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recent thoughts on my blog
- How to Run an Australian Web Site in 2024 — A while back, the eSafety Commissioner declined to register the proposed Industry Codes that I’ve previously written about. Now, they’ve announced a set of Industry Standards that, after a comment period, will likely be law.
- Technical Standards Bodies are Regulators — There are lots of ways to view what Internet standards bodies like the IETF and W3C do. They are horizontal agreements between competitors as well as mission-driven public-good charities. One might believe they’re the homes of innovation that brought us the Internet and the Web, or that they’re boring, ineffective and slow committee talking shops. Some see them as vibrant, diverse communities, while others believe they’re completely dominated by big tech.
- How we Build Platforms — I’m fascinated by the Metaverse. Not because I want to use that steaming pile of legless avatars, but because it’s the latest prominent attempt to establish a new platform. As Mark Zuckerberg said in internal emails about it:
- What I Learned in Law School — In the last decade or so, it’s become increasingly apparent that the Internet is going to be subject to more legal regulation. Because it’s a global network, this is tricky; fragmentation risk grows if regulation isn’t consistent between jurisdictions. And of course, there are all the other pitfalls of regulation — it’s difficult to agree on societal goals, much less change working systems to meet those goals without ill effect.
- A Safer, More Centralised Australian Internet — There are many potential criticisms of the Online Safety Act 2021 (Cth)1. While my own concerns are mostly about whether there are appropriate checks and balances on the eSafety Commissioner’s powers, I will give credit where due; the current Commissioner’s implementation of it has – so far – demonstrated nuance and thoughtful balancing of the legislation’s goals with the preservation and enhancement of the unique properties that make the Internet so valuable to society.
See, eg, ‘Explainer: The Online Safety Bill’, Digital Rights Watch. ↩
willwould a Chromium-only Web look like? — Most of the complexity and nuance of the Web is stuffed into browser engines. Even though they’re a huge burden to develop and maintain, the world is lucky enough to have three major ones, and they’re all Open Source.
- Yet More New HTTP Specs — The HTTP “core” documents were published on Monday, including a revision of HTTP semantics, caching, HTTP/1.1, HTTP/2, and the brand-new HTTP/3. However, that’s not all that the HTTP community has been up to.
- A New Definition of HTTP — Seven and a half years ago, I wrote that RFC2616 is dead, replaced by RFCs 7230-5.