Feeds

W3C reveals plan to finish HTML5 and HTML 5.1

Splitting it up to save time, headaches

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) says it's still on track to release the final HTML5 specification in 2014 – and to prove it, it's issued a tentative plan outlining the steps it will take to bring the web markup language to its next version and beyond.

The plan still needs to be approved by the HTML Working Group – naturally – but assuming it goes forward, the W3C will deliver not just an HTML 5.0 standard in 2014, but also an HTML 5.1 spec in 2016.

The reason it's announcing an additional version now is simple. Due to the pressure to deliver HTML 5.0 in 2014, the W3C wants to defer any new issues that are raised until HTML 5.1 and concentrate only on current issues that can be addressed without substantive changes to the 5.0 spec.

There was no word on whether the HTML 5.1 work will that mean we'll need a new logo when that version of the standard ships in 2016.

The plan also advocates increased reliance on modularity as the means to keep HTML5 moving forward. The traditional "kitchen sink" approach to the HTML specification process is no longer tenable, the plan says, and trying to draft HTML5 as a monolithic spec with a grab-bag of features will only cause further delays.

A number of technologies that were originally part of the HTML5 specification have already been spun off into their own, separate specs, including Web Workers, Web Storage, and the WebSocket Protocol. Without naming names, the plan advocates a similar approach for more aspects of the current HTML5 draft.

"Splitting out separate specifications allows those technologies to be advanced by their respective communities of interest, allowing more productive development of approaches that may eventually be able reach broader consensus," the W3C's plan states.

By narrowing down the scope of work in this way, the W3C hopes it can concentrate on developing a comprehensive test suite to make sure the current features are stable and interoperable – which is, of course, what it has been hoping for the last 18 months, if not longer.

In case you haven't been keeping track, the last formal HTML specification, HTML 4.01, reached Recommendation status – meaning a finished standard – in 1999. At this rate, by the time HTML 5.0 becomes a Recommendation, the W3C will have been working on it for a solid 15 years. But then, if you're going to do a job, do it right.

The W3C suffered a brief setback in its schedule earlier this year, when Ian Hickson stepped down from his position as the HTML5 specification editor to concentrate on the parallel work going on at the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG).

Since then, however, the W3C has hired four new editors to keep its version of HTML5 chugging along, and it has received funding from Adobe, Google, and Microsoft that it says will allow it to hire new staff to support its specification and testing efforts.

If all goes according to plan – which of course means the plan must first be approved – the W3C now says HTML5 should enter Candidate Recommendation status, which is the next stage of the standardization process, by Q4 of this year. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.