Finishing HTML5.1 … and starting HTML 5.2
Since we published the Working on HTML5.1 post, we've made progress. We've closed more issues than we have open, we now have a working rhythm for the specification that is getting up to the speed we want, and we have a spec we think is a big improvement on HTML5.
Now it's time to publish something serious.
We've just posted a Call For Consensus (CFC) to publish the current HTML5.1 Working Draft as a Candidate Recommendation (CR). This means we're going into feature freeze on HTML5.1, allowing the W3C Patent Policy to come into play and ensure HTML5.1 can be freely implemented and used.
While HTML5.1 is in CR we may make some editorial tweaks to the spec - for instance we will be checking for names that have been left out of the Acknowledgements section. There will also be some features marked "at risk", which means they will be removed from HTML5.1 if we find during CR that they do not work in at least two shipping browsers.
Beyond this, the path of getting from CR to W3C Recommendation is an administrative one. We hope the Web Platform WG agrees that HTML5.1 is better than HTML5, and that it would benefit the web community if we updated the "gold standard" - the W3C Recommendation. Then we need W3C's membership, and finally W3C Director Tim Berners-Lee to agree too.
The goal is for HTML5.1 to be a W3C Recommendation in September, and to achieve that we have to put the specification into feature freeze now. But what happens between now and September? Are we really going to sit around for a few months crossing legal t's and dotting administrative i's? No way!
We have pending changes that reflect features we believe will be shipped over the next few months. And of course there are always bugs to fix, and editorial improvements to make HTML at W3C more reliable and usable by the web community.
In the next couple of weeks we will propose a First Public Working Draft of HTML5.2. This will probably include some new features, some features that were not interoperable and so not included in HTML5.1, and some more bug fixes. This will kick off a programme of regular Working Draft releases until HTML5.2 is ready to be moved to W3C Recommendation sometime in the next year or so.
… on behalf of the chairs and editors, thanks!