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Apple, Opera, and Mozilla Push For HTML5

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the overdue-updates dept.

The Internet 384

foo fighter writes "The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been slumbering the past several years: HTML was last updated in 1999, XHTML was last updated in 2002, and no one is taking seriously their largely incompatible work on 'next-generation' XHTML or 'modularized' XHTML. Both HTML and XHTML are in sorry need of removing deprecated items while being updated to reflect the current practices of web and browser developers and remaining compatible with legacy Recommendations. The much more open and transparent WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group), formed in 2004 to address this problem, and has been hard at work on developing a draft spec for HTML5 to update and replace legacy versions of both HTML and XHTML. The quality of this work has reached the point that Apple, Opera, and Mozilla have requested the adoption of HTML5 as the new 'W3C Recommendation' for Web development."

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384 comments

The More they add, the less I like (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703765)

OK, I'm a curmudgeon. There, happy?

I still design pages using HTML 3.2 standard. Life was happy when pages were small and simple. I'm very put-off by the way HTML now can do things formerly reserved for javascript. Further, people no longer appear interested in the size of the footprint their pages make and the bandwidth necessary to download them.

We rail away at Microsoft and anyone else who adds bloat to software, but the web is now plagued by page bloat and overly clever designs which render poorly at times, take over the browser and sometimes crash it. Behaviour is becomming terrible, but as pages are done by authors who do not really care, so long as it looks like it should and does the basics, they care not what a wreck have created.

Don't even get me started on people whose home page is some massive flash object.

"Hi, we assume you have the latest browser and all the plugins!"

Re:The More they add, the less I like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18703831)

Your resistance to technology is futile. Like XP->Vista

Re:The More they add, the less I like (2, Interesting)

KenAndCorey (581410) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703835)

I'm with you brother, although I use HTML 4 and CSS 2. I wish people would take the time to code their pages so they are fast loading and elegant (code-wise), and HTML generation apps would do likewise. Additionally, I wish people would use proper caching as well -- this really speeds a site up too.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704137)

I'm with you brother, although I use HTML 4 and CSS 2. I wish people would take the time to code their pages so they are fast loading and elegant (code-wise), and HTML generation apps would do likewise. Additionally, I wish people would use proper caching as well -- this really speeds a site up too.

I haven't done much with style sheets, finding them to be just one more thing to manage, as they can get rather large the more I relied upon them.

Effectively when we write the HTML code by hand we're creating very lightweight pages. I set some colours and a simple background based upon a small sample and I'm good. I came from the K-I-S-S school of web design, which seems to be dying mostly thanks to webapp/webpage development tools. It's like watching people program without a care about optimizing for size or speed. They're paid by the hour, not for the quality of the code.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704251)

It's like watching people program without a care about optimizing for size or speed. They're paid by the hour, not for the quality of the code.

Funny, that's how I feel about people who don't use CSS. Seriously, if you are that concerned with the size of pages and bandwidth, like you say in your other comment, then why are you transmitting your style information on every single page load?

Re:The More they add, the less I like (4, Informative)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704751)

Funny, that's how I feel about people who don't use CSS. Seriously, if you are that concerned with the size of pages and bandwidth, like you say in your other comment, then why are you transmitting your style information on every single page load?

Agreed.

To the GP: I recently redesigned my main website [thelostworlds.net] after running it for five years with a design very much like the one you describe - all coded by hand, HTML 3.2, no CSS (although I had some equally old Javascript for highlighting the navigation buttons).

The new version uses CSS, and since I designed it using the "strict" mode of newfangled HTML, it renders more or less identically on different browsers. I also built a batch build content management system, so that I don't have to manually edit a bunch of HTML when I change the design or whatever. I made sure the output is basically what I would have done if I did it all by hand though.

I was very skeptical about it before I started, but it really is a much better way to build websites. It saves time, it makes redesigns and multi-platform stuff easier (like theoretically I could swap out CSS files to make a version formatted for PDAs if I were running a website that would be at all useful on them), and it's *much* easier to get relatively consistent rendering across platforms. The only visible difference I'm aware of between Firefox and IE6/7 is related to tables without a fixed width. Neither one looks superior, they're just different.

I'd settle for some taking away (1)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704197)

I'll be happy with any version of HTML that removes the required ROWS and COLS attributes from textarea and lets me size the damn things with CSS without dropping me into quirks mode.

Re:I'd settle for some taking away (2, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704451)

I agree that it's silly that they are required attributes, but merely missing the attributes off doesn't dump you into quirks mode. Quirks mode is determined by the doctype you use.

Re:I'd settle for some taking away (3, Informative)

J0nne (924579) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704701)

you mean the following doesn't work?

textarea {
width:200px;
height: 100px;
}
I guess I've been doing css all wrong for years now :(...

Re:The More they add, the less I like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18703969)

Quite. I found that when moving from HTML 4.01 to XHTML, I lost expressive power for no gain. I'm staying at HTML 4.01 Transitional forever.

