Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Programming The Internet News

HTML5 Splits Into Two Standards 395

Posted by timothy
from the so-many-to-choose-from dept.
mikejuk writes "Until now the two standards bodies working on HTML5 (WHATWG and W3C) have cooperated. An announcement by WHATWG makes it clear that this is no longer true. WHATWG is going to work on a living standard for HTML which will continue to evolve as more technologies are added. W3C is going the traditional and much more time consuming route of creating a traditional standard which WHATWG refers to as a 'snapshot' of their living standard. Of course now being free of W3C's slower methods WHATWG can accelerate the pace of introducing new technologies to HTML5. Whatever happens, the future has just become more complicated — now you have to ask yourself 'Which HTML5?'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

HTML5 Splits Into Two Standards

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 21, 2012 @04:49PM (#40725521)

    "Living standard"? Perpetually unfinished with no accountability for stability, is more like it. Didn't Google patent that?

    What a monumentally bad idea ...

  • Re:Slow down (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Billly Gates (198444) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @05:11PM (#40725683) Journal

    The whole world should slow down. Stick with a stable standard for a while. And relax.

    Quite the opposite. We need to speed up!

    We did it in the 1990s and survived fine and innovation followed and all was good. ... well except for some beancounters who wanted a bare bones IT. There was no "This is the web browser we will use for the next 8 years and lets lock it in etc". Today we have phones like my Andriod as well as IPhones that give a much better browsing experience than my desktop?!

    Why?

    Because webmasters cripple them to cater to ancient versions of IE still. My phone has smooth crisp texts that are better hardware accelerated that are smoth when I go up and down with my finger. On my computer it flickers unless I use IE 9. I have gradients in things like arrows on many applets and sites with HTML 5 and CSS 3 the web equivalent does not have the gradients to cater to older browsers.

    It is 2012 and this is silly. We need to move on and HTML 5 in my opinion should be gutted out so it can be standardized faster and the rest of the ideas and proposals can be part of CSS 3.1 and HTML 6. Doing this will stop Chrome only sites and get people to leave IE 8 and older browsers behind. Why should the best experiences be only for phone based applets?

  • by Lord Lode (1290856) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @06:19PM (#40726065)

    Obligatory xkcd (I can't believe it's not linked yet): http://xkcd.com/927/ [xkcd.com]

  • by BZ (40346) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @07:40PM (#40726425)

    The criticism of the W3C that led to WHATWG being formed was twofold:

    1) The W3C wasn't fixing obvious bugs in HTML4 (e.g. places where the standard required behavior that was not compatible with actual websites).

    2) The W3C was instead spending its time working on XHTML2, which it had purposefully designed to be backwards-incompatible with HTML4 so that you couldn't implement the two in a single rendering engine.

    A large part of the reason for #2 was that the browser vendors had at most 5 votes total on the working group, while there were lots of other voters who were more interested in pie-in-the-sky projects than actually producing something that could work on the web. So what the browser vendors _actually_ got tired of was having no say at all and everyone feeling entitled to order them to do their bidding, no matter whether the bidding made any sense.

    Note that the current situation is pretty different from what was going on when the WHATWG was first founded. It's a bit of a mess, but it's not the complete and utter disaster things were back then.

  • Good Idea! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TwinkieStix (571736) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @08:06PM (#40726589) Homepage

    I don't understand why people think this is such a bad idea. This is the similar to any source tree having a "development branch" and a "stable branch". WHATWG will be responsible for evolving the fast-paced devlopment branch of HTML while W3C will take occasional snapshots and stabilize the features of the development branch into "full standards". I assume that most of the complaints here are related to either bad marketing - WHATWG should just start calling their version HTML6 or "future HTML" or something - or the fact that these bodies (especially the W3C) move slowly and we are in the middle of a new stable branch getting pulled.

    By the way, HTML5 isn't, according to the W3C a standard yet. The current HTML standard is 4.0.1. HTML5 is planned to be a "full standard" in 2014. In that time, WHATWG will introduce dozens of new major features into what will probably be called either HTML6 or HTML5.1 when the W3C gets around to pulling another snapshot.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML#Version_history_of_the_standard [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Dumb idea. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by edremy (36408) on Saturday July 21, 2012 @09:53PM (#40727081) Journal
    You don't work anywhere where there are more than a dozen computers, do you?

    One of the biggest challenges we have is trying to deal with the slew of constant updates to dozens of applications, all of which seem to break in subtle ways. Testing a large application for browser compatibility is a royal PITA, and every time one goes through you end up having to come up with a new set of workarounds for small bugs and explaining why the old set of workarounds isn't needed anymore.

    Or you can just do what we do, which is freeze all your applications for a specific build every semester or year, then carefully turn off every farking updater to stop the blizzard of login messages you otherwise get socked with. But then you get people wondering why you still have machines running Firefox 3.6

  • Re:Dumb idea. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oiron (697563) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @12:11AM (#40727651) Homepage

    Here's the thing: For years now, the rest of the industry's been held back by the "Business environment". Blackberry, IE6, Windows Servers and the like... Stable features, rarely updated (say, every couple of years or so if you're lucky), and a concrete environment for multi-year projects to target.

