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W3C adopts HTML 5
WHAT-WG specification moves to W3C
encyclo




msg:3335949
 2:46 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Good news for HTML development: the new W3C HTML Working Group has voted to adopt the HTML 5 draft specification developed by the major browser companies (Mozilla, Apple, Opera) under the umbrella of the WHAT-WG [whatwg.org].

  • Mailing list announcement [lists.w3.org]
  • Results of the consultation [w3.org]

    To summarize, the W3C will:

  • Adopt the WHAT-WG "HTML5" (Web Applications 1.0 and Web Forms 2.0) as the current working draft, which will now be subject to review and development by the W3C HTML Working Group
  • Release a version of HTML which will be called "HTML 5"

    The editors will be Ian Hickson (from Google) and Dave Hyatt (from Apple), and the chair of the working group is held by Chris Wilson of Microsoft.

    What does this mean for webmasters? Firstly, It confirms that the approved path for HTML development is towards HTML 5 and not XHTML 2.0. It also confirms that the development process of HTML 5 is still in its early stages, and we are unlikely to see HTML 5 published before 2010 - so HTML 4.01 will remain the best option for the moment.

    [edited by: encyclo at 6:32 pm (utc) on May 11, 2007]

  •  

    rarethings55




    msg:3335960
     3:01 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    It's about time. Been waiting years for this. No improvements mentioned you say?

    lammert




    msg:3335995
     3:25 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    (...)developed by the major browser companies (Mozilla, Apple, Opera)(...)

    Based on my site statistics and what I have read here from others, Microsoft Internet Explorer has still the highest market penetration. So wouldn't it be better to adopt Microsoft's HTML implementation as HTML5? It would solve a lot of HTML incompatibility problems.

    [ducking]

    encyclo




    msg:3336006
     3:39 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    wouldn't it be better to adopt Microsoft's HTML implementation as HTML5

    Funny you should mention that - much of the work already done was to document and work out implementations of Internet Explorer's behaviour. Wherever practicable, the current implementation is favoured as the recommended implementation (ie. not if the current behaviour is to crash the browser, for example!).

    HTML 5 is not an impementation of IE de facto standards as such, but it is aimed to be compatible with current browser behaviour, rather than with the complete break with current browsers previously proposed by the XHTML 2.0 draft.

    So HTML 5 will be much "saner" with browsers, seeing as its development it driven by the browser developers themselves (Opera, Apple, Mozilla and now Microsoft).

    Clark




    msg:3336042
     4:25 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Great news.

    Some things I'd love to see, does anyone know if it's in there?:

    1. browser validation of input...i.e. if you say that this form text input is for email, the browser would validate it's in proper format for email address. Same idea for URL etc?
    2. Calculated values. I.E. 2 input boxes, 1 output box. The output box changes value based on what the 2 input boxes are...again calculated by the browser...
    3. Combo drop down boxes. Basically lets you choose from drop down, but if value isn't there, user can type in a value.

    knighty




    msg:3336045
     4:26 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    HTML 4.01 will remain the best option for the moment.

    Says who?!

    encyclo




    msg:3336055
     4:35 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    HTML 4.01 will remain the best option for the moment.

    Says who?!

    Mozilla: [mozilla.org...]
    Serving valid HTML 4.01 as text/html ensures the widest browser and search engine support.

    Also HTML 5 is built on HTML 4.01, not XHTML 1.0 (although there may well be an XML-based variant of HTML 5).

    Clark: see the Web Forms 2.0 draft specification (now part of the HTML 5 effort):

    [whatwg.org...]

    Web Forms covers most of the points you made, forms are an area where there is the most development (and most need for development). However, everything is in draft stage, so the W3C is very open to comments on what features should be included.

    jsinger




    msg:3336090
     5:12 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Hasn't W3C long said that there would never be an HTML 5?

    encyclo




    msg:3336104
     5:25 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Hasn't W3C long said that there would never be an HTML 5?

    Yes, for a very long time. They revised their position back in October 2006, with Tim Berners-Lee relaunching a HTML Working Group. See Reinventing HTML - W3C to restart HTML development [webmasterworld.com] and HTML Working Group Chartered [webmasterworld.com].

    zafile




    msg:3336109
     5:33 pm on May 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

    "... the chair of the working group is held by Chris Wilson of Microsoft."

    Chis Wilson was an original member of the core NCSA Mosaic team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The 1992 Mosaic team at NCSA was:

    - Marc Andreessen (BS'93) was an undergrad when he co-wrote the first version of Mosaic, for UNIX/X Windows, with Eric Bina.

