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HTML5 Splits Into Two Standards

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the so-many-to-choose-from dept.

Programming 395

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

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395 comments

The great thing about standards (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725495)

There's so many to choose from.

Re:The great thing about standards (2, Funny)

wootest (694923) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725609)

I like how the first post is redundant.

The great thing about first posts (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725713)

There's so many to choose from..

Re:The great thing about standards (4, Funny)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725975)

I'm sure this was not intentional, but your message reminded me of one of my favorite Trek episodes in the alternate "evil Kirk" universe (quoting from memory):

Miles O'Brien says: "Great. Captain Sisko, Captain Bashir, Captain Kira..... we've got plenty of captains to choose from, but no damn ships!"
.

And in about two years we'll be saying : Browser Explorer, browser Chrome, browser Firefox, browser Opera..... I've got plenty of browsers to choose from, but not a damn one works! Stupid "living" HTML standard!

Dumb idea. (5, Insightful)

kingramon0 (411815) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725507)

So when browsers claim to be fully HTML5 compliant, will that even have any meaning anymore?

Re:Dumb idea. (-1, Offtopic)

Thiez (1281866) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725555)

Doesn't a HTTP request already include a version (usually HTTP/1.1)? Perhaps this could be used; HTTP/5.0 would be the current version, and whenever WHATWG makes up something new they'll bump the second number, and whet W3C creates a new version (which should include all the changes that WHATWG has made) they bump the first number, and the second number starts at 0 again.

On second thought, you're right, this will be a disaster.

Re:Dumb idea. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725567)

That's the HTTP version not the HTML version. They are not the same thing at all.

Re:Dumb idea. (4, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725631)

HTTP is the request method, HTML is the document type. You can use HTTP to request any binary or text file such as video clips etc. HTML can be run locally without being requested through HTTP. So in other words, the two are not related in any way.

However, HTTP requests include a mime-type header that describes the type of document being requested. Currently all HTML uses the same mime-type of "text/html", but there's no reason a HTML5 "text/html5" mime-type couldn't be agreed on.

Re:Dumb idea. (1)

Beardydog (716221) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725885)

Is there some reason this shouldn't go in the DocType? I'm terrible at writing valid HTML, so that's a genuine question.

Re:Dumb idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725563)

WHATWG?

Re:Dumb idea. (3, Insightful)

Twinbee (767046) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725661)

Oh yes, 100%.

We will have a full description for each standard - only 5a & 5b at first, but then those will both fork to make HTML5aa, HTML5ab, and HTML5ba, 5bb. Won't that be a wonderful time to develop web pages?

BUT WAIT, it gets even better. Each of the teams who develop those standards will fork, and we'll get 8 new GLORIOUS standards. Already, I'm drooling at the prospect of the return to the IE6-like era where we can develop for multiple HTML flavours again. It will create so many new jobs and so much specialist knowledge, it can't fail to improve the economy!

Re:Dumb idea. (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725767)

It will create so many new jobs and so much specialist knowledge, it can't fail to improve the economy!

Ah, yes, that's it, they are trying to institutionalize the Broken Window Falacy [wikipedia.org].

Personally, I suspect the term "Living standard" is code for we don't want any standards we can't subvert, and we want the freedom to pack in as much
proprietary crap as we can and go after patent license fees down the road.

This can't help but lead to IE6 all over again.

Re:Dumb idea. (0)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725903)

Is Microsoft, by chance, involved in WHATWG??? Sounds like their MO.

Re:Dumb idea. (2)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725967)

Is Microsoft, by chance, involved in WHATWG??? Sounds like their MO.

You could always consider reading the Wikipedia arcticle. [wikipedia.org] It basically says "no". Looks more like Google and Opera with Apple also playing some role. I really don't know what's going on here, maybe pushback against W3C's agenda of abandoning HTML in favor of XML? Educate me, please.

Re:Dumb idea. (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725675)

Since the dawn of the web, from the perspective of a user, it's been somewhat hit or miss whether any given website would work with the browser the user was using at the moment. Now we're just codifying it in terms of an un-standard. I'm not sure why it's a good idea to split with the standards group "because they're too slow" when it takes years to get full support in all browsers as it is.

