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July 2011
IpsPlanningSolutions.com's On-line Newsletter
Covering Subjects in — Business, Technology and Real Estate Investment

HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.1 And Now XHTML 2.0 and HTML 5.0.
What's A Developer To Do?

When Tim Berners-Lee et al set about defining the world wide Web, they envisioned it only as a simple way for scientists to share information and exchange data at various locations using disparate systems. Not in their wildest dreams did they envision just how ubiquitous the Web would become. Furthermore, Web sites are used for much more than sharing data. Web sites are often very large and maintaining them is a big issue. Maintenance is vastly easier if the presentation is separated from the content. So the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) began making changes to correct the problem with HTML, especially separating presentation from content.

To make life much easier for developers. Benefits include ease of use, better backward compatibility, interoperability, and scripting. There is also less discrepancy across browser platforms. In addition, HTML5 has better recovery when the browser encounter bad markup (unlike XHTML which simply breaks).

The Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group. This group was created by reps from Apple, Opera, and Mozilla, and the World Wide Web Consortium. Google's Ian Hixie is the document editor. All major browser makers, as well as many Web vendors, are represented on working groups.

HTML5 is backed by all major browser vendors which means it will, in all likelyhood, become the standard for Web developers.

In December 1999, the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), introduced HTML 4.01. It was a major advance for web development because, for the first time, HTML could separate the presentation from the content. And today, the vast majority of Web sites are developed using HTML 4.01.

Since then, the W3C has released XHTML 1.0 as a successor to HTML 4.01, and later followed with XHTML 1.1 in 2001. XHTML (extensible HTML) was to be more elegant, but it also had backward compatability problems and it didn't gracefully resolve bad mark-up. The intent of the W3C was to continue down the XHTML path with a release of XHTML 2.0, but the spec wasn't moving in the direction that several major browser vendors expected. In addition, Microsoft never really embraced XHTML.

As a result, Apple, the Mozilla Foundation, and Opera formed the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WhatWG) in April 2004 to work on Web Applications 1.0, citing concerns regarding the W3C's progress with XHTML. Web Applications 1.0 was eventually renamed HTML5, and in April 2007 the WhatWG approached the W3C and offered its work as a basis for a new HTML standard. The W3C agreed.

There are significant changes within HTML5, including updates to ease interactive Web development. New elements include header, footer, section, article, nav, and dialogue capabilities to divide sections of a page more clearly. There are also advanced features such as a "canvas" with a corresponding 2-D drawing API that allows for dynamic graphics and animation on the fly. HTML5 also eliminates some elements, such as frames and framesets, that some say cause usability problems, although browsers are still required to support them.

The bottom line is that HTML5 is going to be a big success.

Integrated Planning Systems, Inc.
Internet Explorer 9

Internet Explorer 9 was released to Web (RTW) March 14th, 2011. Here are some things you'll like about IE 9:

Development: IE 9 will focus on the HTML5 standard. It's the most standards based browser that Microsoft has ever shipped. But standards compliance, while eagerly awaited, comes at a cost. Some websites will not fully support the new browser, so these sites will need to be upgraded to work on IE9.

Be warned that Internet Explorer 9 is not available to Windows Xp users.

Speed: It's as fast or faster than other browsers and vastly faster than Internet Explorer 8.

Dynamic Content: Content, until now mostly static, will integrate high-quality video, interactive features and generally slicker interfaces.

Interface: This interface is exceptionally clean and sparce, much like Chrome. The focus is on the web site and not on the browser.

The Verdict: IE9 is big step forward for Microsoft — not to mention for the Internet. It's extremely stable for a beta and developers shouldn't hesitate to download it.

Integrated Planning Systems, Inc.
Windows 7 Is Being Retooled for Tablet Market

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has told industry analysts that the software giant is working in cooperation with device manufacturers to develop a customized version of Windows 7 for tablets. Although Apple has created an entirely new tablet market without Microsoft's participation, Ballmer noted that much the same thing happened with netbooks.

Microsoft went from having no Windows penetration on netbooks in the early days to seeing Windows become "the guiding piece of software" in a market subsegment that now accounts for 15 percent or so of all PCs shipped worldwide, Ballmer observed.

"Just like we had to make things happen on netbooks, we've got to make things happen with Windows 7 on slates" in cooperation with Microsoft's hardware partners, Ballmer said. "We are in the process of doing that as we speak." Ballmer had promised a Windows 7 slate computer by Christmas 2010, but alas, it didn't happen.

Let us Know What You Think
Rules of Thumb and Stock Price Valuation
The PEG Ratio

There's a tendency of many real estate investors to rely on "rules of thumb" for valuation in spite of the attendent problems that go with it. But I was surprised to hear a fund manager (while watching CNBC) talk about his use of the "PEG RATIO" for valuing stock prices. Even more astonishing was how widely used the ratio is — even by well regarded money managers such as Peter Lynch, the former manager of the wildly successful Fidelity Magellan Fund.

The Peg Ratio is a relationship of a company's Price Earnings Ratio to it's expected growth rate. Specifically, it's defined as:

(Stock Price/Earnings) / percent growth in earnings
which is simply: PE ratio / percentage growth in earnings

A lower ratio is "better" (cheaper) and a higher ratio is "worse" (expensive). A ratio of 1 is said to be fairly priced.

The PEG ratio is strictly a rule of thumb and has no accepted underlying mathematical basis. In fact you can see the units of the ratio don't make any sense. In addition, you can see the how the ratio breaks down at the extremes. For example, as a company's growth in earnings approach 0, its fair price also approaches zero, which is of course nonsense. For this reason, the ratio is generally only applied to so-called growth companies (those growing earnings significantly faster than the market).

Call me silly, but I just don't get it. But then again, Peter Lynch is a gazillionaire — and I'm not!

Integrated Planning Systems, Inc.
It's going to be a long, slow, slog

The U.S. economy grew at a 1.7 percent annual rate in the second quarter of 2010, 2.6% in the third quarter and 2.8% in the fourth quarter. The 2010 GDP has now been adjusted to 3.1% for the year. The trend is good but it doesn't feel like a recovery.

The loss of 8.4 million jobs caused by the recession, which ended in June 2009, continues to dog the economy with consumer confidence and consumer spending hitting lows. In addition, the housing market is still very weak and foreclosures continue at a record pace.

On a positive note, corporate profits are good and the stock market has regained much of its losses. However, this has not resulted in a significant increase in jobs.

Below is a chart looking at the growth in GDP for the last few years.

Get It Here

What's the Fed (Federal Reserve Board of which Ben Bernanke is the Chairman) going to do with regard to interest rates? Nothing for the foreseeable future. Here's the current Federal Funds Rate.

What Do You Think?
We'd be interested in hearing your views on these or any other subjects for that matter. E-mail us at: info@IpsPlanningSolutions.com

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