×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

W3C Says Don't Use HTML5 Yet

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the stop-dragging-yer-feet dept.

The Internet 205

GMGruman writes "InfoWorld's Paul Krill reports that the W3C, the standards body behind the Web standards, is urging Web developers not to use the draft HTML5 standards on their websites. This flies in the face of HTML5 support and encouragement, especially for mobile devices, by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others. The W3C says developers should avoid the draft HTML5 spec (the final version is not due for several years) because of interoperability issues across browsers."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

205 comments

So? (4, Insightful)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809244)

I already had to test my websites across all the major browsers (especially IE8) before HTML5 to be sure that little differences weren't breaking everything. I would hardly expect HTML5 to magically change that anyway.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33812628)

Are you sure you're not thinking about CSS instead of HTML?

Flies in the Face of Common Sense Too (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809252)

"The problem we're facing right now is there is already a lot of excitement for HTML5, but it's a little too early to deploy it because we're running into interoperability issues," including differences between video on devices ...

Well, I read an entire book on HTML5 [slashdot.org] and, as web developers have usually done, you just build in graceful fallbacks for unsupported browsers or devices. If APIs change, then they change but a lot of developers would probably rather opt for that than something a lot more proprietary and complicated. A whole chapter of the book I reviewed was devoted to extensively detailing how one would get video working in increasingly fallback ways depending on your preference of support. Why can't we keep up that mentality? The worst case is we just default back to the Flash/HTML4 route.

"HTML 5 is at various stages of implementation right now through the Web browsers. If you look at the various browsers, most of the aggressive implementations are in the beta versions,"

Another sage lesson from Mark Pilgrim's book: "Those who ship code win." You can sit there and tell everyone to 'hold on' all you want but if you don't give them a good reason to stop pushing forward with the implementation, they aren't going to wait for your consortium to debate for another five years. We're moving forward. There will be bumps. The time for discussing a completely perfect approach has passed and browsers will thrust what support they can into practice, warts and all. At some point this has to be done, it will never be truly perfect.

Re:Flies in the Face of Common Sense Too (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810660)

I agree, but also, what the FUCK is taking so GOD DAMN long?!?!

we should be on HTML fucking 10 by now.

FUCK THE WC3 AND THEIR OPINIONS.

-frustrated web developer using 1970s technology.

Re:Flies in the Face of Common Sense Too (4, Interesting)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810730)

It is also a fantastic way to actually see what works. Essentially, we are seeing a big beta test of the HTML5 spec. No one is going to go out and build a HTML5 dependent web site, but lots of folks are building in enhancements for browsers with support. It helps ensure what makes it into the spec is what people are actually building sites with and what user's are actually using, rather than simply what the workgroup thinks people would like (or what is in their interests, for whatever reasons).

Re:Flies in the Face of Common Sense Too (3, Insightful)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810756)

"The worst case is we just default back to the Flash/HTML4 route."

Actually the worst would probably be silverlight ;-)

Re:Flies in the Face of Common Sense Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810960)

I don't see silverlight being worse than flash

Re:Flies in the Face of Common Sense Too (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33811390)

Agreed.

Turd == Shit

Re:Flies in the Face of Common Sense Too (4, Informative)

WebManWalking (1225366) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811068)

Mark Pilgrim's book is good. Very practical advice about how to use features. Also good (personal experience): Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp, Introducing HTML5, and Peter Lubbers, Brian Albers and Frank Salim, Pro HTML5 Programming. Also good (Ben Nadel [bennadel.com] raves about it): Jeremy Keith, HTML5 for Web Designers. (I can't speak from personal experience about that one yet, but it was the first one on the iBookstore and I have the sample.)

A little history about HTML5 books: For the longest time, people held off on publishing because of the same sort of FUD that W3C is spreading. What if it changes? What if I publish and a new feature becomes the hot topic and no one buys my book because I published too soon? But then Bruce Lawson and Remy Sharp published. Then I guess the other publishing houses realized that they'd better publish soon, or else Bruce and Remy were going to soak up all the disposable income that's been waiting on an actual book. So, like, one or two weeks later, Mark's book shipped. Then, like, 2 or 3 weeks later, Peter, Brian and Frank's book. So here's a big Thank You to Bruce and Remy for breaking the ice.

The cat's out of the bag, W3C. People are getting antsy to code. I don't you're going to get that cat back in the bag.

Re:Flies in the Face of Common Sense Too (1)

schlesinm (934723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811434)

"Those who ship code win."

If are standards group is going to wait years and years before finalizing a standard, then they have no reason to complain that people are going to start using it before you're ready.

Re:Flies in the Face of Common Sense Too (1)

atdt1991 (1069776) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811636)

You can sit there and tell everyone to 'hold on' all you want but if you don't give them a good reason to stop pushing forward with the implementation, they aren't going to wait for your consortium to debate for another five years. We're moving forward.

Seriously, the pace of an individual company's innovation is not going to wait for a standards body that can't keep up.

If W3C wants to remain relevant, they'll have to pick up the pace.

Re:Flies in the Face of Common Sense Too (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812080)

...will thrust what support they can into practice, warts and all.

The most compelling case for anti-virus I've heard for quite some time.

!surprising (2, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809274)

I don't really find this surprising in the least. I've been saying this for awhile now. Why would you possibly want to build a professional application on top of what is basically a mudslide? The maintainability alone is completely shot.

