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

Andrew de Andrade andrew at deandrade.com.br
Wed Oct 28 09:06:47 CDT 2009

I haven't participated in any of the W3C processes, but I've given a
presentation on HTML5 and should be giving another one after the final
draft is published.

Here are two more major concepts from HTML5 that everyone should be aware of:

(1) "Pave the cowpaths" - Ian Hickson, the main editor for the HTML5
spec along with other colleagues did a study of the most used classes
and ids used in html 4.01 and decided to make the most common ones
into full fledged html5 tags. Examples include: <header> <footer>
<nav> <article> <aside>, etc. The hardcore supporters of XHTML 2.0,
where against this idea because several went against the idea of
focusing on semantics and wandered into the area of display and
display related tags. Most are in a grey zone that are arguably
semantic or visual.

(2) The biggest, most important change to HTML5 insofar as standards
are concerned is the treatment of "tag soup".  The HTML 4.01 spec
never included anything regarding user agent implementation and error
handling in case the html had errors. With compiled or interpreted
code, you'd get an error. However, with a markup language the browser
would try to make a best guess at what you were trying to accomplish
and still display the page in spite of the errors. This is the main
cause of all the incompatibilities between browsers nowadays.

(3) If you learn about HTML5 and hear something about a 2022 date to
be complete, IGNORE it. That's simply the expected date when two
full/complete, errorless user-agent implementations of the HTML5 final
spec are done. HTML5 will start to play an increasing role after the
final draft is complete later this month. After that many of the
browser makers will focus on implementing as many features as possible
according to the final draft. Firefox, Opera, Safari and Chrome
already implement many of the features of the HTML5 draft so far.
Internet Explorer is still lagging behind and there are some key
features such as canvas that they've still not done anything with.
Ignore Internet Explorer insofar as HTML5 is concerned. Microsoft has
practically 0% market share in the smart-phone mobile browsing market.
As that market grows in size, the importance of Internet Explorer will
fall faster and faster.

(4) You are encouraged to start playing around with HTML5 and CSS3
now. By the end of 2010 you should definitely be learning both. By
2011 and 2012 you will se both gaining a lot of importance insofar as
the number of important sites are concerned.

If you want to learn more, check out the numerous presentations online
for demos. I'd send the link to mine, but it is in Portuguese and
probably interests few if any people on this list.


On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 12:57 AM, Sam Johnston <samj at samj.net> wrote:
> 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
> there):
> 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"
> "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml11/DTD/xhtml11.dtd">
> <html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en">
> <head> <title>Planet List</title>
> </head>
> <body>
> <ul class="planets">
>   <li><a href="/Earth">Earth</a></li>
>   <li><a href="/Venus">Venus</a></li>
>   ...
> </ul>
> </body>
> </html>
> 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...
> Sam
> HTML5 at Last Call
> October 27th, 2009 by Ian Hickson
> 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:
> Web Workers
> Microdata vocabularies
> There's also a version of the spec called Web Applications 1.0 (for
> 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
> listand then send your feedback there.
> 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.
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