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W3C Publishes First Public Working Draft of HTML 5 310

Posted by Zonk
from the new-coat-of-shellack dept.
Lachlan Hunt writes "Today W3C announced that the HTML Working Group has published the first public working draft of HTML 5 — A vocabulary and associated APIs for HTML and XHTML. It's been over 9 months since the working group began in March 2007 and this long awaited milestone has finally been achieved. '"HTML is of course a very important standard," said Tim Berners-Lee, author of the first version of HTML and W3C Director. "I am glad to see that the community of developers, including browser vendors, is working together to create the best possible path for the Web..." Some of the most interesting new features for authors are APIs for drawing two-dimensional graphics, embedding and controlling audio and video content, maintaining persistent client-side data storage, and for enabling users to edit documents and parts of documents interactively.' An updated draft of HTML 5 differences from HTML 4 has also been published to help guide you through the changes."
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W3C Publishes First Public Working Draft of HTML 5

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  • Re:Not again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nacturation (646836) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <noitarutcan>> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:29PM (#22140706) Journal

    Yes, let's roll out another new standard for no reason at all when most of the web still hasn't caught up to the last one.

    I can't be the only one who thinks the W3C is annoying as hell...
    So you're advocating holding back progress because a lot of sites authors don't bother to make their HTML compliant? With the new APIs, this hardly qualifies as "no reason at all".
     
  • The treadmill.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:34PM (#22140786) Homepage
    I have this theory...some of you might too....

    Large for-profit software giants must constantly make product to stay in business, pay programmers, and make profit...even if there's nothing REALLY to fix. Just make upgrades...sell new versions.

    Consumers and businesses are constantly put on an upgrade-treadmill as older products are purposely torpedoed...even when they worked fine and did the job they needed to do.

    now replace "for-profit software giants" with "design-by-committee standards organization" and "stay in business, pay programmers, and make profit" with "stay in charge and not have to get real jobs".

  • Read the diff (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DeltaSigma (583342) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [cilbup.uno]> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:37PM (#22140832) Journal
    And I must say, I like where this is going so far. It feels like a very natural progression from HTML4's ideology, while respecting authors' collective recent interests, such as media embedding, and <canvas>.
  • Re:Not again (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:37PM (#22140854)
    I wonder what the support for HTML 1-4.0 was before 4.1 came out. I bet it was less than total. Standards support for HTML 4.1 is pretty damned good when you look at the big picture. The standard is only not followed (even in IE) for very few features when you look at the entire standard. Full support of HTML 4.1 isn't even a requirement to start on 5. Why would we wait for everybody to finish 4.1 then say "ok, now that you are done with that, lets go do something completely different that will make all of your former work obsolete."

    HTML 5 will make it so we don't have to do crazy shit to tease the functionality we want out of a standard that wasn't meant to do what we have come to expect from websites.
  • Still sloppy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nagora (177841) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:39PM (#22140882)

    "The DOCTYPE declaration is <!DOCTYPE html> and is case-insensitive in the HTML syntax."

    So we have

    <!DOCTYPE html><html>

    At the start of every HTML document served with an text/html mime type? That's real rational. Let's get this tidied up once and for all and start html documents with

    <HTML version='xxxx'>

    Is that such a difficult concept?

    TWW

  • by nacturation (646836) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <noitarutcan>> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:40PM (#22140890) Journal

    Looks like this is what Mozilla, Apple, Microsoft, etc will need to begin supporting 5 in the future.
    I think they should hire you for your keen insight.

    How long that takes, noone really knows.
    Another stunning peek into the future.

    More importantly, how easy will this be to use and how useful will the semantic bindings be?
    It'll be as easy to use as a snowboard and as useful as a hammer.

    Finally, anyone know if HTML5 mandates any specific version of EMCA/Java-Script? That part seemed vague to me.
    A three second scan of the linked article yields:

    "Implementations that use ECMAScript to implement the APIs defined in this specification must implement them in a manner consistent with the ECMAScript Bindings for DOM Specifications specification, as this specification uses that specification's terminology. [EBFD]"

    Their language indicates that ECMAScript isn't a requirement. Essentially, "if you use it, you must implement it in a certain way". They don't mention requirements for implementations that don't use ECMAScript.
     
  • Includes? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pr0nbot (313417) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:40PM (#22140906)
    Good to see they're binning frames.