I actually find things like "normal <B>bold <I>bold italic</B> italic</I> normal" useful

Re:The More they add, the less I like (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704091)

I actually find things like "normal <B>bold <I>bold italic</B> italic</I> normal" useful

I hate to break it to you, but that's not HTML 4.01 Transitional either. No version of HTML has permitted overlapping elements in the way that you describe. You are merely exploiting error handling that is fairly common amongst web browsers.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (1)

Bootvis (913169) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704209)

Re:The More they add, the less I like (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704327)

All of those errors are down to the fact that the validator doesn't understand HTML 5. Although it is quite interesting to note the chicken-and-the-egg problem of publishing the specification for a document format in the document format itself. You need to understand the format in order to read the document that explains how to understand the format.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704669)

Uhm, not so sure about that. MS FrontPage seemed to do just that and worse... terribly difficult to parse through with a text editor.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (3, Funny)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704845)

Yes, because MS FrontPage would never output broken HTML, would it?

Re:The More they add, the less I like (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703993)

You have something of a point, but mostly you're confusing abuse by users with a problem with the technology. Compared to HTML 3, it's worth using HTML 4 and CSS, but just be sane and use a sensible subset.

A lot of the bloat is there to satisfy the marketing crowd who want to e.g. control things at the pixel level (and don't understand how that fails on different screen geometries), but that doesn't mean you can't write good-looking, efficient HTML4/CSS pages.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (1)

littlewink (996298) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704031)

I'm the same.

HTML 3.2 and no JavaScript if possible. That's my Lowest Common Denominator.

JavaScript, CSS, and the various HTMLs have forked significantly, largely thanks to IE's lack of adherence to standards.

And as the availability of high bandwidth increases, rich clients become less and less important. Today you can deliver fast, effective systems over dialup _and_ cable or dsl with HTML 3.2.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (1)

partenon (749418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704427)

Should I assume you use <table> to define the position of the elements?

Re:The More they add, the less I like (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704817)

Should I assume you use <table> to define the position of the elements?

If we're assuming this is a real old-timer we're talking about, probably not. HTML was not intended for complicated magazine layouts. To position his paragraphs one above the other, he puts the one he wants above before the one he wants below in the document, and separates them with <P>. He positions his images using the appropriate attributes. Maybe every once in a while, he gets wacky and uses the <CENTER>. He doesn't use <TABLE> (except when presenting tables of data) for the same reason he doesn't use CSS: there's absolutely no need for it, and almost any use of it you can think of detracts from the simple, easy to read layout he strives for. He doesn't worry about the position of the elements because that's what the browser is for, and he knows HTML was designed so that the browser can position things however the user likes, in whatever size the user likes, and that's perfectly fine. He's okay with the fact that his page isn't going to look exactly the same to the reader as it does on his screen. He knows that if the user decides to render pages with the font 800% larger than he designed it with (note I don't say "for"), it'll still look fine, and any web page that doesn't is poorly designed.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (4, Insightful)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704107)

Yes, this incessant pushing of the technology/standards envelope is creating a lot of disjoint, stilted, and otherwise unreadable web sites. It used to be web pages were mainly HTML with a few SSI thrown in for good measure; now they are over-burdened with flashy graphics, tricky menus (god how rollovers are getting out of hand!), and a lack of decent content. I mean, I go to a web site to find information I'm looking for. In the old days, you could do that -- now content is so snarled in meaningless fluff that have the time I have to search the source code just to find what I'm looking for.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (4, Insightful)

mstahl (701501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704189)

Hi there. I'm a web developer/designer. I do flash, too. Good times, right?

I design and build to the XHTML 1.0 transitional standard, and for some bizarre reason one of my clients still makes me test their pages in IE5. When was the last time you even saw a computer that had IE5 on it?

Your objections to design I can't really comment on beyond saying I hope you're not referring to any of mine. But your objection to HTML/CSS doing what javascript used to be necessary for? Really? You prefer writing little-stupid javascript functions to just putting a :hover rule in your CSS? Really?

You, sir, are a rare breed. Hats off to you though; HTML 3.2 is really the only standard the most browsers agree upon (IE6/7 have all those weird box model problems with XHTML 1.0).

Re:The More they add, the less I like (5, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704553)

You prefer writing little-stupid javascript functions to just putting a :hover rule in your CSS?

I get the impression he's not a professional web designer, so he can just ignore stuff like that entirely.

HTML 3.2 is really the only standard the most browsers agree upon

There's a very good reason for that. The W3C were working on HTML 3 when it became apparent that their work was diverging from what browsers understood; browser vendors were adding stuff at a crazy rate while ignoring the HTML 3 work. So the W3C decided to scrap HTML 3 and make a decent description of what browsers understood in HTML 3.2.

Basically, the reason why "most browsers agree upon HTML 3.2" is because HTML 3.2 was merely rubber-stamping what browsers already did.

IE6/7 have all those weird box model problems with XHTML 1.0

There's no such thing as a "box model" in XHTML 1.0. The box model is a feature of CSS.

Not to put words in his mouth... (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704629)

But your objection to HTML/CSS doing what javascript used to be necessary for? Really? You prefer writing little-stupid javascript functions to just putting a :hover rule in your CSS? Really?

I'm going to go out on a limb and bet that the GP would probably be against :hover rules generally.

The problem isn't the implementation of the useless eye candy, the problem is the useless eye candy.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (5, Interesting)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704221)

Life was happy when pages were small and simple.
The Internet was also small and simple, relatively speaking. Unfortunately now it's a huge mess of information, some useful, some not. In order to helpfully and meaningfully wade through all this fluff we need to more tags and more specificty in our markup to aid search engines and the like in finding what we really want. We may be a way off from the "Semantic Web" as Berners-Lee envisions it, but these are the first steps towards making that happen and preventing the web from being collapsing under it's own ever-increasing mass.

