Google Reveals Open Web Secrets

by Ostatic Staff - May. 16, 2008

OK, so there aren't really that many secrets about the open web - all of the HTML and CSS and Javascript code is out there for the taking. But there is a lot of knowledge about how best to work with these standards, given the crazy mix of browsers and operating systems that web developers need to put up with, and much of that knowledge is hard to come by. The new Google DocType project is an attempt to codify and spread some of this knowledge.

Google DocType is divided into five parts. The first four are presented on a wiki (and yes, anyone with a Google ID is allowed - even encouraged - to log in and help out). First, there's a section of HOWTO articles on things like web security, DOM manipulation, determining the version of Flash in a browser, and so on. There is a considerable amount of good content here; enough that you could even build a one-semester course around it already.

The next three sections present reference material on the DOM, CSS, and HTML. Much of this material is unique in that it contains tests as well as descriptions - pick something like a DOM objects or a CSS selector and you can see its compatibility with major browsers, as determined by Javascript tests. You can download the tests as well.

The last section is source code, not textual material - but it's not less valuable for that. You'll find a subversion repository containing thousands of lines of javascript code developed at Google, which makes for a fairly useful framework for detection, event handling, string processing, and much more. All of this code is licensed under a liberal, BSD-like license.