    But - why has there never been an include mechanism in HTML?
  • by keytoe (91531) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:43PM (#22140968) Homepage
    It's not a treadmill if you actually cover ground.
  • by hitmark (640295) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @02:55PM (#22141164) Journal
    title says it all really. basically they are not going for a default of ogg for audio and video by the looks of it...
  • Finally (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wiseman1024 (993899) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @03:02PM (#22141254)
    XML's syntax sucks. It's annoyingly verbose, and annoyingly lowercase (lowercase tags suck because they are harder to tell from normal text). I'm glad they're supporting HTML syntax.

    On top of that, we get decent application controls such as grids, trees, better lists, and meters.

    Though audio and video I can live without. I'll be the first to get rid of it in my user CSS.

    Oh, and I hope they know what they're doing by removing CENTER. Currently, there's no way to replicate its behaviour from CSS (CSS2). (And no, text-align: center ain't the same.)
  • by robmv (855035) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @03:27PM (#22141706)
    use CSS classes (for example <td class="numberCell">), define the look on a separate CSS file, and let the browser do its work and cache the CSS, you will reduce bandwith this way
  • by dumbo11 (798489) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @03:45PM (#22142072)
    If anyone involved in the spec reads this, for the love of god PLEASE include a 'value' on the "select" tag.

    'as an alternative to flagging an option tag with selected="selected", a select tag may have a 'value' attribute. A renderer should select the first child option with a matching value attribute.'

    Please, my servers are getting fed up with rendering an entire country list just to flag one with selected="selected".
  • by ChatHuant (801522) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @03:48PM (#22142132)
    Something I found interesting is that they will not consider the spec complete until there are two fully working implementations (FTFA).

    Which sounds rather self-defeating to me; why would a group or company put in a lot of effort implementing the most difficult parts of the recommendation, if W3C explicitely reserves the right to change the spec under them any time before you're done?
  • by Scubafish (1224972) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @04:06PM (#22142466)
    If your using the style attribute for everything, your missing the point of CSS...

    <style type="text/css">
        table.align_left td{
            text-align:left;
        }
    </style>

    <table class="align_left">
        <tr>
            <td>Look a left aligned cell</td>
            <td>Look a left aligned cell</td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td>Look a left aligned cell</td>
            <td>Look a left aligned cell</td>
        </tr>
    </table>
  • by Dracos (107777) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @04:12PM (#22142616)

    To (hopefully) anyone who understands and advocates XHTML and CSS, HTML5 is a tragic mistake. I can't believe TBL is supporting this garbage. It brings back some (but not all: <i> and <b>, but not <u>) presentational tags and gives them worthless definitions. It's full of concessions to lazy/unskilled developers. It makes XML compliance optional. It's full of niche tags which are so narrowly focused (aside, dialog) that they're almost certainly doomed to lousy browser support. It doesn't address the current inadequacies of forms. It has tons of design flaws and inconsistencies.

    Until there are consequences for not following the standards, it doesn't matter what the W3C does: People will continue to make pages and sites that are "just good enough", and browsers will continue to render what they want how they want. In the past, now, and for the foreseeable future, there's no incentive for anyone to do things right other than ego.

    I don't get it. The people designing this stuff are supposed to be experts in the field, yet they seem hell bent on force feeding everyone this drivel. If their true goal is the hurl the web into chaos, then they will certainly succeed.

  • Uploading Files (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Blobule (913778) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @04:31PM (#22142972)
    I didn't see anything new for uploading files. It would be great if improved support for uploads could be considered. Currently uploading 10 files requires 10 file widgets and performing the browse/select process for each one. It would be nice if the kind of interface found on sites like facebook for uploading multiple images/files could be achieved without the need for Flash or Java.
  • by victim (30647) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @04:38PM (#22143136)
    Having used <canvas> a bit, I say fix it now!
    1. They have still left text out of the <canvas> tag. This is near insanity. The web is littered with people working around this to get labels onto graphs, current solutions are:
      • overlay a transparent div and absolute position some text elements. Works, but no rotating and is fiddly to get the sizing correct.
      • Take a truetype font, render an image of all the glyphs into a grid and know the coordinates of each ones bounding box then paste them in ransom note style to make your text. Most people are used to subpixel rendering and this won't do it. Looks a little bad for small text, ok for large. Big downloads.
      • Be a plotter. Use the Hershey fonts from NIST back in the good old days of pen plotters. (google://hershey&canvas&element). Small, fast, only one font face, antialiasing looks a little blurrier than modern typography at small sizes.

      Hey working group! Use CSS to pick a font. Give a method to get the various metrics of a layed out string and one to draw it. That will cover most uses.

    2. Lack of dynamic resizing: The width and height is specified in the HTML. It would be nice for this to be dynamic so you could use a canvas for DIV backgrounds, like the gradients behind the slashdot article titles. (Yes, obviously those gradients take fewer bytes as images, but you could do something other than repeat a tiny graphic. Use your imagination.)
    3. Address rendering: The canvas uses coordinate transformations to nicely separate the display coordinates from the drawing coordinates. This is good, but if the browser antialiases then you get radically different results for lines that fall on the pixels and ones that fall in the cracks. There should be language in the spec that leads implementors to all make the same decisions about antialiasing so that authors don't have to try to guess which way a client is going to render.
  • Re:Finally (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hixie (116369) <ian@hixie.ch> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @05:07PM (#22143728) Homepage
    With HTML5 we are doing a few things to address the fact that authors write invalid content. One is that we are relaxing a lot of the content model requirements. Another is that we are allowing the "/>" style on elements that have no end tag (like <img> can be written <img/>). We're also simplifying some things like making the type="" attribute optional on the <script> and <style> elements.

    There's also work to make validators for HTML5 that are far more detailed and friendly than the HTML4 validators ever have been.

    But to be honest, this hasn't been the main focus of HTML5. We've been concentrating more on making the behaviour well defined for browsers, and on adding new features for authors to relax the need for proprietary technologies like Flash.
  • by hankwang (413283) * on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @05:28PM (#22144184) Homepage

    Essentially what's happened with HTML 5 is we've got a language that caters for those incapable of working with a well structured language, on one hand this is great because more people can publish to the web, on the other it's awful as it basically fucks up the web further.

    As far as I understand, HTML 5 specifies exactly how a user agent should deal with formally incorrect code. I have never understood some people's obsession with XHTML, where a compliant browser is supposed to display an error message. With Opera, I encounter "XHTML" pages every now and then that do not display at all because they were dynamically generated from a database and there is a single illegal character in there or a forgotten close tag in a string coming from a database. How is that supposed to help anyone that every scripted page needs to be tested against every possible input condition? It could have been made optional in the user-agent to display a warning for web developers, but no, the spec requires that the browser justs bails out.

    And xhtml also sucks for hand-coded pages since it is full of redundant closing tags, for things like <br>, <tr>, <td>, <li, and so on. It's only more typing and more obfuscating syntactic sugar. There are millions of people who create web content, and only a handful browsers. To me it is obvious that it is a waste of manpower to require of millions of people to learn the exact strict xhtml rules rather than make the browsers more flexible with non-conformant input, in a well-defined cross-browser portable manner. HTML 5 will add new useful features. XHTML adds nothing that wasn't already possible in HTML 4.01-strict (the version without font/frameset/bgcolor/etc. stuff).

    [with xhtml] small handheld devices could finally display compliant sites in a way that best fit the screen.

    I think you are talking about spacer GIFs and table markup. As far as I know, you can still abuse tables for page layout in XHTML. Moreover, to make a page that is really portable between 1024 pixel monitors and devices with a 150 pixel-wide screen requires much more than just xhtml/css; both the CSS and the page structure need to be carefully designed to be portable, in a way that is not enforced by the xhtml spec.

  • by hixie (116369) <ian@hixie.ch> on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @05:30PM (#22144266) Homepage
    Actually most specs at the W3C don't use this model, which is what explains a lot. :-)

    But yeah, like with software development, you have to fix bugs when you find them, and you rarely find the bugs before actually trying to use the software (or in this case, the spec).
  • by SQL Error (16383) on Tuesday January 22, 2008 @08:28PM (#22147046)
    The alternative to trial and error when creating a spec is just error.
  • Re:First thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hixie (116369) <ian@hixie.ch> on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @07:28PM (#22160756) Homepage
    ...then you should configure your browser to do that. I, on the other hand, don't want that -- and I shouldn't have to fight the author to get what I want either.
  • Re:Still sloppy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hixie (116369) <ian@hixie.ch> on Wednesday January 23, 2008 @07:50PM (#22161016) Homepage
    Not ever breaking the previous formats in any way at all is a good thing.

    Validation should be against the latest version, otherwise you'll be telling authors not to use new features (which is dumb) and not telling them about the mistakes that earlier versions didn't know about (which is also dumb). Thus validators also don't need a version switch.

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