HTML5 has had a big adventure so far in getting standards down, including what the official video technology will be. Microsoft used many HTML5 examples to demo the Internet Explorer 9 Beta, and other browsers are also incorporating the new but unfinished standards.
Today, W3C extended the HTML Working Group charter adding clear milestones for HTML5. In May 2011, HTML5 will reach a "Last Call" which allows for developers to get together to confirm the specification and make sure everything is in line to get this new technology out there. Also with Last Call comes the change in focus to implementation for the end-user.
W3C also announced they are working on a "comprehensive test suite" that will quickly allow for developers to check and see how well their software scores in relationship to support for the new platform. They have set the date for this test suite and "recommendation" to be in 2014. This allows proper time to be spent to make sure all testing and previsions have been cared for, as outlined by W3C CEO, Jeff Jaffe:
"Even as innovation continues, advancing HTML5 to Recommendation provides the entire Web ecosystem with a stable, tested, interoperable standard," said Jeff Jaffe, W3C CEO. "The decision to schedule the HTML5 Last Call for May 2011 was an important step in setting industry expectations. Today we take the next step, announcing 2014 as the target for Recommendation."
Setting down a closer-to-final road-map and really focusing on creating standards and tests for the technology sets W3C out in a fantastic direction. However, this also means we have three more years of uncertainty and fighting for exactly what becomes a standard. Hopefully companies and developers can work that out early to then focus on testing and deployment.