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Microsoft Suggests Carving Up HTML 5

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the slice-and-dice dept.

Microsoft 113

dp619 writes "HTML 5 is extensive and may take years to complete. Microsoft's solution to hasten its development is to carve it up. The company wants to divide HTML 5 into sub-specifications overseen by different working groups. Internet Explorer platform architect Chris Wilson said that HTML 5 features including its Canvas APIs, offline caching of Web applications' resources, persistent client-side data storage, and peer-to-peer (P2P) networking connection framework would be useful outside of HTML. The WC3 seems to be receptive to the idea and says that a consensus is forming among working group members to do just that."

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Embrace, Extend! (1, Insightful)

Gewalt (1200451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183246)

what comes after that again?

Re:Embrace, Extend! (2, Insightful)

snoyberg (787126) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183436)

As much as we all hate Microsoft, I think this is genuinely a good idea. Can't we put aside our biases and consider this proposal on its own merits?

Re:Embrace, Extend! (4, Insightful)

tbannist (230135) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183672)

Well we should carefully consider whether it's a trap or not. I mean Microsoft isn't always wrong, but they have a strong track record of evil. It bears examining their proposal closely to see if you can spot the evil machinations.

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

sadgoblin (1269500) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183762)

Its okay as long as we wont hear "Hey, that HTML thingy is pretty hard, let us handle it!" from them.

Re:Embrace, Extend! (3, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183870)

Yeah. Microsoft can be okay. Even a stopped clock is right once a day!

<.<

Re:Embrace, Extend! (3, Funny)

mrmagos (783752) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184162)

Strange, all my broken clocks are correct twice a day. Do you do out of your way to purchase 24-hour clocks and break them? I thought my hobbies were weird....

Re:Embrace, Extend! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23185000)

Perhaps GP is Italian.

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

Ifni (545998) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185346)

Mine are right FOUR times a day, thanks to the Time Cube [timecube.com] .

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186598)

A broken ship's clock could be right six times a day for the right kind of breakage. Well, except in the Royal Navy for the second dogs watch. So only 5.5 times a day for them.

A broken regular chiming clock could be right 24 times a day.

Time Sphere (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186646)

By the Time Cube logic (four simultaneous days, one in each of four time zones), a stopped clock is right 24 times a day.

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23190712)

Twice a day (12 hour clock), four simultaneous days, isn't that 8 times a day that a stopped clock would be right?

I prefer "even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while"

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23193230)

Strange, all my broken clocks are correct twice a day. Do you do out of your way to purchase 24-hour clocks and break them? I thought my hobbies were weird....
Actually, sir, that's what my little shifty-eyes were about. I know they don't explicitly go out and say "I'm being mildly facetious here and I just KNOW someone is going to point out my deliberate error", so you'll just have to trust me on this one.

Re:Embrace, Extend! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23184350)

... Even a stopped clock is right once a day!

<.<

once a day? I guess it depends on your clock (unless this is over my head.)

Re:Embrace, Extend! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23186500)

That would be twice a day.

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23189184)

My glock is never broken. Oh, clock!

Re:Embrace, Extend! (2, Interesting)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#23192196)

I agree. Hearing all of the things that they want to put in it now, I'm not really sure that a lot of them belong in HTML anyway. It seems like we're trying to stuff everything that was hot over the last 10 years into a language that was meant to be used purely for website markup.

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

Morlark (814687) | more than 6 years ago | (#23192920)

While you certainly have a point, I think this all seems more sensible if you try to look at it from the other direction. Yes, they're stuffing all of this new stuff into HTML. But that's because the web itself has become more than purely websites with markup, and HTML does need to catch up with that.

These days the web has become a platform for a much richer experience (ugh, I feel all dirty using horrible marketing phrases like that). I'd rather that experience was grounded solidly in HTML, rather than relying on shitty third-party plugins with unpredictable updates and unreliable cross-platform support. Saying that, I know that HTML isn't suddenly going to banish the horribleness of Flash, or what have you. But I do think this is an interesting first step.

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

Frequency Domain (601421) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183446)

what comes after that again?
Profit!

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183804)

You must be semi-new here...

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

CTalkobt (81900) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183878)

>> Embrace, Extend!
>> what comes after that again?

4. Profit?

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184254)

Extinguish.

=Smidge=

Re:Embrace, Extend! (1)

Discoflamingo13 (90009) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184252)

Software date rape?