    Now, we have an entirely different ethos trying to compete - the rapid-fire consumer-oriented model of iOS, Android, Chrome and the rest. This is all about eyeballs, because they're not pitching to Joe CTO who needs 2 years to complete his project, which should run for another 20. The audience in this case is the man or woman on the street, who will jump to the next shiny thing in a heartbeat, because the investment is really not that high.

    The first method leads to stagnation - we've lived through that... The second leads to instability. That too, we've seen. It remains to be seen, how this will be balanced out as time goes on. Because this isn't going away anymore.

  • Re:Dumb idea. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @02:07AM (#40728027)

    We routinely test all of those projects I mentioned with all of the major browsers.

    IE9 is actually the only big hitter that has never crashed on us.

    YMMV, plurals and anecdotes and data, etc.

  • by DarwinSurvivor (1752106) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @02:52AM (#40728209)
    YES! Non-text media should be handled by the system's media software. I would LOVE it if youtube would just have a link that I can click on that opens in VLC, your website's contact page would have a link that I click on that opens in Google Earth or Marble. The only exception I can think of would be images as *thumbnails* only. I'm sick and tired of being trapped in my browser shitty excuse for a video player (be it flash or HTML5) when I have a VERY capable fully-featured video player with frame-by-frame playback, rewind, subtitle support and tracking controls.

    PLEASE take everything media related OUT of my browser. Text, links, thumbnails and CSS for basic layout management is ALL we really need. In fact, I'd like to go even 1 step further and take layout management away from webmasters as well. Why should THEY get to decide how the menus work and the site navigation is layed out. This is one of the reasons why RSS readers are so nice, every website's feed uses the EXACT same interface and you NEVER have to try to figure out where they hid the menu or the contact page.

    Webmasters should compile the data into a basic heirarchy of XML with some predefined fields for contact information, navigation menus and search features. Leave the layout management to the user because THEY know what they want, you don't.
  • by Xest (935314) on Sunday July 22, 2012 @04:01AM (#40728427)

    "1) The W3C wasn't fixing obvious bugs in HTML4 (e.g. places where the standard required behavior that was not compatible with actual websites)."

    You call them bugs, but in reality they were merely failures by the browser vendors to properly implement the spec. This was simply an excuse by browser vendors for carrying out a coup, rather than a real actual problem. There's nothing in the HTML4 spec that couldn't be implemented properly. CSS had issues,

    "2) The W3C was instead spending its time working on XHTML2, which it had purposefully designed to be backwards-incompatible with HTML4 so that you couldn't implement the two in a single rendering engine."

    Why is this a problem? The web needs to move forward, it can't sit on what are, in technological terms ancient foundations forever. Ignoring the fact you skipped the important versions that were XHTML1 and 1.1 which were interim specifications that bridged the two (hence why there was a transitional stylesheet in this version) then what exactly is the issue? Release of a new spec doesn't make an old spec magically vanish, if you want your site to remain standards compliant but don't want to update it to a new standard then keep it compliant with the old standard and leave it as it was. This is one of the more stupid things about HTML5 - trying to automatically make ancient sites HTML5 compliant gives us what benefit exactly? In contrast it create a lot of negatives - it means the spec is hamstrung by trying to mangle in and support ancient problems. Why does a site written 10 years ago, and that is unmaintained magically need to become HTML5 compliant overnight?

    I believe most browsers have implemented XML rendering now anyway?

    "A large part of the reason for #2 was that the browser vendors had at most 5 votes total on the working group, while there were lots of other voters who were more interested in pie-in-the-sky projects than actually producing something that could work on the web. "

    This is a really shit argument, simply writing off those interested in true separation of concerns as pie-in-the-sky projects highlights the problem exactly - those developing browsers, and those supporting the browser manufacturers in their coup of web standards seem to completely fail to grasp how software is developed by companies in the real world. Hint: We do like to write maintainable software, we do like to automatically be able to translate content to/from web pages using the plethora of XML tools and frameworks out there, and we do like specifications that are actually specifications not "living standards". This is precisely the problem, browser manufacturers think they know better, but if nothing else the fact they're known for having horrendously glaring bugs and security issues in their browsers suggests otherwise. They had 5 votes because they only deserved 5 votes, because they only represent a small share of the players in the market. Now instead what we have is browser vendors with their shit software development practices dictating how everyone else should write software - badly. Worse, we're not even talking about the browser developers running the show currently, in fact, even one of the major browser developers, Microsoft, has raised concerns with the quality of HTML5, we're actually only talking about one guy at Google for the most part who is the one deciding everything, and a handful of smaller voices from Apple and Mozilla. That leaves even a lot of other browser developers absent.

    "Note that the current situation is pretty different from what was going on when the WHATWG was first founded. It's a bit of a mess, but it's not the complete and utter disaster things were back then."

    I agree it was a disaster back then but again, only because browser vendors were refusing to do anything until they got their own way, not because there was anything inherently wrong with the W3C other than the fact it tried to be represenative.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

Working...