HTML5 pushed back until 2014

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. 

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Last Call by May 2011. Great news.

I think some people here don't know what the Last call status is.

Phantom Phreak said,
If Google would just give up and use H.264 like everyone else, we would solve this issue right now.

Chrome - WebM
Firefox - WebM
Opera - WebM
Safari - H.264
IE - H.264

Hmm, in the major browsers it looks like it's 3-2. Maybe Safari and IE are the ones who need to switch.

Chugworth said,

Chrome - WebM
Firefox - WebM
Opera - WebM
Safari - H.264
IE - H.264

Ummm ... nope : IE - H.264/WebM. IE is actually doing the best thing here : If your OS can read the video, IE can too. Wether it's H.264 or WebM doesn't matter.

DrunkenBeard said,
Ummm ... nope : IE - H.264/WebM. IE is actually doing the best thing here : If your OS can read the video, IE can too. Wether it's H.264 or WebM doesn't matter.
Right, but Windows doesn't come with WebM support built in.

Kirkburn said,
Right, but Windows doesn't come with WebM support built in.

Yep because it was released before WebM was annouced Maybe if enough people are using it they'll include it in 8. In any case, if you install a WebM codec IE will read WebM videos, which imo should be the case for all browsers.

It really doesn't matter. HTML5 and CSS3 are already in wide use, all we're talking about here is having the absolute final implementation applied across the board. You can already use 90% of what HTML5 will have, as long as you're alright with dropping older browsers. The standards have been fairly stable for years.

Regression_88 said,
Oh the irony.... ACID may not be HTML compliant.

ACID never ever was HTML compliant. The point of ACID is testing if browsers handle code errors properly.

Ambroos said,

ACID never ever was HTML compliant. The point of ACID is testing if browsers handle code errors properly.

And to test if the browser does not interpret anything that is not explicitly defined.

IE4 was a great browser for the time, and won the hearts of many Netscape fans because it did exactly what ACID tests fail a browser for doing.

For example, in IE4 on a flaky dial up connection, if the page stopped getting content and had received a table but did not get the final end table tag, IE4 would assume that the table should be displayed, and display it.

This was at the time a 'feature' of IE4 as it used some intelligence and common sense to render the page even if the connection was crappy or the web site developer had missed a tag, etc.

However, by doing this, IE4 would have done poorly on an ACID type test because if there is no end table tag, it was wrong to display the table.

Netscape 4 had no 'interpretation', so if the final end tag was missing, the table would not be displayed. Thus Netscape 4 was technically 'more' compliant and would have done better on an ACID type test.

However, for the average end user with dial up and a crappy connection, IE4 was a better browser at displaying the content as it would make these assumptions and the user was able to view websites even if there were errors in the content IE4 had received, as it corrected them.

This is why the ACID tests are 'technically' correct, but not really a good measure of how well the browser is handling content. Sadly it also has furthered the mindset that the browser should be inherently dumb and never adjust the content information it receives.

So here we are today, with browsers being dumb and not correcting errors in the page that are common sense even in the complexity of web page content today. And the dumber a browser is, the better it has done on ACID tests over the years and the more praise people have for it. (Which is kind of stupid if you think about it.)

Holly cr** I didn't see that coming. Well it looks as though, Flash will continue to dominate for another three years. ;-)

Jonessie said,
Holly cr** I didn't see that coming. Well it looks as though, Flash will continue to dominate for another three years. ;-)

It might actually become really decent by then in terms of performance, reliability and power usage. Adobe have eventually started to develop it but we still await 64bit flash.

Gaffney said,

It might actually become really decent by then in terms of performance, reliability and power usage. Adobe have eventually started to develop it but we still await 64bit flash.

Not a Flash fan, but 64bit versions of Flash are available. Go to the Adobe Flash install page from a 64bit browser, it should take you to the 64bit version of Flash.

(Some are still in beta, as they are also optimizing the 32bit and 64bit 10.2 Flash clients for assisted hardware acceleration in IE9 with some gains in Firefox and Chrome when they are using GPU rendering.)

I find this surprising. I guess I would have thought the standard could/would be final and tested by at least the end of 2012 or early 2013. I wonder if this makes Apple think twice about their commitment to sticky with and betting on HTML5 instead of allowing Flash. That isn't to say that HTML5 isn't the best solution in the long run, but we aren't exactly as close to a standard being finalized as what I/we thought.

JayZJay said,
I find this surprising. I guess I would have thought the standard could/would be final and tested by at least the end of 2012 or early 2013. I wonder if this makes Apple think twice about their commitment to sticky with and betting on HTML5 instead of allowing Flash. That isn't to say that HTML5 isn't the best solution in the long run, but we aren't exactly as close to a standard being finalized as what I/we thought.