Re:Embrace, Extend! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23185198)

...
Profit?

And they should know... (-1, Flamebait)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183324)

They're experts on standards? Well at least from the last time I checked with everyone they bribed at ISO.

So start expecting bribes and fallout at the W3C now as well thanks to our 'friends' at Microsoft

If Anyone Else... (5, Insightful)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183422)

If anyone else were to suggest this approach, you'd all be saying, "Makes sense."

Re:If Anyone Else... (2, Insightful)

Tangent128 (1112197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183502)

True. Microsoft actually does have technical ideas worth considering. However, I wouldn't want to see Microsoft politically in charge of any of these efforts, given the influence of their marketing department.

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

smartaleckkill (1161259) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183516)

it would make sense if it was anyone else

Re:If Anyone Else... (2, Insightful)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184960)

Actually, it doesn't make sense. Under that scenario, you could have different sub-groups interpreting the specs in varying, contradictory ways, and end up with supposedly "conforming" implementations that break other sub-groups' work. We've already got too much of that in the browser world, and the chief villain has always been Microsoft.

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

majorgoodvibes (1228026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185130)

This where the role of a neutral over-seer comes in - this sort of division of labor is the rule in the game industry - you just have to have a good "director" above it all making sure it works together

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23191518)

You don't have to go that far. Microsoft simply picks one or two of its technologies that work well with one group of the things that needs defining, and makes sure that it defines that group according to how its technology works. Instant specification. Better yet, the specification can then be completely open as the only way to implement it "correctly" is via a technology Microsoft has patented, and since that's how all IE browsers will implement it, that is how those elements will be understood and used by web developers.

This tactic works best if said group of elements is big, so that other browser developers back off from implementing the tags or guessing the syntax until they are better-defined. That way, Microsoft is pretty much assured that what they implement must be the de-facto standard, even if there is resistance within the W3C. And whether you agree or disagree with the decision, de-facto standards resulted in HTML 3.1 (which had maths tags) being dropped entirely in favour of HTML 3.2. There is precedent for Microsoft telling the W3C what it can and cannot make standard.

Never, ever allow a monopolist onto the board of a standards body. In fact, never, ever allow them within a thousand miles of a standards body. And then only if it's not yet possible to ship the monopoly off-planet.

Re:If Anyone Else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23183732)

Well, yes. If anybody else was suggesting it there wouldn't be a high chance they were trying to sabotage the standard.

Re:If Anyone Else... (0)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183746)

your forgetting the part where MSFT wants to insert patented, and propitiatory technology into their section of the "standard". Stuff only they can ever implement properly. Just like OOXML. No one, not even MSFT can implement it properly. Just like SMB/CIFS documenting the protocol that MSFT had to create from scratch, as it wasn't documented properly inside MSFT.

MSFT has done it before and continues to do so. MSFT can't change without a complete workplace management change. Basically firing every manager and executive. So until that happens, I will always be skeptical of MSFT's motives.

Re:If Anyone Else... (3, Interesting)

Gutboy (587531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184646)

I've said this before but I'm going to say it again.

Before anyone can work on a standard, their company must agree to donate any patents that become part of the standard to the standards org, and the standards org must allow any patents they own to be used for no charge. The original company can say "no" to the use of their patent in the standard. If any patented stuff 'accidently' gets placed into the standard, it is up to the company to notice and reject the use of their patented stuff. Failure to do so is an implicit agreement to the previous patent requirements.

If a third party places another company's patented stuff into a standard, the sole economic burden for any lawsuits, licenses, etc. shall fall on that third party, if there is no representation of the company on the standards committee.


I'm sure I haven't covered all issues that could arise, but you get the idea.

Re:If Anyone Else... (2, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185558)

Yet your missing the fine print. There are Patents on OOXML, The Patent license which MSFT lets others duplicate OOXML specifically doesn't allow licenses that redistribute the patented software.

so you can't write an OOXML parser with the GPL, Apache, MPL, and several other licenses. Yet the ISO still allowed it to pass.

Enjoy the fine print. MSFT owns souls because of it. MP3 decoders are the same way. MSFT isn't the only company to endorse a standard that can't be implemented by anyone because of patent licensing restrictions.

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

Gutboy (587531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185688)

I read the fine print, I just believe that any standards org that allows patented tech into a standard is just a shill for the company that owns the patent.