I'm very put-off by the way HTML now can do things formerly reserved for javascript
Yeah, that never happened in the past <blink>Remember me?</blink>. Seriously though, I agree on this in principal although I'm not sure specifically what features in HTML you're referring to. Ultimately any attempt to dynamicise (I know, I know, not a word) HTML will fail as it will always be three steps behind what people want from dynamic web pages since we're now moving into the whole "Web 2.0" thing.

Further, people no longer appear interested in the size of the footprint their pages make and the bandwidth necessary to download them.
I'm not sure I agree with this. Relatively modern developments allow far more efficient web pages. Firstly by using CSS you can do a lot more with simple markup while allowing the stylesheet itself to be cached for a reasonable amount of time (whereas many webpages have content which prevents long-term caching). XmlHttpRequest obviously allows for only the relevant portions of a website to be updated. Javascript allows for less data to be sent and for the code to do the work of constructing an elaborate webpage (only applies to certain types of webpages obviously).

We rail away at Microsoft and anyone else who adds bloat to software, but the web is now plagued by page bloat and overly clever designs which render poorly at times, take over the browser and sometimes crash it.

...

Don't even get me started on people whose home page is some massive flash object.
Sure, some people use poor designs which drain resources unnecesarily, I don't think that's necessarily an issue of new standards or technologies being poor though, just that the flexibility we demand from our new web technologies inevitably allows for misuse. You can't blame Javascript, XHTML, or even Flash simply because some people will misuse it any more than you can blame HTML 3.2 because someone decides to use 24 levels of <table><tr><td> tags to make their layout the way they want. As far as crashing goes, that's a software issue and nothing more.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (5, Funny)

Doctor-Optimal (975263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704241)

They can have my blink tag when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!

Re:The More they add, the less I like (2, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704507)

They can have my blink tag when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!


That...can be arranged.

CHris Mattern

Re:The More they add, the less I like (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704591)

They can have my blink tag when they pry it from my cold, dead hands!

If that's what it takes to stop you using <blink>, so be it :).

Re:The More they add, the less I like (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704265)

HTML/Javascript is such a mess now anyway, one more standard can't possibly make anything worse.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704341)

I don't really get your complaint. I mean, I share your annoyance with uselessly flashy pages, and literally Flash-y pages, but what's wrong with refining standards? Many of the updates to HTML have made things cleaner, more precise, and more consistent. Some of the added features have allowed web developers to do more with less code (if you can call HTML "code"). Much of what's added in-- if you don't want to use it, don't use it. But if you have some reason to do something flashy on your site, it's probably better to have it be done in some standard way rather than though some hack or by adding Flash to your page.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704683)

The HTML5 crowd are not refining anything. They're creating HTML 4.2 which comes with it's own javascript library inspired by all those great homepages from 1997. I'm tempted to write an XSL template to emit our site as HTML4.2 complete with AJAX, canvas, storage and audio events firing all over the place - just for a joke.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704605)

I'm with you. Totally.

I really like the idea of having a nice structured document format that supports hyper linking. The web is an amazing place and all that. But we have come to a point where many web sites are no longer documents. They are more like TV-stations. Stop trying to integrate everything into HTML. Get rid of javascript completely. Invent some new meta-protocol (flash-java-javascript-hyper-tv-unltra-hyperlinked -format?) that supports everything and anything and focus on making HTML more robust. I know it's not going to happen. All the kids really want MySpace and whatever... I just hate how that ruins a beautiful
concept.

Re:The More they add, the less I like (1)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704807)

Damn kids get off my lawn?

I still design pages using HTML 3.2 standard. Life was happy when pages were small and simple.

Unless you're just putting text on a white page, HTML 3.2 doesn't make anything small and simple ... doing a decent layout with just HTML requires tables which in the end creates tag-soup because they weren't designed for page layout. CSS eliminates that problem.

I'm very put-off by the way HTML now can do things formerly reserved for javascript.

Like what exactly? The :hover pseudo class? That's about the only thing I can think that you might be talking about and its CSS, not HTML.

Further, people no longer appear interested in the size of the footprint their pages make and the bandwidth necessary to download them.

See my first point. An external stylesheet can get cached, table-soup cannot. Besides, its not like people not caring about bandwidth is a new problem.

We rail away at Microsoft and anyone else who adds bloat to software, but the web is now plagued by page bloat and overly clever designs which render poorly at times, take over the browser and sometimes crash it.

HTML hasn't really changed that much .. in fact they've removed more than they've added, unless you're talking about CSS again. I'm not sure what you mean by "clever designs" unless you're talking about something other than text on a white background. I suppose we should get rid of images as well. Heck we might as well go back to using Gopher.

I'm not going to deny that bad sites can crash browsers but that's a problem with the page and arguably the browsers themselves, not with the standards.

Behaviour is becomming terrible, but as pages are done by authors who do not really care, so long as it looks like it should and does the basics, they care not what a wreck have created.

I can't remember a time that this hasn't been the case. Blame the browsers for trying to render tag-soup instead of enforcing the standards from the beginning.

"Hi, we assume you have the latest browser and all the plugins!"

I'm sorry but I'd guess that better than 95% of people have some kind of modern browser(if you can consider IE6 modern ... which is another debate) and better than 90% of people have Flash. Heck even Linux has Flash 9 available. Coding for a single browser is one thing but keeping legacy code for browsers that worked in 1997 is ridiculous. I code my pages to downgrade gracefully but I don't have the time to go and test Netscape 3 for you.