Not that I don't think HTML5 will have a huge impact in the future, it's just, I don't know why anyone would make a professional application in it *at the moment*. Better to stick with something that is mature and fully adopted.

Just my $0.02..

Re:!surprising (1)

NevarMore (248971) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809502)

I don't really find this surprising in the least. I've been saying this for awhile now. Why would you possibly want to build a professional application on top of what is basically a mudslide?

The thing is thats how it is now and how it was before HTML5. People are still building websites and using them to make money so it can't be that bad.

Re:!surprising (4, Insightful)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809618)

So you would rather have everyone wait for them to "approve" it in 3-5 years, tell people to start using it and then find out that there's problems with real-world use. At which point they have to go back to "debating" how to fix the problems, which might takes another 3-5 years.

Unfortunately, you have to get people to start using it. Better to start finding out about "problems" now before the draft is finalized. As long as people are putting in "safe" fall-backs, then this really isn't a problem. I don't see it as extra work, since I was already having to do this for IE6 anyways.

I see you 2 and raise you another 2.

Re:!surprising (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810690)

So you would rather have everyone wait for them to "approve" it in 3-5 years, tell people to start using it and then find out that there's problems with real-world use. At which point they have to go back to "debating" how to fix the problems, which might takes another 3-5 years.

The nature of standards is such that they're not standards until they're approved and recognized. Flaws within the standards result in further standards and modifications - but at least you can then guarantee a minimum baseline of support. That also includes flaws -- if it fails, it will fail the same way across platforms.

Re:!surprising (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811480)

He's not saying don't use it. He's saying if you're building something for business purposes, don't spend the extra time and money to build an HTML5 version, build a series of workarounds for the various differences in HTML5 browsers, and the build a graceful fall back version for non-HTML5 devices. He's suggesting to use a spec that's matured.

You will still have the millions of other sites from hobbyists, pet projects, etc., out there who will use HTML5 and find its quirks and problems.

One more note from personal experience -

As long as people are putting in "safe" fall-backs, then this really isn't a problem

As someone who runs NoScript, I can safely say the people who put those "safe fall-backs" in are in the minority, and this is currently a problem, even without HTML5.

Re:!surprising (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809702)

I don't see why using HTML5 now is a problem, with two major provisos:

  1. developers build-in the necessary hacks to deal with different implementations of the draft; and
  2. developers maintain the site such that they upgrade to comply with updated drafts (if necessary) and the final standard.

Also, lol Slashdot for screwing up <ol> rendering?

Re:!surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810582)

Does your list need to be ordered, or is an unordered one more semantically correct?

Re:!surprising (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810568)

I'm writing a "small" (counting the number of templates required) web application at the moment. I've used HTML 5 elements, mostly for my amusement and learning.

The ones I've used are NAV, SECTION and HEADER (and I, in the HTML5 sense). I've also used a few new attributes, e.g. placeholder on a text INPUT field.

I might get rid of the NAV/SECTION/HEADER if I find any problems with IE6, but I think it's unlikely these bits of the spec will change.

Equally I've used some CSS3 stuff, e.g. to do row striping of tables, to fade in a drop-down box, and to highlight the target of a #link. I don't care if this breaks (although I think it's unlikely), but for the moment it's useful for Mozilla/Webkit/Opera users.

Re:!surprising (2, Interesting)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810682)

I agree with iONiUM.

There is no clear advantage or improvement that HTML5 would provide in delivering information or selling goods to our customers on the web. I don't feel like dropping everything I am doing, to re-write or re-implement everything I have now, and the customer is perfectly fine accepting. NO Client ever cared what language the site is presented in, as long as it looks decent. Html 5 is grand I am sure, but I still present websites in php driven html 3. I have enough on my plate with the workload I have now.

- Dan.

Re:!surprising (1)

paimin (656338) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811822)

Not that I don't think HTML5 will have a huge impact in the future, it's just, I don't know why anyone would make a professional application in it *at the moment*. Better to stick with something that is mature and fully adopted.

You mean like (X)HTML4.x(strict|transitional), which is perfectly cohesive, and has identical and unchanging support across all modern browsers?

:-|

More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevance (5, Insightful)

jaymz2k4 (790806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809378)

When the draft spec for a technology that moves so fast and has so much widespread adoption is still deemed several years off I don't know how anyone can take their recommendations seriously. We're already at a level of fairly good interoperability amongst the core browser engines for the base features we need. If developers and designers took any notice of this then we'd probably all be still building sites with tables.

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (4, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809530)

My thoughts exactly. This reminds me of 'Pre-N' wireless, which took far too long to ratify a standard that was already in wide use. They sat on their asses so long, it became a joke in the industry. If the governing body takes this long to certify it and they are claiming 'years' more in the future before the standard is finalized, then something is broken. This smacks of Google's 'beta' status. Eventually you have to shit and get off the pot.

Essentially they just need to finalize it, and for those bits that aren't production ready, defer them to HTML6.

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (1)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809848)

Thank you. 802.11n vs. 'Draft-N' was exactly what came to mind. If we wait around for standards bodies to approve already functional and complete specs instead of moving on with our lives, technology will progress as slowly as an involuntary bureaucracy would have made it. It's the right thing to choose to move ahead with a complete and functional spec if the paper for it isn't being pushed fast enough.

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (3, Interesting)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809572)

I had to read that part a couple times to make sure it was right. Several years? What are these guys smoking? They actually expect people to wait that long?