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23191296)

Oh, c'mon, be real. If it's Microsoft we're talking about, then ISO isn't just a schill. They're a very very well-paid schill.

Re:If Anyone Else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23183830)

1. Predict anti-Microsoft comments.
2. Preemptively refute aforementioned comments.
3. ??????
4. Karma!!

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184400)

If anyone else were to suggest this approach, you'd all be saying, "Makes sense."

I disagree with this idea. This will just cause even more pain for web developers who will be forced to do incremental HTML 5 checking to see if a users browser supports "shiny new HTML 5 standard" or not. Then iterate that out across other browsers, who will probably implement things faster than the IE, given their history.

Nope, bad idea. Release it when it's finished. Thank you.

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185194)

It probably does make sense, but who the suggestion is coming from is the problem. Of course the MS guy on the committee vs the actual developers is probably totally separate departments.

I agree with you that HTML 5 should be a clean break. Put all the eggs in the basket, require them ALL to be there and leave behind anybody that can't keep up. We're still bickering about CSS2 specs that came out BEFORE IE6 and are still incorrectly implemented. A fresh reboot with the latest specs is a very good thing .. certain large companies should be pushed aside in the process and let the little guys working hard develop something wonderful.

If you ignore... (1, Troll)

edalytical (671270) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184762)

If you ignore the fact that Microsoft is working on Silverlight, then sure, it makes some sense. In reality Microsoft is working on Silverlight and its motives are suspect.

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

cobaltnova (1188515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185328)

If anyone else were to suggest this approach, none of us would suspect foul play.

Re:If Anyone Else... (3, Insightful)

Nurgled (63197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185462)

I don't really care who's suggesting it; I've been thinking similar things myself. The amount of content in HTML5 is getting ridiculous. If none of it can be declared final until it's all done then there's going to be uncertainty surrounding it for a long time to come, and that'll either put off implementors or lead to the spec hanving to be backward-compatible with earlier drafts of itself and it'll be years before there's interop between browsers.

Re:If Anyone Else... (3, Interesting)

hixie (116369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23190512)

Actually the spec has an annotation system where you can see how stable each section is, so we've somewhat side-stepped the issue of the whole thing not being done being a blocker for smaller parts.

In practice, implementors (including Microsoft!) are happily implementing HTML5 already.

Making the one spec be a bazillion smaller specs wouldn't stop us from having to make sure that each bit is compatible with implementations of that bit. Also, a smaller spec doesn't necessarily go much faster through the system than a big spec. Just look at XMLHttpRequest, which used to be part of HTML5 -- it's been split off for years, but it's still far from being a REC, and that's for a spec that's actually just describing existing browsers! This isn't anyone's fault, it's just that specs take a long time to get right. Anne's doing a great job on that spec, and I'm really glad he took it out of HTML5.

Hopefully other editors will come up and volunteer to take other things out of HTML5. Several people have tried; we have a very poor success rate for these specs. Generally, things that get taken out just languish and die a slow death until I fold them back into HTML5.

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

FrozenFOXX (1048276) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185638)

You know, you're right. I suppose that means we should be asking, "How come nobody else suggested this?" I mean it's not exactly a unique idea, how come Microsoft had to suggest it?

Is there some reason why Microsoft, THE largest enemy of openness in software, would suggest this and nobody else would? The same company who typically loses most when there's open development outside of their company? The same company who has a terrible track record of support in the browser space?

That's the kind of thing we worry about and hence why we're skeptical. If Google or Yahoo suggested such a thing I'm sure we wouldn't mind quite so much. It comes down to their track record and it will not be ignored. A little skepticism of a known enemy is not a Bad Thing. Who knows, maybe it's a good idea, but it'd be very prudent to be very, very careful about agreeing to anything they suggest.

Re:If Anyone Else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23185650)

Actually, it makes lots of sense. But coming from Microsoft, you have to wonder why this method wasn't used in OOXML.

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186470)

I don't see how this is an argument. If a convicted serial murder known for his knife skills was to ask you to throw him a knife so he could slice an apple, wouldn't you _at least_ give it more careful thought?

You're asking... (1)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187042)

I don't see how this is an argument. If a convicted serial murder known for his knife skills was to ask you to throw him a knife so he could slice an apple, wouldn't you _at least_ give it more careful thought?

You're asking if I'd hand OJ a knife? Am I dating his ex?