People want the web to be more than pretty pictures and Geocities home-pages. They want it to do something, they want to buy things and they want to contribute. New technology makes all that easier. You don't have to do that but don't complain when the rest of us do.

How will this effect IE7 (1, Insightful)

jhfry (829244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703807)

I don't see Microsoft on the list of those pushing for it. Any chance that HTML5 is compatible with IE7... or should I say, is IE7 compatible with HTML5... Hell, is IE7 compatible with any web standard?

Re:How will this effect IE7 (3, Insightful)

aicrules (819392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703833)

No one is compatible with HTML5.

Re:How will this effect IE7 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18703913)

Dean can't count up to 5...so they'll stay at a comfy 4 for a while.

Re:How will this effect IE7 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704071)

Chris Wilson of Microsoft's IE team is one of the co-chairs of the HTML WG. The work of the WHATWG however has been created without any input from MS. It remains to be seen whether or not MS will adopt everything. There are also internal quarrels among the other three, read the public-html list archives to find out.

And meanwhile in IE Land... (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703813)

And meanwhile in IE Land, we're still trying to get proper CSS Support. It will always come down to the lowest common denominator, especially when the LCD is the most popular browser. Nobody is going to code HTML 5 pages when the most popular browser doesn't support them. It's great that MS has finally made some headway with IE 7, but if they wait another 5 years until their next major release, then they are going to be even further behind. While all the other browsers are working on CSS3 and HTML5, MS is still working on CSS2 and HTML4.

Firefox plugin (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704069)

What we need is a Firefox plugin for IE. Someone get on that, please.

Re:Firefox plugin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704393)

Already done [mozilla.com] .

See, it plugs into Windows. Since IE is integrated into Windows, it's really a plugin for IE too.

Re:Firefox plugin (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704419)

There is a Gecko ActiveX control. It is, theoretically, possible to detect IE and send a page that includes the ActiveX control and runs the rest of the site in that. It's a several MB download though, and people might get bored waiting for the site to load (not to mention your bandwidth bills).

Explaining the plan (3, Insightful)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704689)

Here's what I was thinking: ordinary users don't seem to have a problem installing Flash, which is a several MB download, when they're told that they need it to view a site. So if the Gecko ActiveX control does the trick, those of us who are serious about eliminating IE should detect IE visitors and display a page saying that you need to download the Firefox/Gecko control to use the site (or Firefox itself, of course).

Pretty soon, about as many people who have Flash will also have Firefox running inside IE, and it'll no longer be necessary for many people to cater to IE.

Re:Firefox plugin (1, Informative)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704465)

you mean like IETab that lets firefox open individual pages with IE if you need to!!!

Re:Firefox plugin (1)

orpheum (1064692) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704503)

Here's a better idea. You could download Netscape 8. It uses the IE and Firefox engines and allows you to switch between them whever you please.

Ta-da!

Re:And meanwhile in IE Land... (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704383)

If Microsoft can't keep up with Mozilla, Opera, and Apple, then they'll just lose the "browser wars". It's not as though there aren't alternatives, so consumers will be fine.

Re:And meanwhile in IE Land... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704489)

you actually think 90% of the people have got a clue what a browser is??
for most people the internet = internet explorer = google/windows live search = ....

yeah, 10% of the people will probably be interested in better browsers, but as long as it's a small minority, why should microsoft care, or feel threathened?

Re:And meanwhile in IE Land... (1)

Jeff Fohl (597433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704535)

Yes, Microsoft is definitely the ball and chain that holds progress back - but at least they have joined the HTML Working Group [annevankesteren.nl] .

Re:And meanwhile in IE Land... (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704647)

Oh great, so now we'll have tags that say "Work like IE4".

Why MS will support HTML5 ASAP (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704577)

# Markup for advertisements
Will make Admuchers/Adblocks job a lot easier too :-)

microsoft? (0)

msh104 (620136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703821)

how about talking to microsoft first before submitting this "standard"... If we can get all major browsers to agree on the spec it might atleast be usefull from a cross platform perspective. other then that, xhtml + css does everything I need right now.

Re:microsoft? (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704047)

Since when has MSFT done anything to standard? MSFT didn't like javascript so they made ActiveX. MSFT couldn't corrupt Java(though they did try and got sued) So they made .NET. IE7 doesn't support existing standards why should the rest of the industry wait for MSFT.

IE7 is a lot better than IE6. Fact is if MSFT doesn't make the "standard" MSFT won't support it properly.

Re:microsoft? (4, Insightful)

msh104 (620136) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704277)

"Fact is if MSFT doesn't make the "standard" MSFT won't support it properly."

that's exactly why they should be in the standard creation team.

Re:microsoft? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704115)

how about talking to microsoft first before submitting this "standard"... If we can get all major browsers to agree on the spec it might atleast be usefull from a cross platform perspective.

That's like asking the government for permission to go start a competing culture. you don't ask, you just go fucking do it, and if you do it right, the rest of the nation has no choice but to follow along.

The Good News (1)

Philomathie (937829) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703855)

This can really only be seen as a good thing - although we may have to relearn large parts of HTML (or XHTML), it is a relatively simple language and the tradeoffs in browser compatability and interoperability we can get would be staggering, no more pages that are designed to work just in IE, and we could be sure that a web page would look the same in all modern browsers - no more testing them individually and tweaking code until it looks "acceptable" in all of them. Is is quite possible that this new standard could also decrease the bandwidth required by the HTTP protocol throughout the internet's 'pipes', which gives us more space for those darned torrents!