3D? Cameras? Microphones? (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725703)

There are huge areas for improvement in web apps. There is no good way to do 3D. A web app should have direct access to an OpenGL. HTML5 can play audio (usually poorly) but there is no API for recording it. There should be a way to interface with cameras, etc. But all of this belongs in HTML6.

Re:3D? Cameras? Microphones? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725781)

It sounds like you want HTML 6 to replace the desktop. Considering the different OSes out there this may be an unrealistic goal. In general a web browser is designed to retrieve and display information from other computers. It is not designed to record information on one's own computer. We have much better applications for that and it does not require stuffing everything into one box.

Re:3D? Cameras? Microphones? (3, Insightful)

Shifty0x88 (1732980) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725847)

I agree with you, but that is not what everyone seems to want. They all talk about local storage, and web cam access and this that and the other thing that they get access to from the OS.

To me, it just seems like they want the browser to be an application, not just a way to display information. This is just going to create a number of new viruses as we give the web more and more access to our actual OSs.

This is just stupid, and a terrible idea.

Re:3D? Cameras? Microphones? (2, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725855)

There is no good way to do 3D. A web app should have direct access to an OpenGL.

Fun fact: modern graphics cards don't support pre-emptive multitasking. This is why Bitcoin miners have a setting which controls how long the app holds the card before yielding. Set it too high and your desktop basically hangs. Now imagine every web "designer" out there being able to do the same thing.

Also... why would web apps need 3D? Very few desktop apps have any use for 3D. Almost all applications deal with things that simply don't map to spatial relationships at all, much less to 3D space specifically. Add the increased resource consumption per page (which makes it harder to do heavy multi-tab browsing) and harder navigation (because 45 degree field of view to 3D space is simply inferior to a flat page that scrolls down in almost all situations), and I for one hope that 3D stays out of HTML for years to come.

But, even in the case that someone could come up with a compelling case for 3D, why would the web pages need direct access to the underlaying API when even game developers use middleware engines nowadays?

Re:Dumb idea. (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725769)

Well, the HTML5 standard is so big that I have my doubts that any browser will comply to the entire thing. And nothing will even come close for something approaching a decade I hear.

How long until (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725517)

We start seeing "best viewed in chrome" animated gifs?

Newsflash! HTML5 fork now an official Google BETA (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725521)

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

What a monumentally bad idea ...

...now you have to ask yourself 'Which HTML5?'" (5, Insightful)

ClaraBow (212734) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725523)

The one supported by by Webkit and Gecko?

Re:...now you have to ask yourself 'Which HTML5?'" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725635)

The one that'll have new features added to it BEFORE said features are superseded two generations down the line?

"Now, j-just hold your horses, people, we just got wind of this new technology called 'vectors'. We're going to work on adding them into the standard sometime before 2021. We might even devise some clever mechanism so somehow move them around programmaticly before the turn of the century! What's more, we hear there's this strange concept starting to gain momentum... let me see if I can describe this to you: Apparently, human beings have this... I don't know how to describe it, some manner of detecting vibrational energy in air molecules. Said energy travels in waves, as we understand it, and the best we can figure, it mostly enters those ear-holes on the sides of our heads, those things science hasn't been able to identify a use for yet. I don't know what to call this concept, but I'm very convinced that in as short a time as 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive, they may find that we might be able to start a draft standard that COULD allow browsers to utilize it!"

Re:...now you have to ask yourself 'Which HTML5?'" (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725701)

The one supported by by Webkit and Gecko?

Indeed. That is already a problem [neowin.net]?

To me HTML 5 is too ambitions and big like trying to swallow a horse rather than one bite at a time approach. I think it should be split into several versions of HTML 5,6, and 7 etc.

Re:...now you have to ask yourself 'Which HTML5?'" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725839)

How about a standard that standardized a way to add extensions. Something like... XHTML 2.0.