Uh, wait...too soon?

Re:If Anyone Else... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23187132)

If anyone else were to suggest this approach, you'd all be saying, "Makes sense."

Not if you were actually reading the HTML Working Group mailing list, you wouldn't. If you'd been reading the messages related to the subject, you'd know that the spec editor Ian Hickson has thus far not had a problem keeping all the content in a single specification, that there's a lack of editors to handle more specifications, that there are many interdependencies within the specification that make it difficult to modularize, and that the biggest reason people want to split the spec apart is to appease other working groups outside of the HTML WG.


The <canvas> element is a good example of a feature in HTML 5 that would only suffer if split from the main specification. Supposedly, you'd want to split it off so that you can have a task force of graphics API experts evaluate and refine the 2D graphics context. In reality, the existing 2D context already is a standard used by ever major browser vendor save Microsoft. Changing it would introduce compatibility concerns with existing <canvas> content. In fact, there was a release of Firefox solely to fix a regression in its support for <canvas>. It would make far more sense to standardize the existing 2D context, then create a second generation 2D context later if the current one proves inadequate.


Modularization can indeed be a good thing, but in this particular case it's not worth the trouble.

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

eof (33820) | more than 6 years ago | (#23188210)

As others have said, it's not a bad idea. The problem is that Microsoft has a reputation of poor behavior when it comes to standards work, so naturally one questions their motives.

Re:If Anyone Else... (1)

Marillion (33728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23189320)

I think HTML5 is "doomed". I quoted doomed because it will happen, but it's a mess. The big problem is its name. I don't like mixing payload with transport. HTML can be delivered over a zillion different transports, hell even carrier pigeon. HTTP can be used to transport all kinds of bits and bytes. HTML5 is really Browser-Spec-5 which covers everything and the kitchen sink.

Re:If Anyone Else... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23190858)

I guess you spoke too soon.

Divide and Conquer, huh? (-1, Troll)

Millennium (2451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183438)

More likely they just want to be able to claim compliance while leaving out vital parts of the standard that people want to use. End goal: continue hindering the development of Web applications, but do so in a way that looks a little better than past efforts.

Well, at least they're being explicit about it (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183562)

Well, at least now they're being more explicit about their lack of full compliance. Now, when Microsoft says that they "support" a standard, web developers have no idea how much support they're getting. With this, there'll be finer granularity, so Microsoft can say, "We only support subspecifications X, Y, and Z; everything else may not work." This'll make it easier for web developers to see what features they can use while maintaining compatibility with both Internet Explorer and Firefox.

WC3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23183448)

WC3? What's that? The Water Closet 3? I think I just found the name for my new band.

New TLA? (3, Funny)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183462)

The WC3...


Damn that Water Closet Three!

Re:New TLA? (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184498)

Come on now, it's obvious they meant Warcraft 3. I, for one, welcome the addition of Undead and Night Elves to the HTML 5 spec.

Re:New TLA? (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23187926)

Damn that Water Closet Three! For any Americans in the room, that's a toilet. Oddly enough, the abbreviation also seems to have worked its way into most European languages and cultures as well.

Standard Microsoft Tactics (2, Insightful)

quanticle (843097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183468)

This is pretty standard for Microsoft. I mean they've always only supported part of the specification. Now, I guess they're making this lack of full support explicit.

In one way though, this is a good thing. If Microsoft says we'll only support sub-specifications A, B, and C, then web developers will have a better idea as to what restrictions they're working under to create cross platform sites. It'd be an improvement over the current system, which seems to consist of coding for one browser, and then going through and testing/experimenting with the other browser to see what's broken.

Re:Standard Microsoft Tactics (1)

mlingojones (919531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184594)

If that's your fear, you can probably rest easy. Chris Wilson and the rest of the IE team have done a fantastic job of listening to the web design community's concerns about IE7 and IE8.

They're not out to screw us over.

Not out to scew us over? (1)

Tony (765) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185648)

They're not out to screw us over.
The recently-reconstituted IE team has done an excellent job of building towards standards-compliance. I've been extremely pleased that some parts of Microsoft seem to be softening up. I doubt that mentality represents a general shift in Microsoft's policies, but the browser team has accomplished some outstanding work.

I think dividing the standard up into subsections is a good idea, as it helps keep the specifications small and understandable. Having all that stuffed into one big standard is just asking for trouble. That was part of the problem with the original SGML spec -- it was too freakin' huge to implement easily.

