Don’t call me DOM

21 July 2010

Using the W3C cheatsheet as a “smart bookmark”

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One of the users of the W3C cheatsheet (of which a new version was released yesterday including HTML5) reminded me of a nifty feature available in a number of browsers, the so called “smart bookmarks”, and how they could be used with the cheatsheet.

A smart bookmark is basically a bookmark where a part of the URL can be replaced by a user entered string; depending on the browser, this smart bookmark can then be invoked with a said string to bring you directly to a specific page (often, a search result).

13 April 2010

Determining the user’s language in JavaScript

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When one wants to use JavaScript to add language-specific content to a page (for instance, for localization), the only cross-browser property available is navigator.language, which unfortunately represents the browser’s language, not the user’s preferred language — that browsers often make configurable.

This makes navigator.language pretty much inappropriate as a base for a solid localization effort.

While the browser sends the preferred language with each request to any server through the Accept-Language HTTP header, the client-side JavaScript engine doesn’t have access to the value of that header, and so cannot even try to parse it to determine the user’s preferred language.

5 March 2010

Native Apps vs mobile Web

Yesterday night, I was participating to a BarCamp in Sophia-Antipolis (where W3C European offices are located) on the “mobile Internet” theme.

Among the topics that were discussed, one theme popped up in several of the sessions I took part to: the differences between “native” mobile applications and mobile Web sites, in particular to answer the question that a number of people asked on which path they should choose for their content or service.

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Picture of Dominique Hazael-MassieuxDominique Hazaël-Massieux ( is part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Staff; his interests cover a number of Web technologies, as well as the usage of open source software in a distributed work environment.