Re:...now you have to ask yourself 'Which HTML5?'" (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725857)

Those F'in bastards. Yet ANOTHER reason why google is on my boycott list. There's absolutely no reason Opera 11.6 can't render this website..... too bad they don't have a "mask as chrome" option like they do with IE and FF.

http://www.exquisiteforest.com/ [exquisiteforest.com]

"Your browser does not support this site. Try Google Chrome." Oh go shove it up your ass Microsoft clone.

Re:...now you have to ask yourself 'Which HTML5?'" (1)

lennier1 (264730) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725829)

Judging by the spelling error up there we'll need to use one of the Wing Commander games to view the content.

I have mod points (5, Insightful)

LilBlackKittie (179799) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725525)

and I wanted to moderate this story down for its appalling failure to call W3C "W3C" two times out of three.

Re:I have mod points (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725739)

I wanted to moderate this story down for its appalling failure to call W3C "W3C" two times out of three.

They're standardizing the new markup for dropping a temblor bomb on Azeroth.

How can a standard be "living"? (5, Insightful)

An Anonymous Coward (236011) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725529)

"Living standard" is kind of an oxymoron. The whole point of having a standard is so that authors have something to target, and developers know what is necessary to be standards compliant. A constantly evolving standard creates a moving target, which I believe is actually counter-productive.

Re:How can a standard be "living"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725585)

Unfortunately, web is a fast moving target.

Re:How can a standard be "living"? (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725603)

Too bad for the web then. If there are many competing "standards" and a browser can, or cannot, support some of them at some point in time.. that just makes it difficult for everybody. Good standards are difficult to create however getting acceptance is a even more difficult task. If they are changing all the time it really doesn't help anymore. BTW, the web is fast moving target? Only if you mean at layer 7 and above.

Re:How can a standard be "living"? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725659)

And if you make it too fast it ruins it for a lot of people. There is no reason the HTML5 standard needs to change that often if it's well thought out in the first place.

Re:How can a standard be "living"? (5, Insightful)

colinrichardday (768814) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725707)

There is no reason the HTML5 standard needs to change that often if it's well thought out in the first place .

I believe that I've detected a problem.

Re:How can a standard be "living"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725613)

Yes.

What we're going to see is web pages that won't load correctly because one's particular web browser hasn't yet incorporated the latest "standard". We're going to go back to the days where we're going to see "This website works best with xxx browser; version y.z"

Web devs, go with the W3C standard and save yourselves a lot of support issues and pissed off customers.

- Just an old fart who's been there.

Re:How can a standard be "living"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725655)

Yo dawg, we herd you like standards. So we put a standard in your standard, so you can develop while you develop!

Werd!

No shit (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725693)

And with HTML 5 it is bad enough already. The standard is so amazingly complex that none of the browsers seem to have the same idea of how to support it. Things that will work in one don't in another, or they work less well and so on.

My favourite example is the HTML 5 Angry Birds game. In Chrome, it's "recommended browser" (something that shouldn't ever be necessary) it runs fast, and full featured, but Chrome seems to 'asplode on it randomly. Firefox is stable with it, but no sound/music, just visuals. IE is stable and has sound, but runs a bit slower than the others, it can't maintain 60 fps. This is even given that they've done work to make it work on all platforms.

So how about let's fuck off with new HTML standards until we have non-fucked up 5 implementations in at least most of the browsers. Then maybe we can worry about something new.

Re:No shit (1)

Shifty0x88 (1732980) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725865)

Well that is part of the problem too, every browser implements things slightly differently, leading to phrases like: "recommended browser"

This is all going to lead to more: if IE_6, do something, else if IE_7 do something else, else if HTML_5_0 do this, else if HTML_5_1 do that.

Oh well, its not like standards are suppose to be standard or anything

Re:How can a standard be "living"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725927)

A constantly evolving standard creates a moving target, which I believe is actually counter-productive.

What if they could guarantee that all new features would be added in a backward-compatible way?

Take video for example -- right now it's a mess that will take some time to clean up. Instead of waiting around for that to happen, they could publish standards for the features that are ready, leaving out video for now. Then once video gets cleaned up, they can amend the standard in a backward-compatible way.