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813016)

It sounds like he hasn't actually read the spec, or his comments are being taken out of context (sounds about right for InfoWorld). Different parts of it are at different levels of readiness, and this is indicated in the document itself. It also has a nice indicator of which browsers support which features.

You absolutely should not use HTML 5 now, nor expect it to be stable in the next couple of years. However, there is a large subset of HTML 5 that is stable, well supported, and ready for use now. Nothing is marked as stable in the HTML 5 spec until there are (at least) two independent implementations of it and people have had time to find problems with it. Using the stable bits is fine. Using the experimental bits is a recipe for disaster.

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (3, Interesting)

kccricket (217833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809664)

What we need is "a day in the life of a W3C draft" article to figure out why these standards and recommendations take so long to mature.

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (2, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810762)

In a work placement year I did the major electronics company had a couple of staff on the board for a standard -- it involved lots of XML and internet stuff, so it's not far from the kind of thing W3C does.

What took so long was working out whether technology that required infringing on each company's software patents should be "required" or "optional". In the end, Sony, Philips, Panasonic etc decided to pool their patents (their stuff is "required"), the patent troll companies were excluded by the big company's votes (so the neat technology they'd patented was "optional" or left out entirely) and the couple of small businesses or individuals who'd already got products running using the draft spec were ignored.

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (2, Funny)

funaho (42567) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811002)

Even better, I'd like to see the story of a W3C draft done to the tune of "I'm Just a Bill" from Schoolhouse Rock. Just don't let the W3C do it or they will debate the lyrics for years and not release a draft version until 2020.

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813086)

The W3C is not really running the HTML 5 standards process. The reason it is taking so long is that each part of the spec must first have a well-defined need that it addresses and must then have two independent implementations before it can move to final status. It takes a while for two browsers (usually WebKit and Gecko) to implement something new, to find problems (i.e. unimplementable bits) with the draft spec, then for people to start using it and test whether it really does address the defined need.

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (5, Informative)

Simetrical (1047518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810200)

When the draft spec for a technology that moves so fast and has so much widespread adoption is still deemed several years off I don't know how anyone can take their recommendations seriously. We're already at a level of fairly good interoperability amongst the core browser engines for the base features we need. If developers and designers took any notice of this then we'd probably all be still building sites with tables.

This is why the WHATWG – the body that originally developed HTML5, and which still develops a version in parallel to the W3C – abandoned the idea of rating the stability of the spec as a whole. The WHATWG spec version [whatwg.org] (which is edited by the same person as the W3C spec, contains everything the W3C spec does plus more, and has useful JavaScript annotations like a feedback form) is perpetually labeled "Draft Standard", and per-section annotations in the margins tell you the implementation status of each feature.

The W3C Process [w3.org], on the other hand, requires everything to proceed through the Candidate Recommendation stage, where it gets feature-frozen, and therefore becomes rapidly obsolete. It's quite backwards, but doesn't seem likely to change soon. So for sanity's sake, you can just ignore the W3C and follow the WHATWG instead.

(I really doubt that Philippe Le Hegaret actually said anything like what he was quoted as saying in TFA, though. It doesn't match what I've heard from him or the W3C before – no one seriously thinks authors shouldn't use widely-implemented things like canvas or video with suitable fallback. It sounds more like an anti-HTML5 smear piece. Paul Krill has apparently written other anti-HTML5 articles [infoworld.com].)

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810820)

no one seriously thinks authors shouldn't use widely-implemented things like canvas or video with suitable fallback

Um, I do.

First off, Canvas is fucking redundant and never should have been created in the first place. SVG has existed since 2001. Canvas is a crappy JavaScript-only version of Canvas with half the features stripped out. There's no reason to use canvas in the first place - just use SVG. Most browsers support it and even if they don't there's good plugin support. And it's an actual released standard.

HTML5 video is completely fucking useless, because:

1. You can't stream video. (No, not a file, I mean live video.)
2. You can't full screen HTML 5 video. (The spec forbids this as a security flaw.)
3. There is no standard format, leaving you to encode an unknown number of versions. Hell, even if you stick with just H.264, you still need to encode to multiple profiles if you want to support everything.
4. You can't seek in videos in anything remotely near a reliable manner. You know how you can link to a certain time in a Youtube video? Not possible in HTML5.
5. You can't switch to lower/higher-bandwidth versions while the video is playing. This makes HTML5 useless for mobile devices - to the point where Apple uses proprietary QuickTime features to enable web video on the iPhone.

The HTML5 spec as is stands today is useless. The features it does offer above HTML4 already exist and are handled better via existing specs or plugins. Pretty much anything that isn't canvas or video isn't implemented anywhere, making the features entirely useless instead of done better elsewhere.

So, yeah, I'd agree: wait for HTML5 to mature some. Right now it's useless.

Re:More evidence of the W3C's increasing irrelevan (4, Informative)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811146)

This.

The W3C is a running joke at this point. They didn't even want HTML 5 in the first place. Now they're telling people to shy away from it for a few YEARS?

I don't know what Internet these guys are on, but it's not the same one that the rest of us inhabit.

Who cares (5, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809384)

Like anyone has ever listened to the w3c about standards and coding practices before.

