HTML5: Getting to Last Call

We started to work on HTML5 back in 2007 and have been going through issues since then. In November 2009, the HTML Chairs instituted a decision policy, which allowed us to close around 20 issues or so. We now have around 200 bugs and 25 issues on the document.

In order to drive the Group to Last Call, the HTML Chairs, following the advice from the W3C Team, produced a timeline to get the initial Last Call for HTML5. The W3C team expresses its strong support to the chairs of the HTML Working Group in their efforts to lead the group toward an initial Last Call according to the published timeline.

All new bugs related to the HTML5 specification received after the first of October 2010 will be treated as Last Call comments, with possible exceptions granted by the Chairs. The intention is to get to the initial Last Call and have a feature-complete document.

The HTML Chairs will keep driving the Group forward after that date in order to resolve all the bugs received by October 1. The expectation is to issue the Last Call document at the end of May 2011.

I encourage everyone to send bugs prior to October 1 and keep track of them in order to escalate them to the Working Group if necessary.

8 thoughts on “HTML5: Getting to Last Call

  1. While the W3C started to work on HTML5 in 2007, it’s disingenuous to claim that “the work on HTML5” started then. The work on HTML5 was started in 2004 by the WHATWG.

  2. Hi Edward,

    I changed the wording to say “to work on HTML5”. The fact remains that W3C started to work on HTML5 in 2007.

  3. Hi, Edward, PLH isn’t trying to diminish the work of the WHATWG before it came to W3C as HTML5… he just meant that W3C started formal work on it in 2007, as part of the timeline to completion. I would have stated that upfront myself, but I’m sure it’s just a slip of phrasing.

    We acknowledge the WHATWG, the browser vendors in general, and the wider community for all the precision and innovation they have brought into the standards process. We all have higher standards for standards now.

  4. Isn’t it rather too soon to Last Call the spec?
    With the amount of bugs still open on the Bugzilla, and clients just about to ship with HTML5 parsers, it seems like we’ll be having to adjust HTML5 spec parsing rules from the browsers – which no doubt will adapt to new problems they see from implementations…
    Is there any reason for LC being now, other than impetus?

  5. This comment is entirely “inappropriate”, unpunctual, inept, off-topic and much more worthy of condemnation. It is not about a technical defect in the specification. I persist nonetheless to foster the idea for other fora where it might germinate. The effort to do better is far beyond my reach.

    One new entity name should be introduced to HTML5 (XHTML and XML too) for efficiency, convenience and readability. Specifically, &; (two characters) should become a synonym for   (six characters).

    I conjecture that the non-breaking space is the most-used entity. The need for its use in HTML is much greater than in XML, as multiple black space is ignored in HTML (outside the <pre></pre> tags). The direct character   cannot be visually distinguished in the code, and text-editor searches for it are cumbersome.

    Microsoft suggested that its, hmm, non-standard elements and attributes should be standardized. W3C spontaneously suggested an incubator committee. This is so modest by comparison, its irregularity here should be much less outré than the political topic of regularizing irregular immigrants, sneaking past borders.

    Thank for your forgiveness.

    BHA in L.A., CA, USA

  6. @John:

    You’re confusing Candidate Recommendation phase and Last Call phase:

    • The goal of Last Call is to satisfy the technical requirements. In other words, the Group wants to be feature complete;
    • The goal of Candidate Recommendation is to gather implementation experience. This is the time when issues raised like adjusting parsing rules are important to get.

    Our goal is setting up the timeline for HTML5 is to be feature complete as soon as possible. It happens that we are working on a test suite and are getting feedback already, which is great, but we won’t lock down the specification with regards to implementation feedback until the end of the CR.


    I’d be surprised if your proposal to shorten the non–breaking would get traction in the Working Group but feel free to raise your proposal as a bug against the HTML5 specification, if you didn’t do so already.

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