Re:The Good News (3, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704151)

Moving away from pages that "only work in IE" would take a lot more than HTML5. Microsoft made IE the engine for displaying all system windows in their OS... when you browse my computer, what more or less happens is Windows generates an HTML DOM object to display the contents.

This is the reason Microsoft has had so much trouble with standards and the reason they will never be able to fully support standards as long as IE is integrated in Windows to the level it is. Standardizing would leave the OS itself high-and-dry, which is something Microsoft is not willing to do.

This was part of the reason Netscape sued them, and it was part of their anti-trust suit here in the US. Everyone knows this was done almost for the sole purpose of using MS controlled platforms (IE) to prevent non-MS controlled platforms (the web) from abstracting out all the functions a user needs. Most people still think the internet doesn't work on Linux, or that Linux has a "different internet" of its own. I would venture to say that their anti-competative practices with IE are the ONLY reason they still command the market share they do.

Talking to Microsoft before formalizing a web standard is like going to them for an open document format: you just end up knee deep in shit that Microsoft doesn't genuinely believe in the first place.

Re:The Good News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704201)

This is good news is it? Obviously you've never actually read any HTML5 drafts.

I started to (4, Funny)

caluml (551744) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703881)

I started to code my pages in XHTML. But it's just not worth it. Use what works. <blink>:)</blink>

5??? (4, Funny)

aicrules (819392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703883)

I just figured out HTML1 and I am still crying that doesn't work! :~(

css? (1)

tdos20 (992697) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703887)

I thought html was going to be supplemented from now on as its limited and difficult to edit hence the need for CSS, maybe html5 has some magic to it. Personally if it enriches content I say go for it as long as we don't end up with one language for one browser and another for the rest then it all good I guess.

Update CSS not XHTML/HTML (5, Insightful)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703945)

What we need is an updated version of CSS that lets you do things like reference other elements attributes so that you can create tables and line up things across/down the page. The ability to put different images on the left and right hand sides and top and bottom and all variants off would be great for putting rounded corners on things etc... instead of having to do hacks link putting in extra p tags just for the image.

HTML is more or less fine, give me a better version of CSS anyday.

Re:Update CSS not XHTML/HTML (5, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704019)

IMO what we really need in CSS is variables and math. Variables are really key. And to be able to say that the width of an element is n% of the width of another element, even when it is not nested within that elements, is also key - otherwise you have to use javascript for assloads of things. Of course other similar things would be possible. This is absolutely critical. Without it CSS makes life harder in a disturbing number of situations.

Re:Update CSS not XHTML/HTML (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704203)

I think variables (and math) would be the thing that would really make CSS Complete. There's so many times where I've wanted to make something the same width or half as wide as something else that I have lost count. Currently, you can do a couple tricks, like setting fonts to 150%, and they will be 1.5 times larger than the rest of the document, but I really would like full math and variable abilities.

Re:Update CSS not XHTML/HTML (5, Insightful)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704269)

Some of that is in the CSS3 and further specs, like the advanced layout module, but those are beyond the reach of even the latest versions of FF, Opera, KHTML, etc. at the moment.

But, really, XHTML 1.1 is a great standard, and instead of moving ahead, let's try to get everyone to use it first. It hasn't been updated in forever (forever in web terms, of course) because the push has been to get everyone to actually use standards, and to get browser support of CSS2 and eventually CSS3 complete across all platforms and engines.

Just glancing over it, the HTML5 standards up at WHATWG worry me slightly. There seems to be a lot fo presentational/non-structural markup sneaking back in. Not necessarily as obvious as some of the older tags that were dropped in HTML4/XHTML1, but still. We have to keep in mind the separation of powers - XHTML/HTML for markup, CSS for presentation, and DOM for scripting - or things will just get way too complicated again.

Make things easier and more accessible for the developer/design? Sure. Add presentational content to HTML so he/she doesn't have to learn how to properly use CSS and the DOM? No. Do this, and it'll open the floodgates for everyone (MSFT) to add "special" tags to further "help" the developer/designers. Next think you know we'll be running around with a bunch of "Works best in ..." graphics like its 1998 again (only this time we'll be using PNGs or JPEG2000s instead of GIFs).

Re:Update CSS not XHTML/HTML (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704467)

I'd also like to see something like XSLT supported better. I hate having to put lots of class="foo" attributes in. Just let me define new tags and have the browser translate them into something sensible with a simple mapping. It would reduce bloat a huge amount.

Re:Update CSS not XHTML/HTML (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704747)

That would also be great. XSLT really has the potential to take presentation beyond the web that CSS just isn't built to do. CSS is good for now, but the future should look much more like XSLT. I'd love to be able to markup a document, then build one XSLT for a web page, one for a printed document, etc.

But then again, the only major site I've seen using XSLT is www.worldofwarcraft.com (and perhaps the rest of Blizzard's sites, but haven't really poked around them much in a while). Remember, it took Wired and others switching over to pure CSS to get everyone's attention. More major sites using XSLT would go a long long way.

