Last night there was an interesting announcement from the WHATWG group, who effectively develops various HTML5 and related specifications. That is, HTML5 is no more.
The development is now meant to be version-less and instead the results will be a living document that will adjust itself over time according to new evolving technology.
HTML5 is now indeed HTML. I understand their reasoning, but it is also facing a number of problems we need to deal with, mentioned in the comments to that post.
In the end, though, I think this has good potential to end well.
Does that mean HTML5, as we know it, doesn’t exist?
Not really. The idea is that WHATWG and W3C are working together on creating a snapshot that can be labelled as HTML5. I think, for quite some time, the HTML5 term is going to be around – not so much for referring to the above-mentioned snapshot, but because the term has gained traction in both media, marketing and in the heads of managers and decision-makers.
We can’t call it HTML, right?
HTML5 became the term successor to AJAX, encompassing all new technologies on the web, no matter if they were in the specification or not. With this just named HTML, it’s not really something that by its name sends the connection to that, and it’s certainly not something people can search Google for and get good results.
So let’s look not necessarily to what specification something is in, but rather what people mean, and want to address, when they have used the term HTML5.
The Open Web Platform
So we should start calling it what it really is: The Open Web Platform.
I have taken this term from Philippe Le Hégaret and I think it perfectly depicts what we really want to say. And not only does it just refer to video elements, online games with canvas, SVG magic or any other new technology what offers a richer web experience, it also brings up, and even contains in its name, the vital fact that the web has to be based on open technologies.
Internet is not there only for the West, it’s the most democratic medium we have, bringing people together, rich or poor, disabilities, differing opinions – whatever you can think of. It has become such an important piece for mankind and how we communicate with each other, and we have to defend this delicate thing as much as we possibly can.
And the way we do that is building on and developing the Open Web Platform.