Re:Standard Microsoft Tactics (1)

pbhj (607776) | more than 6 years ago | (#23192114)

If you get beat on by a bully for years and then one day he says he'd like to pat you on the back instead, you tend to be suspicious ...

Please leave us with something untouched (0)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183478)

Could Microsoft please, possible just leave HTML 5 and XHTML 2 alone, and simply follow the standards produced? Pretty please?

Re:Please leave us with something untouched (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183726)

I understand they're working on an ISO-OOXML compliant office suite.

Re:Please leave us with something untouched (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183742)

While I agree with the sentiment of your post, I have to say that doing things (especially large projects) in a modular fashion does make sense.

Seen from a different view, USB 2 and USB 1 standards are not incompatible, and worked well. There are devices that are not USB2 compliant, but work with systems that are.

In terms like that, if MS wants to tell the world that they will only be compliant with USB1, let them. While the rest of the world works and becomes compliant with version 2. The real problems would only happen, as stated above, if MS was given responsibility for development of the standards.

I personally don't care if MS wants to be non-compliant with a new standard. At this point in time I'm willing to bet that the rest of the world will simply march on without them, as it looks like they will do with ODF.

Don't worry, in terms of computing the OLPC users will not be marching anywhere for quite some time. They'll have to wait till they grow up a bit and go to college where real computers are running real OS's. OLPC is a great idea but it remains to be seen what value MS will bring to the table for that project.

If the community as a whole wants to break the standard into modules that work without or with the other modules at several revisions, ok. If only MS wants that.... NOT ok, but let MS be non-compliant all they want.

Users are beginning to tire of MS's antics, this would just be one more that would cause them headaches that they can solve for free.

Re:Please leave us with something untouched (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23183854)

There are so many non-sequiturs in this posting, I'm tempted to think it's a bot.

Re:Please leave us with something untouched (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23184052)

I think you have the next You Tube sensation on your hands.

Leave HTML 5 and XHTML 2 alone! Boo hoo hoo!

Now that they've "discovered" the idea (1)

TheQuantumShift (175338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183504)

Everything has to be modular [slashdot.org] ?

"Here Microsoft, go play with your ball." (1, Flamebait)

peipas (809350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183688)

I think Microsoft should be required to finish WinFS before being trusted with a component of HTML 5.

Re:"Here Microsoft, go play with your ball." (0, Offtopic)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184320)

I didn't even think HTML had versions. When did HTML 2 even come out?!

Re:"Here Microsoft, go play with your ball." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23184540)

Before HTML 3, dumbass. - Red Foreman

Re:"Here Microsoft, go play with your ball." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23185636)

HTML 2 came out in November, 1995.

Re:"Here Microsoft, go play with your ball." (1)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186958)

I didn't even think HTML had versions. When did HTML 2 even come out?!


November 1995

HTML 3.0 was proposed in April of 1995, but it was too complicated and nobody supported it. A simplified version, HTML 3.2, came out in January of 1997. These days, almost everyone is using HTML 4.0, which came out in December of 1997, or 4.01, which came out in December of 1999.

RISKY but wise (4, Insightful)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183712)

There are a few risks. The biggest one is if any of the teams slip behind or run ahead of schedule. If that happens, pieces will begin to fall out of sync.

however, the biggest benefit would be to web developers if this goes through as planned. I'd appreciate a properly modularized HTML5 myself.

Re:RISKY but wise (2, Interesting)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185870)

Only if they keep it split up for further development. From what I understand, HTML 5 is a huge overhaul that adds tons of new functionality. This takes a big initial effort. I would guess that once all the pieces are in place, improvements and changes will be small enough that a concurrent rollout of each module will be quite feasible and avert the scenario you suggest.

I'm just assuming here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23183756)

But wasn't part of the point of HTML5 that it would be a single atomic standard rather than a mess of modules where any particular one cannot be relied upon to be supported like with XHTML 1.1?

If it were anyone but Microsoft (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23183766)

If anyone else were to suggest this approach, you'd all be saying, "Makes sense."
If it were anyone else but Microsoft, we might be willing to extend them the benefit of the doubt.

Re:If it were anyone but Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23184632)

Indeed, with Microsoft we can expect with a certain degree of certainty they'll go "Ok, we'll work on these few useful and somewhat common aspects for everyone else to use!" then return when it's done in a semi-half-assed kind of way "Oh wait there mr competitor. There's a few hundred patent fees for this."