This makes my job as a teacher easier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810928)

I teach some courses on HTML/CSS, Flash, etc... I was looking through my materials just yesterday and thought "Hmm. All of these are about xHTML 1.1 and I only briefly mention HTML 5... Should I add more 'Oh, and this is how this thing will be done in HTML 5' stuff?". But with this announcement, I can just postpone that another year or so and they'll still be up to date when compared to latest W3C recommendations. ;)

Rest of the World Says Get W3C's Ass Moving (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812970)

HTML5 was going at lightning pace (relative to any W3C work) until the W3C took it over, now it's stalled to a near-halt. Screw them, at this point they're more holding back progress than increasing interoperability.

Use HTML5, just be prepared to make changes to your app if needed.

Jeeze. (1)

allometry (840925) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809438)

I don't understand why these things take so long? W3C and HTML5, IEEE and 802.11N... You think with this much "hype", these guys might get the HTML5 standard out the fucking door ASAP.

Jorbs. (3, Funny)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809624)

Finalized standards are the leading cause of cold chairs. W3C and IEEE are doing their part to combat this injustice.

Re:Jeeze. (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809936)

It's probably the "need" for paper and in-vivo meetings.

If you didn't need them, standards would fly instead of committee members.

Re:Jeeze. (3, Informative)

Simetrical (1047518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810508)

It's probably the "need" for paper and in-vivo meetings.

If you didn't need them, standards would fly instead of committee members.

HTML5 uses no in-person meetings. The HTML Working Group charter [w3.org] at the W3C even says "This group primarily conducts its technical work on a Public mailing list". Everything is done through a combination of the mailing list and Bugzilla, with some IRC discussion thrown in on the side. There are teleconferences, but nothing important is done there, and the editor doesn't attend them – the decision policy [w3.org] requires that all requests for changes be made through Bugzilla and other web interfaces. There's also no paper involved anywhere.

Really, almost nothing at the W3C is in-person. People contribute from all over the world, both W3C members and non-members. In-person meetings are impractical. This is particularly true for HTML5 – the WHATWG version of the spec is really managed exactly like an open-source project with a benevolent dictator, not at all like a conventional spec.

The reason specs progress slowly is because it takes lots of programmer-hours to implement them correctly. Most of HTML5 is fully specced and just awaiting implementation. Programming is expensive work.

Re:Jeeze. (1)

kccricket (217833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810650)

The reason specs progress slowly is because it takes lots of programmer-hours to implement them correctly. Most of HTML5 is fully specced and just awaiting implementation. Programming is expensive work.

Why does it have to be implemented before it can become a finalized specification?

Re:Jeeze. (4, Insightful)

Simetrical (1047518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811416)

Why does it have to be implemented before it can become a finalized specification?

Because before it's implemented, it's just some words on a web page, and no one has actually tried it. Implementers inevitably spot parts that are vague, or too complicated or expensive or slow to implement, only when they actually try to implement it. Also, implementing it will mean it gets the regular security and UI review that all new browser features get, which will result in more feedback. And finally, you get almost no feedback from regular authors or users until it's shipping in at least beta versions of browsers. This is why no W3C spec can be declared finished without two interoperable implementations.

Another way of looking at it is that you could try speccing everything first, then implementing it. But it means that you miss a lot of things and wind up putting out a bad standard. Instead, web standards are usually developed in tandem with implementations, and are open to change as long as it's feasible if new information comes to light. They're only really set in stone when so much content depends on particular behavior that browsers can't change it without breaking websites – barring that, they can always be improved. Even Recommendations aren't final in practice, because they can be superseded by later versions. HTML 4.01 is a recommendation, but HTML5 contradicts it in many places, and takes precedence.

Re:Jeeze. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810042)

We need HTML5 because people aren't happy with HTML4. Let's not make the same mistake.

No one ever expects the Spanish Inquisition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809454)

Now that's an awesome idea. Maybe we should be more like the Inquisition and burn all the books. Yup. Impeding progress. Now that's the way to go.

IE fault (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809490)

Not for not supporting HTML5, but for setting the precendent where a lot of developers made their site for the "de facto standard" of it. Implementing right now HTML5 is making the same kind of mistake, should not be future proof.

In the other hand, the main browser that have no clue on what HTML5 is is precisely IE, so now they are getting a bit of their own medicine.

Re:IE fault (0)

MBC1977 (978793) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810936)

Seems like I'm saying this a lot lately, lol; but I digress: How is Microsoft to blame again? A bunch of companies competed, Microsoft came out top (the method of which is irrelevant).

I've said it before, and it bears repeating: technical types need to consider that the general population does not give a shit about technical merits of a product or service. It just needs to do what they want it to do
(the particulars are irrelevant generally, but for a few who truly care about quality).

W3C is the problem (3, Insightful)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809518)

It seems obvious to me that you wouldn't use a technology that would work in less than half of the intended audience (unless you make it degrade gracefully).

But the real question is why does it take so long to come up with these standards? HTML5 started by WHATWG back in 2004. CSS3 has been around since 2005. Just get them finalized already. Don't whinge about browsers not fully supporting the standards if you don't give them a fixed document to work towards.

Re:W3C is the problem (3, Informative)

Simetrical (1047518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809878)

But the real question is why does it take so long to come up with these standards? HTML5 started by WHATWG back in 2004. CSS3 has been around since 2005. Just get them finalized already. Don't whinge about browsers not fully supporting the standards if you don't give them a fixed document to work towards.

The bottleneck is mostly implementation, not standardization. For instance, Firefox 4 is going to be the first good implementation of HTML5 form enhancements, and those were first standardized in Web Forms 2.0 – in 2003. The spec hasn't changed all that much since then (although it has changed), and has been stable for years, but none of the major browsers gave it high enough priority to implement it well. Browser implementers have lots of things to do, like revamping UI and improving performance and security, and they can only implement so many standards per release. Then, of course, they report back all sorts of problems with the proposed standard, so it has to be changed, then changed again.