    - Eric Bina (BS'86, MS'88) co-wrote the first version.

    - Aleks Totic, a grad student, ported Mosaic to the Macintosh.

    - Jon Mittelhauser (BS'92) was a grad student. He and Chris Wilson ported Mosaic to Microsoft Windows on the PC.

    - Chris Wilson (BS'92) ported Mosaic to Windows.

    - Rob McCool, an undergrad, did the HTTP development.

    - Chris Houck (MS'92) did most of the cross-platform work.

    Chris Wilson's timeline from 1994 through 1998:

    1994-04-xx Chris Wilson Signs on with Spry Inc
    1995-10-xx Chris Wilson Switches Teams at Microsoft
    1997-10-xx Chris Wilson Becomes Program Manager at Microsoft
    1998-04-18 Chris Wilson Presents "Style Sheets in Internet Explorer" at WWW7

    vincevincevince




    msg:3336638
     5:21 am on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Very interesting... I hope it clears out a lot of the archaic poor functionality and workarounds in HTML.

    One of the things I think would be brilliant would be a way to explicitly match opening and closing tags. This is very important in the Web 2.0 era where it is expected that user and webdesign content is automatically married, and developers and those who enter the pages are rarely the same people.

    Example:

    <div id="maincontent">
    blah blah
    <div id="usercontent">
    blah blah
    <div id="this was not closed">
    blah blah
    </div id="usercontent">
    blah blah
    </div id="maincontent">

    The meaning of including the ID in the closing tag should be that it explicitly ensures that the usercontent DIV open tag matches the usercontent DIV close tag, instead of the current behaviour in which the usercontent end tag would close the div tag provided by the user's content which wasn't closed.

    The same problem happens here on Webmasterworld - if you use BBCode which causes certain tags to be opened and then fail to use the code to close them, it messes up all the following output.

    snookie




    msg:3336734
     8:42 am on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

    And what exactly is wrong with XHTML 1.0?

    mattur




    msg:3336834
     10:51 am on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

    And what exactly is wrong with XHTML 1.0?

    Short answer: it adds complexity yet delivers zero benefits.

    Long answer: nothing, if used properly, which most XHTML authors to date have unfortunately failed to do. HTML5 will also be available in an XHTML5 flavour for those who need it.

    The main reason for not using XHTML1.0 is: it was always seen as a stepping stone to XHTML1.1/XHTML2; a proof of concept; a demonstration of shoehorning HTML into XML; effectively, just malformed HTML dependent on browser error-handling to display.

    Some (most?) now see the XHTML1.1/XHTML2 road as a pain in the ass with no demonstrable benefit: overly complex, mostly pointless, too easy to break and not backwards compatible, so the case for XHTML1.0 as a stepping stone no longer exists.

    The W3C effectively abandoned the "big bang/XML" approach to future HTML development last October, adopting the WHAT-WG's more pragmatic "incremental improvements to HTML" approach instead.

    See also Why most of us should NOT use XHTML [webmasterworld.com]

    snookie




    msg:3336957
     1:11 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Short answer: it adds complexity yet delivers zero benefits.

    Well, I'd say that's hard to quantify. The principle of nesting tags "correctly" is something you should be doing when writing HTML 4 anyhow - think about styling things using CSS.

    As for the mime type issues can someone show me a real scenario where this is a problem.

    How many people are using XHTML 1? A quick - and possibly unrepresentative - poll of the top 10 sites for the search term "MP3 Player" on the google revealed 8/10 sites prefer XHTML (strict/transitional). how stuff works do need to check their code though...

    Is it too easy to break. Yes, but it's easy to break C++ or whatever... But I guess the answer to that is publishing on the web should be easy for everyone. So let's make decent tools for people to use then. Or has that been done already?

    Don't get me wrong though. HTML 5 looks good! Some great ideas. I've no intention of starting a HTML 5 vs XHTML 1 feud!

    mattur




    msg:3336994
     1:51 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

    1. browser validation of input...i.e. if you say that this form text input is for email, the browser would validate it's in proper format for email address. Same idea for URL etc?