The problem isn't the big stuff like displaying video, but dealing with how to handle errors when something is written incorrectly. Does a browser try to fix the HTML error? Does is just fail and render nothing? HTML specs in the past never defined this stuff, but they are in HTML5. And when you define a spec to that detail, you've got to have a LOT of compatibility tests to make sure it works well.

Plus, it's a "democratic" processes which means it's 10x slower than if a dictator were making all the decisions.

wixostrix said,
So we pretty much wont see real HTML5 until IE 10 or 11 (and the other browsers repective versions). Cant wait!

Can't wait for what? Video Player with questionable performance and an ongoing dispute for the video format, couple of effects/transitions which are not hardware accelerated, most other cool features (storage, websocket etc) are not usable in most browsers.

wixostrix said,
So we pretty much wont see real HTML5 until IE 10 or 11 (and the other browsers repective versions). Cant wait!

More specifically, we won't see an HTML5 where each browser renders the exact same HTML the same until 2014-2015. Each browser does it a bit differently and sometimes that's a problem (getting IE only sites)

neoraptor said,

Can't wait for what? Video Player with questionable performance and an ongoing dispute for the video format, couple of effects/transitions which are not hardware accelerated, most other cool features (storage, websocket etc) are not usable in most browsers.

No, once the standards are finalized and we can reap the benefits: consistant rendering across all browsers, no need for plugin for basic things like animation/video, better overall performance and battery life (no flash). Honestly, I don't know all the benefits of HTML5, I don't claim to, but there is obviously a reason why it is such a hot topic and for the reasons I do know they all seem to be for the sake of a better web experience.

neoraptor said,

Can't wait for what? Video Player with questionable performance and an ongoing dispute for the video format, couple of effects/transitions which are not hardware accelerated, most other cool features (storage, websocket etc) are not usable in most browsers.

Video playback and all the effect/transitions are fully hardware accelerated in IE9. This is why Chrome and Firefox are scrambling. As they are not even close unless they rip their entire engine apart and build it with a new model based on treating content more like code as the IE team did.

Search for: ietestdrive, and try IE9 if you want to see how nice everything is when it is hardware accelerated. (These are simple tests and unless you have a meaty CPU, Chrome and Firefox will be anywhere from 10 to 500 times slower than IE9, especially at maintaining a fluid FPS level.)

A sobering demonstration is to run IE9 on a netbook with an Atom 270 against Chrome or Firefox on a fast i7 desktop with a powerhouse video card, and watch IE9 on the netbook run many of the tests significantly faster.

mikefarinha said,
Anyone who doubts that Silverlight and Flash have a long life ahead of them is only fooling themselves.

Silverlight is quite healthy actually.

Hahahahahaha ! *crying* ... I'm working on a pretty big healthcare web application for my current internship and one of the requirements is using open standards to ensure we're not dependant on a specific vendor. Everything is done using HTML5/CSS/JS+PHP, now I only really hope that the core specifications are not changing ...

Anyway, for web developers this is actually a good thing. We're actually moving from total uncertainty to a milestone, a slow one but still we have a date and a goal.

DrunkenBeard said,
Hahahahahaha ! *crying* ... I'm working on a pretty big healthcare web application for my current internship and one of the requirements is using open standards to ensure we're not dependant on a specific vendor. Everything is done using HTML5/CSS/JS+PHP, now I only really hope that the core specifications are not changing ...

Anyway, for web developers this is actually a good thing. We're actually moving from total uncertainty to a milestone, a slow one but still we have a date and a goal.


Since when is PersonalHomePage an "open standard"?

RealFduch said,

Since when is PersonalHomePage an "open standard"?

Hey, 1996 called, they want their acronym for PHP back. PHP has stood for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor" since 1997.

Plus, he never said PHP was an "open standard" he said everything was done with "HTML5/CSS/JS" plus PHP.

Marcus16 said,

Hey, 1996 called, they want their acronym for PHP back. PHP has stood for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor" since 1997.

Plus, he never said PHP was an "open standard" he said everything was done with "HTML5/CSS/JS" plus PHP.


He said "one of the requirements is using open standards to ensure we're not dependant on a specific vendor. Everything is done using HTML5/CSS/JS+PHP". This implies that PHP is an "open standard not dependant on a specific vendor", which is not true.