So it's mostly a matter of limited programming time, nothing mysterious.

Re:W3C is the problem (2, Informative)

POWRSURG (755318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810766)

The bottleneck is mostly implementation, not standardization. For instance, Firefox 4 is going to be the first good implementation of HTML5 form enhancements, and those were first standardized in Web Forms 2.0 – in 2003. The spec hasn't changed all that much since then (although it has changed), and has been stable for years, but none of the major browsers gave it high enough priority to implement it well. Browser implementers have lots of things to do, like revamping UI and improving performance and security, and they can only implement so many standards per release. Then, of course, they report back all sorts of problems with the proposed standard, so it has to be changed, then changed again.

Correction -- Firefox 4 is going to be Firefox's first release that begins to support the HTML5 form enhancements. Opera has already supported those form enhancements since version 9.5 [opera.com].

Re:W3C is the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33811114)

Correction - Firefox is going to be the first browser with HTML5 form enhancements that anyone important cares about.

Re:W3C is the problem (4, Interesting)

Simetrical (1047518) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811614)

Correction -- Firefox 4 is going to be Firefox's first release that begins to support the HTML5 form enhancements. Opera has already supported those form enhancements since version 9.5 [opera.com].

I quite deliberately said that Firefox 4 will be the first good implementation of HTML5 form enhancements. I wrote HTML5 form support for MediaWiki, but disabled it – partly because of an inexcusably bad WebKit bug, but also because Opera's support is just cruddy. The UI is terrible – red-bordered boxes that only appear when you try to submit the form, not when you actually do the invalid input.

And I quickly found one killer bug: if a password element doesn't meet its constraints, it outputs the currently-entered password to the screen in plaintext, so <input type=password pattern=....> to require passwords of at least four characters is a non-starter. I reported the bug to Opera around the time 10.00 was beta, and it's still not fixed in 10.60. To replicate, cut and paste this into your URL bar:

data:text/html,<form><input name=foo type=password pattern=...><input type=submit></form>

Then type one or two letters in the password field (not more) and try to submit. So, Opera's great and all, but its implementation of this stinks.

Re:W3C is the problem (1)

azrider (918631) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812824)

>To replicate, cut and paste this into your URL bar:
>data:text/html,
>Then type one or two letters in the password field (not more) and try to submit.

Chrome 6.0.472.63 works
Opera 10.62-6438 fails
Firefox 3.6.10 fails

(All on Linux x86-64

Re:W3C is the problem (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812530)

But the real question is why does it take so long to come up with these standards?

Because it should. The problem is the idea that you shouldn't implement a standard until its done. The reverse is true: a standard shouldn't be done and frozen until, at a minimum, there exist independently-developed, interoperable implementations that acheive the purpose for which the standard was developed.

A "standard" that isn't implemented at all, doesn't have interoperable implementations, or which has interoperable implementations but doesn't meet the needs for which it was developed, isn't meaningfully done, and if its treated as "done" it will likely only ever be "done" in the sense of "dead" rather than "complete and worth using."

Why not divide it? (1)

Rhaban (987410) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809650)

If they can't write specs in less than several years, why not divide html 5 into its core components and concentrate the work on one piece at a time?

They could work on the final specs for the canva element first, then the video tag, client storage, and so on until everything is done.

There could be some kind of a transitionnal html5, falling back to html4 when something is not yet specified.

HTML5 is ready to use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809756)

...when FireFox4 isn't beta anymore.

I won't wait "several years" for WebM. Fuck you w3c!

The final version is not due for several years (0)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809760)

the final version is not due for several years

They can't ratify a new speck for YEARS? That's just not good enough. I know it's an important standard, but in 2 years they need to be finalizing HTML6. The web moves fast. If they want to take this long to move things forward, I'm all in favor of Google, Apple and Firefox working out the standards themselves. HTML should update twice yearly, just like Ubuntu.

Re:The final version is not due for several years (2, Informative)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810130)

Who do you think is "working out" HTML5 now?

The fact of the matter is, a 1000 page technical document that precisely defines the behavior of an _existing_ complicated system takes a while to write. And that's before we start thinking about the time to implement (e.g. every browser having to rewrite its HTML parser, every browser having to modify its event loop, that sort of thing).

Re:The final version is not due for several years (1)

kccricket (217833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810468)

I'm afraid I don't understand what your point is. Do you mean "working out" as in exercising or as in working out the details?

By what you're saying, I should infer that the writers of the HTML5 recommendation are creating the documentation to fit the existing browser implementations of HTML5? What does time to implement have to do with the writing of the recommendation? W3C writes the recommendation, and browser developers implement the recommendation in their software--that's how it (should) works.

Re:The final version is not due for several years (2, Informative)

BZ (40346) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810792)

> I should infer that the writers of the HTML5 recommendation are creating the documentation
> to fit the existing browser implementations of HTML5?

Not quite.

There are two parts to HTML5. There's the "describe how the web works" part. This would be HTML parsing, the Window object, etc. This consists of reverse-engineering the existing browsers and then specifying something preferably sane that, if implemented, gives a working web browser that works with actual web sites.

The other part is the new features part. This consists of writing specifications of new features, fixing them based on implementor feedback, etc.