Would that really be a "counter-productive" approach? Or would that just be trying to make the best of an unfortunate reality?

Re:How can a standard be "living"? (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725933)

>>>A constantly evolving standard creates a moving target, which I believe is actually counter-productive.

That's okay. Contractors get paid by the hour. More time wasted trying to hit a moving target == more money for us. 50, 60, 70 hours a week. Woo hoo! ;-)

Oh and yes I agree with you 100%. A "moving" standard means no standard at all. It is highly inefficient and wasteful of resources (labor/hours).

Why would they do this to us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725531)

We were only 10 years from something beutiful...

captcha is "savaging"

Slow down (5, Insightful)

MS (18681) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725535)

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

Re:Slow down (5, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725577)

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

This is probably the deepest, most profound statement on the internet today, if you take the time to really drink it in.

Re:Slow down (4, Interesting)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725683)

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

Quite the opposite. We need to speed up!

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

Why?

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

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

What kind of rubbish desktop are you using? (4, Insightful)

Viol8 (599362) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725733)

"Today we have phones like my Andriod as well as IPhones that give a much better browsing experience than my desktop?!"

Are you having a laugh? The browsing "experience" on a smartphone doesn't come anywhere close the what I have on my dual 22 inch desktop monitors. If you seriously think that can be replicated on some rinky dink 3 inch screen then you must have problems with your eyesight..

"On my computer it flickers unless I use IE 9"

Then your computer is a piece of junk. Go and buy one built in the 21st century.

"Why should the best experiences be only for phone based applets?"

Errm , you do realise that applets are programs, not web pages?

Re:What kind of rubbish desktop are you using? (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725797)

"Are you having a laugh? The browsing "experience" on a smartphone doesn't come anywhere close the what I have on my dual 22 inch desktop monitors. If you seriously think that can be replicated on some rinky dink 3 inch screen then you must have problems with your eyesight.."

The size of the screen is not the issue I am referring too. It is the legacy software support. I own a hex core phenom II with an ATI 5750 with 8 gigs of ram. My Samsung Galaxy with modern optimized apps with HTML 5 and gpu acceleration perform better sadly.

""On my computer it flickers unless I use IE 9"

Then your computer is a piece of junk. Go and buy one built in the 21st century."

No IE 9 has hardware acceleration with my GPU. The other ones do not by default.

The other browsers still do not support it by default or only accelerate part of it.

For browsing experience take a look at www.okcupid.com? The web applet for Android and iOS has more graphical effects and detail than the desktop version. This is because of a combination of supporting obsolete browsers as well as GPU acceleration on the desktop is behind. Webmasters do not include it because not everyone uses modern web browsers and decent dedicated graphics that even your phone has better. Intel 915 and earlier are less powerful than my Samsung Galaxy GPU wise.

Also if you have an IPAD or any smartphone go to www.slashdot.org and move your screen up and down with your finger? See how is slides like butter? No chops at all like your browser. I can get Chrome to work like this only if I go into about:flags and turn on some experimental GPU features. Not something an average user will do. Why should a much more powerful desktop behave like that?

"Errm , you do realise that applets are programs, not web pages?"
Why can't they be applets? Metro apps are coming and many apps like salesforce.com are moving to the internet. It is a whole platform and one where the PC is losing.

Re:Slow down (2)

foobsr (693224) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725805)

We need to speed up! ... Why should the best experiences ...

The more speed, the less experiences.

CC.

Re:Slow down (1)

foobsr (693224) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725773)

The whole world should slow down.

The Day the Earth Stood Still ...

Well, probably.

CC.

Re:Slow down (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725823)

I'm too busy sucking down a triple shot latte macchiato with soy milk to relax.

Let me be the first to ask... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725543)

WHAT The Fork?

Standards compliance with multiple standards... (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725553)

Standards compliance with multiple standards is a headache, but diversity is generally a good thing so long as it's balanced with reliability and thorough testing.