    As encyclo says, Web forms 2.0 [whatwg.org], part of HTML5, introduces new declarative form input features, including new "type" values, eg:

    <input type="email" name="e">
    <input type="url" name="u">

    Other new attributes include "required", "pattern" (regexp), "min", "max", "step". eg: a required 4 character part code (title attribute may be used by the browser as an error msg):

    <input type="text" pattern="[0-9][A-Z]{3}" required="required" name="p" title="A part number is a digit followed by three uppercase letters.">

    eg: a time input, accepting times in the range 8am to 5pm in 30 minute (1800 second) intervals:

    <input type="time" min="08:00" max="17:00" value="08:00" step="1800" name="t" title="Appointments are available from 8am to 5pm, on the hour and half-past">

    2. Calculated values. I.E. 2 input boxes, 1 output box. The output box changes value based on what the 2 input boxes are...again calculated by the browser...

    Javascript will remain the way to do this.

    3. Combo drop down boxes. Basically lets you choose from drop down, but if value isn't there, user can type in a value.

    <input type="text" list="breeds" name="b">
    <datalist id="breeds">
    <option value="Abyssinian">
    <option value="Alpaca">
    <!-- ... -->
    </datalist>

    Another interesting innovation is "repeating form controls" with add, delete, move-up and move-down buttons eg: an order form with one or more product rows, a event booking form accepting one or more attendees, etc

    A big AIUI should be attached to all the above :)

    Fotiman




    msg:3337309
     6:27 pm on May 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

    @encyclo
    Your link in the first message of this thread is broken. The actual site is:
    [whatwg.org...]

    zafile




    msg:3337729
     2:37 am on May 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

    "And what exactly is wrong with XHTML 1.0?"

    Tim Berners Lee, October 27, 2006: "The attempt to get the world to switch to XML, including quotes around attribute values and slashes in empty tags and namespaces all at once didn't work. The large HTML-generating public did not move, largely because the browsers didn't complain."

    "The plan is to charter a completely new HTML group. Unlike the previous one, this one will be chartered to do incremental improvements to HTML, as also in parallel xHTML."

    [dig.csail.mit.edu...]

    Drag_Racer




    msg:3337977
     10:33 am on May 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

    "And what exactly is wrong with XHTML 1.0?"

    99% of pages with that declared as a doctype have no business using it, its just used because its 'high tech' or 'I look cool using it'

    I had a designer send me a page today with an xhtml doctype and all it had was a flash animation centered in the page

    as I see it the whole idea behind xhtml was to deal with data better, but the advances in javascript with AJAX and JSON kind of overshadow what xml had going for it

    why do I need to close a TD, OPTION, or LI tag? wasted space! just like all those pages I see with 75% of the document is white space...

    I think this is the right step to move on with HTML, lets just hope browsers are written better to accomidate the new code better than the step into 4.01, like what browsers has that right yet?

    bysonary




    msg:3338224
     6:29 pm on May 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

    One thing I think should be included in forms, which is possible with some javascript I believe is the ability to have two submission buttons for one form. Anyone else not think this would ne pretty sweet? anyone from the W3C reading this... hint hint.

    Nashie




    msg:3339129
     12:55 pm on May 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

    "why do I need to close a TD, OPTION, or LI tag? wasted space!"

    Well its not strictly needed, but it does make more sense, particularly if you have nested lists.

    I think the idea was to force good coding practise more than anything else.

    I use XHTML but thats more to do with the fact that when I was at University, XHTML and CSS was taught in a way that... kind of implied that you couldn't construct non-table based layout sites before XHTML.

    I can't offhand think of anything in XHTML that I couldn't do in HTML 4.01.

    DamianS




    msg:3341950
     1:00 pm on May 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Oh this really sucks :(

    And Microsoft in the working group?
    I wish IE would just roll over and die!

    Now I'm going to have to figure out what to do with my sites which are fully xhtml strict. Fortunately, I didn't move past 1.0

    swa66




    msg:3342567
     1:14 am on May 18, 2007 (gmt 0)


    The attempt to get the world to switch to XML, including quotes around attribute values and slashes in empty tags and namespaces all at once didn't work. The large HTML-generating public did not move, largely because the browsers didn't complain

    And that's enough reason to give them even less to learn to structure their poor execuse?

    HTML 1 (the original, not xhtml) had as philosophy that the server needed to produce correct stuff. The client (browser) had to be flexible.

    Just that thing is more than enough to force webserver to use xhtml while allowing browsers to render errors.

    But if the browser crafters/vendors chicken out of the standards and are next allowed to change the standard all hope is lost.

    vincevincevince




    msg:3342611
     2:55 am on May 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

    Just that thing is more than enough to force webserver to use xhtml while allowing browsers to render errors.

    The philosophy to which you allude is then not a constraint upon the webmaster but upon the server. It implies that IIS, Apache, etc. should throw errors if you attempt to serve invalid HTML (and I actually agree that they should).

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