Haha, didn't see the discussion here Yeah, maybe I wasn't very clear. The open standards I was refering to are HTML5/CSS3/JS. We're using PHP because there is no other serious alternative and because some functionality was already implemented using PHP and it wouldn't make sens to change the language just for the sake of it.

I thought everyone knew HTML 5 wasn't rattified yet? That's why I always laugh when Apple come out and say they won't use Flash and everything has got to be HTML 5.

Hackersoft MS MVP said,
I thought everyone knew HTML 5 wasn't rattified yet? That's why I always laugh when Apple come out and say they won't use Flash and everything has got to be HTML 5.

This makes little to no actually logical sense. All the browsers have some level of HTML5 support already. If you can make something that works on those browers, go for it. When HTML5 is ratified, we will be talking about HTML6 in the exact same context as we talk about HTML5 now. Anyone that waits for the ratification will be years behind. Waiting that long makes as much sense as not developing games for a new platform. They will not change anything radically from the ground up this late in the game.

ILikeTobacco said,

This makes little to no actually logical sense. All the browsers have some level of HTML5 support already. If you can make something that works on those browers, go for it. When HTML5 is ratified, we will be talking about HTML6 in the exact same context as we talk about HTML5 now. Anyone that waits for the ratification will be years behind. Waiting that long makes as much sense as not developing games for a new platform. They will not change anything radically from the ground up this late in the game.

Agree with everything but the last line... There often are radical changes, especially as more of the specifications are utilized in various browsers.

IE was highly 'compliant' back in the late 90s, until many of the standards that Microsoft proposed or were based on Microsoft development were thrown out late in the ratification, which made IE non-compliant almost overnight.

Oddly, many of these were later added back into the specification after Microsoft already looked like an ass because of IE5 and how non-compliant it was. Microsoft then moved past XHTML concepts and while IE6 was in development, XHTML was picked up by W3C, which was almost comical, because most of XHTML was original submitted by Microsoft in the late 1990s and it was thrown out by W3C.

This is when Microsoft basically said screw the W3C, as Microsoft was relegated to the red headed step child.

Microsoft's main engineer that got POed at the W3C after they gave him and Microsoft the run around for a long time, is now the head of technology for the FCC.

Anyone else find it a bit strange that the W3C is far more willing to work with Microsoft in the past couple of years now that past Microsoft employees actually have regulatory say that could affect the W3C?

(The same things happened to Microsoft with OOXML and ODF, as everything they proposed or was based on Microsoft Office technologies was basically vetoed by Sun, even though the consortium charter was to base ODF on existing formats and technologies.

This later became a big scandal of Microsoft trying to control the world when they told the charter to screw themselves and finished OOXML.

The ODF supporters argued that OOXML was new and hardly used, etc etc.

The thing nobody seems to remember is that OOXML actually went back to 1998/1999 when Office 2000 was still in beta, as Microsoft started to create their XML/HTML mechanism for Office, and even though it was pulled as the standard format when Office 2000 was released, during the beta, the standard save in Word, Excel, Powerpoint was HTML/XML. Even though it wasn't the standard file format for Office 2000, the HTML/XML file format was still supported.

Again, the 'reason' it was pulled from Office 2000 as the standard format was arguments from Corel, Sun, and Netscape that Microsoft was trying to redefine HTML standards themselves and trying to make all web content based on Office documents. (Which is insane looking back, and why OOXML didn't get into play until OfficeXP, AFTER the ODF group was started to specifically create a document standard exactly like the OOXML features that dated back to Office 2000 1998 betas.)

Anyway, I kind of overkilled the point, things change even late in the process, and they can be big, and they very much can be politically motivated when the W3C or other contributors decide they hate one company so much they are willing to degrade the specification to hurt the company, as happened with Microsoft several times.

Hackersoft MS MVP said,
I thought everyone knew HTML 5 wasn't rattified yet? That's why I always laugh when Apple come out and say they won't use Flash and everything has got to be HTML 5.

Well, this is part of the 'man behind the curtain' stuff Apple tries to pull off. They don't want HTML5 to be anything more than a Video box and an HTML5 canvas. Any significant RIA standard would put a large dent in their App sales, especially when there is no longer a need for dedicated Apps for existing web sites.

Also note, Microsoft is taking the opposite approach, and with IE9 is trying to shift the metaphor a web closer to an Application. Like when a Site is pinned to the TaskBar or put on the desktop, it is not just a 'favorite/bookmark/shortcut' anymore, but instead becomes its own Web Application as seen by the basic user. And when richer HTML5 sites appear, they will be more Application like and should be treated more like Applications to the end user, rather than a web page.

ILikeTobacco said,
This makes little to no actually logical sense.

