HTML5: On Our Way to Recommendation
In 2012, the HTML Working Group Chairs came up with a plan to progress HTML, aka "Plan 2014". The plan has several objectives:
- Produce a W3C Recommendation for HTML 5.0 before the end of 2014, as well as a W3C Recommendation for HTML 5.1 before the end of 2016;
- Use the Candidate Recommendation of HTML5, which started in December 2012, to focus the testing effort where it is appropriate;
- Use modularity to manage the size and complexity of the specifications.
Over the past 2 years, we have continued to refine and improve the HTML 5.0 specification. The HTML Working Group receives and tracks proposals from a variety of people in the community, most prominently from the WHATWG. During the past 2 years, the HTML5 editors have worked with the community to exchange ideas and thus avoid divergence among specifications. The HTML Landscape lists the differences between various HTML specifications.
The HTML Working Group today has 97,000 tests for HTML5. As part of satisfying the W3C process requirements for Candidate Recommendation, we have tracked implementations of HTML5 features, and test results today show that there are at least 2 implementations for 96.7% of the available tests. What about the other 3.3%? Those failures arise from how different browsers handle errors, and the Working Group has concluded that these failures do not reflect differences in implementations that will significantly affect interoperability of real-world running code. Following the test results, we removed several features from HTML 5.0 due to their lack of implementations and stability, including the dialog element and scoped style sheet. Those features remain in the draft HTML 5.1 specification for the time being.
W3C would like to thank the community for helping to build this valuable test suite. The tests come from the Test the Web Forward community effort and the contributors to the web-platform-tests github repository, and we strongly encourage Web developers to continue to contribute to the testing effort and help make the Open Web Platform reliable. At the moment, the HTML Working Group is specifically looking for additional HTML 5.0 tests related to media elements and page navigation.
As planned, given the substantive changes made to the document, we're returning HTML 5.0 to Last Call. The scope of the expected feedback at this point is limited to changes that have taken place during the Candidate Recommendation phase and the deadline is 15 July 2014. Once we have addressed the Last Call comments and finalize the test suite, we expect to move the document to Proposed Recommendation in the fall. A few features may be removed from HTML 5.0 but kept in HTML 5.1 if we can't get enough implementations: the DataCue interface, <input type=time>, drag and drop, and the new ruby model.
Advancing HTML 5.0 towards Recommendation status is just one step in advancing the Open Web Platform, a full-fledged programming environment for rich, interactive, cross-platform applications, with HTML5 at its core. Several Groups are extending the HTML markup language, including for responsive design, performance, accessibility or additional security purposes. The HTML Working Group, the W3C Technical Architecture Group and the Web Applications Working Group, are looking to have an Extensible Web Summit in the middle of September where we will discuss the future of HTML. We expect a formal announcement in early July.