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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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  • So instead... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:20PM (#34943838)

    So instead of versions, we'll have a big vector of flags, where each flag indicates whether or not a particular HTML feature is required, supported, etc.? And a given web page will work with a given browser only if their two flag vectors are compatible?

    This is stupid. Standards exist for a reason.

  • Re:Translation (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:26PM (#34943906)

    It is a benefit in the sense that it will terrorize people in using only the latest stuff coming from big companies because all the others will be playing catch up.

    Oh you mean benefit for us? I dunno.

  • Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:28PM (#34943940) Homepage

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

    I think a randomly changing feature-set sounds like a bad idea. HTML is supposed to be a standard, not something which just changes without any real control behind that.

    This is like agile programming run amok -- let's expect the customer to have to upgrade to the latest nightly build. That'll work!

  • Re:terrible idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hedwards (940851) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:33PM (#34944010)
    That was my thought, it's tough enough to get browsers in compliance with a specific revision of HTML, now they're wanting to do away with numbering them?

    I have to assume that this is an early April Fool's joke or the person suggesting it is full of it. But then again he works for Google and is probably just the sort of arrogant git that doesn't understand the implications of it for people that aren't constantly upgrading their browsers.
  • Re:terrible idea (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:47PM (#34944196)

    Until you name the revision by dates, which is basically the same thing as giving version numbers...

    Or names! Firefox supports HTML Insomnia. IE is now on HTML Narcoleptic. Chrome upgrades to HTML Sonambulia. Opera is still on HTML Purgatory, but they will go to HTML Heaven next month. Oh, the possibilities!

  • by swsuehr (612400) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @04:50PM (#34944230) Homepage

    I broke the cardinal rule and read TFA. From TFA:

    "Hickson mentions that the group will be dropping the HTML5 name immediately, but it we have not received a confirmation that this will happen over at the W3C as well."

    So WHATWG will no longer be using numbers? WHATWG can call it "Hullapuhjelpus" as far as I'm concerned as long as W3C still continues using version numbers. Version numbers provide excellent reference points to featuresets and are useful to implementers, developers, and end users alike.
    From the WHATWG Blog:

    "However, shortly after that we realised that the demand for new features in HTML remained high, and so we would have to continue maintaining HTML and adding features to it before we could call "HTML5" complete, and as a result we moved to a new development model, where the technology is not versioned and instead we just have a living document that defines the technology as it evolves."

    Because there's demand for new features you no longer want to use a numbering scheme? Many standards are evolving. Why not just increment the minor version when new features are added? HTML version 5.1 added this cool thing, 5.2 this cool thing, etc.

    If we're dumping version numbers then why bother calling it Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8, and 9? Why not just call it "Internet Explorer"? We all know that each of those versions render pages the same, right? Hmm. I just realized that I invoked Internet Explorer in a discussion about standards. Mea Culpa.

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

  • Forever in beta. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by westlake (615356) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @05:18PM (#34944664)

    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 like Chrome, if you will."

    The HTML standards committee takes eternity and a day to finalize anything.

    Which is how and why workable solutions - like Flash - that evolve outside the committee gain traction.

    20% of peak hour Internet traffic in the states was a content-protected Netflix stream before Netflix offered a streaming-only service. HVEC - aka H.265 - will be ready in about two years. High Efficiency Video Coding / HEVC / H.265 : Beyond H.264 [vcodex.com]

    Half the bit rate of H.264 for content of the same quality...

  • Re:Not a Standard. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sdiz (224607) on Thursday January 20, 2011 @09:48PM (#34947684)

    You missed all those XHTML 1.1 Modules. That's how W3C wasted all its time.

    Original HTML5 draft came from WHATWG, not W3C.

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