> What does time to implement have to do with the writing of the recommendation?

A W3C standards-track document doesn't become a Recommendation until there are two interoperable implementations. That means the spec text is written, a test suite is written, and two independent implementations are both passing the test suite.

> W3C writes the recommendation, and browser developers implement the recommendation in
> their software

Writing specs without implementor feedback is an excellent way to write specs that can't be implemented in practice (e.g. are self-contradictory, contradict existing de jure or de facto standards, require behavior that any sane application developer is unwilling to impose on his users, etc).

Lots of specs out there like that. They end up being implemented "incorrectly" (e.g. ignoring part of the self-contradictory text, and probably different parts in different implementations, ignoring the parts of the spec that don't work with other specs or with users), and then people bitch and moan about the buggy implementations. That's not really a world that we want all that much.

Re:The final version is not due for several years (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810940)

I think he/she means, HTML5 actually specifies everything HTML4 did, but with the bits which were not in HTML4. There was a lot of behavior in browsers which was not defined by any standard, HTML5 now includes all that. So to make sure everyone knows how HTML should work.

Re:The final version is not due for several years (1)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810430)

Alright, it seems I spoke way too fast. I did some research on HTML (checked wikipedia) and it seems that updating HTML twice a year would be reckless. However, HTML4 was published as a W3C recommendation in 1997. Just to put that in perspective Windows98 and Napster were yet to happen. This is what AOL.com [rhttp] looked like at the time.

I respect what we've been able to achieve on this platform, but I can't help but feel it is holding us back as well.

Re:The final version is not due for several years (1)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810976)

Releasing a new spec every 6 months sounds great. However, many web developers are still supporting the nearly-decade-old IE6! Keeping a site consistent (and working) across all browsers, right now, with just HTML 4 is incredibly time-consuming. Can you imagine if we had to support 20 different versions of a spec, just to ensure it works in every possible incantation of browser!

I'm all in favor of Google, Apple and Firefox working out the standards themselves. HTML should update twice yearly, just like Ubuntu.

Who do you think the committee is made up of?

Re:The final version is not due for several years (1)

MorpheousMarty (1094907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812244)

I'm all in favor of Google, Apple and Firefox working out the standards themselves. HTML should update twice yearly, just like Ubuntu.

Who do you think the committee is made up of?

Well that is just bizzar, they are adding public support for features they are publicly (through this committee) asking developers not to use.

I guess you can say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809812)

the W3C doesn't like HTML... 5!

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809830)

Do these guys live on some other planet? These are technologies that people need NOW. Browsers are already implementing them. By saying that it won't be ready for 5 years is ridiculous. By the time that the standard is published, it won't be the standard that people use. W3C needs to get off their ass and see what is happening on the web TODAY, and set the standard for TOMORROW.

Re:WTF? (0, Redundant)

Ustice (788261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809858)

Do these guys live on some other planet? These are technologies that people need NOW. Browsers are already implementing them. By saying that it won't be ready for 5 years is ridiculous. By the time that the standard is published, it won't be the standard that people use. W3C needs to get off their ass and see what is happening on the web TODAY, and set the standard for TOMORROW.

oops forgot to sign in.

Job postings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33809924)

I recently noticed job posting where the requirements included years of HTML5 experience. It's pretty odd reading that the W3C doesn't even want it used.

Re:Job postings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810866)

I recently noticed job posting where the requirements included years of HTML5 experience. It's pretty odd reading that the W3C doesn't even want it used.

They also wanted the applicant to have 10 years of experience in Quantum Computing applications.

Awww crap (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 3 years ago | (#33809976)

Guess I'll have to tell my client that we have to stop work on their snazzy HTML5/AJAX site and hold off on it for a few years.
Ohhh wait.... the W3C is a bunch of prudish pencil-necks who move at a snails pace and are generally clueless to how the real world works.

Hey W3C: Bite me, developers will develop no matter what you say.

So if we wait until the W3C says it's OK (-1, Redundant)

revlayle (964221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810326)

it'll be the year 2525!

Re:So if we wait until the W3C says it's OK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33811168)

In the year 2525, if HTML is still alive...

Slow w3c as usual... (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810356)

Maybe it's time they speed up their process a little?
Hopefully then they wont be passed by reality which develops at a much faster pace.
And then maybe they can avoid painful hiccups like XHTML 1, 1.5 and 2?

They started off great but more and more they are a waste of money and resources.

Re:Slow w3c as usual... (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811126)

Actually HTML5 would not have existed if we let W3C figure it all out by themselves.

It was actually the WHATWG which started on HTML5, W3C only has XHTML2 as a plan, but it wasn't even backwards compatible with XHTML.

The WHATWG has really done a lot to get HTML5 'out there' fast.

I think the people who do the work on HTML5 probably also need to work on CSS3. And it's a lot of work, so it seems.

Tried to deploy html5 embedded videos, failed (2, Interesting)

Rashkae (59673) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810624)

I tried to create a website that had to present some 480p videos. I encoded them to Ogg Theora, and figured I could forgo Internet explorer compatibility by encouraging visitors to use either Firefox or Chrome. Unfortunately, for all the noise Firefox makes about supporting open standard, their insistence on implementing their own video support rather than relying on Underlying os ability is completely messed up. Every platform I tested on exposed different bugs in Firefox that prevented the site from working. On Windows, some of the videos would freeze on first frame. On Ubuntu Karmic version of firefox, (3.5) the videos played well, but was unable to control position, (no forward or backwards seeking, even when buffering was full.). On Ubuntu Lucid, the videos would stutter and even while paused, made Firefox slow to respond to window scrolling. In the end, if I wanted to use HTML5 video, the only browser currently working well is Google Chrome. If I instead decided to use the de-facto x264 standard, I increase my browser compatibility across the board (except for Firefox.)... So yes, while I know video is only a small part of the changes, using the new specs is far premature.

