[occi-wg] HTML5 at Last Call (and what this has to do with OCCI)

Sam Johnston samj at samj.net
Tue Oct 27 21:57:54 CDT 2009

Morning all,

Many of you will have seen that HTML 5 is now in Last Call (at least at the
WHATWG, who work with the W3C on different issues). This is great news as
it's one of the specifications we reference at a number of points and it is
currently my proposal for the user interface component (e.g. users can point
their browsers directly at the API and get a web console).

Here's a quick history lesson on HTML from my perspective (I'm one of a
bunch of [self-]invited experts @ W3C but have been more focused here than

   - Once upon a time there was HTML4 and a bunch of browsers implemented it
   reasonably well for quite a few years
   - HTML looks like XML, but it's not always/usually/ever compliant (which
   is OK because the browsers aren't fussy, accept pretty much anything and
   each make sense of it in different, weird and wonderful ways)
   - XHTML on the other hand *is* XML and depending on the mime-type,
   browser and direction of the wind will be parsed as such (or not!).
   - XHTML 2.0 was a wander off into the wilderness, shedding backwards
   compatibility and with it any chance of seeing daylight (it was recently
   taken out the back and shot by W3C after a few years withering away)
   - HTML5 is the next major release of HTML which introduces a bunch of
   interesting & useful features that push the boundaries even further, while
   remaining largely backwards compatible.
   - XHTML5 is pretty much just a strict XML rendering of HTML5.

That is, HTML4 ~= XHTML1, XHTML2 is dead and HTML5 ~= XHTML5. IMO (can't be
too careful these days).

Remember XHTML is valid XML so it's a suitable candidate for APIs and indeed
the demonstration API in the RESTful Web Services book uses it exclusively:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN" "
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en">
<head> <title>Planet List</title>
<ul class="planets">
  <li><a href="/Earth">Earth</a></li>
  <li><a href="/Venus">Venus</a></li>

Once you've parsed it you can easily extract the planet names with an
expression like ul[class="planets"]/li/a/text() (granted XPath is not my
area of expertise and there's a bunch of other ways to do it). Anyway the
point is that this single (currently optional) rendering can be used for
both humans and machines if we want.

While I am reasonably convinced that we want users to be able to access the
API directly (it doesn't cost us anything to give implementors the option)
I'm still not sold on the case for an XML rendering, especially when headers
are better/faster/cheaper and require basically no parsing.

Anyway it's 4am already so I'll leave it at that for today...

HTML5 at Last Call

October 27th, 2009 by Ian Hickson <http://ln.hixie.ch/>

For a brief period today, there were no outstanding e-mails or bugs on the
specs, and so I took that opportunity to transition us here at the WHATWG to
the next stage of HTML5's development: Last Call! This affects three specs
at the WHATWG:

   - HTML5 <http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/>
   - Web Workers <http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-workers/current-work/>
   - Microdata vocabularies<http://www.whatwg.org/specs/vocabs/current-work/>

There's also a version of the spec called Web Applications
nostalgic reasons) that has all of the above as well as a number of other
specs, namely Web Storage, Web Database, Server-sent Events, and the Web
Sockets API and protocol, all together in one document. With the exception
of the Web Database spec, they're all now in last call at the WHATWG.

So if you've been waiting to see if someone else would report the problem
that you had seen, well, if it's not fixed, they didn't! So you should now
send that feedback in yourself.

There's two ways to send feedback. If your feedback is something short and
simple, you can just load up the spec in your browser, click on the section
with the problem, then type in your message using the review comments box
that appears at the bottom of the window, and hit the "Submit Review
Comments" button. This works for the HTML5 and Web Applications 1.0 specs.
(Thanks to the W3C HTML Working Group for making their bug database
available to us for this purpose.)

If your feedback is more elaborate, then you should subscribe to the mailing
list <http://www.whatwg.org/mailing-list#specs>and then send your feedback

*Note: Lest there be any confusion, the W3C HTML WG has not yet transitioned
HTML5 to Last Call at the W3C. HTML5 is a joint effort of W3C and WHATWG
groups, but we have different issues lists and different criteria for going
to Last Call. For more details on the W3C HTML WG's processes, see the W3C
HTML WG charter <http://www.w3.org/2007/03/HTML-WG-charter.html>.*
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