back to article W3C recommends Pointer Events standard – but it's a touchy subject. Right, Apple?

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published the Pointer Events standard as a recommendation, but its future is in doubt as Apple and Google are refusing to implement it. The purpose of Pointer Events is to handle input from pointers – which might be touch or pen rather than mouse – which is increasingly important in a …

  1. boltar Silver badge

    Meanwhile away from the Lilliput town of Webdev...

    ... all this nonsense was solved years ago. I can't wait until the W3C decides to mandate something thats actually complex like true programmer controlled multi threading in javascript - we can all sit back and watch all the cupcakes fly...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Meanwhile away from the Lilliput town of Webdev...

      True programmer-controlled multithreading in JavaScript? You'd need to find a true programmer in JavaScript first.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meanwhile away from the Lilliput town of Webdev...

        "You'd need to find a true programmer in JavaScript first."

        The flat truth...they don't exist. I'm eagerly awaiting hackers to blown open the doors of these node.js/mongodb servers. I can't imagine anyone being more delighted than a hacker that your system is entirely dependent on 1 scripting language.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Meanwhile away from the Lilliput town of Webdev...

          The flat truth...they don't exist.

          Well, fuck you too. I do the occasional bit of Javascript, and I'll happily pit my skills and knowledge against any of you "real programmers".

          I've written a reputation-graph engine in Javascript, and the demo for a fast string match-rank algorithm with context-sensitive cost operators. Wrote an Earley parser in it.

          Read Douglas Crockford's chapter in Beautiful Code, on implementing Pratt's top-down operator precedence algorithm in Javascript, and explain to me why Crockford is not a real programmer.

    2. User McUser

      Re: Meanwhile away from the Lilliput town of Webdev...

      multi threading in javascript

      Why does a scripting language need threading?

      1. captain veg

        Why does a scripting language need threading?

        To keep the UI responsive while performing computationally intensive tasks in the background. Something that the developers of the recent Graun refresh would do well to learn about.

        Anyway, that scripting language already has them. They're called web workers.

        -A.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: Why does a scripting language need threading?

          To keep the UI responsive while performing computationally intensive tasks in the background.

          Since Javascript1 is a dynamic OO language, that's easily done with dynamic encapsulation and timer callbacks. Of course, "easily" doesn't mean "obviously", particularly for people who grew up with preemptive multithreading and never learned anything else.

          But threading is certainly not necessary.

          1"ECMAScript" is technically correct - Javascript is merely an ECMAScript implementation, currently owned by Mozilla - but clearly that battle was lost before it began.

  2. dogged

    Point of order

    the W3C never formally recommended Touch Events. There were moves to do so but then Apple threatened them with the possibility that the entire API was covered by restrictive Apple patents, which Apple made it clear they had no intention of offering on a royalty free basis. I further note that Apple are now saying there are no patents but this was pre-Samsung case. Maybe they were aiming to go after Samsung super-hard.

    Anyway, it was at that point that MS developed Pointer Events and Mozilla and jQuery got on board. Pointer Events is written to be patent and royalty-free.

    What Google are doing is... well, it's complicated. Apple are being dicks but you expect that. Google are probably just enjoying the opportunity to be dicks to people who use Windows touch devices - and what with touch-screen laptops, there are a whole fuckload of those out there - while blaming Apple for it and Mozilla are still aiming for workable web apps, which is obviously damaging to Apple and Google's "App Store" revenue so unlikely to be welcomed with open arms.

    MS' motives in developing and offering Pointer Events for free? I don't know. Good experience for Windows tablet users? Hard to find a cynical reason although I really am trying.

    1. dogged
      Thumb Up

      Re: Point of order

      I always enjoy riling up the emotional fanboys with a few well-chosen facts.

      1. Keith 21
        Joke

        Re: Point of order

        "I always enjoy riling up the emotional fanboys with a few well-chosen facts."

        Then I know that I and many others will look forward to seeing you post some well-chosen facts!

        Will you be doing it soon, or do I have time to go make a pot of tea?

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: Point of order

      MS' motives in developing and offering Pointer Events for free? I don't know. Good experience for Windows tablet users? Hard to find a cynical reason although I really am trying.

      In recent years the attitude from MS has been changing to the point where I'd be tempted to consider it actually altruistic.

      1. dogged

        Re: Point of order

        > In recent years the attitude from MS has been changing to the point where I'd be tempted to consider it actually altruistic.

        It's kind of like Despicable Me. He's clearly a "bad guy" but he loves his adopted daughters and knows each of his minions by name.....

    3. skizzerz
      Stop

      Re: Point of order

      Touch Events is indeed a W3C recommendation, see http://www.w3.org/TR/touch-events/ - I don't remember the specifics but it was determined at one point in time that Apple's patents did not actually cover this API.

      It hasn't been touched since October 2013, however, and Google's extensions to make it suck less are not on a standards track afaict.

      Everything else in your post looks right though.

    4. LosD

      Re: Point of order

      You couldn't even take 1 little Google search to check your facts before posting that wall of text? http://www.w3.org/TR/touch-events/.

  3. breakfast
    Meh

    Google becoming the new Microsoft

    As was observed in that neat TechCrunch piece a week or two back, Google are very much becoming the new Microsoft and when you look at where the majority of their new hires come from it is absolutely self-evident why that is to be expected.

  4. Mage Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Apple

    Like spoilt kids.

    Always have been

  5. king of foo

    salesforce.com

    Slightly off topic but this AM I tried to change the setup of salesforce1 app for my org; their new vision for a mobile world, using my smartphone. The UI required drag and drop... for which touch input is entirely possible in JavaScript... but sadly wasn't implemented in the salesforce1 setup! FFS.

  6. Christian Berger Silver badge

    There's one problem with the W3C

    And that it's a standards organization. There are people who get money for writing page after page of standard. Now standards are nothing bad, in fact standards are the backbone of every technology.

    Now the problem with standards is when they get to large and to complex or there are to many of them. Browsers are now incredibly complex, they are already among the most complex pieces of software.

    In my opinion it would make more sense to slim down the standards. For example this could be done by splitting up the web into 2 different standards, one simple "hypertext" markup language, perhaps with something like CSS, and one "web application" standard, which essentially defines a terminal with very limited or no local processing.

  7. HMB

    Wood For the Trees Guys

    Or as developers we could just chose which one we want to use. If you feel that pointer events is a more elegant system you just download the MS polyfill:

    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/eternalcoding/archive/2013/01/16/hand-js-a-polyfill-for-supporting-pointer-events-on-every-browser.aspx

    It's something you could add into both Chrome and Safari in 30 minutes on a commercial website. That's assuming you go for a coffee and possibly a smoke half way through (I know you developers! :P ).

    JavaScript programming may cause Bronchitis.

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