Re:If it were anyone but Microsoft (1)

Miltazar (1100457) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186634)

"Makes sense" does not require the benefit of the doubt. All it requires is considering what was said. If an argument makes sense, then who said it doesn't make it any more or less "making sense". Now if we were to consider if Microsoft will do this right, that is a whole new issue all together. Will they? Probably not. Is it a good idea? Yes, it makes sense. Divide the work, and things get done faster.

In this case at the very least Microsoft might not claim they implemented the standard when, in fact, they only did about 30%(might being the key word here).

Is there much point then? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23183924)

Is there still a point to HTML5 then though?

Wouldn't it be better to just take the existing XHTML and extend it seeing as that's the point of XHTML? That it's eXtensible?

Kitchen Sink (3, Insightful)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184050)

On the one hand, I want to say that this sounds reasonable, despite it being suggested by Microsoft.

On the other hand I want to say... WTF?!? Why does a markup language need all that crap anyway? Persistent local storage? What does that have to do with page markup?

I'm not saying that these other things are bad or unnecessary. Just that they shouldn't be part of the HTML spec. Just like CSS and JavaScript are both widely used with HTML, but are defined in their own separate complementary specs.

I suppose the real reason for the kitchen sink approach is pragmatic. As explained in TFA, no one has volunteered to take over individual parts. But if nobody cares enough to commit to that, maybe nobody really cares about the result either and those other parts are unnecessary? I say keep HTML as a markup language, add hooks for other things, and let those other things be specified if and when someone actually cares enough to do it.

Re:Kitchen Sink (2, Informative)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#23185702)

The browser makers and web designers really pushed for WHATAG standards and were about to push HTML5 over top of the W3C. It's a standard made of what people that WRITE web pages and people that WRITE web browsers want to see changed/fixed versus the last 8 years that nothing much has changed. Web designers need to have ALL the parts there, and browser makers need everybody to develop at the same time so people USE the specs.

I'd like to see a rollout schedule more than anything else. Release each module 3-6 months apart and allow no other non-spec addons until the whole thing is out. That would let Safari, Opera, Firefox keep up and let designers build the new sites organically rather than trying to use any random piece of a large spec all at once.

Re:Kitchen Sink (3, Insightful)

hixie (116369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23190672)

I'd love to be able to make the Web browser developers not implement anything but what the spec says. However, they don't obey us. :-)

Better to have a spec for them to follow than to say "no, implement the rest first!" and have them make up their own thing.

Re:Kitchen Sink (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23188256)

Persistent local storage? What does that have to do with page markup?
I guess you've never heard of cookies. They're not handled very well currently.

Re:Kitchen Sink (1)

Phroggy (441) | more than 5 years ago | (#23191992)

Persistent local storage? What does that have to do with page markup?
I guess you've never heard of cookies. They're not handled very well currently.
Cookies aren't part of the HTML spec either. They're part of HTTP.

Re:Kitchen Sink (3, Interesting)

hixie (116369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23190636)

Until I started working on HTML5, there was no spec that defined "window" (as in, window.location, window.document, etc), there was no spec that defined XMLHttpRequest, there was no spec that defined the details of how to talk between iframes, etc. Does this mean nobody cares about those either?

And I suggest... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23184184)

...carving up Microsoft!

You all know it makes sense.

Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23184430)

It's a bad idea. Look what happened to the split CSS3.

HTML5 needs a lot more work (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23184434)

Last I checked, HTML 5's working doc says that forms aren't going to change over html4. Possibly on the grounds that browsers will someday support Xforms without having to have users install whatever plugins, the HTML5 working group is refusing to do the work to split the standard into independent "presentation" "semantic" and most importantly for the increasing number of webapps out there, "application" sections. (After all, why bother, when they'll just use XForms instead of HTML forms, right?)

What's needed? For one, a [state] tag to replace [input type="hidden"] that will allow forms to validate without having to have [div]s that do nothing but hold hidden fields because [input] is a presentation tag and therefore must be within a text-carrying tag (eg [span][div][h1][p],etc) (even when it doesn't present). The ubiquitous shopping cart is the prime example of this, [form][input name="itemid" type="hidden"][tr][td]Foo[/td][td]$50[/td][td][input type="submit" name="Buy Me!"][/td][/tr][/form]... absolutely bog standard. Doesn't validate. Also, IE treats [form] as a presentation element, you can't cram the entire form into a cell because IE presents it as a [br]. There are CSS hacks to make [form] be inline... but IE still linebreaks for [/form].