I don't know how this will evolve over the next few years, but my gut says it'll end up being positive with a few downsides.

At risk of sounding trite (for which I apologize), I'll just say competition is a seed for innovation.

Re:Standards compliance with multiple standards... (1)

gtirloni (1531285) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725623)

Generally agree although reality is a bit harsh on getting everybody to accept any new standard.. let alone multiple new standards. IPv6 anyone?

Code that doesn't compile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725559)

I read somewhere that there are something like 500 tests for compliance, and that the current "good" browsers are hitting 300-450 of them.

Stick a fork in this process. It's done. Classic example of the difference between architects and programmers. The programmer's code compiles. The architect's doesn't (and yet they get paid more, respected more, etc.).

Solution: fire all the architects, release a reference implementation under a permissive OSS license (BSD, MIT, etc.) and make that the standard.

Re:Code that doesn't compile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725647)

Who's dreaming up that reference implementation?

My first thought... (4, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725561)

... was likely wrong. I saw "WHATWG" and what "who the heck is that?" - I figured the W3C version would really be the only one anybody would care about.

Turns out I was just ignorant regarding WHATWG.

Now I know that WHATWG is, in part, driven by Apple, and its head is now working for Google. That means WebKit will probably follow the WHATWG version, which in turn means the web interface on the vast majority of mobile devices will follow that standard. And that's not even considering Mozilla, who's also part of the WHATWG group.

Really the only major player not involved is Microsoft - but they've been a follower rather than a leader for the past several years, at least when it comes to web standards.

Re:My first thought... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725679)

I wouldn't really call Microsoft a follower of *any* standards, but I understand what you're trying to say.

Re:My first thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725729)

There were suggestions (later) that they should have named it WTF, so your first thought might not have been that "wrong".

Re:My first thought... (0)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725751)

Well, at least now Microsoft distantly follows the standard instead of completely ignoring it like before...

Re:My first thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725905)

Correct, which means that if you don't give a crap about 50% of your potential user-base, then have at WHAT WG's here-today-and-changed-tomorrow napkin scratchings. When stuff blows up in your face, you have only yourself to blame...

(And BTW, Microsoft's IE 10 will be very HTML5 compliant)

W3C should accelerate the process (4, Informative)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725565)

W3C slowed down because Microsoft refused to play along for so long and they are part of the committee. With the about face of IE 9/10 that problem should go away as all browsers rapidly race towards incorporating CSS 3 and HTML 5 features first including simply proposals that are not even draft yet!

I favor cutting off HTML 5 proposals now to finalize it faster. THen put the newer features in webkit and Gecko in HMTL 6. If people are getting giddy about HTML 6 accelerated SVG and ajax stuff it will put pressure to retire IE 8. It will be perceived as very obsolete much quicker and non compliant otherwise the corps wont leave which will mean CSS 2.1 and HTML 4 until 2019.

That thing is a thorn in our side and it will become the new IE 6 of this decade because it comes with Windows 7.

Also doing this will prevent Chrome from becoming the next non standard browser [neowin.net] as well.

Re:W3C should accelerate the process (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725669)

Chrome is open source and is supported on every major platform.

Neowin is a microsoft shill site, who gives a fuck what they think?

Re:W3C should accelerate the process (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725725)

I know it is but the link had a point.

IE 8 will stick around the corporations for a long time until there is a reason to upgrade. Chrome is not an option PERIOD. No AD support and is released too fast for testing. Having the web not support it is one! Otherwise they would still be running IE 6. Most have left it or are in the process of upgrading as I type this because many sites refuse to support it.

IF HTML 5 is done and HTML 6 is coming through the other half of the proposals not finished yet that Chrome and Firefox already do it will give a checklist to the beancounters to upgrade and webmasters will be eager to implement them across all modern browsers.

Re:W3C should accelerate the process (2)

znrt (2424692) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725955)

IE 8 will stick around the corporations for a long time until there is a reason to upgrade.

the portion of internet web content aimed at corporations is insgnifficant. it's the end-user where the buck lies. corporations mostly use browsers for their own intranet stuff and can happily continue for years with, be it IE or whatever. (if it is IE, at least as long as they choose to pay for explicit IE support on their sw).

