HTML5: The jewel in the Open Web Platform

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Over the past two weeks, I traveled across the U.S. from New York to San Francisco to talk about HTML5 with developers and W3C member organizations. This continues my global tour which has also taken me earlier to France and Japan. I am inspired by the enthusiasm for the suite of technical standards that make up what W3C calls the 'Open Web Platform.' The Open Web Platform to us is HTML5, a game-changing suite of tools that incorporates SVG, CSS and other standards that are in various stages of development and implementation by the community at W3C. Recent demos show the potential of certain features of HTML5, however, the platform in its entirety is still a work in progress. At this stage, community feedback plays an important role in ensuring that the HTML5 specification is the highest quality.

The power of this platform is that it is so comprehensive. The challenge presented by HTML5, which I mentioned a month ago, is the need to test, refine and mature certain aspects of the specification in order to support the early adopters, the innovators and the engineers who are embracing this technology today.

Recently I wrote about the HTML5 WG's decision to move the HTML5 specification to last call in May of next year. As a result of this milestone, W3C opened a call to developers to submit their issues by October 1, in order to speed the process of standardization and implementation of HTML5 as early as possible. In addition, because HTML5 is seeing early adoption, there is a need to refine the draft specification to support the work of those who are pushing this technology out into the public domain.

From week to week, we see promising examples of the potential of HTML5 demonstrated by impressive displays of 3D animation, navigation and video technologies. There is not a single month when W3C does not receive a request to extend APIs in order to address new functionalities. The video community is requesting more features in our support of HTML5 video (more metadata support, chapters, quality feedback). The television industry is just starting to think about having APIs to control television channels or the TV remote. The electronic book industry would like to have better text support, in particular vertical text, in CSS. Several companies met this week to talk about supporting audio and video teleconferencing in HTML (ICE, STUN, notification API for incoming calls, etc.). Our newly created Web Performance Working Group had a very fruitful face-to-face this week, to discuss latency measurements related to user navigation. The work and the speed of the Working Group is literally a race against clock, with the plan of finalizing the API in the next 4 to 6 months.

The adoption of HTML5 by browser vendors and other members of the IT community is an important factor in the ongoing traction of the platform. We want to hear from those already working with the draft specification so we can use the test cases to identify interoperability issues that need to be addressed leading up to last call in May of next year. It is because of your work and feedback that W3C can build the solid foundation for the Web's continuing evolution. Please provide your feedback by using the HTML5 public bug database.

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