Re:Update CSS not XHTML/HTML (1)

partenon (749418) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704653)

Please, no. What kind of math do you want in CSS? And as for variables, I would suggest something like "style sets". They may seem like variables, but variables are way too powerful for CSS, which is *not* a programming language. By "style sets" I mean: "$defaultBg {color: white; background-color: black;}" or something like that.

I think a good point to understand *why* CSS don't have math, variables and alikes is the HowCome's (Haakon) interview here on /. [slashdot.org]

Re:Update CSS not XHTML/HTML (1)

gaspyy (514539) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704661)

In IE6 and later , you can mix CSS and javascript. I know, I know, IE is 'teh EViL' but the idea is pretty cool.
I've written about it [richnetapps.com] on my blog, the idea is that you can write

#mydiv {
      width:expression( ... )
}

and it'll work.

Sometimes the layout can be very complex (especially with fluid layouts) and you need to mix relative dimensions (%) with fixed ones (px or em) so the more tools one can use, the better.

Re:Update CSS not XHTML/HTML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704183)

Actually CSS already has that with its various flavors of display table. Part of both CSS 2.0 and CSS 2.1. It's supported on pretty much every browser except MSIE.

Re:Update CSS not XHTML/HTML (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704379)

I've love to be able to do simple math in CSS. I should be able to set an attribute to 1em + 5px, but right now you can't. Your idea about giving CSS references to attributes that you could refer back to in other attributes is good, also.

This could be the leverage needed against MS (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703953)

The biggest problem/complaint against Microsoft is that their dominance is hurting standards. Perhaps to some degree, the standards body could come up with a way to force Microsoft into being compliant and compatible? Perhaps there should be a level of completeness of implementation that would be required before being approved as "HTML5" compliant or compatible?

We know Microsoft is capable but they just don't want to. Their weight and sloth is an abuse to the community at large.

Re:This could be the leverage needed against MS (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704279)

Microsoft does not care for standards, nor does it want true interoperability or compatibility with any software not made in Redmond. As long as users are apathetic they will be under no pressure to change. Free markets will work only when a large portion of the users act rationally. Locking up all your data in a format and making all your processes depend on a single vendor's API are not very rational decisions. So, yes, MSFT will thumb its nose at any proposed standard. Muddy the issue by saying users should have "choice". Yeah, sure I want multiple choices in the kind of wall outlets I plug my appliances into. Round pin, flat pin, three pin, two pin polarized US style, UK style, Singapore style? Pay some consultants to come up things like "Total Cost of Ownership" etc. But dont blame MSFT. Educate the users.

Re:This could be the leverage needed against MS (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704559)

It certainly doesn't help that, in this case, the standards absolutely suck. It's hard to convince anybody to use standards when the 'standard' version of the page doesn't let you do simple things you want to do without tons of workarounds and nasty hacks. Like center an image vertically. Or anything related to AJAX.

Re:This could be the leverage needed against MS (1)

Aldur42 (1042038) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704321)

Unfortunately, there is no way a standards organization can force Microsoft into doing anything. Microsoft's bloat and lack of agility has made accepting any change very expensive for them. There going to fight these standards or implement them half assed. The more ubiquitous the web becomes the less relevant their large proprietary operating systems become. Vast improvements in Firefox and opera's market share is the only way Microsoft will adopt any web standards.

Re:This could be the leverage needed against MS (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704545)

Perhaps to some degree, the standards body could come up with a way to force Microsoft into being compliant and compatible?

Entire governments can't convince Microsoft to provide the documentation so someone else can make things interoperate.

How the hell do you think a friggin' standards body is going to force Microsoft to make things compliant and compatible? Microsoft's relationship with standards bodies has been to stick around long enough to find out what it's supposed to do, release a proprietary version which specifically isn't compatible, and then lament that the rest of the world isn't using their perfectly good (closed, licensable, not for FOSS) mechanism.

It is simply not in their interests (or, means I believe) to adhere to open standards. Their development cycles have always meant they need to start before the standard is even finished; that allows them to get a product out the door, and, most importantly, they get to effectively become the de-facto standard for business. Then, any products which come down the pipe later aren't compatible with the Microsoft ones, and don't get accepted.

Microsoft has been refusing to adhere to any standard for a very long time. They're not about to start now.

Cheers

Re:This could be the leverage needed against MS (3, Informative)

starwed (735423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704825)

I'm sure it will ease your mind to know that the chair of the working group works for MS... :P

Alternative Names . . . (0)

Dausha (546002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703975)

Okay, I think these versions need some work. HTML 4.x was nice. HTML 5.0 sounds a bit much. Perhaps we should jazz it up a bit? It's too late for HTML XP, as the "eXtreme" ship has sailed. Perhaps HTML Vista? *ducks*

Re:Alternative Names . . . (1)

Ghworg (177484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704117)

HTML.net :-).

Re:Alternative Names . . . (1)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704397)

How about HTML 2.0?

Opera (3, Informative)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 7 years ago | (#18703997)

Speaking of Opera, version 9.2 was released yesterday, but doesn't seem to have warranted a headline here as of yet.

http://www.opera.com/download/ [opera.com]

Talk about spin! (5, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704035)

"The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been slumbering the past several years

No, the W3C have been very busy [w3.org] .

XHTML was last updated in 2002

No, XHTML was last updated two months ago [w3.org] .

no one is taking seriously their largely incompatible work on 'next-generation' XHTML or 'modularized' XHTML.