Speaking of shopping carts, I think the web developers have learned their lesson and will stop using tables for layouts... so can we PLEASE have them back so that we can use them for tabular data (like item names, prices, descriptions, etc)? Seriously, instead of trying to shoehorn [div] into tables using speshul block types that nothing supports correctly, just let us use [table] again. Yes, it means you're going to have to actually bother specifying CSS attributes to handle the grid layout options in [table] that were deprecated and replaced with... well, nothing. It wouldn't have been so bad if HTML4 strict had declared that having eliminated cellspacing, the table should be rendered with zero cellspacing, but they didn't, and neither did the browsers, so now tables look like utter shit, just to keep people from thinking of using them for layout.

Finally, speaking of deprecation, would it really kill the documentation writers to say what something has been deprecated BY? If you want to know why it's taking so long for web developers to "catch up" it's because there is absolutely no guide to go from "doing it wrong" to "doing it right".

Re:HTML5 needs a lot more work (3, Informative)

Excors (807434) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186100)

Last I checked, HTML 5's working doc says that forms aren't going to change over html4.

They are going to change. It's not yet decided exactly how they will change – the HTML WG has Web Forms 2 [whatwg.org] (an extension of HTML4's forms), and the Forms WG is working on some rough ideas for trying to fit XForms into HTML5, and there is a joint Task Force that is meant to be working things out between the groups but hasn't actually managed to achieve anything yet. (None of the major browser developers has indicated much interest in implementing XForms, whereas Opera has already released an implementation of WF2 and there is some ongoing work to implement parts in Firefox and Safari, so the momentum is currently in that direction.)

allow forms to validate without having to have [div]s that do nothing but hold hidden fields because [input] is a presentation tag and therefore must be within a text-carrying tag

Web Forms 2 says "input elements of type hidden may be placed anywhere (both in inline contexts and block contexts)", which sounds like it satisfies your concern (and has the advantage of working in all existing web browsers, unlike a new <state> element).

can we PLEASE have them back so that we can use them for tabular data (like item names, prices, descriptions, etc)?

<table> has never been deprecated, and HTML5 still permits it. (Tables used for layout are not allowed, although that's impossible for an automatic validator to detect). There are already CSS properties that can replace cellpadding ('padding') and cellspacing ('border-spacing').

would it really kill the documentation writers to say what something has been deprecated BY?

It seems spec writers usually think that kind of thing should be described in tutorials or other documents, not in the specification. The HTML5 spec is far harder to read than HTML4 (because it's far more detailed, to fix the differences between implementations caused by HTML4's vagueness), so it really needs that kind of user-oriented documentation. The differences document [w3.org] gives a brief mention of what should be used instead of some obsolete features, but it would be nice to have more detail and examples for people who want to move to HTML5.

Re:HTML5 needs a lot more work (1)

hixie (116369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23190740)

Yeah I'll be doing a round of adding intro sections and generally adding examples and such at some point before the spec is done.

Like they did OOXML ? (0, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184854)

no thanks. save your shit, just for once.

Business plan (2, Informative)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184892)

1) complain about how slow HTML 5 is coming along
2) implement HTML 5 early; broken and unfinished
3) web developers use IE HTML 5
4) even after HTML 5 comes out, most web developers are confused as to the difference between HTML 5 and IE HTML 5
5) non IE web browsers have a tough time implementing HTML 5, and trying to render broken web pages
6) ????
7) Profit!!!

Also, what does Warcraft III have to do with anything?

Considering their history? (0, Flamebait)

mattr (78516) | more than 6 years ago | (#23184908)

Considering they are a convicted monopoly and seem to be involved in something fishy with standards bodies over OOXML, it is awfully hard to give MS the benefit of the doubt as other posters suggest.