Chrome is not an option PERIOD. No AD support and is released too fast for testing.

i suspect you're just trying to turn down chrome but i would like to comment on this "too fast for testing" thing. while this is true for chrome and firefox and while i don't quite like it, it shows some actual shift in the browser compatibility world. in fact, as browsers *and* web developers conform more and more to standards, there are actually fewer "compatibilty" issues and fewer testing is at all necessary. things tend to "just work" (apart from IE, of course). this could mean that we are *finally* starting to get things right.

of course, testing is still necessary but it's far less problematic as it was, say, just 2 years ago. working with products with very extensive compatibility matrixes and very demanding requirements, we've found very few signifficant incompatibilities lately with the release storms of firefox or chrome. other browsers with slower release cycles also have long improved their compliance a great deal (i'm thinking of opera and specially safari).

regarding TFA ... if as developers we stick to w3c methinks we should be fine. for specific targets/platforms/issues maybe the WTF group comes up with something interesting, that will be great. but that stuff is not likely to get general until approved by w3c anyway.

Re:W3C should accelerate the process (2)

Altanar (56809) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725825)

You do realize that in the link that you're pointing to, Chrome is using *standard* features that are enabled through use of specialized CSS calls, right? That doesn't mean Google developed special features on their own and are trying to standardize them.

For example, here are the list of Firefox CSS calls that are standardized, but temporarily renamed, while they settle out exactly how they want to render them: https://developer.mozilla.org/en/CSS_Reference/Mozilla_Extensions [mozilla.org]

if they are careful (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725579)

And make sure the evolving standard is backwards compatible with all past iterations (new tags and attributes merely ignored, rather than changing the behavior of existing tags and attributes) then the evolving standard is the way to go.

Improvements have to perfect layers of onion skin. Every new version in no way modifying impacting or touching the previous behavior. If attribute x drew a red square in ver 1.3, it cannot draw a blue square in ver 1.4. If a blue square is new functionality, you need a new attribute xx. Attribite x never changes.

It could get messy and very inelegant to remain backwards compatible.

Re:if they are careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725611)

This is how you got the abominations known as IE 6, 7.

New naming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725589)

One should be called Pentiuml and the other Pentiuml 2.

Perfect! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725595)

I was considering whether or not to implement my new cross-platform application in a web-standard markup language. Now I will abandon all of the retarded HTML for good.

This news actually makes this choice very easy for me as a developer. I now see the browser landscape as inhospitable for cross-platform development.

Which? Neither. (2)

Dracos (107777) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725605)

A snapshot of a broken, inconsistent "standard" is not an improvement. Scrap it all and start over with a sane person in charge.

I will stick with XHTML 1.0, because XHTML2 was sacrificed to appease the loonies, until a reasonable successor is devised.

What is the point of a living standard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725617)

Call the standard HTML 5.
Make sure it's fixed and doesn't change.
Then you can make HTML 5 extensions or whatever you want to call them,
and browser vendors can implement them as they wish.
You could even bundle these extensions into groups that don't change any more, for instance:
HTML 5 extension set a
Later these can be incorporated into HTML 6 if needed.
If you make HTML 5 a "living standard" it becomes useless.
Saying this browser implements HTML 5 would mean nothing, because next week the standard could be different.

I hope they at least try to work together to ensure they don't make the two standards completely conflicting.

HTML5 is hell to develop for, will get worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725651)

HTML5 is, by any sane definition not a standard. A constantly changing standard is even less sane. The "try to keep up" mantra the WHATWG is pure evil.

Why? No browser will ever be able to "support" WHATWGs HTML5. So each browser will only support a subset of the current dialect of 6 months ago, at best. One of the symptoms is the current browser-specific CSS3 mess. Developing a website with this mess means not only writing each CSS3 property several times in all webkit- moz- foobar- and plain variants but also cross-testing everything with every browser every release, since almost always something changes there.

