Broad interoperability slated by W3C for 2014; HTML 5.1 to offer glimpse of the future
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has published the complete definition of the HTML5 and Canvas 2D specifications. These aren't yet W3C standards, but are now considered feature-complete and a stable target for implementation and planning. In a press release, the organisation called HTML5 the "cornerstone of the Open Web Platform" and noted its reach across devices and disciplines. CEO Jeff Jaffe remarked that the "broader the reach of web technology, the more our stakeholders demand a stable standard", and said that, as of now, "businesses know what they can rely on for HTML5 in the coming years" and developers "will know what skills to cultivate" to reach a range of platforms.
The W3C also announced the first draft of HTML 5.1 and Canvas 2D, Level 2, which it called "an early view of the next round of standardization". The dual aims are now to continue developing HTML 5.1 while ensuring HTML5 implementation and compatibility is as painless as possible across all platforms. It expects this phase to last into mid-2014, at which point the final HTML5 Recommendation will be published.
Ian Jacobs, Head of W3C Marketing and Communications, confirmed to .net that the HTML5 specification is now considered feature-complete. He said no new features will be added before it is published as a final standard, and that "the next phase of work to promote broad interoperability of HTML5 may result in a small number of features moving to HTML 5.1".
In terms of fuller HTML5 interoperability, Jacobs appeared bullish, despite slow-moving mobile updates on some platforms and the existence of legacy desktop browsers: "Our discussions with tool vendors give us confidence we will have broad interoperability among browsers on modern desktop and mobile platforms by the end of 2014. A recent Sencha blog post paints a similar picture." But he added there are other platforms to keep in mind, because the Open Web Platform is "transforming television, automotive, publishing and other industries". W3C is therefore working to ensure HTML5 also meets all their requirements for features, interoperability, and performance.
According to Jacobs, the challenge will in part be met by significantly enhancing W3C's HTML5 test suite, and he looks forward to how HTML5 will change the face of media and interaction: "I love seeing how people are already using the full Open Web Platform to show off video, games, and even operating systems. It's changing how people connect with one another, shop, learn, vote, and seek entertainment. The creativity is amazing. We have a lot of new features in the pipeline, and I'm excited that more and more people are bringing their ideas to the W3C community."