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Active X Is History

Remember Active X? The Microsoft Framework developed back before the millennium switch? Maybe you remember that message that used to pop up at the top of the browser asking you to install some kind of extension to enable use of some kind of feature which at the same time allowed potential hackers to run amok on your system? It turns out Active X support disappeared for Firefox back in 2008, with the release of FF 2. IE still supports it. I read a recent post about how it's not time to celebrate it's earthly departure yet, it's still in use, but it's like a remnant of a past that there's no longer reason to remember. Active X Is History.

What About SVG?

What about it? And more importantly, what is it?

SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics. It's an open standard developed by W3C to compete with Adobe's vector format, not to mention the vector capabilities of Flash & Silverlight, though Silverlight is in itself a competitor (Flash being the old and formerly innovative browser expansion). Back in the day, Flash was the only way to include all forms of media in a common media form. Audio, video, animation, games, whatever - everything could be embedded through flash, and at the same time, too.

While vector graphics are not the primary trait of Flash, it's an interesting capability and it earlier it has only been available on web-pages through Flash. To scale images without losing quality is a feature with a lot of potential; the only truly lossless image manipulation method on the web. Yet SVG is a new player on the market. Chrome is the only browser that fully supported SVG since the start. Firefox came soon after (or earlier actually, since it's much older than Chrome and has supoorted SVG since the second release), and now all major browsers support it, even the mobile ones.

Still SVG is not a widely used format at all. Why not? It promises a smaller filesize on formats such as GIF and PNG. It works directly through the page, and doesn't require an http request such as images do. It's an open standard, too, not locked like both Flash & Silverlight are. If you look around for demos you'll see that there's a lot of potential, and not only for vector-based images but also for animation and 3D effects. Look around! There are plenty of tools to work with creating SVGs; hopefully I'll have time to learn how to use them soon! It's time everybody learns what SVG is... or forgets in quickly in favor of even better technology.

CSS Replacement For 'start' Attribute

With XHTML the start attribute on ordered lists has been deprecated. Now there's no way to define on which value an order list should begin. The alternative? There is none! W3C probably realized their error as well, since it has been reinstated in HTML5. I suppose it's time to take the step from XHTML back to HTML soon again...

Styling <hr> With CSS

Check this for a great guide on how to style the <hr> tag. Creating borders is possible through CSS, but if you want to retain support for old browsers while at the same time styling for the new, it seemed to me like the <hr> tag was the way to go. Only problem is that it looks quite dull, but in old browsers, everything looks dull!

With CSS there are plenty of ways to style it, though. I was wondering if it was possible since I haven't read anything on the topic earlier, but apparently it is, and apparently the idea that it's an element worth continued use is not mine alone. I'm tempted to copy over some of the styling techniques, but it's bet you simply check the guide!

Frameset XHTML Strict Or Transitional?

So I was reading about the different types of XHTML. There's Strict, Transitional and Frameset. Strict is strict, no deprecated tags, formatted perfection, only good code. Transitional blends the best of HTML with the neatness and newness of XHTML. Frameset is just frames.

My first thought was, is Frameset XHTML Strict or Transitional? Looking at the code, it seems to be strict. There aren't many elements to work with, but it seems they must be in order for it to work properly. But with frame elements, wouldn't the same thing apply to any page? Maybe Frameset can't be perceived as either one or the other, maybe strict or transitional doesn't apply,

What Is XHTML Namespace?

XML namespaces are used for providing uniquely named elements and attributes in an XML document. They are defined in a W3C recommendation. An XML instance may contain element or attribute names from more than one XML vocabulary. If each vocabulary is given a namespace, the ambiguity between identically named elements or attributes can be resolved.

Yupp, that didn't help me much.

A namespace name is a uniform resource identifier (URI). Typically, the URI chosen for the namespace of a given XML vocabulary describes a resource under the control of the author or organization defining the vocabulary, such as a URL for the author's Web server. However, the namespace specification does not require nor suggest that the namespace URI be used to retrieve information; it is simply treated by an XML parser as a string. For example, the document at http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml itself does not contain any code. It simply describes the XHTML namespace to human readers.

F0r real? Is the explanation within reach?!

XML namespaces provide a simple method for qualifying element and attribute names used in Extensible Markup Language documents by associating them with namespaces identified by URI references.

Soooo....

We envision applications of Extensible Markup Language (XML) where a single XML document may contain elements and attributes (here referred to as a "markup vocabulary") that are defined for and used by multiple software modules. One motivation for this is modularity: if such a markup vocabulary exists which is well-understood and for which there is useful software available, it is better to re-use this markup rather than re-invent it.

Such documents, containing multiple markup vocabularies, pose problems of recognition and collision. Software modules need to be able to recognize the elements and attributes which they are designed to process, even in the face of "collisions" occurring when markup intended for some other software package uses the same element name or attribute name.

These considerations require that document constructs should have names constructed so as to avoid clashes between names from different markup vocabularies. This specification describes a mechanism, XML namespaces, which accomplishes this by assigning expanded names to elements and attributes.

Yeah, uhuh...

In XML documents which conform to this specification, element and attribute names MUST match the production for QName and MUST satisfy the "Namespace Constraints". All other tokens in the document which are REQUIRED, for XML 1.0 well-formedness, to match the XML production for Name MUST match this specification's production for NCName.

Sounds... important. W3C and Wikipedia couldn't answer my wonder, so I kept searching...

I found a post by Elliotte Rusty Harold. Add an xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" attribute to every html element he says. Why? I wonder.

XSLT and other XML-based tools can treat the same element differently, depending on its namespace. XML-based XHTML tools expect to find HTML elements in the XHTML namespace and will usually not function correctly if they are in no namespace instead.

Furthermore, many browser extensions such as XForms, SVG, and MathML operate correctly only when embedded inside a properly namespaced XHTML document.

And I'm still wondering! I probably need to know more than HTML & XHTML to understand what this is all about. SGML? XML? How deep do I need to dive? Or maybe, somewhere, there is someone who can explain in an understandable human language what the XHTML Namespace really is. If I find out I'll let you no.

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