No fixed standard means that there is never any consistent rendering of anything for longer than a few months. Except for the "old HTML5" subset that everybody has already consistently implemented and tested for a year or so. Which is what the W3C ought to use for the standard, so we should applaud them for it. Fixed, tested, proven standards are a good thing. Only remaining question is, what will the standard be named and how does one annotate the version which a document should be compliant to, given the current HTML5 "there is no doctype" crazyness?

Is this Google's influence? (1, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725685)

What better way for Google to control the web than to keep pushing the standard foward so it turns out Chrome has the best support for everything first.

Microsoft failed to try and conquer the web by creating their own standard and my fear is google just figured out how to do it out in the open by always changing it.

Re:Is this Google's influence? (3, Insightful)

Altanar (56809) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725723)

Domination through improvement? BTW, the WHATWG is run by people from Mozilla, Apple, and Opera.

Re:Is this Google's influence? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725981)

I'm aware it's not just google. Though Google does have the most to benefit from rapidly push us into a internet only sort of world. Now that they can go off and do their own thing. Why shouldn't Microsoft go off and do their own thing or do it with their own group of companies to lend it more legitimacy. The W3C can die off and we can have a bunch of groups all doing their own thing.

Why are you trying to smear Google with innuendo? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725735)

Your post is nothing but Google smearing speculation.

MS and Apple are guilty of trying to strong arm computer standards. MS was even caught bribing OSI officials to sanction MS's bogus OOXML standard.

What has Google done?

Re:Why are you trying to smear Google with innuend (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725919)

No need to get butt hurt. You're right about MS. They had the most to lose by Office losing its dominance by having a free standard controlled by someone else. Google isn't the only company in WHATWG but they're certainly the biggest one who has the most to gain by pushing everything into onto the web and of course they have the most to lose if that doesn't happen or takes too long.

It doesn't matter to them if we head back to a dark age where developing a site that supports all browsers is a PITA.

Or stuff like this, as noted by one of their WHATWG partners. https://twitpic.com/a9cji2 [twitpic.com]

Re:Is this Google's influence? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725749)

Well, unless Google stops basic Chrome on WebKit and develops its own rendering engine (admittedly a possibility) - this won't be an issue. Since we're talking about HTML and not JavaScript in this case, anything Chrome supports will also be supported by Safari.

Not to mention that Mozilla and Opera are also part of WHATWG.

Re:Is this Google's influence? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725775)

basing not "basic".

I swear, lately my brain seems hellbent on slipping a typo into every post I make. And "typo" isn't even the right term - It's almost always a valid word; just not the one I intended to type!

Re:Is this Google's influence? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725951)

I'm aware of that. But Google also has the most invested in web applications taking over and always implementing features first gives them the perception of being the most feature filled browser and it may piss off others and then cause them go off and do their thing own thing and it all becomes a mess because we've decided it's better to split off and do our own thing rather than work together.

"Living Standard"? There is no such thing. (4, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725687)

A standard is a standard. It is not a moving target. That is its whole point.

Other things that are mandatory for a standard:
    - simple (or as simple as possible)
    - clear
    - easy to implement

I think this just killed HTML5, because now it will become a complex monster that basically is never ever compatible with anything. Funny how history repeats itelf because people are too stupid to learn its lessons.

Re:"Living Standard"? There is no such thing. (1)

Altanar (56809) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725779)

As far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as a HTML standard. As it is right now, every single browser handles HTML5 in slightly different ways. Every browser has handled rendering differently since the creation of the Internet. I fail to see how this is any worse. There are already HTML5 sites that only work in Chrome. There are a couple HTML5 showcase sites Microsoft had made that barely run in Chrome, but run fine in IE 9/10. I've seen some that only work in Firefox, not Chrome or IE 9/10.

Re:"Living Standard"? There is no such thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725831)

I concur, but not the "easy to implement" part, a standard does not imply "easy" it just everybody understands/use them. It would be nice if one reference implementation for HTML5 come up so the competition goes to features, improvements, and code portability.

Re:"Living Standard"? There is no such thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725837)

A standard is a standard. It is not a moving target. That is its whole point.

