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Google published HTML Web Authoring Statistics

 3:01 pm on Jan 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

In December 2005 we did an analysis of a sample of slightly over a billion documents, extracting information about popular class names, elements, attributes, and related metadata.

As expected results look bad from a from a web standards and accessibility point of view.



 3:21 pm on Jan 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Note: You will need a browser with SVG and CSS support to view the result graphs correctly. We recommend Firefox 1.5.



 3:39 pm on Jan 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

We recommend Firefox 1.5

The data was collated and presented by Ian Hickson of WHAT-WG, who I believe still works for... Opera Software! (In fact I believe you can use Opera too with an SVG plugin.)

There are some interesting details in the reports (which I haven't had the time to read in full yet), but I do wonder why the choice was made to present the graphs in SVG without any fallback option for user agents which do not support it, despite the fact that the standards support and recommend the use of alternative content. It is unfortunate that a report dealing with accessibility issues is quite so inaccessible.


 4:14 pm on Jan 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

Nah, Ian works for Google these days. Encyclo - there most definitely is fallback data, although it's not as structured as I like. I think calling it inaccessible is unfair, and I'm very much an accessibility advocate. I'm also not too keen on the Firefox 1.5 recommendation (even though it's the browser I use) because it smacks of the bad-old-days 'Best viewed in Netscape!' attitude. Still, I'm very much up for SVG and I'm sure a few small bug fixes could get this data working in Opera, Safari nightlies, and IE+AdobeSVG; shame they didn't fix it up for that.


 2:22 am on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

there most definitely is fallback data

OK, so if I check out the source code there is fallback data - but viewing the source is the only way I can access it. Take the first page, Pages and elements [code.google.com]

I don't have SVG support enabled in Firefox and all I get is "Click here to download plugin" and a load of blank spaces. Even worse, if I do click, I don't even get the download for the plugin as promised!

Switch to Konqueror and I get the alternate content. For the first box I get:

01002003004005006007008009001000Relative Frequency

Surely even a PNG would have been a better fallback mechanism? Generally speaking, though, Konqueror gives me a much better experience as at least I can make some sense of some of the fallback data.

Ian works for Google these days.

Interesting... so WHAT-WG = Mozilla + Opera + Apple + Google these days?


 9:33 pm on Jan 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Certainly interesting data. Unfortunately the analysis is at times a bit awkward: the author complains about deprecated attributes, but nowhere does it say that HTML version number or custom DTDs were taken into account. But that does not change the general conclusion that things are a bit messy out there.

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