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21 January 2011, 09:03

HTML5 to become a living standard called "HTML"

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HTML5, which has been developed by the WHATWG group, is to lose its version number and be referred to only as "HTML". Ian Hickson, the author and editor of the W3C's current HTML5 draft, announced this decision in a blog posting. Hickson said that, when the group announced that the HTML5 specification was progressing to "Last Call" in 2009, the plan at the time was to publish a "snapshot" of HTML5 in 2012. However, due to the high demand for new features, the group has now decided to switch to a different development model.

The new model doesn't use version numbers and will instead maintain a "living document" that defines the technology as it evolves. Hickson said that as the current document is more mature than any version of the HTML specification to date, it no longer made sense for the WHATWG to call it a draft. In the WHATWG FAQ, HTML 5 is now only mentioned in connection with the W3C; according to Hickson, the W3C will continue to cooperate on a HTML5 snapshot with the WHATWG.

In the opinion of Julian Reschke, co-editor of the new draft of the HTTP specification which is currently being developed and "invited expert" to the W3C's HTML5 working group, the WHATWG's decision was primarily motivated by its annoyance with the W3C's recently presented HTML 5 logo. However, Reschke thinks that, in practice, nothing except the name will change as opinions on the future standard have apparently differed for a while. For instance, Hickson prefers a single document, while the W3C has moved various aspects into separate parts. Furthermore, the WHATWG edition contains passages the W3C's HTML working group has explicitly removed, such as controversial opinions about the topic of plug-ins.


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