It seems to me that dividing up HTML 5 into different pieces means it will be much harder for a single person trusted by the community to oversee all of their activity. There will be only so many staunch people available. If divided into 5 sections then there might be 5 times as much paperwork. It will favor a giant company that is able to push 5 or 10 times as many people onto the project. If they choose to invest MS could create 5 different blogs and 5 or more FUD streams. It will be like having 5 small countries' standards bodies, each meeting in a disused room in the back of a library, instead of one major sized standards body that will become the sole focus of a massive campaign for transparency and reporting. So while splitting the job into pieces sounds like common sense, actually MS never does anything that is not in their best interest and in this case, while perhaps this might give them earlier targets for eye candy creation products using HTML 5, it will also give them much fatter, less well protected targets of FUD, skullduggery (I mean BRIBE$) and Embrace, Extend, Extinguish. It is a bad idea to do what MS wants in just about every case so far and that is not paranoia, it's called reading the news.

Re:Considering their history? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23185482)

The point is that HTML5 is not really a single unified standard, but a series of different and disparate ideas that have been cobbled together into the amorphous title of "HTML5". Because of the timeframes of HTML5, which pretty much everyone agrees is too drawn out, MS is recommending that the disparate portions become independent of one another, and independent of HTML as a whole. Client-side caching of data has absolutely nothing to do with canvases, so why do the two need to be a part of a single slow-moving standard? And a standard client-side mechanism would benefit more than simple HTML, it could be extended to RIA in general, including Java, Flash, Flex and Silverlight.

This is not only a smart thing to do, it's an obvious thing to do, so much so that of course W3C agrees. The resources can be split between the tasks and focused more on the specifics of that one task. The disparate parts can be made available as they are completed and not wait for every other disparate part to also be agreed upon. This will allow the technologies of the web to move forward progressively instead of stagnating while waiting for a standards body to stop arguing about everything at a glacial pace, as is their tradition, and with more mechanisms standardized there will be less reason for proprietary extensions to fill in the void.

Someone at MS has a good idea. If you could see an inch in front of your own retarded zealously you would acknowledge that.

Re:Considering their history? (2, Informative)

hixie (116369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23191270)

HTML5 doesn't actually have the problem of some parts being "delayed" because of other parts being immature -- the spec has annotations all the way down showing how stable each section is, and browsers (including Microsoft!) are implementing it. The HTML5 spec has been progressing much faster, with much more input being taken into account, than other specs at the W3C. In fact, splitting the spec would likely make things go significantly slower, since it would mean that there would be much more cross-group and cross-spec coordination to do.

As far as splitting out the spec goes, I don't think anyone especially disagrees that it should happen. The problem is that we don't have anyone who is volunteering to do the work.

Microsoft Internal Memo (-1, Troll)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 6 years ago | (#23186594)

To Staff, From "Da Boss"

After our experience bribing various key people across the globe to get the Office XML specification accepted as an ISO standard we have found that the WC3 presents a much more difficult target for bribery, extortion, and other common tactics we have used in the past. Given this it is in our best interests to make sure, in order to gain firm control over HTML 5 and shut out those pesky open-source 'Freetards' to pursue the divide and counquer approach. Please provide the neccessary FUD needed to accomplish this.

FYI: I would also like to point out that whom ever is stealing my yogurt out of the fridge to please stop feeding the demon in conference room 4B using my yogurt. He has 'messed' in there several times and the cleaning crew, after having their 4th new hire devoured by the demon, are planning on refusing to clean that conference room in the future. Demons do not eat yogurt, they feed on human suffering not dairy products. In fact it would appear that demons are lactose intolerant.

I'm the editor of the spec and I agree... (4, Informative)

hixie (116369) | more than 6 years ago | (#23190062)

I'm the editor of HTML5, and I agree entirely with Microsoft here (and they're far from the only people saying this). The problem is that we have very few competent specification editors, and if we did have some, there are literally dozens of specifications that are really important to the Web that need editors. Splitting the spec wouldn't make the Web platform grow any faster, it would just mean big parts of the spec would languish even longer.

Bad ideas come back to haunt the W3C (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 6 years ago | (#23190532)

CSS3 got cut up into modules, and there was a long period of bickering about them, and CSS3 still isn't here.

Putting the product manager of the least compliant browser in charge of the next generation of HTML is like appointing a career street criminal as Attorney General.

I have no trouble believing that HTML5 is being delayed so that MS has enough time to implement it correctly.

(XHTML2 > HTML5)

Why did HTML5 not start modularized? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23190802)

This seems to just an example of how HTML 5 strayed from the XHTML pack for no good reason. XHTML was already modularized ages ago...

Overview (from 2000)
http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/modularization

Final Spec (from 2006)
http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml-modularization/
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