Everybody is ignoring XHTML 2.0 because it isn't finished yet. XHTML 1.1 is not an option for most developers for one reason in particular: you can't use it with Internet Explorer. Blame Microsoft.

Both HTML and XHTML are in sorry need of removing deprecated items

No, both HTML 4.01 Strict and XHTML 1.0 Strict are available for those people who wish to use a document type that doesn't include the deprecated stuff. And even if they weren't available, nobody needs deprecated items to be removed. If you don't want them, don't use them. Just because they appear in a specification it doesn't mean you are forced to use them.

The quality of this work has reached the point that Apple, Opera, and Mozilla have requested the adoption of HTML5 as the new 'W3C Recommendation' for Web development.

No, they are requesting that the W3C — the organisation you've just written off as closed and useless — adopt their work as a starting point, so that it can be developed further at the W3C. They aren't asking that the W3C give it Recommendation status, they are asking the W3C to take over its development.

Re:Talk about spin! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704369)

Everybody is ignoring XHTML 2.0 because it isn't finished yet.

I thought it was because it was a pointless and unneeded reformulation of existing standards with no BC?

XHTML 1.1 is not an option for most developers for one reason in particular: you can't use it with Internet Explorer. Blame Microsoft.

1.1 is not an option if you want to support UA's that only accept text/html and Lynx will never support application/xhtml+xml. All XHTML1.1 does is modularize version 1.0, most users probably don't even know what that means ;-o

Re:Talk about spin! (2, Informative)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704779)

I thought it was because it was a pointless and unneeded reformulation of existing standards with no BC?

You're welcome to that opinion, but I think the fact that it's a work-in-progress is the relevant factor to consider when wondering why people aren't using it. Even the W3C themselves don't want anybody to use it yet. In their own words, from the top of the latest specification [w3.org] : "It should in no way be considered stable, and should not be normatively referenced for any purposes whatsoever."

Lynx will never support application/xhtml+xml

Lynx already supports application/xhtml+xml. According to the changelog [isc.org] , support was added almost three years ago.

Misses the point (4, Informative)

starwed (735423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704059)

The article misses a pretty large point: the w3 has already decided [betanews.com] to work on the next version of HTML. The post linked to is a recommendation that the HTML 5 spec be used as a starting point for that work.

A bit premature? (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704097)

Maybe its just me, but I think its a good sign that a proposed spec isn't ready for adoption when it contains this warning on one of its elements (see 5.4.1 The UndoManager interface):

This API sucks. Seriously. It's a terrible API. Really bad. I hate it.
Its also not a good sign when it has sections with a note of the form "Does anyone know enough about $foo to write this section" or "Need to write this section". Certainly I can see a need and utility for something like the Web Applications 1.0/"HTML5" standard, but it certainly doesn't seem ready for adoption as a Recommendation yet.

Re:A bit premature? (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704245)

I don't think anyone is saying it's ready to be adopted, except the mis-informed and the FUDers. If you read the email, they propose to make it the starting point for HTML 5, not the finishing point.

Re:A bit premature? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704555)

Yeah, I made the mistake of trusting the summary and only clicking through to the spec, not the email that the summary, loosely speaking, "summarized".

HTML5 === steaming pile of shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704109)

According to Hixie and other WTFWG people, web developers are too stupid to learn XML. The solution is apparently to take a giant brain damaged step backwards from XHTML in HTML5, an inaccessible mish-mash of markup and javascript. Their only halfway decent idea is DOMStorage which of course belongs in a DOM spec.

PASS!

Why Developers Aren't Caring Too Much (3, Interesting)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704123)

We are all going to be making a majority of our sites to work in IE6 for many years to come. The release of IE7 did hardly anything to change how I design my pages. All it did was add another browser to test in really. IE6 will remain on old Windows OS's (2000 cant run IE7) and non-upgraded machines; therefore, we will all develop for them as we have for some time now.

All this means to me as a developer is that I have another thing to keep track of in regards to my industry. Add it to the list which includes: Seeing if AJAX, RoR, and other Web 2.0 fads survive the next year; if PHP has even a glimmer of hope; PNG issues; content delivery to mobile devices; and of course assorted security issues.

We always have something new coming down the pipe, but that does not mean it is the next new thing. Many sing the praises of AJAX, but really it is far from perfect and likely to be replaced by something much better very soon. Nature of the biz I suppose, but I would not have it any other way !

Re:Why Developers Aren't Caring Too Much (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704693)

You may appreciate this post: Kill IE6 to Let CSS3 Live [css3.info] .

Oh, just Great!!! (0, Flamebait)

WED Fan (911325) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704257)

Another standard that will break Opera.

Horrible (2, Insightful)

Zenethian (873096) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704275)

This is horrible. The mess of backwards compatibility on the web, particularly in HTML, is what causes so much "liberal" output from web developers and designers. XHTML took a solid step forward in squashing some of those problems by creating a very rigid set of rules to be followed for document markup. XHTML2 addresses the actual semantics of it. Backwards-compatibility is not always a great thing. Something like XHTML2 promises a clean breakaway from the horrors of HTML. This "HTML5" seeks to make the web even worse off than it already is by providing developers and designers a free ticket to make their code as horrifically nonstandard as possible. Documents should consist of well-formed markup that is easily parsed by both humans and machine alike. From a purist point of view, XHTML is blissful, though it does truly have it's own set of issues. From a realist point of view, there will sadly always be backwards compatibility on the Web, but can we *please* restrict it to software implementation and NOT in standards?! The web browser will always need to support HTML 2, 3.2, 4.0, etc etc (not that they do, but they should...). If someone wishes to code in HTML 3.2 then they should. But the next version of the (X)HTML standard should not promote backward-compatibility. It should move the technology forward instead of accommodating for previous bad practices.

