One W3C specification which seems to have slipped below most people’s radar is Media Fragments 1.0, which moved to Candidate Recommendation status in December last year. Media Fragments is a syntax which extends the URLs of media files so that only selected portions are made available to the user; let me explain that further with a couple of examples.
On Tuesday I wrote a post for Ubelly.com on vendor prefixes; what they are, what they are for, their perceived successes and failures. This turned out to be incredibly timely as a few hours later the minutes of the latest CSS Working Group were released, showing that the misuse of vendor prefixes — especially -webkit-, and especially on mobile — has now become so serious that Microsoft, Mozilla, and Opera are all considering implementing -webkit- prefixed properties in their own browsers just to ensure that their users aren’t excluded from the web.
What a state we’re in.
This morning Daniel Glazman, chair of the CSSWG, issued an open call for urgent action by developers to stop this situation from deteriorating any further, and hopefully to improve it: Call for Action: The open web needs you *now*. I urge you to read this, and to act on it to the best of your abilities. If browsers support other browsers’ prefixes, the whole thing collapses. As Daniel Glazman says:
Vendor prefixes have not failed. They are a bit suboptimal but they also very clearly preserved Web Authors from chaos. We can certainly make vendor prefixes work better but we can only do that if vendor prefixes remain VENDOR prefixes.
Please read his post in full, and do what you can to turn this situation around. We made the mess, we need to clean it up.
Prompted by the announcement on 37Signals that their next platform update would not support IE7 or IE8 (or many other older browsers), a vigorous debate took place on Twitter around the subject of for how long we should support browsers which don’t have the most modern features. For all its many positives, Twitter is no place for nuanced argument, so this article is for me to try to frame my opinion a little better.