I gotta love it.
When it's anyone else talking, it is just "this makes no sense".
But when it's nerd talk, it is "this makes no logical sense".

Lol, i had to take it out of my chest some time.
Btw, i agree with you and like tobacco too

Edited by thartist, Feb 15 2011, 4:22am :

ILikeTobacco said,

This makes little to no actually logical sense. ...snip..

Too funny. You are talking about logical sense then go on to say that all browsers contain some form of a standard that doesn't exist yet. Where's the logic in that? It's only a proposal at this stage and could drastically change over the next few years. Just take a look at the proposed HTML 5 video. Originally it was going to H264 but that's now up the air with Google's proposal for their encoding scheme. Or the proposal for css tables. This has been in the proposal then dropped then back in again.

Hackersoft MS MVP said,

Too funny. You are talking about logical sense then go on to say that all browsers contain some form of a standard that doesn't exist yet. Where's the logic in that? It's only a proposal at this stage and could drastically change over the next few years. Just take a look at the proposed HTML 5 video. Originally it was going to H264 but that's now up the air with Google's proposal for their encoding scheme. Or the proposal for css tables. This has been in the proposal then dropped then back in again.

So which previous HTML version does canvas come from that people are already using? Most browsers are already using HTML5. It may not be a "standard" yet but people are using it.

KavazovAngel said,
2014 is far, far away. This is a bad decision, I think. 2012 would have been a lot better.

This isn't a "finish the spec so people can use it" date, this is a "finish the spec down to a detail that browser makers know EXACTLY what to code for then have a expansive suite of tests for compatibility" date.

KavazovAngel said,
2014 is far, far away. This is a bad decision, I think. 2012 would have been a lot better.

December 21st, 2012, so we can open a few RIA pages on how to properly prepare family members for food when the world ends...

KavazovAngel said,
2014 is far, far away. This is a bad decision, I think. 2012 would have been a lot better.

2014, XP extended support ended. IE6 joins Trex. IE9 can be a forced minimum for Vista SP3+, Win 7/8 Machines.

I suppose if more time is being spent on testing and making sure "everyone is on the same page" then this is a good thing..

Now just make it mandatory to upgrade to IE9 and we'll be one more step closer to a better web.

team_NOOB said,
I suppose if more time is being spent on testing and making sure "everyone is on the same page" then this is a good thing..

Now just make it mandatory to upgrade to IE9 and we'll be one more step closer to a better web.

By that time there might be IE10 out.

Glendi said,

hahahahaha and 50000000% faster

...at loading WebGL and doing away with all HTML and web standards just so they don't have to compete against IE at actually rendering web content.

Which gives them three years to convince the world that WebGL rendering is better than web content rendering, and pretend that giving web sites direct OpenGL access to your GPU is almost as safe as ActiveX was in IE5/IE6.

PS Hey Google, I have a suggestion for what you can do with your WebGL fish demo...

Jose_49 said,
Holy Cow! Long life Flash.

Nevermind... At least, Flash felt a bit pressure and right now, version 10.2 is extremely better... Especially against first versions of 10...

Deo Domuique said,

Nevermind... At least, Flash felt a bit pressure and right now, version 10.2 is extremely better... Especially against first versions of 10...


Agreed. Adobe seems to be getting serious now...

Jose_49 said,

Agreed. Adobe seems to be getting serious now...

After Apple finally gave them the API's they'd been asking for for years.

Benjy91 said,

After Apple finally gave them the API's they'd been asking for for years.

Fu** Apple. Adobe has way more going for them than Apple. Once HTML5 came into the picture, Adobe knew they had competition, they started cleaning up their act.

netwokz said,

Fu** Apple. Adobe has way more going for them than Apple. Once HTML5 came into the picture, Adobe knew they had competition, they started cleaning up their act.

Couldn't have said it better myself, the 10.2 update is improved across all platforms, not just the Mac.

Flash and HTML5 are not direct competitors. HTML5 allows you to do more stuff, but not replace Flash entirely. Certainly, I'm quite happy playing online games in Flash and it is well built for that purpose.

So ... Flash isn't going anywhere. HTML5 is already here, in part. Both will continue to be around.

SHoTTa35 said,
Whuuuuuuutttt?

Don't listen to these reports. It doesn't entirely matter when the HTML5 spec is finished, because there are many features that are done (using the term loosely) and can be implemented right now! Also, you shouldn't be concentrating on when it is a recommendation; you should concentrate on when it's a candidate recommendation.

Also, on the WHATWG side, the HTML spec is a live document. There is no such thing as "HTML5".