Correct.

Other things that are mandatory for a standard:
    - simple (or as simple as possible)

False.

- clear

False.

- easy to implement

False.

I think you are confusing standard with good standard.

HTML is made for flowing text. Things like positioning and scripting are hacks build upon it to make it possible to do things it weren't made to do from the beginning.
If we are looking for a good standard for web pages today then HTML might not even be the way to go at all. It seems to me that a lot of HTML is written to get around the layout problems that are introduced by having pages based on HTML to begin with.

There goes thin client user interfaces (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725711)

There goes thin client user interfaces and thank god for that, quite frankly. And in related news, the cost of writing thin clients just went up 70%.....

Fucked up (1)

Psicopatico (1005433) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725763)

So, if I get this right, there will be two standards: the working one and the non-working one.
Guess which one the web-developers will follow?

The standard is already a decade ahead ... (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725791)

The standard is already a decade ahead of the implementation of the standard, what is the point of developing it faster?
And the idea of having a constantly changing standard is ridiculous, make a static standard so that eventually everyone can have a working version based in the same standard. That is the point of a standard after all.

We've been here before (4, Insightful)

mrbester (200927) | about a year and a half ago | (#40725841)

"HTML5" is a marketing buzzword, just like "Web 2.0". HTML 5 is a loose coupling of emergent technologies which is in a constant state of flux as new shiny stuff is added by the competing browsers (Internet Explorer is not one of these). 'Twas ever thus that new things appeared hoping to be part of the standard - either by saturation or by conscious decision - before the standard is declared. This is nothing new.

Feature Detection (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725893)

This should have been the method from the beginning.

I'm sick of you people moaning that a "moving standard" is backwards.
You should be detecting working features before you even use the damn things in the first place. It is standard practice to prevent any damn errors from happening.
Anyone against this is showing their true colors as a developer. (and I don't even do it all the time myself! So, yes, I am a hypocrite at times!)

Every browser is different. It is the fault of the W3C and their terrible system of MUSTs and MAYs or whatever the hell they use now.
They weren't strict enough and now that has left us with every single browser working differently with CSS rules for JavaScript, it has given us HORRIBLE input management, it has given us quite inconsistent DOMs across every browser at the lowest levels, and many others.
Don't even mention library or your monitor will become a fist.
Libraries to cover up W3Cs mistakes should never have been tolerated! EVER!
So don't even dare sit there and say "we need solid standards!", I don't think there is a single browser out there that is 100% complete and actually accurate with every standard. Not even Opera.

WHATWG are giving people who actually give a damn about web development what we want.
W3C are old farts sitting on their rocking chair listening to a radio and shouting out the window at the kids.
They are the ones who use the scroll bar to scroll things instead of using a scrollwheel.
They are the ones who take about half a century to read the damn start menu.

Everybody already doesn't care about the limited crap setup by W3C. Well, those of any worth.
W3C ruined the web tech front. Absolutely ruined it.
They can keep their limited crap. No other industry in computing does this. It is either feature versions or a free-for-all. HTML, JS and even CSS are improperly labeled in one group all the time.
Speaking of that, where are the CSS versions? Why is nobody complaining at that? Eh? Where are your words now?
CSS already is this. It is literally a cascading standard, to use its own name. Its use, the use of attributes, they grow and die as the web evolves.
This works well, there are no problems with this. (except IE as always)
So why the complaints now? You can't select your CSS version. I don't think any browser even supports selecting JS versions anymore since nobody cares about it.
Why does a bloody markup language have to be any different? Why do features that have pretty much no relation to each other have to be slapped in with each other under some global header as "HTML5"?

HTML Already Is Two Standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725913)

IE and everybody else.

This is de facto true for anyone who has tried developing websites for a living.

This is also true in the standards bodies where MS is keeping the brakes on W3C so that resources don't have to put into keeping IE current.

If it is constantly changing, it isn't a standard (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40725929)

A standard is something that is defined. If you are constantly changing it and updating it, it isnt a standard.

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