Please, give us better layout tools (5, Interesting)

PapayaSF (721268) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704285)

Tim Berners-Lee, bless him, didn't seem to understand that anyone would ever want a web page with more than one column. So some genius (a name I've forgotten) thought of using tables for layout, and many problems were solved: multi-column layouts with headers and footers which stretched to accomodate content and rendered the same way (more or less) across all browsers and platforms. Hooray!

Then came CSS: coding could be much cleaner and more flexible, but tables-for-layout was considered bad, and we began wrestling with creating layouts using divs and clears and floats, having to use such kludges as negative margins in order to replicate table-like behavior. It can be done, but it's harder. So for HTML5, how about setting aside creating new but not-very-helpful features like "overline" (who uses that?) and coming up with things that actually help us create web pages? Why not create a tag called "grid" that acts like a table, but is designed for page layout? Most graphic designers use grids, and it would really help web design as a whole if something like that existed for us.

How about a way of having content reflow from one column to another when a window is resized? Page layout programs have done this for 20+ years, so shouldn't it be possible for a web page and a browser today?

So please, HTML5 people, don't just talk to computer scientists and advocates for the disabled when creating this new specification. Think of the people who actually have to lay out pages!

Multi-column is already in the pipeline (3, Informative)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704473)

How about a way of having content reflow from one column to another when a window is resized? Page layout programs have done this for 20+ years, so shouldn't it be possible for a web page and a browser today?

The CSS3 multi-column module [css3.info] was designed for exactly that purpose. It's available in experimental form in current Mozilla-based browsers (Firefox, Seamonkey, Camino, etc.), and according to that page, it's available in nightly builds of Webkit, which will eventually become a future version of Safari. (Since the spec isn't final, the rules use -moz and -webkit prefixes, so that if the spec changes they won't have to change the official rule's behavior.) No word from Opera, though there are reportedly a bunch of CSS3 features in store for the next major update, and of course, who knows how long before we'll see it in IE.

Remember: HTML for structure, CSS for layout.

Re:Please, give us better layout tools (5, Informative)

apathy maybe (922212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704493)

If you have data that uses a table, use the "table" tag. If you don't, use CSS. HTML is not for describing presentation, that is what CSS is for. As such, your idea for a "grid" tag, is not really for HTML at all.

What happens when your page gets displayed on a phone? With CSS you can simply revert to a single column (or the phone can just drop the CSS), with "grid", you need two pages, one for desktops, and one for phones.

I think XHTML is fine, it works and does the job. The only thing I would like is a client side include. Apart from that, I think CSS needs updating, not (X)HTML (or perhaps just browser support for CSS?).

Re:Please, give us better layout tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704657)

How the fuck is that flame bait? God some people are so fucking stupid. And yes this is a troll. Mod me down motherfuckers! (Don't you just love wasting mod points on anonymous cowards.)

Actually, don't mod me down, mod the post I'm replying to up!

Re:Please, give us better layout tools (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704757)

HTML is not for describing presentation, that is what CSS is for.
Bad moderator!
That wasn't flaimbait - that was a pertinent point about the design goals of HTML.

Re:Please, give us better layout tools (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704691)

I agree. And also with the person above about variables in CSS (sorry, I have no mod points today). That would make life a LOT easier, and I've wanted that on several occasions.

One set of tags that I'm sure would be welcomed by everyone: ... . Sure would beat all of the javascript hacks, and could be implemented by non-javascript and text-only browsers like links as well. Text-only browsers could render a table-like list. Others could roll them up. Or browsers could implement as a real menu instead of inside the content, etc.

Re:Please, give us better layout tools (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704761)

Why not create a tag called "grid" that acts like a table, but is designed for page layout? Most graphic designers use grids, and it would really help web design as a whole if something like that existed for us.

Because this would make sense, and help web designers/developers actually do what they've been doing all along. Its just the people in the business of writing the spec, have something different envisioned.

HTML5? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18704287)

I haven't done web development in a while. So what is the difference in HTML 1, 2, 3, 4, XHTML? Last I checked it was HTML, then javascript came around, then CSS. Am I missing something here?

Re:HTML5? (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704569)

HTML 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. are different revisions of the specification. New capabilities are added (IMG wasn't in the original version), some are changed (P used to be a double-line-break, but now it's a container with a top and bottom margin), other little-used features are removed (have you seen an ISINDEX tag lately? how about a MENU list?).

XHTML 1.0 is essentially HTML 4 translated into XML. Later versions of XHTML have diverged.

be nice if HTML was deprecated (1, Informative)

brunascle (994197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18704579)

personally, i'd like to get rid of HTML completely and replace it with XHTML. i absolutely hate that some tags dont have to be closed in HTML. without some sort of outside knowledge of the HTML standard (e.g. by downloading the DTD), a parser cannot be expected to properly organize an HTML document.

here's an example:

<div>
<br>hi
<br>how are you?
</div>

<ul>
<li>hi
<li>how are you?
</ul>
without knowledge about HTML, a parser cannot be expected to understand in the first case that the <br> element is empty and in the second that the <li> element is not.
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