Is HTML 5 Vaporware?

Apr 12, 2007

An article over at Slashdot mentions the news that Apple, Mozilla, and Opera have requested the adoption of HTML 5, a successor to HTML 4 and XHTML, both of which are aging. The draft spec for HTML 5 is courtesy of the WHATWG, a group that formed for the very specific purpose of creating a successor to what we use today. It seems that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been wasting time working on an incompatible replacement to HTML and XHTML, a decision that I feel is destined to fail (backwards compatibility is a definite requirement in moving the web forward).

Adopting HTML 5 is a great idea (HTML does need cleaning up), but unless Microsoft climbs aboard, we might as well start building the HTML 5 coffin. As much as people dislike hearing it, the fact is that Microsoft owns this kind of thing. If it doesn't get into Internet Explorer, you might as well forget it. And I doubt that IE will migrate to something like this anytime soon. I mean, they just fixed their CSS box-model bugs! How many years did we wait for that? And after all that time, the rendering engine is still broken.

Perhaps Firefox will continue to take share from IE, giving the 'little' guys like Mozilla a voice in what direction to take the web. I've certainly got my fingers crossed.

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