Re:Tried to deploy html5 embedded videos, failed (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811044)

That version of Firefox was the first to support Ogg Theora, the streaming in particular isn't very good. Firefox 4 will be a lot better in that regard.

This is Great News!!! (2, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810676)

If developers are encouraged to use HTML5 in its present form, which has inconsistencies across browsers, some websites will not work properly on some brand new, modern browsers -- not necessarily because the browsers are not standards compliant, but because the websites had to choose to be compliant with the unfinished standard implemented within a particular browser.

While most developers would normally choose the common factor and make their websites work on all browsers, other interests may prevent them from doing so. We've already seen Microsoft pay off certain popular websites to make their pages use HTML5 that only IE9 supports, as a marketing technique to make others look bad. While you could argue that all marketing is fair game (lies and subterfuge; smoke and mirrors), this sort of thing makes the job of the standards authority much more difficult, because some things may become defacto standards, thus undermining their efforts and ultimately making compatibility across browsers more difficult.

Remember the last time this sort of thing happened? Don't forget that Microsoft still has a good chunk of market share, and could invent new ways of making history repeat itself.

IE9 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810686)

The IE9 beta has at least some support for HTML5. I've learned over the years that if Internet Explorer implements a feature, every other browser of note has implemented it as well at least a few months beforehand. If that holds true for HTML5, then I don't see why we can't start using it right now.

Not that W3C approval is really necessary. I mean, people are going to use it when browsers support it, whether it's "approved" or not.

Keep up (0, Flamebait)

LinuxAndLube (1526389) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810738)

I also have a message, for the W3C: FUCK YOU

If they cannot keep up with the real world (and they cannot, as proven time after time after time), then that's their problem.

Addressing the problems of yesteryear. (1)

archen (447353) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810750)

Is there any reason they couldn't just implement version numbers as they gain better support and address functionality? HTML 4 was intended to reign browsers in that had gone in all directions, to a standard implementation. Now I'll be back to checking what the big 3 browsers have in common so I can start using new features. Congratulations to W3C in managing to marginalize their relevance, yet again.

Years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33810760)

Why the hell does it take *years* to "approve" this? Maybe we should have a new "standards body".

The W3C needs a big reality check. (5, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 3 years ago | (#33810834)

Web developer here.

First off, HTML 4 has plenty of browser interoperability issues. Just try to develop something that works on IE and any other browser.

Secondly, for the love of God and all that is holy, HTML is primarily a visual medium that people look at on a computer screen! Separating content (html) from presentation (CSS) was an excellent idea. Failing to allow vertical centering without dumbass CSS and javascript hacks is not. Seriously, what the hell?

Third, why can't CSS styles inherit other styles or use constants? You were *finally* going to add that into CSS, and then some jackass decided not to include it because it would make it more *complicated*. Do you know what's complicated? Having to change 40 instances of a color in a CSS file because I can't define a damn constant. This is exactly the kind of shit CSS was supposed to *solve*. Safari implemented this briefly and removed it because *they were afraid people would like it too much and usage would become widespread before there was a standard*. Add it to the standard! Right now, we have to use ridiculous workarounds like CSS compilers, which don't fit very well into a lot of modern CMSs.

Fourth, stop deliberating and start releasing official standards, otherwise Microsoft will just run off and do its own thing and we'll all be boned *again*. You're doing way more damage than you're preventing.

Finally, your failure to support as standards things (like the aforementioned CSS vertical centering) that people need to do in the real world on a regular basis just leads web developers to use non-standard code and bullshit like Flash, which circumvents your standard altogether.

End rant.

Re:The W3C needs a big reality check. (2, Insightful)

atfrase (879806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811302)

What do you suppose are the chances that Microsoft itself is slowing down the W3C's progress, for exactly the reason you state? It would not be the first time a company sabotaged a cooperative effort to further their own interests.

Re:The W3C needs a big reality check. (2, Informative)

nametaken (610866) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812170)

I can appreciate that some of that would seem more natural, but you can accomplish most (all?) of that using multiple classes and grouping. At the moment, I'd agree with this (http://dorward.me.uk/www/css/inheritance/) in that I'm not sure we even need OO style inheritance given that we have these other methods.

That said, if you REALLY need constants and inheritance you could implement some server side hackery. I realize that would not be optimal for most folks and breaks the independent style paradigm. :)

Re:The W3C needs a big reality check. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812526)

> ...Microsoft will just run off and do its own thing...

With a market share below 50% and shrinking?

No kidding... (1)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811004)

I can't even use Youtube anymore. Even 360p videos don't play smoothly, and when they go fullscreen (Which isn't really fullscreen anymore) it turns into a slideshow. Forget HD.

AND THERE'S NO WAY TO DISABLE IT. Way to go, Google.

Sound advice (2, Informative)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811040)

The usual games of trying to put facts on the ground first to "win" a standards battle....

HTML5 needs a LOT of work, especially in the realm of security.

Deja Vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33811158)

Are they hoping to repeat the same experience as XHTML 2.0?

