News Wire: Look Who’s Back from the Dead

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  • An anonymous group of developers, led by accessibility guru Joe Clark, has published an independant review of the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. Independently reviewed by two additional experts, this document was a year in the making.
  • Accessibility guru Joe Clark has announced his departure from the world of web accessibility. He believes current web accessibility standards are both sufficient and largely irrelevant, now that developers know how to produce quality sites without them.
  • Apple has released a public beta of Safari 3 for both Windows (XP and Vista) and Mac OS X 10.4. See Matt Magain’s blog post on SitePoint for more details.
  • In his keynote address, Steve Jobs demoed the new Safari 3 beta, including the Web Clipping feature that allows Mac users to create widgets from portions of web pages. Also shown was the Safari-powered platform for Web 2.0 applications on the iPhone.
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  • Based on Mozilla’s Gecko 1.8.1 rendering engine, Camino 1.5 is lightweight browser with a native Mac user interface. The new version includes feed detection, spell checking, session saving, and improved tabbed browsing, among other new features.
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  • It’s the browser that just won’t die! Not only is Netscape back with another new release, but some of the features are actually very clever-looking. Best of all, these features may be added to Firefox 2 as extensions if you don’t want the whole shebang!
  • Also in the “back from the dead” department, Adobe has released an update to ex-Dreamweaver competitor GoLive. The $399 product focuses on providing an approach to web design that will be familiar to print designers, with heavy use of CSS under the hood.
  • Adobe has upgraded the pre-release of its desktop application framework, formerly known as Apollo, from alpha to beta status, and given it a new name: the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR).
  • While many developers are still getting a handle on Flex 2, Adobe is steaming ahead with the development of Flex 3, including Flex Builder 3 and the Flex 3 SDK. This release marks the availability of nightly builds and public roadmaps for both products.
  • Bruce Lawson writes about a few of the accessibility flubs turning up in draft specifications including the Microformats and HTML 5 drafts. The common theme is that specs are not being tested for their accessibility in practice.
  • The headers attribute, which enables authors to explicitly associate one or more header cells with a table cell in complex tables, is not yet included in the HTML 5 draft specification. In this article, Gez Lemon demonstrates why he believes it should be.
  • In a further effort to push the W3C HTML working group to include the headers attribute in HTML 5, this document has been compiled with an impressive body of research into current support for this feature, and why it is needed.
  • The Movable Type blog engine has been released to open source in preparation for the next major release, Movable Type 4. SitePoint author Jonathan Snook takes a look at the current beta release to see if it can stand up to its competitors.
  • The W3C has released an updated working draft of the CSS3 multi-column layout module, which allows text to flow into multiple columns in a CSS block.
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  • The W3C has released a candidate recommendation for CSS3 media queries, which enable you to restrict the application of CSS properties to particular device types, display dimensions, and color depths.
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  • Google’s Ian Hicks summarises the many problems with the W3C’s CSS working group. In all, these accusations are pretty damning. With the CSS WG be the next to get revamped in the same way that as the HTML WG?
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  • This single piece of CSS code will solve all your MySpace layout issues!
  • Okay, okay, if you really want to make your MySpace layout look nice, here are some real examples from which to start.
  • WYMeditor is a web-based WYSIWYM (What You See Is What You Mean) XHTML editor, the goal of which is to produce XHTML compliant code by guiding users to format their content according to meaning, not appearance. This release is based on the jQuery library.
  • Facebook recently launched a PHP API enabling developers to create applications that are hosted on a 3rd party server and expose their UI in the profiles of users who install them. This checklists will save the new Facebook developer some head scratching.
  • An interesting analysis of a looming problem that may affect Technorati in a big way. Specifically, Technorati tags drive up Technorati search results pages in Google … until Google decides to exclude them as they do all search results pages.
  • Search engine Ask.com has relaunched with a whole new user interface, more structured results, and a pragmatic attitude about the obvious “marketshare” issues in the Google-dominated web search market.
  • Polish hacker Michal Zalewski has published full details and exploit demos for four security holes affecting the latest, fully-patched versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox.
  • Though Google has obviously gone to some effort to keep this quiet, it has been revealed that the company has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft for the exclusive hardwiring of its own desktop search engine into the Vista operating system.
  • This is the most comprehensive and readable summary of Google PageRank – publicly, the best understood of the many algorithms used internally by Google search – that I have seen.
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  • According to this useful tool, one of my sites is hosted at the same IP address as 529 other web sites! Luckily it’s a clustered configuration, but still…

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