Posts tagged "Test the Web Forward"

Adobe Supports OpenStand

On March 9th, at the Open Future  reception at SXSW, Adobe announced support for the OpenStand  initiative. Our rationale for this was simple – OpenStand is good for the Web, good for users, and good for Adobe. It increases innovation, openness, and allows greater participation in evolving the Internet.

The Internet is built on standards. These standards come from all sorts of organizations – some formal and supported by governments, some less formal and created by industry associations, and some driven by users who believe in collective action. OpenStand takes a simple position on these organizations – if the organization is open, transparent, balanced, has due process in creation, and has broad consensus – then the organization and its specifications are legitimate.

The approach advocated by OpenStand seems to be intuitively obvious; good technical standards which are accepted and implemented by the industry should be judged not on their origin, but rather on their utility to the industry. A poor standard with a “proper background and backing” is still a poor standard.

The Internet is ubiquitous – from mobile phones to tablets to desktops – all form factors, all types of information, design, and literally “everything”.  It is a golden age for creative display and use of information – all driven by innovation, which then is “standardized” so users can access it and interoperate with complementary services.

Adobe has contributed significantly and will continue to contribute to efforts to document and test these innovative activities in conjunction with W3C with the Web Platform Docs (WPD) project and Test the Web Forward.   We have also (along with Microsoft and Google), supported the HTML5 editor as this standard moves to completion and we are also active in WebKit specs, as well as in formal metadata standards. All of these venues are important – and all build the ability of the market to innovate, grow, and change. And that’s what OpenStand is all about, which is why Adobe has chosen to support it.

Carl Cargill
Principal Scientist

Testing: The Third Pillar of Standards

Recently, a series of “Test the Web Forward” events have been scheduled to promote getting the community involved in building test cases for important Web standards. A few months ago, I participated in “Test the Web Forward/Paris” in Paris.  The next “Test the Web Forward/Sydney” event is scheduled for February 8th and 9th in Sydney, Australia. These events, held in various cities around the world, are open to everyone who is passionate about Web standards, and bring together developers and standards experts.

Why is testing important? When we think about “standards,” we usually think about the two initial components: (1) specifications — written descriptions about how the standards work, and (2) implementations — software that implements the specification. A suite of test cases becomes an essential link between specifications and implementations.

When it comes to standards and standardization, what people care about is compatibility — the ability to use components from multiple sources with the expectation that those components will work together. This connection is there for all kinds of software standards, whether Application Program Interfaces (APIs), rules for communicating over the network (protocols), computer languages, or smaller component pieces (protocol elements) used by any of those.

On the Web, the APIs are frequently JavaScript, the protocol is often HTTP, and the languages include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. URLs, host names and encoding labels and MIME types are protocol elements.

The “Create the Web” tour demonstrated the relationship between specification and implementation. “Test the Web Forward” brings in test cases to ensure that the promise of compatibility isn’t empty. Building the global information infrastructure requires a focus not only on new developments, but on compatibility, reliability, performance, and security. The challenge of testing is that the technology is complex, the specifications are new, and the testing needed is extensive.

I encourage everyone who is passionate about the Web and Web standards to attend the “Test the Web Forward” event in Sydney or other related events. Get involved and help make the Web a more interoperable place.

Larry Masinter
Principal Scientist