Why don't we scrap W3C and go with WHATWG instead? At least they can get the job done. If Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Opera are all in unison I don't see why we need to wait on W3C at all.

HTML5 is not there yet. (2, Interesting)

drHirudo (1830056) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811166)

HTML5 will be great, but it is not there yet. I wanted to implement HTML5 for all the videos on my website, but unfortunately, I was unable to find any good HTML5 video player with all the bells and whistles that the Flash players can offer. On top of that, the HTML5 videos players I tested with Flash fallback, were showing the video preview picture without anything suggesting that it is a video, not a picture - for example play button on the center. For the time being I am away from HTML5, even if I like it. I hope they will release decent HTML5 video players soon, that I can easily replace with the Flash, but have the fallback modes for the people with old browsers or mobile devices.

and MS buys favor, again. (0, Troll)

swschrad (312009) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811546)

Hey, browser makers. this one's for you. do you correctly render the HTML5 tests? then you need to order now, within the next 5 minutes. you need Get A Clue (tm)! yes, the world is leaving you behind while you hold focus meetings and task offsites. Get A Clue (tm)! Get A Clue (tm) will motivate you to read the damn spec and get back in the market! you can't afford to miss this deal! operators are standing by, get your credit card out now! Get A Clue (tm)! order now!

A more practical alternative (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#33811564)

Use HTML 4.01 STRICT DTD. Strict fixes the IE6 box model problem, which is _huge_.

Use a CSS reset to make all browsers start with a consistent base style which you then define.

Use Clearfix so you can clear floats without having to insert extra HTML (a div clear class which I see people use all the time).

Either make up your own commonly-used CSS styles, or use something pre-made like 960.

Use DD_Roundies to give IE rounded corners and give IE6 alpha transparency for PNGs. (avoid absolute positioning with this until this bug is fixed.)

Use whichever js library you want so you only have to do one set of js for all browsers.

This gets you 99% of the way to where you want to be, generally.

Finalize the spec prior to release to public (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33812032)

As a professional web application developer, I agree with the W3C on this one. Apple is quick to push HTML5 because it has some odd fascination with hating flash. HTML5, however, does not do everything that flash can do. Furthermore, there are security implications within the draft spec.

Standards need to be approved for professional applications. Sensitive sites like banks, hospitals, heck sites that store and use any personal information need to be secure. By introducing hacks and branches either within code or within the browsers themselves can lead to security vulnerabilities that are unknown. In addition, if the spec changes and browsers have implemented something based on the draft that gets changed it can have a huge impact.

For example, let's say company A writes a web application based on IE9 that uses canvas in a certain way throughout the application. The canvas spec gets changed before the HTML 5 spec is ratified. The cost to update the code to work in the new IE 10 or 11 or whatever is out at the time is a couple of hundred thousand dollars. This company will now stick with IE 9 because it works. It will be like IE6 all over again and people will never get off of the older versions. The same scenario can happen with Firefox or Chrome.

In addition, professional site development will incur extra costs across the board. More QA, more development to make all the hacks work, more security testing, more load testing, etc. So companies will a) not do the extra work and the site will be insecure, not always work, etc or b) incur the cost and pass it to consumers in some way either more ads or higher costs.

Lastly, and this is my pure developer rant here, HTML and javascript needs to be thrown out in total. Updating these dated technologies and ideas doesn't really address what the web is today. For example, it would be nice to componentize HTML structures for reuse. The technologies (including IP, HTTP, FTP, etc) need to be rewritten to be more flexibile to change with the times as oppossed to holding everything back. Modern web apps would do well with more secure implementations of languages and sandboxing the web to a specific domain in order to make it more secure. Right now flash and active x and java applets can be hacked to gain full system control. But some apps would be better served with offline storage and the ability to work offline. However, the user needs to be able to remove the items in the storage area easily. HTML local storage is being exploited TODAY with tracking information that users can not remove easily. Delete all the cookies you want, it will not delete local storage. See the following links why it needs to be standardized first: http://www.scribd.com/doc/4012693/Abusing-HTML-5-Structured-Clientside-Storage and http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2010/09/lawsuit-targets-advertiser-over-sneaky-html5-pseudo-cookies.ars. But yeah, let's just move ahead and screw the consequences.

I'm really blaming Apple here for pushing this so hard. Now all my clients are aware of HTML 5 and think it is the best thing since sliced bread. Until I educate them that it is a draft spec with large consequences. Apple is certainly making my job more difficult. And what about developers who are unaware and implement HTML 5 as per a client without educating them? Who the heck is going to pay for all of the consequences of that? Is Apple going to set aside an HTML 5 rush to implement disaster fund?

No need to rush (1)

oiron (697563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812050)

I can't find anything on the tubes about this apart from the infoworld article (and its mirrors on apparently every site ending with -world.com). We don't know what he's actually said, and/or what his reasoning was.

If he was saying something like "Don't rely on HTML5 being fully implemented just yet, because various things are subject to change", that's just understandable. He may not be saying "don't use it" - just "don't rely on it", or "don't use in a production environment that has to work for the next 20 years unchanged".

Sensationalist article, no corroboration.

html5 vs xhtml2 (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812926)

I thought that one of the big factors in adoption of html5 vs the superior xhtml2 spec was that html5 was here now?

Avoid (1)

proxy318 (944196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812954)

avoid the draft HTML5 spec (the final version is not due for several years) because of interoperability issues across browsers."

That's different from HTML4 how, exactly?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...