt the media and marketers will continue to use HTML5 as a buzzword that means far more than just the spec, but even that’s not always a bad thing. There’s no doubt that Apple, Google, the New York Times and everyone else who’s used HTML5 as an analog for the New Shiny has helped HTML5 — and all the other tools it’s come to stand for — gain momentum. As web developer Jeff Croft puts it, “sometimes we just need a word to rally behind.”

While not everyone understands the nuances of what’s HTML5, what’s CSS 3 and what’s just JavaScript, that doesn’t change the fact that everyone is excited about building a better web and that is exactly what HTML(5) is designed to do.

See Also:

HTML5 Gains Logo, Loses Meaning

What’s that thing flailing awkwardly over the mouth of a mechanical shark? Why that’s HTML5 in its dashing new logo. Yes, the W3C, the standards body that oversees the development of the HTML5 spec, has blessed HTML5 with a snazzy new logo.
Naturally there are badges you can add to your site and t-shirts and […]

The W3C’s new HTML5 logo

What’s that thing flailing awkwardly over the mouth of a mechanical shark? Why that’s HTML5 in its dashing new logo. Yes, the W3C, the standards body that oversees the development of the HTML5 spec, has blessed HTML5 with a snazzy new logo.

Naturally there are badges you can add to your site and t-shirts and stickers are already on sale (a portion of the proceeds go to the development of the W3C’s HTML5 Test Suite). The only thing left to do is figure out what “HTML5″ actually means, and that’s where the W3C has has thrown “HTML5″ over the shark.

HTML5 already enjoys more buzz that a web developer left alone in the back of a Mountain Dew truck (it even has it’s own posse), the only problem is that the buzz makers conflate just about every emerging web technology under the HTML5 umbrella. Purists have long decried headlines proclaiming the glory of HTML5 above an article about JavaScript and CSS 3, but now the one group that ought to know best appears to throwing in the towel and embracing the HTML5 hype.

While the new HTML5 logo looks good, the FAQ that accompanies it is troubling. According to the W3C, the logo is “a general-purpose visual identity for a broad set of open web technologies, including HTML5, CSS, SVG, WOFF, and others.”

It doesn’t really matter if the New York Times thinks CSS 3 or SVG are HTML5, but we’d like to think that at least the organization in charge of describing what is, and is not, HTML5 would make some effort to distinguish between tools. Lumping everything together is as silly as a carpenter referring to every tool in their toolkit as “a hammer.”

As web developer Jeremy Keith quips, “the term HTML5 has, with the support of the W3C, been pushed into the linguistic sewer of buzzwordland.” We had high hopes that Bruce Lawson’s acronym NEWT — New Exciting Web Technologies — would catch on and save HTML5 from buzzwordland, but alas, that appears unlikely.

With the blessing of those who oversee it, HTML5 now apparently means just about anything new and cool on the web. The new HTML5 logo is pretty sharp and the t-shirts look nice, but if we can’t have precise terms and linguistic clarity could we at least get a unitard with belt and cape?

See Also:

Styling Webpages With ARIA’s ‘Landmark Roles’

We’ve covered how you can make your webapps more accessible using WAI-ARIA — the W3C’s emerging specification for Accessible Rich Internet Applications — but did you know ARIA can also help style your pages?
Web developer Jeremy Keith recently took a look at how ARIA’s “landmark roles” can be used, not only to make your […]

We’ve covered how you can make your webapps more accessible using WAI-ARIA — the W3C’s emerging specification for Accessible Rich Internet Applications — but did you know ARIA can also help style your pages?

Web developer Jeremy Keith recently took a look at how ARIA’s “landmark roles” can be used, not only to make your pages more accessible, but for styling purposes as well. Consider HTML5’s header and footer tags. The average page has a main header and footer and then may also use the same tags within an article tag, for example, to wrap a headline, dateline and other auxiliary information.

So how do you target just the main header and footer tags without also styling the inner tags? Well, you could drop some IDs in your page, something like <header id="main">. But ideally the ID attribute is not simply a styling hook to be thrown around at the designer’s whim.

Keith points out a better way: using ARIA’s landmark roles. To stick with the same example, you could write something like this:

<header role="banner">
    ...header code here
</header>

Now you can target that specific header tag with CSS’s attribute selector:

header[role="banner"] {
    your styles here
}

Not only have you avoided the plague of otherwise meaningless ID attributes, you get the accessibility benefits too — ARIA roles are supported in JAWS, NVDA and Voiceover. It’s a win-win solution: more accessible code with styling hooks built in.

Be sure to read through Keith’s post for some landmark role examples. Also see our early post on building a more accessible web with WAI-ARIA, and of course, read through the WAI-ARIA role spec, which has more examples and guidelines for when and where to use them.

Italian Masks photo by Peter Lee/Flickr/CC

See Also: