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No More Version Numbers For HTML 336

Posted by timothy
from the now-they'll-have-threat-level-colors dept.
An anonymous reader writes "HTML5 will be the last version of HTML that carries a version number. Ian Hickson, a Google engineer and editor of the HTML5 standard, announced that the language will be transitioned to a 'living standard' without version numbers. A bit like Chrome, if you will."
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No More Version Numbers For HTML

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:21PM (#34943858)
    Go straight to the source [whatwg.org] instead.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:37PM (#34944064)

    Their justifications for the decision are here:

    http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/FAQ#What_does_.22Living_Standard.22_mean.3F

  • Re:Not a Standard. (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:53PM (#34944262)

    The real reason is because the committee which desides whats in the standard couldn't get a consensus, so HTML 5 took forever and its still not a W3C recormendation.

    Look at http://www.w3schools.com/w3c/w3c_html.asp

    HTML 4.01 became a W3C Recommendation 24. December 1999
    XHTML 1.0 became a W3C Recommendation 20. January 2000
    On January 22nd, 2008, W3C published a working draft for HTML 5.

    So 10 years after xhtml 1.0 we still dont have a W3C recormendation for HTML 5, if HTML 6 carried on business as usual then we would probably be looking at 2025 for it...

  • Bad interpretation (Score:5, Informative)

    by robmv (855035) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:09PM (#34944512)

    What was said is that the moving spec in development is now called HTML, when a snapshot is taken it will be called HTML5, next HTMLX.X.X or any other name. The WHATWG spec is not a finalized document, HTML5 will be snapshoted sometime

  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Informative)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:27PM (#34944776)

    Since when did Google become the keepers of the HTML spec?

    Google is not "the keepers of the HTML spec". Ian Hickson, who happens to work for Google, is the editor of the HTML5 spec. Usually, spec maintainers work for a firm involved in the area the spec addresses.

    I think a randomly changing feature-set sounds like a bad idea.

    In none of the discussion of this change has there been any indication that the WHATWG process for HTML will involve random changes.

    HTML is supposed to be a standard, not something which just changes without any real control behind that.

    There is a process, which is discussed in the WHATWG FAQ [whatwg.org]. The process just doesn't involve version numbers anymore.

  • by Bogtha (906264) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:38PM (#34944936)

    How does removing the version number help the people who need to implement and work with the standard?

    It doesn't, it's a fucking disaster. I'll give a concrete example. I used HTML 5 audio on a site with a Flash fallback for browsers that didn't support it. All is good and well. One day, I start getting complaints that the audio is broken. Turns out that a) the HTML 5 spec had changed and b) Firefox had changed to match in a minor point release. Firefox 3.51 worked, Firefox 3.5.2 didn't, as I recall. The new API was indistinguishable from the old API in as much as all the same objects and functions were there, but a return value had changed. So, even with the best practice method of feature detection, anybody writing to the old API was screwed.

    So I fixed it up by removing the HTML 5 audio and made the decision to wait until HTML 5 was published in its final form. Something that I should have done to begin with really, it's madness to use HTML 5 at the moment as it's just not finished yet. You don't know what is going to change.

    And now they want to do away with a "final" version altogether? Gee thanks, guys! How am I going to be able to trust it to be stable enough to rely on ever again? What's going to stop the same thing from happening over and over again?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2011 @06:06PM (#34945378)

    Indeed, and as that article points out, this change in naming applies ONLY to what the WhatWG was calling "HTML5", not to be confused with what W3C calls "HTML 5." For anyone that's been following this, or has read Zeldman's HTML5 book, knows, "HTML5" and "HTML 5" can refer to entirely different sets of standards.

    The W3C, as far as I can tell, is still taking "snapshots" of WhatWG's "HTML" spec and numbering them, and the W3C is still the primary authority when it comes to official web specifications.

    This change really isn't as big of a deal as people here seem to think, and the original article does confuse the issue.

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